Drawing on paper in color pencils, wax crayon and golden acrylic. Illustration for the novel. Enjoy!
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.
From Yoshiasu’s flat the collected data were sent to the crime labs. Detective Harrows talked to the neighbors; fortunately one of the ladies remembered a bulky man with strong jaws and bushy eyebrows who was dragging a stumbling young man. She gave the police the best description she could, adding some important clues to the already piling data.
Just as he expected, the lab results confirmed some of the detective’s suspicions; the blood belonged to Fuyuki but the body fluid and the unknown fingerprints lead them to a man named Jack Rogers. The guy was known to have a record of violent behavior and a number of domestic violence complaints. Each time he escaped justice because his wife wasn’t willing to testify against him.
Then, searching deeper in this guy’s personal history, detective Harrows found the piece of information he needed for the whole picture. Jack Roger had three children: a girl and two boys. His wife died years ago and the now grown-up children moved out from the family house. But in its early years of the past the Roger family had had a sixth member: a little boy named…Fuyuki. The child was reported missing when he was about five years old and he was never found. There were rumors about Jack Roger being the culprit in the child’s disappearance but despite all efforts police couldn’t find solid evidence against him.
Detective Harrows was getting seriously worried: this was definitely a dangerous guy and Fuyuki’s life was hanging on a thread.
Police traced down the Roger siblings and asked them about their father’s whereabouts but they knew almost nothing. Since they have left the family they were in no contact with him. As for their former brother, all they knew was that he had disappeared and that he was probably dead. Their old home was probably deserted and locked up. Dead end.
But neither the detective, nor Yoshiasu were giving up. Yoshiasu contacted the Roger siblings and asked them to meet him. He waited for them at the hotel where he stayed. The first who came was Janice, a pleasant looking woman in her early thirties. Despite her calm composure, Yoshiasu was able to detect that there was something bothering her deep inside. The two brothers, Peter and Michael arrived together; they were more restrained and distant. Yoshiasu invited them to have a seat and placed some juice and coffee on the table; this looked like a difficult meeting for all of them.
Janice and her two brothers sat in silence, watching and listening to Yoshiasu. He took out two photos and handed them out.
-This is Fuyuki, your brother. The first picture was taken at the hospital shortly after I found him dumped in Central Park. The other photo was taken while he was living in my flat. Help me find him! Please!!!
Watching them Yoshiasu could see horror and disbelief washing over each of the three faces. The young men looked skeptical but Janice was deeply touched and troubled by what she has just seen. She was still holding the photos when Peter, the elder brother spoke:
-I’m sorry to disappoint you. I don’t think we can help you. We’ve already told to the police: our little brother died when he was about five years old. Our father was a strict person, there’s not much love lost between us but I’m sure he has nothing to do with this. So, you have to excuse us but we have nothing else to say.
The two men stood up ready to go when Janice broke the silence.
-SIT DOWN!- she said firmly.
-I said sit down! You know nothing because you were too young at the time. You Peter, you were 7 at the time and Michael was 6; but I…I remember everything.
I’m sorry Mr. Tanaka that I never had the courage to speak about this, but now I’m ready to come clear with everything.
Peter and Michael watched her in disbelief. It was clear that they knew nothing and that they dreaded what might come out of their older sister’s recounting.
-Fuyuki was in fact our first cousin. His mother was our mom’s favorite sister. She died in childbirth, while the baby’s father died previously in a car accident. They loved each other but they didn’t have the chance to marry because of the accident, so Fuyuki was…an illegitimate child. Mother insisted that we take him in our family, much to our father’s displeasure. He has hated his sister-in-law but after à while he gave in to mom’s pleas.
-Fuyuki was a beautiful baby and he grew into an even lovelier child. He was a very good child, mild, pleasant and cheerful. Everybody loved him…except father. Day by day he came harder and harder on him. Despite that, Fuyuki loved him and never disobeyed him.
And while Peter and Michael liked boy’s rough-and-tumble, Fuyuki spent most of his time in the garden, watching the butterflies and drawing them. He was gifted- a real talent.
Janice stopped for a moment; she fumbled through her wallet and took out a small, yellow piece of paper folded in four. She handed it to Yoshiasu; he unfolded it and almost cried out: it was one of Fuyuki’s butterfly drawings.
-Keep it-said Janice. I had kept it since that horrible night when Fuyuki…disappeared from our family.
I was ten years old so I clearly remember everything. I wasn’t very sleepy that night and I was thirsty, so I went down to the kitchen to pour myself some water. I walked in silence not to disturb the others when I heard father’s voice in Fuyuki’s room. The door was cracked open so I hid and watched what was happening. Father was towering above poor Fuyuki, holding the belt in his hands. Fuyuki was sobbing. Father was telling him that it was about time that he paid for all he’s got from the family…then he ordered him to get naked. He stood there with that evil smile over his face and…
Janice’s voice dropped. She stood silently for a moment then took a deep breath and continued:
-Our father…raped our five years old brother. I was so frighten that I couldn’t move so I had to watch and listen to all. For years Fuyuki’s screams and cries haunted me. I don’t remember how I got back my room; but I remember seeing him as he carried Fuyuki’s body in a blanket to the backyard. We had an old shed that our father kept as his “personal headquarters”. Nobody dared to go there, not even mom. It was strictly forbidden.
The next day, father declared that Fuyuki was in the hospital and then we never spoke about him again. That was the day when mom stopped smiling and from that moment, her health slowly declined. Night after night,I kept hearing her crying. I married early and escaped from the hell. Mother died a little bit later. The boys moved out eventually, leaving our ”honest businessman” father alone in his fortress. He lives now in different places but we don’t keep in touch.
This is the TRUTH and I’m ready to testify against this monster that happens to be our father.
-Janice!! You can’t!- protested the boys.
-The hell I can’t! I can and I will! I don’t blame you if you don’t support me; you were too young and you knew nothing. But I knew and I loved Fuyuki and I couldn’t save him when I was a child.
Now I’m a grown-up and I won’t let father destroy my baby-brother entirely. This man is a vampire feeding on the innocents! Mr. Tanaka!-she said turning to Yoshiasu. This is my card; give it please to detective Harrows and tell him: he can call me anytime for any help. Please, hurry! Find my brother and bring him back to me. I miss him so much and for so long!
Yoshiasu left the Roger siblings to set things between them and hurried to catch the detective at work. They talked on the phone and Yoshiasu sent the data via internet. Soon after that, detective Harrows set the search for Fuyuki and Jack Rogers in motion.
Jack Roger was put on nationwide pursuit and he was finally cornered in his hometown. The neighbors spotted him at his old house late at night; police caught him and searched the house and the whole backyard thoroughly. They found a lot of incriminating evidence of what the “honest businessman” was doing but Fuyuki was nowhere to find. Evidently, Jack Roger wasn’t eager to speak either. At the enquiries he kept smirking and saying:
-You won’t find him! Never! He’s mine!
Desperate, Yoshiasu called Janice and asked her to come down to the city to help them in the search. First hours of the morning she was already there and met Yoshiasu and the police. They kept searching for clues together. Returning there after à long time, Janice looked around and sighed:
-What a dreadful place…I never thought I’d come back here.
-Do you have any idea about a hiding place?-asked the detective. Until now, we couldn’t find anything.
-Let me see-said Janice. Things have changed here, at least some of them. Let me recall the old days, maybe I’ll come up with something.
-Please go around as you wish. But remember, time is short. Your father is in our custody for two days now which means that Fuyuki is in danger of dehydration or running out of oxygen-said the detective.
Janice took the visibly shaken Yoshiasu with her and made a quick tour of the house then they went out in the backyard. The old shed had been demolished and the whole place was leveled. Only a couple of small molds lay scattered in the yard and there was nothing else to be seen. Janice paced up and down, brows furrowed in deep concentration…Suddenly she shouted:
-Bring a police dog here! Quickly! This is where the entrance to the cellar under the old shed was. I clearly remember the tree from the opposite side of the fence to be in line with that. I’ve been here once and got caught and I cannot forget the spank Father gave me for meddling around his “private space”!
The dog was brought to the spot and in a short while, he became restless and whined, trying to dig in. People gathered and with collective effort, they unraveled the cellar door that was hidden under the bricks of grass. The row of stairs was dark and the air was stale but breathable. The molds seen from the outside were in fact camouflaged air holes from where the entire underground facility was continuously aired. It was the dog that led them to the door of a particular room. It was locked from outside but they broke in. There was a commuter near the door-frame and they turned up the light.
Fuyuki was inside, tied to the bed and blindfolded. His breath was shallow and he had already lost conscience. Detective Harrows called for the paramedics to come as close as possible; he then untied the young man, lifted him up and carried him out.
-He’s alive, thanks God!- he shouted to Yoshiasu and Janice, who were anxiously waiting in the yard. Go to the hospital! I’ll be there later!
The paramedics took Fuyuki and put him an IV and an oxygen mask. Janice and Yoshiasu followed the ambulance in her car.
It took Fuyuki three days after being rushed to the hospital to regain his senses. Re- hydrated, rebalanced, sedated into a deep sleep to aid the recovery, he was was waking up totally confused. Through his eyelids he could sense that it was light around him and the air was clear and it smelled differently.
There were also muffled sounds around and he had the distinct feeling of not being alone in the room. Uncertain about his whereabouts, Fuyuki wasn’t willing to open his eyes. He tried to pick up the thread of his memory from the last tangible event. Well, those were disturbing events but at least they were certainties. The last customers came in pair and they played a cruel game of cat-and- mouse with him, until confused and totally shattered he fainted. After that, there were scattered moments of feverish state and darkness, agonizing thirst and deadly silence. For a split second Fuyuki hoped that he had died and that he was in a place beyond any more hurt.
But somewhere deep inside him, the grain of light refused to die out. It was the only light that had kept him alive those days and weeks of horror. Yoshiasu’s name and the memory of his love erupted in his mind and Fuyuki burst into tears.
He woke up sobbing violently and shaking. He curled into fetal position, burying his face into the pillow. He was unable to control the flow of feelings and he was struggling to catch his breath. A hand touched him gently and the voice speaking him was soft and soothing:
-Fuyuki, stop crying. I’m here; you’re safe now. Fuyuki, please…
Fuyuki turned up brusquely, eyes wide of shock. Yoshiasu was sitting on the edge of the bed and caught his hands.
-Your father is in police custody; he cannot hurt you anymore! Never!
He embraced Fuyuki and held him close; the younger man was trying to understand what his love was saying. His sobs subsided a little and he buried his face in Yoshiasu’s shoulder whispering:
-I’m sorry…I’m sorry…I’ve tried…I’m sorry…Oh,God!…Don’t leave me, please…
-I AM SORRY!-said Yoshiasu almost shouting. I have promised to protect you and I wasn’t there when you needed me! You have to forgive ME…
-You were with me…in my mind…my only hope…
Yoshiasu sighed and squeezed Fuyuki. He wasn’t sure how much emotion could the fragile young man handle but he had to give a try; Janice was waiting for a chance to meet her little brother again after so much time.
-Fuyuki, there is someone who actually helped us to find you in the underground cell. She is waiting outside to see you. Do you think you can handle it?
-I…I think so-he nodded. His eyes lit up as he saw the woman.
-Ja…niss…-he murmured and took a deep breath.
Janice swallowed hard but it was no use; tears were running freely down her cheeks as she rushed to embrace and kiss Fuyuki.
-How?! How did you know?!-she asked incredulously.
-Your eyes and your smile are still the same, sis.
-And you’re as kind and beautiful as ever, baby-brother. Oh, how I longed to see you again…
Winter was setting over the city step by step. The gloomy days of endless autumn rains were over. Day by day, frozen white stars showered from the skies, enveloping the surroundings in a blissful blanket of cold silver.
The shopping madness already erupted, the furious in and out sweeping through the city. Fuyuki’s works sold better than ever, raising his confidence and making his loved ones proud; yet the oncoming Christmas made the young man a little bit anxious. Like so many other things from everyday life, this particular event was a first for Fuyuki. Since Yoshiasu had a very crowded schedule at work he relied entirely on Angela. Luckily, she enjoyed doing things together with the young artist. She looked upon him like on a younger brother. So they bravely worked themselves through the necessary shopping and set all the details for their trip to the mountains. Fuyuki was more than happy to leave the city. The constant swarm of the town proved to be tiring. He needed a break and some personal time with Yoshiasu. And then, there was the problem of the Christmas presents; the small things for the others were already packed up. The butterfly necklace he had designed for Angela was almost ready. There was only one person left but it was the most important one for Fuyuki. He was at loss; he knew that Yoshiasu had everything money could buy, everything he needed. Well, Angela helped him pick a fine, warm pullover but it didn’t feel like a real gift. Fuyuki buried his worries deep inside, hoping that he would come up with something more personal until Christmas.
Days went by and the moment of the departure finally came. Everybody was excited. Yoshiasu was well aware that for him and Fuyuki this holiday could prove to be a real challenge. It was their first public appearance as a couple. It was also about assuming their identity while among their friends there were girls still holding some hope about handsome Yoshiasu. It was a big step for Fuyuki to meet so many strangers in such a particular moment of the year; Yoshiasu was determined to keep him safe from any harm or malicious pressure. He was happy that Angela would accompany them, despite the fact that her fiancé, George was stuck abroad and couldn’t join them. They were about to meet at the New Year’s Eve Party. George was a fine guy, reliable and open minded, deeply in love with Angela. Yoshiasu hoped that he’ll accept Fuyuki easily.
Yoshiasu and Fuyuki arrived at the inn at the early hours of the 24-th of December. The landscape was spectacular and the snow was sparkling and pristine. The morning chill put some color in their cheeks. After the heavy snowfall the day before, the morning was clear and sunny. Reflecting on the ocean of snow, the light was overwhelming, blurring all the contours, seeping into every crack and corner, chasing away the bluish shadows. Amazed by the sighting, Fuyuki watched in awe the unfolding of this natural beauty. His unusual lilac eyes captured the light like two translucent pools reflecting the endless skies.
They settled in their room and went out for a walk. The rest of the group was due to come in the afternoon. Angela was arriving with the crowd; she wanted to stop for a visit to her parents who lived in a small city nearby.
As they crossed the lobby, Fuyuki noticed the Christmas tree centered in the main room. It was a two meters high, richly decorated fir tree. Fuyuki walked closer and gently ran his fingers over the branches. Sudden memories clouded his face; Yoshiasu stepped behind him, touching his shoulder.
-Do you remember anything, Fuyuki?- he asked in a reassuring voice.
-I…I remember the excitement of the expectation and that…it felt good. My memories are mostly feelings, not facts. I was very young at that time…
-Don’t get upset-said Yoshiasu and took him by the hand. Let’s go out and I’ll tell you about my ups and downs with Santa.
Fuyuki shook away the setting gloom and followed his friend. The snowy landscape had a definite appeal for both of them. They roamed all around, stumbling from time to time over a lighter heap of frozen stars. They made snowballs and competed in throwing them faraway, they pushed each other down the small slopes and happily rolled over the fluffy sparkling blanket. They fooled around until they tired; they finally stopped, lying down in the snow, panting from exhaustion and excitement.
From the corner of his eyes Yoshiasu watched Fuyuki smiling happily. He rose, bent over the younger man and kissed him. Fuyuki encircled his neck with his arms and kissed him back. Yoshiasu’s hand moved along Fuyuki’s body as their kissing deepened. They fell back breathless and stood there, gaze lost in the endless azure above. Moments later they heard the sound of the arriving cars; they stood up, shook the excess of snow clinging to their clothes and returned to the inn hand in hand.
Angela was just stepping out of the car when they got there. She affectionately kissed them both and asked them playfully:
-Have you already started the party?
They laughed, picked up her luggage and followed her in. Everybody got their room and after a while the lobby filled with young men and women eager to relax and start the party. The food was already on display and it proved to be delicious. They were all hungry and slaloming with a plate in hand eased the connecting between the 30 some people.
Angela chuckled and kicked Yoshiasu with the elbow from time to time, as she caught various people staring at Fuyuki. Holding his loved one by his shoulders, the computer analyst introduced him to each and every one of his friends and their companions. He did it easily and naturally, without ostentation and even the most jealous girls had to admit that Yoshiasu’s choice was…charming. As things settled, fun took over. The laughter and joy bubbled and the party turned out to be a real success. It was well past midnight when they finally returned to their rooms.
Yoshiasu showered and sat on the top of the bed with a small glass of wine, waiting for Fuyuki to shower. The room was pleasantly warm as deep cold settled outside the windows. The night sky was teaming with stars, the light above mirroring the endless glitter of the ocean of snow below. Fuyuki sat next to Yoshiasu and took the other glass. He took a small sip and looked into his friend’s eyes. The older man furrowed his brows questioningly:
-What’s wrong, Fuyuki?
The younger man sighed.
-It’s about your Christmas present…
-I’m not a child, Fuyuki. You don’t have to worry…Besides, as long as I have you, I need nothing else.
Fuyuki put his glass aside and sat face to face with Yoshiasu.
-It’s all I can give you…-he said and his voice broke.
Yoshiasu watched him intently; there was a warm light glittering in the amethyst mirrors and a slight tremble in the young man’s body. Yoshiasu gently touched his face and the warmth of Fuyuki’s body seeped through his fingertips, making his heart run wild.
-Fuyuki, are you sure?-he asked in a restrained voice.
Fuyuki closed his eyes, letting the bathrobe slip off his shoulders. Yoshiasu laid him down and kissed him deeply. Fuyuki’s breath hitched as Yoshiasu moved down, kissing the soft curve of his neck. Senses and emotions flared up in their embrace and love moved forward, breaking down the barriers of painful memories. Fuyuki opened to Yoshiasu totally and unrestrained, seeking the magic of feelings he sought for so long. Their love making brought them high and when they reached the climax, it left them dizzy with elation.
Released from anxieties and overwhelmed by his feelings, Fuyuki was quietly sobbing, curled up in Yoshiasu’s arms. Yoshiasu squeezed him lovingly and caressed him until the tears dried and the younger man fell asleep, protected by his lover.
They woke up late, fulfilled and more in love than ever. They quickly showered and went downstairs where their friends were already opening the presents. As they were the last ones to descend, eyes turned towards them for a moment. Just like Angela, people noticed that there was a new light in Yoshiasu and Fuyuki’s eyes and a certain glow coming from inside. Even the most skeptical ones had to admit that the signs of LOVE were unmistakable in the appearance of the two young men.
So everyone returned to the unwrapping of packages and Angela greeted her two best friends.
-I have a feeling that you’ve already got your present-she chuckled.
-Do we have to admit on that?- asked Yoshiasu and they all laughed.
They sat on the floor together and started the unwrapping of the presents along with the others.
Yoshiasu decided to let him rest. He stood up and left to look for Fuyuki’s doctor. He found him in the office.
-Good day, doctor. May I ask à bit about the young man I’ve found in the park? I’ve just learned his name :Fuyuki.
The doctor was taken aback.
-How did you manage to find out his name? He wasn’t speaking to any of us, no matter how hard we tried?
-I guess he remembers me saving him. Anyway, I would love to know about his condition, if you can share with me.
The doctor looked at him thoughtfully, then sighed.
-I admit I didn’t expected such an interest from à mere stranger but since the patient seem to trust you, it’s fine with me. The detective working on his case called me previously and asked me to help you. Maybe with some conjured effort, we can crack this case and help this unfortunate youth.
-I feel some kind of responsibility for him-said Yoshiasu, sensing the disbelief in the voice of the doctor . I must confess that finding a person of my age in such a situation shook me profoundly. Can you tell me something about him?
-I can assure you that his life is not in immediate danger-said the doctor. He has no internal injuries but he is badly bruised and most of all, there are proofs that he’s been subjected to torture and he’s been raped repeatedly. My opinion is ,that even after he recovers from his physical injuries, he’ll have problems in recovering from the constant abuse. I’ve sent my observations to the police and they are searching for those responsible for these atrocities.
Yoshiasu was shocked by the doctor’s recount ; not that he couldn’t imagine what caused the extensive bruises he had seen covering Fuyuki’s body. But hearing it delivered so bluntly just added to the horror of the facts. He stared into the nothingness for a moment, then turned to the doctor, questioningly.
-So…what happens with him if police cannot find his relatives? Do you think he could manage by himself?
-No-said the doctor, shaking vigorously his head- I don’t think so. He’ll be probably sent to some sort of asylum. He’s a total mess for now; but recovering in a caring and secure environment might help him to get back on track.
Yoshiasu stood up with a small sense of relief.
-Thank you for your time, doctor-he said, shaking hands. I’m going back to him, in case he’s awakening…
Fuyuki was half dazed when Yoshiasu returned but he became alert as soon as he sensed him entering the room. He even sat up in bed and watched Yoshiasu peeling off an orange and handing it to him. Fuyuki took the fruit and stared at it just like a child who had never seen such thing before. He smelled it carefully, then gave an inquisitive look to Yoshiasu. The young analyst watched him in disbelief; Fuyuki didn’t know what an orange was. So he gently took it back, tearing up the slices. He then took a slice and bit it while handing another to Fuyuki.
The young man watched him intently, then tasted the slice of orange. The sweet-sour juice exploded in his mouth, taking him by surprise; Fuyuki made a funny face, making Yoshiasu laugh. Fuyuki swallowed the orange and laughed too; he laughed almost inaudibly but he was surely enjoying himself. The rest of the orange quickly disappeared and he whispered “thank you”. Life and color were gradually turning back to him. There was even a new spark in those incredible eyes. Yoshiasu was wondering where this out of ordinary guy could come from. He definitely wasn’t from the neighborhood; Yoshiasu had a good memory of faces and Fuyuki wasn’t in the“data base”. Probably those who dumped him in the park thought that it would be more difficult to identify the corpse. Yoshiasu shuddered at the thought of a lifeless body; he turned to the very much alive young man and asked him:
-Fuyuki, don’t you remember your family name or the name of a relative?
A sharp pain crossed Fuyuki’s face; he averted his eyes as he shouted:
He buried his face in the blanket, his body shaking as he started to cry. Shocked by the sudden change in reactions, Yoshiasu tried to calm him down; but Fuyuki curled up in fetal position and kept sobbing wildly. Yoshiasu decided to call à nurse. She came quickly. Assessing the situation, she returned with a calming injection but things weren’t going smoothly. The sight of the nurse with the needle in her hands made Fuyuki jump. Eyes rounded in horror, he fled the bed but collapsed on the floor after a few steps. He cuddled there screaming:
-No!!! Please, don’t…don’t hurt me! I’ll do what you want! Please…-his voice trailed and ended in sobs.
Yoshiasu and the nurse were shocked. It was very clear that Fuyuki was re- living one of the previous brutal events he had been subjected to. The nurse put aside the injection and turned to Yoshiasu:
-I think it would be better if you’ll try to calm him down. He seems to trust you. I don’t want to put any unnecessary pressure on him. She silently left the room, closing the door behind her.
Yoshiasu kneeled next to Fuyuki and touched him lightly.
-Fuyuki…Fuyuki-he called in a soft voice. Listen to me. I’m here with you and I won’t let anybody hurt you. Fuyuki, can you hear me?
He gently rubbed the shaking back of the young man until the sobs subsided and then stopped. The tension eased in the curved shoulders and Fuyuki sat up slowly, turning his face towards Yoshiasu:
-I’m sorry-he whispered. Suddenly those memories came back…
Yoshiasu helped him up to his feet. They were almost the same height. Fuyuki seemed a little bit smaller and thinner than him. Yoshiasu was tall and well built with a bony structure and slender muscles. He was a good swimmer and spent most of his free time roaming the natural sceneries. Fuyuki’s body felt fragile under his firm hand but the young man was slender and gracious. Yoshiasu helped him back into the bed and sat on the rim to be closer to him.
-I am sorry for questioning you. I should have known that you had not ended up like this by accident. But you have to know that the police would ask the same from you sooner or later. They are trying to trace down the perpetrators.
-I know-he murmured. But I’m not so sure that I could ever face them…-his voice trembled.
Yoshiasu grabbed his hands.
-Fuyuki, look at me!- he said. I’ll be here for you whenever you need it.
The young man raised his head and looked into his eyes. The deep violet pools were filled with pain and sadness.
-Will you?- he whispered. But…it’s too much. Why? Why would you help me?
Yoshiasu’s dark- brown eyes looked back intently.
-I cannot explain it but I KNOW that this is what I WANT. Please, let me help…
-Thank you…murmured Fuyuki and feebly squeezed Yoshiasu’s hands. As he relaxed, his eyes slowly closed and he fell asleep.
Yoshiasu watched him sleeping. With his delicate face, the black strands of hair falling around, the fragile, tortured frame Fuyuki reminded him of a butterfly with shredded, torn wings. He rose to his feet and took the road home.
They all laughed while above them the silver sails of the Moon were catching the wind of hours and the newly dressed companion of the planet was following its path in full glow, dimming the light of stars. The Two-Faced Goddess was leading her vessel while the black velvet eye and the silver one were scrutinizing horizons hidden in the mist of times to come….
When the Moon disappeared beyond the horizon, leaving the Sun to glaze the skies in flames of pink and orange, Selurys descended among her peers and received all the praises for her work with a graceful bow.
-Impressive work, sister!-said Arauss and gave her a friendly push. I have to go now; it’s my turn to shine!
-You left us speechless, Selurys!-said Adanes, shaking hands with the young goddess. The Moon has become a beautiful addition to the planet.
-And it has driven my mermaids wild! –added Eneys with a playful twinkling in her eyes. They have spent all night catching the silver seeds to make jewelries for themselves.
– I hope I haven’t caused havoc in your kingdom…-sais Selurys with a soft voice.
Eneys laughed pleasantly.
-No, no! They had fun and I enjoyed very much watching them. Come, you must be tired and hungry. Adanes and me, we thought that you might love to have some treat at the end of your glorious journey.
-I’m sorry to interrupt you, ladies but I have to leave the two of you!- cut in Adanes’ powerful voice. Faunes and Floriesse are waiting for me. We have a few barren spots to fix! Eneys, my love, I’ll be back in a day or two!
He kissed her lovingly, smiled encouragingly to Selurys and left. The two young women looked at each other. Suddenly, Selurys felt a pang of nervousness; the excitement of the night was gradually dissipating and the fatigue was setting in. There was a surge of panic inside her.
-Eneys, you don’t have to…-she stuttered. But Eneys stopped her gently and affectionately took her arm.
-I have my dolphin carriage waiting for us. I’ll hide you in my Secret garden and you can rest there and sleep while I watch over you. The treats are already packed up!
-You have to drive carefully, Eneys-chuckled Selurys. I am so tired that I might fall off your carriage…
Eneys shook her head.
-That won’t happen. I will hold you tight!
Selurys laughed softly; she was much taller than the green-eyed goddess. But Eneys was speaking with such a passion that everything she said seemed possible.
-Let’s go then! –agreed Selurys. Tonight I’ll take you to the Moon!
But they had to postpone the visit; an unexpected fight broke out between two hot headed Wind Gods and they chased each-other around the planet, breaking havoc on land and ocean. Eneys left in a hurry, afraid that the turbulent waters might damage Adanes’ kingdom.
The following days weren’t better so after a while Selurys just smiled a bit sad and said:-It looks like the odds are against us, Eneys….
The Ocean Goddess was upset to but at least she was spending good hours with her friend inside the Secret Garden. She had changed the spell, allowing Selurys to come and go at will,without being noticed or disturbed in this personal area. And the time spent together in that place helped the young Tellurian Goddess to slowly open before Eneys, to unveil the core of her vulnerable soul.
The two young women shared hours and days of laughter and whispers and shared memories of the lands they’ve visited before. Selurys talked about the dark ravines of the Cosmos where hot clouds of dust were forging new stars, Eneys talked about young planets coming alive under her loving touch.
And while stories and memories were unfolding, Selurys was opening more and more before her friend. There were moments when Eneys, watching her sleeping, was thinking of having catched a glimpse of the real face of the Moon Goddess under the two-faced mask. The role the Tellurian princess was playing in public, the mask she was wearing like it was her true skin, all these elements were slowly fading in the comfort of the Secret Garden. What the Ocean Goddess came to realize was the immense need of trust and love filling the heart of Selurys. Strong willed and skillful, charming and courteous, the Moon Goddess was the beholder of a blazing core, fueled by an unquenched thirst for love.
-She was left by her mother at such a young age…-murmured Eneys, watching her peacefully sleeping friend. How hard was for her to understand that…
Eneys’ mind wandered back to her sunny and carefree childhood on planet Aqua where she was born. Her parents had loved and shielded her, along with her brothers and sisters. She had grown up free and confident, praised for her talent and for her warm, acquiring heart. The Ocean Goddess smiled at the happy memories and turned again to the sleeping Selurys. She bent over her and touched her face gently. For a fraction of the moment, the black and white of the skin vanished, being replaced by a natural color. The face she was looking at it was of a very young woman with ambiguous traits, mixing boyish and feminine features as well.
-So fragile….-murmured Eneys and her eyes filled with tears.
Selurys sighed in sleep and Eneys retracted her hand quickly. The magic connection broke and the black and silver mask returned to the Moon Goddess’ face.
From the height of the day’s blue skies, Arauss was watching the unfolding of this friendship with mixed feelings. The bad memories prevented him from fully trusting his awkward half-sister. Or was it simply a brotherly envy for all the attention Selurys was getting from his best friends? Huh…Arauss shook his head. He couldn’t complain and nothing seemed to sustain his hidden worries. Eneys was the usual shining, loving self, showering everyone with her radiating warmth. Understandably, even Selurys was blossoming beside her. Arauss dismissed the bad feelings…at least for the moment. He turned his attention back to his daily chores. After all, he was the one responsible for the blooming of life on the planet.
Selurys, on the other hand, was troubled by her recent discovery: she was falling in love. With Eneys. The Moon Goddess came to realize that each night she was sailing her silver vessel, scrutinizing the Ocean bellow to catch a glimpse of her green-eyed love. Deep inside, Selurys was crushed.
-Of all the women in this whole Universe why did I fall in love with the one whose heart is already taken?!-she cried out. This…This is cruelty, you hear me?!!
She turned her face(s) to the sky, wishing she could grab and shake the Fate that has tricked her so badly. But there was no one to blame and there was no hope in the future for her love. The Moon Goddess bit her lips to muffle the cry of rage and despair..
The Night Wind, sensing her turmoil, drew a curtain of clouds in front of the Moon, hiding it from the watchful eyes of the other gods.
-Thank you, my friend….-whispered Selurys.
With a deep sigh, she resumed her lead of the silver sail and moved forward on the starry waters of the night.
Down on the planet, Eneys was oblivious of her friend’s torment…until the desperate Moon Goddess decided to skip their usual meeting on the Secret Shore. Selurys retreated for her needed rest to the dark side of the Moon, inside the heart-shaped shell of her starship that was hidden in the middle of the field of black lilies.
So at first, Eneys was slightly surprised, then she became a bit worried as the days went on without even a sign from Selurys. But as the number of those days grew, the Ocean Goddess finally realized how much she actually missed Selurys and how deep the imprint of the Moon Goddess was in her soul. Confronted with her own unexpected surge of emotions, Eneys panicked. This was not a simple friendship anymore….Unwillingly, Eneys and Selurys had built up an inner connection that was both strong and intimate.
It was something difficult to define; was it….love?! She couldn’t tell. She didn’t want to define it. Her love for Adanes was deep and unchanged, her commitment to him unhinged. Yet, the feelings she was harboring for Selurys were very close to that…It was like Fate suddenly unveiled another possible love, planting that painfully beautiful emotion into her heart. How could anyone survive to such a challenging situation?
How could a fragile, vulnerable heart, even one of a goddess hold two blazing flames at the same time, without falling to pieces? What was the reason of this torment, of this guilt and hopeless yearning?! How could anyone carry them without losing its mind?!
What triggered this? Where did it come from? Was it that mixes of boyish charm, of vulnerability, the suppressed femininity, the hungry heart or the lost child beneath the two-faced mask? It was hard to find a simple explanation. But one thing was clear: part of Eneys’ heart was falling in love with Selurys. The sensitive, giving Goddess of the Ocean was devastated. Her face buried in the sands of the Secret Shore, she cried bitterly until the skies of her inner Ocean turned ashen.
But none of these personal torments were visible to the outer world. Everyone around was busy with the handful of problems the maintaining of the planet was holding for them. More of it, the gods were preparing to create a new life form. One that would rule the planet. Each dusk brought new, hot debates about how the new creature might look and how much power should be given to it. Even its birthplace was under controversy so nobody took notice about the absence of Selurys. Not that anyone missed her. For most of the gods, she was still an oddity, not a member of the team. For a while, Eneys kept her mind occupied with the new project, hoping that the passing of time will ease her sense of loss. But it was an illusion.
Every night she while was rolling her waves to the shores around the planet, she kept her attention on the slow motion of the Moon above, the sighting of her seemingly estranged secret love becoming increasingly painful.
-Oh, I’m such a fool!-she murmured. I don’t even know why she’s keeping the distance! I keep imagining things, without knowing the truth. Get to your senses, Eneys! You’re making a fool of yourself!
Then one night she decided to make her move. Riding a powerful wave towards the far horizon, she came right under the floating vessel of the Moon and she stopped there. She then gathered the silent waters into a sky-high, liquid mountain. Atop of it, the graceful silhouette of Eneys was standing motionlessly, facing the Two-faced Goddess above.
-How long are you going to avoid me, Selurys?-she asked in a clear voice.
The Moon Goddess halted the sailing of her vessel and looked to Eneys. Their eyes met. With a small sign, Selurys sent a silver ladder to her. Eneys stepped on it, climbing to the skies. As she came closer to the Moon, the silver glow enveloped her and for a moment, she lost sight of the steps…Selurys’ arms lifted her up to the safety of the Moon.
The mesmerizing beauty of that place rendered Eneys speechless. Landed in the middle of that iridescent field, surrounded by the swirl of silver-lace butterflies, she felt her entire being dissolving in light. The magic of the entire place was seeping inside her and she felt light, like a feather. A faint breeze lifted her in the air and she reached instinctively for Selurys’s hands. They were both floating in the overwhelming light…Right here, right now it was only the two of them. Space and Time were becoming obsolete. In this ephemeral cocoon of magic, an emerald heart and a black and silver one were becoming one…With a gesture, Selurys lead her love to her own Secret Shore…of the Ocean of Black Lilies while the vessel of the Moon kept moving forward on its usual path.
Leaning against each other, sitting atop of the highest lunar mountain, they were watching the Universe unfolding its magic at their feet.
Glowing, sparkling mighty rivers of stars were boldly opening new ways in the dark flesh of Space, crisscrossing the vast, empty plains, cascading into mind-blowing abysses. Huge incandescent clouds of stardust were pulsing in the skies, cradling newborn stars inside their fiery bosom. Some of these newborns were just tiny sparks, living for a moment, then fading away only to make place to other hopeful new stars. Far, faraway monstrous black vortexes were bringing thousands of stars in a crazy dance around them, while spewing blinding geysers of light into the distances.
Somewhere in the proximity, two galaxies were merging into a deadly embrace, their filaments of stars drifting slowly away in a dance of love and death.
-How beautiful yet how cruel and painful their connection is!-sighed the Ocean Goddess with a tremor in her voice.
-Love can be both at the same time, Eneys….-whispered Selurys. Just like this hopeless love that is tearing up your heart and mine….
The Moon Goddess swallowed hard. She was about to take the most difficult decision of her life….and time was not on their side. The night was quickly coming to an end and the Gates of Dawn were about to open.
-I have to return to the planet; it’s almost dawn-said Eneys with a pleading voice. But I’ll come to meet you again in the night!
Selurys took her to the silver ladder and helped her to descend.
-Go, my beloved Eneys! I’ll wait for you.
The huge emerald wave rose high to welcome the green-eyes goddess and take her home. The silver sail of the Moon came to a halt, while Goddess Aurora opened the rosy gates of a new day. Selurys took her two faced mask and put it back. Only under the loving touch of Eneys did that mask come off. Now, that she had to face again the world she’d never trusted, Selurys was again hiding away her vulnerable self.
She was about to leave the skies when she bumped into her brother. From the look on his face, she could tell that he was angry. He crossed her way, grabbed her shoulders and shook her violently.
-Have you told her that you’re gonna leave? That you have left a trail of broken hearts throughout the Universe behind you? What was in your mind when you took hold of her heart?
Selurys pushed him away with a pained expression on her face.
-I didn’t mean it! We were supposed to be friends, nothing more…She was the friend I never had before!!!
-I don’t believe you! You were a liar and a cheater ever since I know you, Sis’! If she was supposed to be just a friend, then why is she crying herself to sleep each night? I’m sure it’s not because of Adanes.
Selurys was shocked.
-How…how do you know?-she muttered.
-I feel her tears in the water as I rise each morning. I can sense her sadness even if she’s always smiling at me. We know each other long before the two of you met so I can read her more easily.
-Does Adanes know to?-asked Selurys, her voice grave and restrained.
-No. Eneys loves him and he makes her so happy that when she’s with him, nothing can spoil that. Not even the shadow of your presence.
-You say that I am a cheater and a fraud but that’s not true. I’ve been roaming the Universe, hoping that one day I’d find a heart that would match mine. So many times I had hoped to have found my final shore and the one to love and to be loved….But it was an illusion, over and over again, so I kept searching until I’ve found it. Unfortunately for me, it was already taken. You’re right, Arauss: Eneys’ heart belongs to Adanes. This much I have understood soon enough and accepted it. But the time we’ve spent together has forged a deep connection between us and we have reached an inner harmony that eludes our comprehension. What we share is neither love, not friendship; it’s a compound, something new and unexpected by us both, making us incredibly happy and deeply miserable at the same time.
So I’ve decided to leave this place and disappear in order to give back Eneys’ peace of mind. And I will leave right now because I don’t want to put her through a painful goodbye. I’m not sure that I can survive that either. Goodbye, brother! Don’t judge me too hard….
Before Arauss could reply, Selurys disappeared inside her heart-shaped starship. When the first rays of the Sun reached the planet, the graceful silver vessel took its flight towards the magic filled paths of the Universe. Down bellow, the mighty wave was slowly receding towards the sandy shores, carrying the silent and thoughtful Ocean Goddess. As the frothing waters reached firm land, she stepped off and hurried to the house she and Adanes were sharing. She needed his strong, loving and reliable presence, he always brought smile on her face and joy to her heart. He was her stronghold and his calming presence always chased away the shadows. Eneys shut down the throbbing corner of her mind and rushed into the arms of her true love. Up in the skies, Arauss sighed.
“I hope nothing will disturb their happiness from now on….”-he thought as he drove his flaming carriage in the endless azure. He still dreaded the following night. How will Eneys react to the disappearance of Selurys? It was difficult to tell but Arauss was hoping that she will be able to balance everything in her usual wise way….
As the light of the day dimmed into shades of ink-blue and purple, Eneys walked to the edge of her kingdom. Something has changed around her, she could feel it. Star after star were lighting up the chandeliers of the night but the Moon was nowhere to see. The darkness embraced the land and the velvety black of the skies deepened, revealing a faint crescent of light, right in the center of the airy dome. It was the Moon….or at least what has remained of its usual light.
-What happened? –this question reverberated around the planet, in the voice and mind of every god and goddess.
-What’s wrong with your friend, Eneys? –asked Adanes worriedly. Has she lost her grip on the Moon? I’ve never seen such a strange feature before!
Eneys’ heart sank.
-I don’t know, Adanes but I’m going to find out.
She hurriedly summoned the rover of the Oceans and the wave diligently rolled out, carrying the little goddess to the swirling silver pool of light under the thin Moon. The companion of the planet was hanging in the skies, silent and dark. All its light has turned into a faint glow outlining one of the cheeks of the Moon. From that remnant of brightness, a thread of silver silk was descending into the swirl of the waters. The Ocean Goddess halted her carrier and the liquid mass flattened under her feet, allowing her to stop at the rim of that eerie pool. Hidden under the surface, something hung on that magic thread, creating the swirl.
Eneys bent and lifted the thread, revealing the item; it was a pendant, a black and silver one. She took it and placed it in the cradle of her palm. The silver filigree pendant represented the two faces of the Moon…entwined with the two faces of its Goddess. Tears build up in the eyes of the Ocean Goddess. She Covered the pendant with her other hand….and the pendant opened, revealing its interior. Eneys opened her palms and looked into the pendant; deeply carved into the sooth black surface, the tiny silver letter were speaking to her.
“ My dear Eneys!
I had to leave this place. My presence was jeopardizing your true happiness and the peace of your heart. Anyway, my ship was rusting of too much staying in one place and the Universe is still holding secrets waiting to be unraveled…I leave this planet with the hope that if there’s a fate for the gods to, then our tangled threads of life will bring us together maybe in another Time and Space, to fulfill the love that was denied now to you and me.
My beloved! I leave you my flowers, my butterflies, my lights and my shadows…I’ve built this world inspired by your love and trust and I leave now everything in your gentle hands.
Goodbye, my sweet Eneys! You have opened the cage of my soul, setting me free. I step on the path of stars with the memory of your loving, soft touch…
The graceful Goddess of the Ocean swallowed her pain and buried her feelings deep inside her heart. She took the precious pendant to her Secret Shore and hung it up in the skies.
During that night, under the protection of the shadow, the black lilies invaded the field of light dandelions, creating on the surface of the Moon the contours of a sad face. That face is still there, looking down at the planet every night, searching for its lost love.
Eons have passed since then and the gods and goddesses faded into myths and magic tales. From the embrace of the Ocean and the Land, a new creature emerged and conquered the planet. Its children had passed from generation to generation the story of love between Selurys and Eneys.
. The planet is calmly rolling around its blazing Sun while the blue-eyed Ocean lies in the strong arms of the Land. She joyfully rolls her white-tipped waves from shore to shore, from island to island, carrying ships and sails. But like clockwork, she also follows the pull of the Moon, running wildly towards the horizon, mesmerized by the invisible power calling her. Torn between her two loves, she laughs and cries; she cries and laughs with tears of pearls….
Spreading into the infinity, the Universe is spinning relentlessly around its axis and Time is weaving new horizons for the loves and stories to come.
It’s been an eternity since he was sitting on the bench in the pouring rain. It’s been an eternity since the skies have forgotten how the blue might have looked. It’s been an eternity since Heaven and Earth had been washed together by the ashen grey diluted in every raindrop and every speck of cloud.
He was raining for ages inside. The pain of the abandoned heart was gathering into raging flows, ravaging the soft tissue of the inner landscape. The man sitting in the rain has long forgotten the moment when he finally realized that she wasn’t coming anymore. A dark shadow has come between them, erasing the path of light that was connecting heart to heart, soul to soul. The fabric of the Universe cracked and was torn wide while the two lovers were drifting apart without knowing it.
Only when the silence of her absence became heavy and tangible, the reality of being left sank in his mind. Time halted its flow and the young man’s world crumbled. Splinters of Memories were dancing a last tango to oblivion in a slowly disintegrating music. The rain kept falling effacing contours and volumes….
It’s been an eternity since he was raining inside-outside. But in the seemingly endless melancholy, the rose remained unchanged. She was resting on his knee, a flamboyant spot of red velvet love. The rose was smiling and somewhere in the mind of the young man an old French love song was whispering new hopes: “ L’important c’est la rose/L’important c’est la rose/L’important….”