|Secrets and Whispered Confessions
Author: Unyielding Wish PM
Rin's a girl from a lonely mountain villa. Len's a boy from the soot-stained cities. Rin is lively and energetic, while Len has little hope in living. They meet because of a friend who is bringing Len medicine. Will a series of unusual events change their feelings about each other? RinLen [Complete]Rated: Fiction T - English - Friendship/Hurt/Comfort - Rin K. & Len K. - Chapters: 13 - Words: 37,743 - Reviews: 57 - Favs: 16 - Follows: 14 - Updated: 11-11-12 - Published: 08-15-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8432522
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Just for knowing- I'll probably update this roughly every week or so. The weekends are when I really work on this, and the rest of the days I just brainstorm ideas to be put onto paper. Is this plan alright?
Her eyes are a beautiful garnet.
Her hair is a silky, soft silver.
But something deep down in how her face is set tells me that she's scorched within by lies and insults, her heart torn into two pieces.
Why is that?
And why is her brother the same?
.:. A single tear slips down Haku's cheek. I reach out, trying to comfort her, but her image collapses and I find myself staring at a mirror. I'm confused, but yet, as I look further, I see someone else in my eyes. That someone is my sister, Lily. And then, as if from a bad, dream, I jerk awake… .:.
Aahh, a lot of things have happened today.
Meeting Len. Talking with Len. Teaching him how to eat a plum. Meeting other women from Superbia. And then, all out of the blue, my father grabs me by the elbow and pulls me away. We're heading to the inn right now.
This is only my second time in the actual town. I look around at my surroundings in wonder: the shop window, the colors in it more pronounced. I presently see the owner, a baldheaded man with some wisps of thin gray hair, rolling up his sleeves and draping a huge white sheet over a wooden frame. As Father asks around for directions, I watch the owner dip the ends of the sheet into a pot that must be filled with dye, for when he pulls it out again the edge of the sheet is stained royal fuchsia purple and dripping with the thick liquid.
"Come along, Rin," Father finally says, clamping his roughened hand on my shoulder. "Let's go."
Gumi is a pretty lady, with dancing peridot eyes fringed by long, fluttery lashes. Her skin is pale and smooth as porcelain, lips crimson as winter rosebuds. Her brown dress is, quite clearly, made out of the same coarse wool as is used to weave a sack to hold potatoes. A crisp apron is pressed and ironed neatly, resting on top of the fabric of her dress. Her hair is unusually short for a girl, but she makes up for it by slipping a frilled headband onto her head, drawing back her hair so only wisps of moss green hair frames her face, making a rather attractive effect. She's quite slim, actually; if one were to lift one of those bell sleeves and look at her arm, it'd be a little more than skin on bones. It's almost as if she commands the sun with her smile; and like almost every townsfolk I know, Gumi never answers any question with a direct "yes" or "no"; instead, her answers are tactful but a bit frustrating if one wanted an expressment quickly.
The sun, behind the film of gray, dips below the horizon. Even though it is almost as ugly as Len said it to be, there are traces of lost beauty here and there. A pretty cloud shape, maybe, illuminated pink by the sun. Or the playful, bittersweet color, made of the faint shadow of a faraway flying bird against the sun, quite rebellious to the rest of the colors. I can't help but wonder what this sunset would look on the mountain; only but the bravest birds dare to scale up to that altitude and try to defy the sun itself, flying higher and higher. And there aren't much trees like those in town; only pines, stretching on and on. Their scent is delightful, but it's quite irking if it prolongs.
I'm already in our room at the inn. It's fairly simple: a mattress not the softest but none too hard; a window facing the movements of the sun at sunset, and curtains to draw over when necessary; a small table in the far corner beside the door. Some books are stacked on the table, but that's it. I pick one up and flip through it. I don't know what the tiny lines of black print on the rough paper read, and there aren't any pictures to examine.
I'm just closing the cover of the book when Father walks in, after a long talk with Gumi about the money we pay and such. His gaze is inscrutable, and he simply squints at me and then takes a pipe out of his back pocket, sitting on the wooden floor.
"Do you know how to read?" I finally ask.
Father stops, and for a moment we stare at each other.
"Yes," Father says abruptly, and turns away, indicating the end of the conversation.
A week has passed, but Miku doesn't want Haku to leave just yet and Father's much too polite to ask. Town has, I have realized, begun to become boring. There are much interesting things going on around, I'm sure, but I'm often locked into my inn room when Father goes out to run an errand, perhaps, or to check on Haku. I'm not even allowed to go and see Len; Father says that Miku must give permission, a subject of which she hasn't even mentioned of yet.
So it's like this: I sit on the bed, wondering of what Mother, Lily, and Oliver are doing up in the mountains, when the door suddenly creaks open.
I shoot up quickly, my pulse fluttering.
The day is bright, but I only have my own limbs to protect myself from any harm.
Then a dainty foot steps into the room and Gumi is there, with a willow broom.
"Hello," she says hesitantly, when she sees me there, and begins sweeping around the room. I haven't ever seen her doing that, and I've been staying here for quite some time, wasting my time on thinking. Indeed, Gumi's strokes are untimely and irregular; clumsy. Has she never done something like this before?
"Let me try," I say, holding out a hand to her. Gumi looks up, and her pretty face flushes.
"Th–there's no reason," Gumi insists quickly and tries to go on with her sweeping, but it's obvious to both of us that the broom's straws are tripping over each other, not doing a good job.
"Haven't you…done this before?" I finally ask.
Gumi stops moving her broom, and she blushes again. "I've—of course I have," she says stoutly, but she doesn't bother to do any sweeping anymore. "Come on, don't you want to run outside and play with the other children?"
"Father doesn't let me."
"I can," Gumi says. I'm not fooled; she doesn't want me to watch her with her sweeping.
"Can I help?" If I'm dying of boredom, at least now I have something to do. Gumi frowns, but this time hands me her broom. The wood is cool and heavy in my fingers, and the straws are sewn together in a rather flat bunch. It's a beautiful broom; back at my home, Mother has to snap leafed branches off of trees and tie them together. I almost ask Gumi why she couldn't sweep, but Mother's disapproving gaze to Lily pops into my head, and I keep my mouth shut.
The brown makes a soft sshhhh sound as it brushes against the top of the ground. Although I'm not very good at this, I try to sweep as evenly as I could. Wordlessly, Gumi watches me.
"You're not from this town," she finally says, very quietly.
"I'm not," I say, as I draw the dust away from the ground with sweet, rhythmic strokes. Just like that…
"I'm not either."
"Really?" I look up. She's the first I've met who hasn't been from Superbia. "Where are you from, then?"
Gumi averts her eyes. "I can't tell you."
"I can't tell you," Gumi repeats, more strongly now. "It's not my place to." This is the most surprising line I've heard; she can't tell me? Why not? I stop my sweeping for a moment, but Gumi is adamant, so I turn back and continue.
And yet, I still wonder, and I sneak a few gazes at her.
Finally I'm done, and I give her back the broom, and she silently accepts. As I stare, Gumi sits there for a while until I'm sure that she's in her own thoughts, until she asks me, "Rin, do you want something?"
"Ah—no!" I quickly jump away. "I was…er…"
And then I catch her eye, and my breath is trapped in my throat for a moment.
They're not just happy and gay. No, an unsettled wind deep down is swirling, full of intense feeling. Just a glance of that feeling alone sends goosebumps crawling across my skin, but I force myself to stare back. It's like a horrifying fascination, when a ravenous mountain cat is tearing a goat apart and one is nearby, but one only could watch. It's not like insecurity. The feeling isn't rage but not melancholy. It's almost…I can't put my finger on the direct word, but it's almost…wrath.
And just as quickly, Gumi walks out of the room.
Father arrives back just a few minutes after Gumi leaves; in his hand he clutches a snow-white envelope. There's the slightest hint of joy of his walk, and his eyes seem less sad than usual.
"Rin, Aoki, Lily, and Oliver are visiting. We're to stay a few more days; but you won't mind, would you?"
I stroke Mother's coat. I've tried my best to keep it clean, and my efforts have prevailed: all except for a light yellow stain near the second-to-last button, it's relatively spotless. I feel a slight flame of pride lick its way through my stomach. But there's one thing. I just want to read Mother's letter for myself.
"Can you teach me to read?" I ask.
Father looks surprised.
"Read," he repeats.
"I want to read," I say.
"Tch." Father scoffs. "If you want to read, go to school here in town." A bitter smile speaks it all; he has apparently struggled to learn to read. "It wouldn't do you any bad, anyway. To be a mountain dweller, be one. Run free as the birds, the grass, the wildfire. Don't sit with a bunch of books stacked about you, cooped up inside just with your nose inside a bunch of paper thrown together."
"Then can you tell me what this is about?" I ask, taking the book I first saw off the table.
Father frowns, but squints at the title. "Hell's Graveyard*."
" 'Hell's Graveyard'?" I repeat.
"It's just a guide Gumi probably left on the table, Rin. It's getting late; you should be getting to sleep." As his heavy form lays itself down on the bed, however, I hear him mumble about Lily.
But how could I sleep, with such thoughts?
I fall into a light sleep, but at every little noise I shoot up from the mattress until Father says drowsily, next to me, "Quit with it, Rin." Then around three in the morning, I hear the creak of the joints of the bed and I realize that he has lifted himself off the bed.
A slice of golden candlelight falls through the crack of the door. I hear Gumi's breathy voice, and Father's mixed in with hers. I catch snippets of conversation as well—
"Too young;" "understand naught;" "home;" "no exposure;" "Lily;" "emotionally scarred"…It continues until I'm sure I can't bear it anymore. What's this about age? Understanding? Home? What home? Gumi's home? My home? Exposure to what? Lily? Scarred? I have so many questions to this, but it's my own fault for eavesdropping. There's a thump of heavy footsteps that tells me that Father is trooping back in. I squeeze my eyes shut tight, hoping that he doesn't know I'm awake.
No such luck.
"Rin, I know you've listened." Father's voice doesn't sound angry. Instead, he sounds…almost sad.
"I'm sorry"—and then a rush of apologies pour forth, until Father holds up a hand.
"Tomorrow, you may spend with Len. And then perhaps your mother and siblings will come join us. Our entire family will spend a few days in town. Isn't it nice?"
It sounds superficial, next to what I've heard, and it sounds almost impossible, but I nod in agreement.
"Good." Father drops down beside me. "Now get some sleep, Rin…"
This sleep is better. No waking. It's a sound, stable sleep, that I'm able to hold until six. Then I wriggle about in bed, never able to keep still.
"There are still four hours until you're to go to Len's," Father says rather obstinately. "Rin, get down."
I meekly obey his orders, but even then I think of wonderful thoughts…teaching Len to eat more and more…and maybe even make him walk. Yes, that'd be a great accomplishment indeed.
* - If I offended anyone with this, please let me know. I know that some Christians do not like the mention of "hell" in stories, even if it's used as a place and not a swear word.
I'm sorry for anyone's capacity of understanding this killed ;A;
Rin's stories are so abstract. They're so...weird. So a few days ago I wrote in this sort of book for my ideas the plot, except it's not that good. Too sudden. But I couldn't think of any other plots without making them too similar to those of books.
Well, I hope you enjoyed this chappie as well anyway!