"Don't turn the tables on me...Don't make me look like I'm the stalker here..."


From a Distance


"Do you feel anything for me now senpai?"

Saga Masamune closed his eyes, smiling lopsidedly as a redhead bobbled up and down between his legs. A high school mate, one of the prettiest girls at school was giving him the best blowjobs ever, while talking to his stalker, Oda Ritsu on the phone.

"What, I already agreed going out with you didn't I?" Masamune breathe out huskily through the phone. "Why ask me that question now?"

"You never say anything..."

The darkhaired male's eyes flickered. He was seriously about bursting inside the girl's mouth but he held it in. It made his voice more groggy and whispery in the phone. He shook his head, pulling the girl's head upward, signalling for her to sit on his naked lap instead. The girl willingly straddled her legs to this fling of hers.

"Ritsu, we'll talk later okay? I've got some important business to finish."

"Senpai...are you alone right now?"

"Of course I am alone."

Right when Masamune was ready hanging up the phone, there was a loud crashing at Ritsu's side that led him quite at a frozen state.

"Oi? You okay?"

Ritsu laughed at the other line. "Ah...yeah...I just knocked something and it fell on the floor. Everything's good now!"

Masamune had to stop the girl from licking at his collarbones. He pushed the girl a little away with a playful smile, wriggling his finger silently as if saying 'wait'.

"Ritsu...by the way, I'm short with allowance this week. Remember I bought some limited edition books the other day?"

"Yeah, I remember..."

Hazel eyes darted to his floor. They weren't books though but just tons of things for this girl riding on him so she'd finally give in. Perfumes and designer dresses to woe the girl in his room.

"If it's alright Ritsu-"

"I have my allowance given to me early so I could lend you some," the stalker right away offered without Masamune finishing what he had to say. Honestly that was better for him.

"Really? That's great! See you tomorrow then!"

"Ah!" the other young voice called. "Senpai..."

"Hmmm?"

"...suki..."

"..."

The young male had all but tossed his phone at the mess of clothes on his floor and did his important business with the girl. He didn't bother saying anything in return. What could he say in reply to that anyway?

He busied himself with the girl at hand. She was alright. Had a ripe body for her age and gives the best services with her tongue. Not to mention her moans, how she clings to him while he pounces in her. It was very good Masamune was very satisfied.

For a moment before Masamune reached his climax, his stalker flashed in his mind. He gritted his teeth in annoyance and moved more vigorously.

So what if he was lying at that airhead? Stalkers would always be stalkers. The thought that that male kohai of his was even thinking of him while jerking off was disgusting, asking him a few thousand yen for playing and stuff would be enough payment right?

On a different space while the darkhaired young male was satisfying his lust, a young brunette was searching into his wallet. He was crying silently with the night sky as his background, his curtains fluttering silently like trying to cheer up the young boy.


On the rooftop, after the bell for the last subject, Saga Masamune and his self-declared boyfriend of his, Oda Ritsu met.

The sky had a tint of orange and purple. The breeze felt relaxing, the calmness satisfying. For Masamune, he was ready running fast as soon as he gets what he wanted. For Ritsu, it was one of the few things, standing on the rooftop while the day darkens for its end that gives him the short dream that they were really going out.

"Senpai...I heard from your friend that you are planning an outing next week..."

"Huh?" the senpai creased his brows as he tucked in the folded money bills in his wallet that Ritsu handed him. "What of it?"

Sheepishly, Ritsu smiled, tugging at his senpai's sleeve.

"Can I come too?"

A loud gush of wind passed by them. A couple of dry leaves from the trees nearby swirled at their feet before going away completely. Quietly, Ritsu waited for an answer. Quietly, Masamune weighed the situation.

"You don't know my friends."

"I just want to tag along, you don't have to keep on minding me there..."

Masamune glanced at Ritsu from head to foot. "You...do you seriously like me that much? Even when we're both guys?"

The brunette nodded. His eyes seem to leak everything that was in his soul. Real adoration, real appreciation, real love, they were reflected on the green of his eyes while staring at Masamune's shady hazel hues.

"You agreed being with me senpai...so I am very happy."

The older one of the two reached a hand to the brunette's head and ruffled it in a manner a little roughly. "You're an idiot..."

Walking away, still feeling the heavy stare at the back of his head, Masamune turned to look. There was really no problem bringing his stalker with him. They could ask him carry stuff and all anyway. Aside from that, what would be so bad carrying additional money source if his and his friend's wallets ran out of contents? Going to the beach was expensive if they're impressing the girls.

He smiled a bit. "Fine. Tag along. But I'm not a baby sitter."

Ritsu's given-up expression slowly changed into surprise, then a huge smile flashed on his face as he ran after Masamune and catching up with him. He didn't force himself beside the taller boy. He was happy maintaining the two feet distance between them.

"Thank you senpai!"

"Yeah...yeah..."


The day they went to the beach, good day couldn't be expressed any better. Blue skies, sparkly waters, horizon full of tanned clad bodies and a handyman in the name of Oda Ritsu carrying most of their groups' bags. Perfect.

"Wow Saga, that kid sure is very helpful..." one of Saga's friends commented, nodding at the brunette who was way far from them from all the things he was carrying.

Masamune shrugged and fixed on his sunglasses, ready to expose his young yet already sculpted body in the open. He could already imagine the cold waters enveloping him, drowning the noise and letting him slip into a state of calmness under water.

"Hey! Oda-kun right?" a voice shouted. "That's our inn there. You already have the reservation notes so let our bags in there first okay?"

It was a group of seven males, with Ritsu being the youngest. Brimming with energy, the lot went ahead, leaving Ritsu almost tumbling to his face. But he didn't complain. To his dreamy and fantasy world, this was the first date of him and his senpai.

He didn't care if he was acting like a chaperone or an errand boy. There would be tons of other time to have a bonding moment with his senpai. The important thing was Masamune should always be pleased with him. Then he can slowly get into the young male's heart.

With that thought, Ritsu fought the heat and the exaustion and just enjoyed everything even when he was obviously being taken for granted and was just being used for their convenience.


"You're not going to dip in?"

Masamune, glistening from swimming, his skin already slightly tanned sat near Ritsu. He was drying his hair with a blue towel, his face brimming of all the handsome and manly features that he would surely become in ten years time.

Ritsu watched every move his senpai did. Even when his senpai was just doing something as simple as drying his hair, it looked...mesmerizing. For Ritsu, those bikini clad girls squealing while playing beach volleyball to his right, and the crazy laughters of the other males to his left were nothing but an indistinct and unimportant matter. He just looked at Masamune as if the older boy was the only thing worthy to look at.

"Oi," Masamune called, tapping Ritsu by the shoulder with a boyish grin. "You're drooling now."

"Eh?" the surprised brunette started wiping his mouth with his hand. Too embarassed to face the darkhaired boy staring at him, he looked the other way.

"Stupid. I was just joking!"

Ritsu stopped midway from wiping his mouth and sighed a breath of relief. He handed the older boy a bottle of Pokari, while they both rested under the shade of their huge umbrella.

"So? Not swimming? Afraid to get darker or something?"

The younger one shook his head, hugging his knees to his chest. "I have only been in pools...can't swim straight either. A water as big as this...scares me..."

"So you'd just watch me like this all day?"

Ritsu's cheeks grew a tint of pink as he smiled. "I love watching you senpai even from a distance..."

Masamune ignored the cheesy confession once more and chuckled as he tossed his towel draped around his shoulders down to the sandy blanket. He pointed at the other boys in their group having fun in the waters, tossing a red ball with the laughing girls.

"What's the point of going to the beach if you're not swimming? Let's go!"

"Eh?"

The older boy yanked the brunette on the arm, holding him in a vice-like grip. Ritsu had no choice but to stand and follow along.

"I'm going to teach you swim properly..." Masamune promised, sounding that he was quite really enjoying the whole thing. He bended first and grabbed a red ring-like floating device and tossed it on Ritsu.

"This is like a 'date' in your head right?" Masamune teased, fixing the red and white life-saver properly around Ritsu's waist. "Then let's just do that. This doesn't happen all the time anyway."

With the darkhaired boy pulling Ritsu by the hand like that, Ritsu had forgotten all worries and went along. His feet slightly sinking into the warm sand, his senpai's hair shining before him, the blue skies and the blue horizon couldn't be any prettier.


They've been floating in the not so deep side of the cold waters for some time now. Masamune pushing Ritsu's red floating device here and there while laughing his head out whenever the wave would take Ritsu far away. The senpai wouldn't rescue Ritsu until he and the rest of his friends had a good laugh about it.

"Hey, hey, flap your arms like this and try swimming back to me!" Masamune ordered, still laughing.

Ritsu didn't mind. If his senpai was laughing because of him, whether he looked so stupid, he was happy.

A little far from the group, Ritsu somehow panicked when he saw Masamune swimming back towards the beach. He flapped his hands beside him like a scared baby duck and kicked his feet under waters.

"Senpai!" he called.

Masamune stopped and turned back. He waived a hand with his bright smile.

"I'll just go to the rest room! I'll be back!"

"But-" Ritsu's hands stopped moving, his feet stopped kicking and he just floated there while watching Masamune talk to another friend of his. If Ritsu could remember, the guy's name was Rui.

"Senpai!" Ritsu called again. "...hurry..."

But Masamune was already leaving the waters. His feet leaving a trail of footsteps being washed by the calm waves of the sea.


"Ah darn it..." Masamune growled, almost toppling down to his futon. The salty breeze of the sea was entering from their room window. Its nice and calming waves sending all of their tired bodies into a state of sleepiness they just wanted to drift off.

The room was small for a group of seven but they managed to cram themselves in. Their bags piling on one corner of the room neatly, the futons laid side by side on the floor. All youth had satisfied grins on their faces though.

"The girl I met on my way to the rest room wouldn't let go...so clingy," Masamune pretended to whine. However, from his closed eyes and his grin, he was obviously pleased with whatever happened between them.

"Ah..." Rui knowingly nodded, kicking Masamume by the feet. "So that was why you never returned after that you dog."

"Shut up," Masamune replied, really tired and drained. The young man rolled to his side, scratching the side of his neck. "Ritsu, pass me a bottle of water..."

A long silence passed. No sound of rustling or a meek 'hai senpai' came. The sound of the waves just grew louder in the ears of the group.

Suddenly, Masamune sat right up. He looked around the small room. Only a cream colored blank wall and confused faces of his friends passed his field of vision.

"Ritsu?"

The other males in the room started looking at each other questioningly. Some even had to stand up, eyes at the wallclock that said 6:32.

"Where's that idiot?" Masamune whispered, turning his head to look at Rui. "Hey...Did he go somewhere?"

Rui shrugged, running his hand through his hair. "How should I know?"

"What?" Masamune asked with his grin earlier obviously wiped off by now. "I told you to watch over him before I swam back to the beach earlier didn't I?"

The other boys, not waiting for anything started walking out the room to do a bit of searching. They already know that something was wrong. Gravely wrong. They were too busy having fun that afternoon they have forgotten a brunette floating somewhere near them.

The young man named Rui frowned. "Dude, I was wearing earplugs. How could I have heard that?"

Masamune just stared as if he heard something so ridiculous.

"I thought you were just waiving us 'see yah later' so I nodded and waived back mindlessly."

Masamune had no time to be angry or confused. His body just moved out of reflex, running towards the beach searching for his kouhai.

With the first hour, Masamune and his group of friends were the only ones searching. At the second hour, the resort's lifeguards started joing in. At the third hour, the coast guards and some private small vessels started helping.

Except for a ring- like life saver wandering and floating some eight kilometers away from the beach, all search and rescue operations proved to be futile.

Oda Ritsu hasn't been found.


His steps were silent. He acted like a ghost in the middle of the loud hallways. His presence was simply drowned by lively voices of young students who knew nothing about him.

He lifted his slightly bowed head as soon as he found the right room. It was his first time going to the first years building. He never have set his foot back in there after he finished that year himself. Besides, he didn't like the fuss that always happens when an upperclassman goes to the lower years.

But that day, Saga Masamune did.

He stood at the frame of the door at the back and roamed his eyes in. The first years watched him with curiosity.

At the farthest side of the room, beside the window was an empty seat. On top of the desk was a white vase with a single flower in it.

"Ano...senpai? Can I help you?"

Masamune looked at the short girl who stood before him. She looked to be the class representative. When she noticed him staring at that empty seat, she motioned towards the tall boy without qualms.

"The kid sitting over there..." Masamune started.

"Ah...Onodera-kun?"

The hazel-eyed thirdyear has already found out that his kohai slash stalker Oda Ritsu was Onodera Ritsu in reality. He learned during the search and rescue operation where he had been volunteering like sick.

The girl nodded and sighed sadly.

"He went to the beach with friends and disappeared. It's been two months and today...the family officially has given up the search..."

"So he's being treated officially dead...?"

"The possibility of Onodera-kun really drowning is high. He doesn't even join the swimming lessons in physical education so I wonder why he went swimming..." she said in a small voice. However, she didn't know what to say when the taller senpai just left her without a word.

Masamune already knows about it. But, when someone else tells that to his face, it was like knowing for the first time. Yet he couldn't feel anything. He didn't feel any loss. He didn't feel any sadness. He didn't feel any guilt. That was the weird thing. He was just all blank.


The burning colors of the maple trees was in contrast with the chilly breeze that was brushing on Masamune's face as he walked his way back home. The summer when Ritsu disappeared has long been gone. Replaced by the golden colors of autumn, somehow, the time that passed by seemed like nothing at all. Everything was so absurd.

The young male tugged at his scarf and continued walking the quiet streets. He wasn't paying attention to his surroundings so when a black car stopped at the side of the streets, he just ignored it.

A lady in simple white stepped out of the car. Her face pretty yet obviously lined with sadness and pain.

"Excuse me?" she called weakly. "Excuse me...Saga-kun?"

That was the time that the high school student lost in his blank world came back to his senses. He slowly turned around, and recognized the woman's face right away.

"Onodera-san...what brings you here?" the boy asked after nodding respectfully.

"I just came to get some of Ritsu's stuff..."

"Ritsu's stuff...around here?"

The woman reached out to the young male's hand and squeezed it firmly. "Thank you for being such a good friend to my son...you always joined the search operations so I know you cared for him..."

Masamune just looked at the lady with his unreadable hazel-eyes. His own drenched form whether it was raining or not flashing before his eyes as he joined the tiring search for the missing brunette.

It was funny that no one blamed him for leaving Ritsu floating in the sea like that. For leaving an idiot float with only a life saver so he could play with some girl he just met along the way.

"Don't turn the tables on me..." he had hissed, the search for that day over with no results. "Don't make me look like I'm the stalker here..."

No one blamed the darkhaired young male at all. Everything was deemed an accident. Really, Masamune wished someone would blame him. So then he could put justification for the anger he was feeling within him.

"Here..." Ritsu's mother said softly, letting a hard object slip into Masamune's hand. "It's Ritsu's key."

"Huh?"

"You know...Ritsu, that kid begged us to have him rent a small apartment around this area. He says a good friend lives in here...but since he's not here anymore, we're taking his belongings back home..."

The darkhaired boy just stared at the cold card and key on his palm. An address of an apartment that just recently got on business in that area was what was written on the card. And the key, somehow reminded him of how cold the sea waters would be at this time.

"If you want, you can go and take something from Ritsu's belongings as a memento..."

The lady turned her back fast, not wanting to let the boy see her tears. She slowly walked away. Her voice mixing in with the chilly wind like a prayer. A prayer that Masamune heard clearly.

"I still hope one day he'd appear in front of our doorstep...my only son isn't dead..."


Masamune reached for the gates of their house. Their place was as usual as quiet as ever since his parents have started leaving at different places. The sun had just settled in, casting a sad feeling around the neighborhood.

The boy lifted his gaze. And from where he was standing, he could see the slightly tall apartment some two blocks away from their house. He had no intention of going to his kohai's place and be all sentimental. They weren't really that close and he wasn't really the 'goodfriend' at all.

He sighed. For when he inserted a hand inside his pocket for their house key, it was Ritsu's key that he found.

He stepped back from their gate. And without thinking, allowed his feet to take him to the place where he could see a glimpse of how much of a stalker Ritsu was.

"A good friend lives nearby?" Masamune asked with sarcasm. "Are you making me feel guilty now?"


When he pushed open the door, he became filled with the familiar scent of the first time he and his kohai met. Books. It smelled of their school library. The salty, calming scent of old papers lingering about the room greeted him. It was strong yet somehow sweet.

He looked inside it, not moving. It was just a small, simple room with lots of books. A bit messy but felt warm. Just like how those stupid green eyes of his kohai looked at him.

Masamune dropped his bag to the floor and dared to take small steps into it. He ignored the light switch and just went in into the darkness. The almost transparent curtains dancing softly on the side, perhaps Ritsu's mother had forgotten to close the windows completely.

"..."

The boy was stunned the moment he stood before the huge window. He started wondering what might be Ritsu thinking when he was there watching the world below. It had such a clear view of the neighborhood, like a never ending maze at night.

He motioned to finally close the glass panes tight, deciding to leave after doing so. However, he knocked something over.

"What the..."

The boy kneeled on one knee and with the help of the moonlight, scrutinized what he might have just broken.

As his palms ran down the extent of the cold and smooth surface, his face started becoming confused.

"Telescope...?"

Hurriedly, he tried to fix it properly on the side of the window just how it was originally placed there. For a stupid curiosity of what might be the other world Ritsu was seeing everytime he looks into it, Masamune stepped before it and peered into the white object.

And then he froze. Felt that something knocked his breath away from him. Felt cold water befalling him.

That messy bed littered with books, that turned off flatscreen TV, that poster of an old band, that kitten stretching on top of a cupboard were really all sickeningly familiar.

How could they not be? They were things inside Masamune's room, his room, freely open from his window to see.

"..."

The darkhaired boy stepped back away from the telescope, catching on the window frame for he suddenly became weak. Realization overflowed that it stung him.

"Senpai...eating Ramen every evening will ruin your health..."

That was a text message Masamune got from Ritsu before. The darkhaired boy always ate on his bed, flipping boring channels every night. And everynight, he'd receive a text like this as if the brunette could see him.

"Senpai, it's raining hard tonight. Have you closed your windows? I just closed mine."

That was one Saturday when a storm was passing and Masamune was busy doing something downstairs. If not for that reminder, his room would probably be a mess that time. He couldn't remember though if he thanked Ritsu.

Shoulders shaking terribly, Masamune raised his hand that was gripping the key tightly towards his forehead. His teeth clashing. His chest aching.

"Senpai...are you alone right now?"

"Of course I am alone," Masamune lied that time while having some sweet time with a girl.

"...suki..." Ritsu had whispered but Masamune knew he never replied.

Soflty, Masamune chuckled. How could such a stupid kohai say something like that even when he was lying at him squarely on the face?

The telescope saw it all. Ritsu saw it all. And he could still say he likes him?

As softly as the darkhaired boy chuckled by that window, were the tears he didn't want to come appeared in his eyes. After two months of Ritsu being gone, that was the first time he showed any emotions at all. His chest just hurt so bad. Like he was being crushed by something from over his head.

Guilt, pain, sorry, longing, they all came in one blow that there was no other thing to hold all these emotions at the same time. They all escaped through the young male's eyes and pained breathing.

"So you'd just watch me like this all day?" the darkhaired boy could remember asking the brunette with almost the sound of sarcasm. That was the day when they went to the beach. Never had he thought that his stalker would drift away even crossed his mind.

The reply Ritsu gave him was a laughable "I love watching you senpai...even from a distance."

"From a distance...with this telescope?" Masamune choked. "All of my lies and you still like me? Stupid...stupid stalker..." he whispered barely understandable.

The chuckling from his mouth vanished. And he just entirely wept silently. He was just feeling the depth of his loss, just realizing the size of something missing now. And how utterly stupid and prideful he was.

Then he realized why he couldn't get sad or lonely the past days. Because the thought that 'Ritsu his stalker is gone' wasn't sinking into him at all.

"...look up-close all you want..." he whispered, the key buried in the palm of his hand. "Just come back..."

Without a body, he'd never believe it. He'd never believe that Ritsu's dead. Without a body, Ritsu would always be alive somewhere and breathing the same air as him.

And probably, just like what Ritsu's mother wished, Ritsu would again show-up, confessing again and following him like the stalker he really was.

Silent tears of a youth flowed down his face. Hope would always be there.

end


chapter end notes:

haha...that's an open end there! buwahahah...omg...what is seriously with me...well...i just love it when the other character could just die with his own guilt. hohoho

thanks for the time reading. perhaps ritsu would come back or not, there's no body that has been found so the possibilities are endless!...lol XD

should i continue? hmmm...please share your thoughts! XD

-shuusetsu

ps. back in grade school, i was asked to write on the board where we went during summer.

I proudly wrote, "We went to the bitch".

Just like how I wrote "Prepare a one shit of paper" before.

LOL...my English teacher looked weird that time but I smiled at him so innocently he just erased what I wrote without saying anything. i didn't know what i wrote was bad. LoL.