Drawing on paper in color pencils, ink gel pen and acrylic. The travelling Queen of Arberia and of the Citadel, with her son, Avik and the Silver Seed of the new Silver Tree. Enjoy!
Drawing on paper in color pencils, ink gel pen and acrylic. The travelling Queen of Arberia and of the Citadel, with her son, Avik and the Silver Seed of the new Silver Tree. Enjoy!
-I still can’t clearly remember all that happened but I can put two and two together: the way I feel, the gift, the photo and the note…I’ve had enough of this!!!
Fuyuki’s face contorted in pain; Yoshiasu slowly calmed him down. His mind was searching for a solution; he made a long distance call…home. He called detective Harrows and they agreed to talk more on the computer.
-How’s Fuyuki now?- asked the detective.
-Upset and disturbed- came the answer.
-Can I talk to him?
-I think so. Fuyuki, detective Harrows wants to talk to you…Yoshiasu turned to his companion.
The young man sat in front of the computer and greeted the detective. He looked tired and subdued.
-Good evening, Fuyuki. I’m sorry that we speak only on such occasions.
Fuyuki’s face lit up a little; he sighed but the corners of his mouth curved up a little.
-I’ve listened to the recount made by Yoshiasu; I must tell you that this might be harder to prove than your previous one. This guy ( if he’s the one I suspect to be) is difficult to catch. He’s not a bragging fool. Do you understand me?
-I’ll talk to one of my good friends from there; he’s a retired policeman but he likes to keep his mind working. I’ll let you know; until then, be strong, my young friend.
Fuyuki smiled briefly.
-Thank you, detective. Sorry for being such a nuisance-he said softly.
Fuyuki left Yoshiasu to end the call while he went to the kitchen to fix something to eat for both of them. He’s got so caught in that he realized only later that Yoshiasu was standing in the kitchen door, watching him with an amused but loving smile on his face. Fuyuki reddened.
-I sincerely hope this will be edible- he said. Anyway, there’s nothing else in the fridge, but we still can order Chinese food if you want…
-I’m willing to try your cooking-chuckled Yoshiasu.
Fuyuki smiled; they both set the table. Fuyuki leaned against his companion.
-I feel safe when you’re around-he sighed. I’m sorry; I’m quite a handful….
Yoshiasu kissed him.
-You’re my most precious one. We’ll work this out together; just keep it in mind that I love you.
The next day Yoshiasu called the gallery and excused Fuyuki for at least two or three days. He knew his love was not ready to face that place so soon; they’ve been through this before. Healing required time. Detective Harrow’s friend visited them; he was a kind gentleman and promised to look into this delicate matter.
During this time things were on the move in the outside world to. The man woke up next day with mixed feelings; something was bothering him from inside but he wasn’t ready to admit the feeling. He sent the gift to Fuyuki in an attempt to muffle the regret that was building up inside him; he wanted to prove himself that he didn’t care and that the young man was only a whim for him.
Yet the same day, he drove his car to the gallery, waiting for hours in the hope to catch a glimpse of the young artist; but he didn’t show up. Nor was he coming the next two days. He wasn’t leaving the house either; the handsome Japanese was at home but his fragile companion was nowhere to be seen.
The man became restless; there was a sense of emptiness and loss building up inside of him, despite his best efforts to ignore it. He drove home and the next day, the five artists received a generous offer of scholarship for each of them. Fuyuki turned down the offer but he was happy for his friends. In less than an hour after that, he received a call from the Foundation for abused Children; they’ve received a very generous funding from an anonymous donor, a donation made in Fuyuki’s name. Fuyuki smiled; the pain caused by what happened to him was slowly diminishing. The works of art sold well at the exhibition, thanks to all those people they’ve met at the club. The money helped the four young artists to fulfill their dreams and opened new opportunities for each of them. Fuyuki knew well who was behind this sudden success but he wasn’t upset. He sensed that something has changed inside that man; he wanted to redeem himself. Fuyuki didn’t hate him; he was simply unable to hate. He could be hurt, deeply pained, even crushed by the inflicted pain; but he was oblivious to hatred.
That night, watching him laid down like a torn butterfly, still beautiful in his sufferance, the man discovered for the first time his own feelings. He faced regrets, remorse and above all, he realized that in fact, for the first time in his life he fell in love. He’s had a lust for that perfect body but he right now, he was in love with that gentle, fragile, generous soul that gave the magic of that beauty. He knew that there was no chance for them to meet again; he didn’t want to torment Fuyuki.
One of Fuyuki’s works was put on sale at a charity and the man put up the highest bid ever. It was a painting depicting that elusive “Lost Butterfly” that symbolizes both hope and the inner world of that beautiful artist. The day after the successful auction, Fuyuki showed up at the exhibition hall. He looked slightly changed; he looked a bit matured and his beauty deepened. He has lost some of his innocent touch, but he has gained a certain serenity that just added to his magic. As he stepped out of the car, he turned towards the black car parked on the other side of the street. The man was outside, looking at him. Fuyuki faced him for a moment, then slowly turned and disappeared inside the building.
The man stepped into his car. The painting was packed up and placed beside him on the rear seat. The car slowly departed. The man was never seen in public again. The rumour was that he was ill; but only a very close few knew that he had an unrequited love. From his “high castle”, he kept an eye on Fuyuki but he never approached him anymore. He was happy just to watch from a safe distance the dance of that butterfly in the light.
-Amazing-said one of the creatures of light. I never thought the Child would have such a powerful influence on people.
-He’s not very happy about it. We have to watch him carefully; he might end up in trouble again…-said the other one.
-Luckily, his companion guides him well…
-Yes, but accidents might occur…-said the second creature, concern echoing in his voice. We cannot afford to lose him…
-Don’t get annoyed…I promise I’ll be careful about him. He’s our Child anyway.
Under the loving care of Janice and Yoshiasu, Fuyuki recovered much easily. Though he was still scarred physically and emotionally, he kept on focusing on the love he finally got. For the first time in his life, there was somebody in this world for whom he, Fuyuki was the MOST IMPORTANT PERSON and that somebody was Yoshiasu. During the whole ordeal he’d been put through again, Fuyuki had closed his eyes and mind and he held on his love. Now Janice, with her kindness and love brought back the happy memories of the short childhood and helped Fuyuki bond after twenty years with his lost relatives. Janice was at peace with herself; she’s finally got back her baby-brother and justice has been done. Even Paul and Michael softened after à while and the family reunited. As Fuyuki was getting better in hospital, new concerns aroused in Yoshiasu’s mind; he decided to ask him about before taking any action.
-Fuyuki, are you ready to come home? I mean, how you feel about coming back to the same place…you know…I can arrange so that we move to another location…
The young man stretched and looked at him, head slightly tilted.
-You’re wonderful but that’s the place where I had spent the happiest days of my life. I won’t run and let the past ruin what I cherish most.
-I bet you miss my cooking-he said with a grin.
They both laughed. Two days later they left the hospital; Fuyuki put up a brave face and shook away any concern. But Yoshiasu wasn’t easily fooled; he could sense the tension building up inside his love the moment they closed the door. After unpacking, Yoshiasu turned to the kitchen to fix something to eat and left Fuyuki to adjust. The young artist sat on the bed looking around, while scraps of memory flashed through his mind. Half an hour later Yoshiasu found him sitting on the same spot, gazing into nothingness.
-You don’t have to pretend you’re OK when obviously you’re not-he said in a calm voice. We are together in this. The first night after you’ve disappeared, I had a panic attack. I even moved on your side of the bed and slept there until you were found…
Fuyuki shuddered, then he looked up and smiled to Yoshiasu:
-I’m so lucky to have you. I’ll be fine, I know; it’s just that I need some time to get over so many things…Now-he said, taking a deep breath- may I help you with the cooking?
-Sure-said Yoshiasu. It’s almost done. Let’s eat; I’m starving.
Later that day, Angela and George called and then came to visit. They were relieved to see Fuyuki back on track and Yoshiasu happy again. They looked great to; Angela was expecting her first child and the couple was filled with the excitement. They left for home late in the evening, after chatting happily all together. Yoshiasu took a shower and sat on top of the bed reading something, waiting for Fuyuki.
He became suddenly aware of the muffled sounds coming from the shower. He knocked at the door and called:
-Fuyuki!…Fuyuki, are you OK?
As the noises became more intense, he decided to take action. He dropped his bathrobe and entered the shower. Fuyuki was crouching on the floor, crying bitterly. Yoshiasu picked him up and cupped his face with both hands trying to understand what was torturing him. Fuyuki averted his gaze, hands gripping on Yoshiasu’s hands.
-I…I missed you so much but…I…I feel tainted and I…can’t…I’m so sorry…that I couldn’t-the rest of the words ended in sobs.
The understanding sank on Yoshiasu; Fuyuki was blaming himself for the ordeal he had been through, for not being able to fight back and he felt like he had betrayed the love the two of them was sharing. Yoshisu sighed; there were still so many wounds to heal and so many loose ends to tie up until the fragile equilibrium of Fuyuki would mend. But Yoshiasu was more determined than ever to love and protect him and help him to heal. So he held Fuyuki close and let the shower wash them both.
-You can cry out everything now-he whispered in Fuyuki’s ear. This water will wash away all the misery. You are the purest human being I’ve ever seen and I won’t give up on you.
He held Fuyuki until the younger man cried out all the bitterness and hurt piled up inside. He moved his hand down his back and under his touch Fuyuki’s body felt more fragile as he’d lost some weight during captivity. Yoshiasu stopped the water and handed a towel to Fuyuki; they walked together to the bedroom and Fuyuki folded in his arms.
-Have you seen Father?- he asked in a small voice.
-Yes. He is a bully and a madman. I’m glad he’s locked up. You don’t need to worry about him.
Fuyuki shifted a little.
-I was so afraid that you might not want me anymore-his voice trailed.
Yoshiasu turned Fuyuki towards him and kissed him gently. As his lover moved closer, he slowly undressed him and kissed him again deeply. Fuyuki moaned and melted in his arms. Driven by the emotional turmoil, they made love like never before reaching unexpected peaks. They finally relaxed, panting from exhaustion and they fell asleep holding each other closely.
But before their life could get back to normal, they had to pass another major challenge: the trial of Jack Roger. As police and prosecutors finished their work, the trial was due to begin. The trial caught up a big interest; not only that it was a shocking case but it involved one of the young emerging artists of the country.
Though he could’ve avoided it because of his emotional scars, Fuyuki bravely decided to attend the trial. Yoshiasu was deeply concerned about how he would cope with it, but he had to admit that Fuyuki needed to face his fears in order to get over them and to start a new life. Yet, Yoshiasu dreaded the first encounter with Jack Roger, whom he had not seen since the day Fuyuki was found. Tens of curious eyes turned to them when Roger was brought in. He had a confident smirk all over his face; when he spotted Fuyuki, he launched towards him with a sneer:
-You little bastard! Wait until I get my hands on you!
The guards held him back and Fuyuki’s eyes clouded with pain. He faced him and asked in a restraint voice:
-Why? Why do you hate me?
This painful question made the headlines of every journal. It was the question that troubled every decent person: why would anybody turn into such a monster? The first session of the trial presented the case as the police had unraveled piece by piece, then the pile of evidence was brought to the Court’s attention.
Listening to Janice’s testimony (while her father growled “Stupid bitch…just like your mother…”) proved to be the hardest of all. The long buried memories of the horrors endured by a small child shocked the audience. At that moment Fuyuki got sick and while Yoshiasu was helping him out, he fainted. Yoshiasu picked him up and left the Courtroom hurriedly; he took him out to a bench and laid him down, massaging his temples and his hands until Fuyuki got back to his senses. He then called a cab and took him home. Reliving that particular moment was like opening a dam. All the memories locked up inside came back accurately. The process was painful but unstoppable. Each and every night of the trial Fuyuki cried himself into sleep, held tightly in Yoshiasu’s arms. But with family and friends around him, he got over the pain step by step.
The evaluation made by the police psychiatrist gave sense to the image of Jack Roger. Jack Roger was an animal of prey. He watched the little boy growing up and noticed its unusual beauty. He soon realized that this child could become a good source of income and that he was totally defenseless. With a weak and frightened aunt as a surrogate mother, the little boy had no chance against Jack Roger’s will. What the perpetrator never suspected, was that the night of horror had a witness: the ten years old Janice. That night she took a narrow escape and remained unharmed, only to carry this traumatic memory till the final confrontation. Jack Roger took pride in his business so he kept detailed records /even videotapes. For years he trained and used the child as a prostitute; when he got into trouble, he simply sold him but kept his track just in case.
When Fuyuki ended up badly beaten and dumped, Roger thought that the young man died, so he was thrilled to see his photo later in a nationwide newspaper. Just like the spider, he carefully cornered his victim and took him away when he finished his underground bunker. Fuyuki’s cell was connected to the house and as soon as the he regained consciousness, Jack Roger was back in business. He put Fuyuki on the market the first day they got home and never left a day out. In a short time, his bank account was growing steadily so he couldn’t be more pleased.
Based on the huge amount of evidence, “Father” was quickly sentenced to life in prison. But the eternal bully took hard the end of his reigning over Fuyuki, so after two months in prison, he’s got an extensive stroke and died in the prison hospital. The story of the Monster and The Lost Butterfly came to an end. After 20 years Fuyuki was free at last.
Another year ended and the oncoming one was holding the promises of a new beginning. Yoshiasu and Fuyuki spent the Christmas with Janice and her family; on the second day, Peter and Michael joined them with their wives. Fuyuki’s beauty and kindness charmed everybody, especially Janice’s six year old twins, Robert and Molly. They also took a like on Yoshiasu and they were happy to find two young adults who never got tired of them and never complained about them being nagging and noisy.
The New Year brought another happy event: Angela gave birth to her first child, a little boy named Thomas.
-I feel a little bit lost with so many men around-smiled Angela counting her well-wishing party. The three of you were already a handful; now Thomas is joining the gang…I have to put up some strength to face you all!
-I wouldn’t be concerned-said Fuyuki. You’ve already rendered us speechless with such a beautiful baby!
-Sweet Fuyuki! You’re as charming as ever-laughed Angela, glancing lovingly at the sleeping baby.
The warmth of love encompassed them all, leaving the shadows of the past locked up in the passing year.
Wishing to give a boost to their life together, Yoshiasu secretly booked two tickets for the Cherry Blossom Festival in Japan. When time came, he took Fuyuki by the hand and it was only in the airport that the young artist learned about their destination. He was deeply touched and amazed. The festival was a dream come true. It was a particularly mild, warm spring so when they arrived, every tree was in full blossom.
The sight was simply magic. Every breeze carried on its warm wings endless flurries of white and pink petals. Yoshiasu and Fuyuki traveled from one place to another, from orchard to orchard, filling up with endless beauty. Finally, they stopped in an old orchard of a remote location. They asked for permission to visit and as they were granted, Yoshiasu took Fuyuki by the hand and walked down the narrow pathways that lead through the fresh light-green grass, under the heavily blooming branches. Yoshiasu spotted from the distance a large old cherry tree and took the amazed Fuyuki there. He let the young artist enjoy the enveloping shower of soft petals. Fuyuki’s amethyst eyes gleamed like gems in the mist of golden light pouring from above. He leaned against the tree, watching with withheld breath the magic of Nature. He turned to Yoshiasu with a look of rapture all over his face.
Yoshiasu approached and cupped his face with both hands, looked deeply into the shimmering violet-blue pools and asked in a slightly trembling voice:
-Fuyuki, would you marry me?
Fuyuki’s eyes widened in surprise, he blushed but whispered:
-Yes. I will…
Yoshiasu bent over him and kissed him until they ran out of breath. They married two weeks later in Canada. Fuyuki took Yoshiasu’s family name, Tanaka. Yoshiasu took a new job that enabled him to travel a lot along with Fuyuki, who was now a successful artist with exhibitions all over the world. They were both young and on the height of their creative powers. Life was beautiful.
-Oh! -exclaimed one of the creatures of light. I never thought such things can happen! We almost lost our Child to that madman. I feel so….uneasy about our choice.
-You’re right-mumbled the other one. We’ve learned so much about these creatures since we are here and yet, after this episode, I feel like we really know nothing. Maybe we should retrieve the Child from the planet.
-No, no, not now! Not yet. He seems to be happy with his companion and perhaps the two of them might join us later, don’t you think?
-Agree!-said the taller creature. But we’ll keep a close eye on them from now on.
She was shivering, shaken by an inner fever. The memory of the night was still fresh in her mind and as she pushed herself slowly off the cold surface, conflicting emotions washed over her. For long minutes, she was penduling between an intoxicating elation and an unexplainable panic. She has fallen in love and that love lived in the no man’s land between dream and reality. How can anyone keep its sound mind in such circumstances?
But this love wasn’t meant to last; Kai knew it well. The more she learned about Jordan, the clearer it became that she, the average girl in front of a mirror was meant only to be the dream-holder and rememberer. Something was abruptly changing in the life of her unexpected soul-twin and they were both running out of time. “But what was that change?”-wondered Kai. There was no one to answer that question now… Kai took a deep breath and decided to join the reality of the morning.
The night came under the auspices of the Peach Moon. I saw it rising cautiously above the dark line of the hills. The sky was spotless and deep blue. The faintly glowing pink contour emerged gradually and soon we were facing each other, the Moon and I. It looked at me with its saddened face, with that silent cry frozen on its face for eons. Its eyes were crying invisible tears and my heart sank in despair.
I’ve ran to the gates breathlessly! The world behind them was dead silent and hollow. The forest was emptied of footprint memories, emptied of laughter echoes, emptied of innocence…The spells of the Wizard had been scattered by a chilling wind of forgetfulness. Gone were the mermaids and shores, gone the stellar abyss of swirling light and love….The leaves of poetry were growing only in my heart by now. The Blue trees retracted in the void and I couldn’t reach them anymore. I fell to my knees crying…Then I remembered the house. Maybe, just maybe Joren was still there! I jumped to my feet and sped towards the house in the mist.
As soon as she reached the premises, Kai knew that hopes for finding anyone around were thin. The house felt just as empty as the space surrounding it. The girl cautiously opened the door and passed along the corridors until she reached that special door. Before she could touch it, the door flew open and Tyler’s angry face looked at Kai, shouting:
-You’re late! They’re all gone!!! No one is here anymore!! No one!!!
His breath was freezing cold and Kai stepped back for a moment. The pain inside, the sense of loss built up inside her pushed to the surface and she felt her entire being crack under the pressure. Her final armor shattered, liberating her true being. Tyler had already vanished into thin air and all she was left with was à dim glow in the distance and the sound of little ringing bell. Jordie’s bell. The girl launched herself towards that spot of light, flying with wings of flames like a Phoenix.
-Jordie! -she shouted. Wait for me!
Fueled by her heated emotions, she crossed the warping space and caught the globe of light before it reached the wormhole between the two connected worlds.
-Stop! -she yelled. Stay for a moment! Talk to me! Don’t leave all my questions unanswered!
Cling! Cling! The little bell echoed in her ears and for à moment, she felt two small arms encircling her neck.
-Don’t be upset, nice Kai! I have to go now! They are waiting for me.
Kai held him till he dissipated, giggling and Joren’s face emerged in the light.
-We have to go, Kai. Jordan is about to wake up. Hisher healing journey is now complete, thanks to your help too. We were all bits and pieces painstakingly brought together in long time, to mend the spirit of Jordan. Himher will be whole again as heshe will regain consciousness. Remember us, Kai! When the dream will end, nothing and no one will be the same as before.
As the last words reverberated in the space, an invisible hand touched gently Kai’s tearful face. She recognised the touch and she recognised the kiss. It tasted like summer vine.
“ Goodbye, girl”-whispered the voice inside her mind. “Don’t forget me…”
The ball of light touched the boundary of worlds and exploded with a thunderous blast. The connection collapsed and Kai crash landed in her bed. On the other side of the world, a young woman woke up all of a sudden in her hospital bed.
She gasped and shook her head, then relaxed. She recognised her family members and her doctor. She couldn’t remember the reason of being in hospital; she was feeling well and in one piece.
-Did I miss something?-asked Jordan, raising an eyebrow. I feel like I slept for a hundred years. It was fine but I would like to go home now. May I, doctor?
Everyone burst into relieved laughter; Jordan was himherself again.
I have walked a dream like no other and my heart was captured, my spirit released and liberated. I am myself more than I ever was. The love I encountered was brief but intense and it lives inside me, imprinted deeply in my soul along with all the magic it carried. I am a rememberer, a storyteller and a dreamer.
I’m not an ordinary girl anymore.
Do I remember you? Of course I do! You’re the Magician who released the Wild Girl from my inner world. You found her, hiding in her Secret Garden and you opened the door, showing her the way. You’ve let her follow you, believe in you, trust you and in the end, fall in love with you. Was it something planned? I doubt….But you and I, we got caught up in our entangled wild dream. You and I, we found a love that could’ve been…if only we would’ve met in real life. So You have dreamt me and I continued that dream, finding you.
Our love was swift, passionate, fiery, creative, all consuming….despite its illusory existence. You have broadened my horizon, deepened my inner world, enriched my emotional life. We have built a love like no other: both incredibly beautiful and maddeningly painful. This love cannot die. This love doesn’t want to die. This love is so much a part of me that denying it would mean to deny myself. I didn’t know how much of you has built itself inside me, until we both woke up and the wandering in our connected dream was over.
After picking up all her shattered bits and pieces, the Wild Girl banged the gates of the Secret garden behind her and locked them. She lives there, wandering on the shores of the Ocean of Memories. I visit her sometimes and we talk through the bars of the gates. With you gone forever, she won’t come out anymore. But we both miss you sometimes; so we recall your face, the sound of your laughter, the softness in your eyes….
Minutes, seconds, days,hours, years and millenia were falling scattered with the sound of a thousand wind-chimes. The last tick of the clock tore the fabric of the Universe, dismantling Time.
Ground vanished under his feet and he fell backwards. Slowly. He was falling for an eternity when he finally reached the surface of the primeval ocean. He splashed into the deep blue surface, breaking the thin layers of water. Gloub, gloub….The Ocean opened its mouth, swallowing him. He continued to fall, sinking deeper and deeper inside a history larger than life.
It was an endless, dense blue of nameless particles, the incipient plasma of atoms and eons. The silence surrounded him like a cocoon and his limbs slowly relaxed, as he kept floating into the blue abyss.
Was he still existing? He couldn’t say for sure and right now, the answer itself seemed senseless and futile. His mind reached out to his extremities, somewhere far, far away and he called them back, curling up into fetal position.He closed his eyes.
The child was peacefully sleeping in the warm, calm waters of the womb, suckling his thumb. It was all quiet and peaceful in the point of singularity.
The Universe was not born yet.
(Photo credit: via Poullo Occone, artist/FB)
Prologue: A confession.
“ We were here for almost a cycle studying you from a safe distance when I had a dream. Somebody touched me, trying to wake me up. I opened my eyes and saw him. He was beautiful but looked sad.
-Release me-he whispered. Please! I’m choking…
-Who are you?-I asked in amazement.
-I’m inside you…Let me go…I need to fly…Please!
As I watched his luminous eyes I felt something moving inside me. I woke up suddenly; he was the first Child who asked to be born. It never happened before; that’s why we decided to give him this special assignment: to be born human.”
It was a mid-October morning with long streaks of chilling fog crawling over the glossy layer of dead leaves piling up under the trees. The sun was just a sick, pale spot in the twirling grey atmosphere.
The alleys of the Central Park were almost deserted; only a few courageous ones were taking on their daily routine of jogging. There were also some sleepy dog owners on a short stroll with their pets and some early workers shortening their way through the crooked shapes of the trees in the park.
Despite the desolate air of the early hour, Yoshiasu Tanaka, a 28 years old computer analyst who lived in a flat nearby, enjoyed to take a short walk before starting work. It was a moment of silent reflection spent in the middle of this priceless natural spot trapped in the core of the huge city.
Yoshiasu left the alley and walked slowly through the dense cluster of trees and bushes. He liked the soft rustle of leaves under his feet, the way the smooth brown carpet gave in under his weight, the yellow leaves swirling graciously in the autumn wind and the bitter-sweet taste of the mist in the air…He emptied his mind and let his inner self float adrift into blissful nothingness. Only his peripheral vision saved him from tripping over the dark-brown mass of dead leaves right in front of him. His foot touched something compact inside the heap of leaves and that feeling made him stop and take a closer look. It wasn’t a tree-root ‘cause it felt softer. Yoshiasu bent and cautiously scattered the leaves from the surface and …he almost fell backwards. A human hand appeared. It was a slim hand with long, delicate fingers and it looked lively. Yoshiasu swallowed hard then touched the hand. It was cold but soft; he checked further and felt the wrist hidden into the leaves. There was a faint movement under the cold skin; the heart of someone hidden in was still beating. Yoshiasu frantically pushed away the leaves, trying to dig out the buried person.
After some frenzied moments he found a badly bruised young man lying unconscious on the ground. He was alive but it looked like his life was hanging on a thread. Yoshiasu took off his coat and covered the injured young man and quickly dialed 911. He then turned back to him and tried to warm up his hands and get him back to consciousness. The young man moaned and stirred under his touch. Yoshiasu bent closer and asked him:
-Hey! Can you hear me?
He repeated his question a few times before getting any answer. Finally, the young man opened his eyes and looked into Yoshiasu’s eyes, much to the latter’s surprise. Though those eyes were clouded by pain, they had the most unusual color: a deep, velvety violet just like the petals of the forest violet in early spring. Thick black eyelashes were underlying those intent, troubled eyes. A wide purple scratch was covering almost all of his left cheek and his black hair was matted and filled with leaf scraps. There was freshly dried blood on his bruised lower lip. His clothes were torn and ripped apart, uncovering older or more recent bruises all over his body.
Yoshiasu was shocked by the extent of the injuries and of the fact that this human being was deliberately buried and left to die. He took out his handkerchief and gingerly wiped away the blood from the young’s lips and the dirt from his face. He felt him shivering under the touch.
-The ambulance will be here in any minute, hang on; you’ll be fine- he said in a reassuring voice. He then took again the young man’s hands and rubbed them to warm him up. He felt the other one gripping his hands. He looked back into his face.
-Don’t be afraid-he said and smiled. I won’t leave you.
The injured man sighed and closed his eyes. Right then the paramedics arrived and took him into their care. In a few moments the police arrived to and questioned Yoshiasu about his finding. They took pictures of the place and of the victim and agreed with Yoshiasu about a further meeting at the police station. The ambulance departed in a hurry, the sirens ripping off the seemingly peaceful atmosphere of the park. Yoshiasu slowly turned back home, his mind trying to asses the recent events.
Fortunately for him, he was very busy at work so he had to adjust to something more peaceful and tangible throughout the day. He left his office, declined some invitations for a drink and headed home. He felt exhausted and he was still shaken. He undressed and took a shower and sat on the bed with a Coke in his hand. His mind wandered back to the morning’s events…He took out his cell phone and dialed the number of the Central Hospital. He asked about the injured young man brought in during the morning. He was slowly recovering-they said-but he wasn’t speaking yet so they weren’t able to contact any relatives. No, he had no papers to indicate his identity but the police was working on the case. Yes, he could visit him if he wanted; they hoped that a familiar face could bring a breakthrough in this case. Yoshiasu thanked for the information and hung up. He lay down in his bed, fixing the ceiling while his mind wandered.
After a while he sat up again and dialed the police station number and asked to talk with the officer in charge with the young man’s case. He asked for permission to visit the victim the next day. The detective agreed, expressing the same hopes that Yoshiasu’s sighting might bring up some positive development in the victim’s behavior. The young analyst slept badly all night. Those painful, violet-blue eyes were haunting him even in his dreams. He woke up troubled and restless; only after a shower and a full mug of steaming coffee was he finally ready to begin another day. He finalized his work earlier and asked for the next day off. He then left for the hospital. He bought a few oranges at a store and hurried up the stairs. The receptionist was aware of his coming so she helped him quickly to the “John Doe’s” reserve.
Yoshiasu saw that the young man was sleeping so he did his best not to disturb him. He put the oranges on the table next to the bed and sat on a chair and looked close at him for the first time. The young man was in his early twenties, no more than 25. Despite the scratches and the bruises on his face, he looked handsome. It was an almost feminine beauty; an oval face with large eyes, a straight, thin nose and nicely curved pink lips. His shoulder long black hair was thick and silky and his skin, wherever was not bruised into bluish tones, looked smooth. The hands resting on the blanket were long, with delicate, mobile fingers- the hands of an artist, a musician or a painter perhaps. Resting on the hospital bed among tubes and beeping instruments he looked fragile. Yoshiasu felt a pang in his heart. He stood up and turned when he heard the young man stir in the bed. Yoshiasu turned and found itself peering into the same mesmerizing violet-blue eyes.
-Hey. You’re awake. I came to see how you are – he said. Can you speak now?-asked Yoshiasu.
The answer was a muffled, pained mumbling but it was at last a small result. Yoshiasu patted the young man’s hands and followed:
-I’m Yoshiasu. Yoshiasu Tanaka. Do you have a name? We couldn’t find any paper indicating your identity…
The young man closed his eyes for a moment and it looked like he was searching his memory for an answer; he finally opened up his eyes and whispered:
-Hm. It’s a beautiful name and it suits you-said Yoshiasu with a smile. Is that all you can remember about yourself?
The answer was a small nod. Fuyuki closed his eyes and he fell asleep in an instant. He was still very weak and the effort of remembering his identity exhausted him easily.