Here we are!
I know it took me ages to update but I had a lot of work, my Muse was capricious and time went by quickly. So I'm sorry but I did what I could.
Well, reader, here is the last episode of Hyrule High School. I had planned a longer story but I have no time to write more so that's it. Some characters and plot details weren't developped as much as I wished, I hope you'll forgive me.
I don't like writing bottom notes so I'm saying it now: thank you very much for the reviews. And particularly, thank you to those who read till the end, despite the misspellings, the imperfections and this long waiting.
Enjoy your reading!
Episode 11: Just a choice
'Muffins !' I yell again. 'Bio muffins!'
Oh my Din! How did I let myself get involved in this? Pertinent question which would be worth a pertinent answer...
I'm on Market Place, standing behind a tiny stall which is actually only a wooden trestle board, trying to sell as quickly as possible my muffins, in order to go back indoors. The weather is frosty; snow flakes are lazily falling from the milky sky, shining in the dim sunlight, and despite my lime green earmuffs, my ears are frozen. But that's nothing compared to my fingers: I can't wear gloves since I have to serve muffins, so I can hardly feel my fingertips anymore. I had a water-tasting hot chocolate about half an hour ago but it already seems like an old memory. So I sink a bit deeper into my muffler, trying to shield my neck from the biting wind, the memory of Link's scarf drifting on the border of my mind.
Oh! You'd like to know why I am selling these bloody muffins? It's a long story you know... Well, I guess we wouldn't be having this conversation if you didn't like stories. So, yesterday afternoon, Komali and I were hanging out in the park, trying to think about something else than our sentimental problems. And then we met Saria who seemed really glad to have run into us. I wish we had known the ensuing conversation would seal our destiny... Or at least our Saturday afternoon. She said we both looked a bit sad lately and that she needed volunteers for a bio muffins sale. And one thing leading to another, we got ourselves to help the Kokiris to sell muffins on Market Place. Saria assured us the aim was to make us wind down and so here we are, standing the whole afternoon in the frosty wind. Surely there was some misunderstanding...
On my left side, Komali sneezes loudly. He looks frozen and his fingertips are bluish. We are running Market Place stall with Medli and Malon – who were conscripted the same way as us – and another guy named Mido – a Kokiri, obviously. Five other stalls are scattered through the city with the instructions not to come back home before the last muffin is sold. I had never thought Saria could be so authoritarian... She was not elected president of the Kokiris on a mistake, for sure!
As a client comes, I stop musing. He's a tall man, wearing a long black duffel coat and a coal hat. He smells like old tobacco – maybe cigar – and speaks with a light accent of Termina when he asks : 'What is the sale for?'
His voice his smiling even though his mouth stays invisible, lost in his blond beard.
'The money will be used for creating a bird sanctuary near Laketown,' I explain. 'If I were you, I'd take a cranberry muffin : they're my favourite ones. But the blueberry ones are good too.' I add a banana-sized smile to my speech in order to sound more persuasive.
The man laughs, opening wide his mouth to reveal yellowish teeth.
'Okay, young man. Give me two cranberries and one blueberry, that will make it.'
I put the muffins into a small paper bag while Komali cashes the man's six rupees. Then the stranger grabs his food and leaves us to our boredom. I glance at my watch : five o'clock. Twilight tiptoes closer and closer. Soon, streetlights are going to switch up, casting tawny circles of light on the pavement.
Suddenly, a mobile phone rings, someone answers and then Malon says:
'Darunia and Link have sold all their muffins: they're taking the bus back to school.'
Mido moans and I can't help doing the same. Lucky them! But my attention is quickly caught by Komali who whispers to me:
'I really don't understand you.'
'What do you mean?' I mutter.
'With Link... You were so sad when he went out with Ruto, you still stare at him as though he was a god and when he tells you he's in love with you, you just send him away!'
'I'm not a toy!' I protest.
'Oh, Din! Swallow your pride, Sheik! Everybody makes mistakes. You're throwing away all you dreamt of just because of pride!'
I feel annoyed at what he says, particularly because I know he may be right. Yet I can't help retorting:
'You are telling me that I throwing my life away? You don't even have balls to ask Medli out!'
Komali's eyes widen in astonishment and I feel a bit ashamed at my rudeness. However, before I can apologize, he mumbles something like 'okay' and walks to the opposite end of the stall. For a second, I think that he's going into a sulk but then he says:
'Medli, would you like to come to the cinema with me when we have finished selling these muffins?'
Straight away, Medli, who was collecting empty cardboard boxes, drops everything she was carrying. Blushing strongly, she kneels to pick them up then she stammers, avoiding to look at Komali: 'Well... I don't know. What do you think Malon?'
Malon seems a bit taken aback to be asked her opinion. But as she is about to answer, Komali cuts her short: 'I'm not asking Malon to come. I meant: just the two of us.'
He is staring deep in her eyes and she is not avoiding it anymore. She fidgets a second or two, then agrees eventually while Komali lets out a sigh of relief.
When he winks at me with a huge grin, I am so bewildered I can't do anything to reply. This is not the Komali I know! But maybe he's righ. If he is able to surpass his shyness, I might try and forget my resentment.
The wan moonlight is casting silver shadows everywhere in my room, changing my chest of drawers and my desk into mythological creatures and the posters on the walls into black and white photos. Half-naked, I'm lying on my bed, eyes focused on the creamy immensity of the ceiling. The room is rather warm – nothing to do with this afternoon frost – so I've pushed my blanket aside. I could have been here for a minute or a millennium, it would have made no difference. As a matter of fact, I don't even know what time it is.
Indecision is holding me, clinging to my skin, gripping me so tightly I can hardly breath. I feel as though there is a weight pressing down on my chest and believe me, that's not comfortable at all! I fear to make a mistake, to do the wrong choice, even though in that specific case, the only wrong choice would be not to choose. Above all else, I'm scared to have to assume a choice. I'm becoming the coward I despised in Link.
Am I still in love? This is the only question which matters and paradoxically, that's not the point. After all, what do I know about love? Apart from the fact that it's a huge shambles, of course. Love at first sight only exists in fairy tales and Hollywood movies. I have just figured this out a bit too late, that's all. In real life, love seems to be closer to gardening... It's like planting a seed: you've got to take care of it, to often water it so that it can grow and eventually blossom. My own garden frankly needs weeding but maybe it can still be saved. I don't know.
Oh Din! Of course I know! Well, I wouldn't be wondering about it tonight if all was lost, would I? I mean I still have feelings. But maybe the situation can't be helped anymore because Link took my bad mood the wrong way. I must say I behaved like a real bastard... But he deserved it! Didn't he?
I turn over onto my stomach and shove my head into my pillow. This is such a bloody mess! Yet I can't deny I would like this pillow to be Link's warm body. I wonder if he's thinking about us too right now... He must just be sleeping. Or he may not.
I jump out of my bed and walk silently to the corridor. I just can't stay like that anymore: I need to talk to him. I inch towards Link's door as quietly as possible, paying attention stay unnoticed. I don't want to have to explain to my flatmates what I'm doing out of my room when everybody's at bed. It would be embarrassing with Darunia or Ralis, but even more with Komali for it would amount to admit he was right from the beginning.
Here I am: Link's door. Should I knock before getting in? Besides, what am I going to do?
'Night Link, I just wanted to tell you I'm sorry about being so rude to you...
Yes, you're right: you deserved it but I behaved like a bastard too...
But you know, I'm still crazy about you...
No, this last sentence sounds too weak. Maybe:
Well, I reconsider you offer...
Nayru Sheik! You're not doing trade!
Maybe it's still possible between the two of us... ?
I sigh. That's really complicated and the more I think about it, the less I know what I'm going to say. Unconsciously, I step back. Then I step back again, but more voluntarily this time. Perhaps it was a bad idea to come to see him tonight. Yet, I've come that far, I cannot slip away now. And so I sigh again, lean against the wall and let myself down to the fitted carpet ground. My heart is hammering inside my chest, sounding like a war drum to my ears.
Suddenly, Mrs. Shadow's voice echoes in my head.Will you fight Sheik? Then, my own voice answers the same way: I will. What am I waiting for? You get nothing by just expecting it to come to you. Anytime you want something, you've got to fight in order to have it. Come on, Sheik!
I stand up, set a hand on the doorknob and eventually push the door open. The hinges keep silent and, like a shadow, I slip inside the room. Curtains have been drawn so it's much darker than in my bedroom. I push the door closed and linger here for a few seconds as my eyes get accustomed to the lack of light.
I gasp: Link is sitting up in his bed, staring at me. At least I haven't woken him up.
'What are you doing here?' he asks.
His tone was neither warm nor angry, just neutral. This makes me feel awkward because I don't know how he feels about my being here at all. So, after a short silence, I manage to whisper:
'I needed to talk to you.'
Din! It didn't sound so pathetic in my mind a few minutes ago...
Link chuckles, which only increases my embarrassment.
'You avoided me for a fortnight and now you've come to my room at half past midnight, half-naked, because you've decided you wanted to talk to me. Interesting...'
He hasn't said it harshly but I can't help feeling both stupid and guilty. Besides, he's right: it's half past midnight. I didn't thought it was so late! And of course, I'm only wearing pyjama shorts so I don't feel very comfortable in front of him. Next time I want to visit someone at night, recall me to check what time it is and what I'm wearing!
'I'm sorry,' I say, and I mean it. 'I didn't want to bother you but I couldn't wait anymore. But maybe you'd rather I came back tomorrow...'
'Never mind, I wasn't sleeping. Since you are here, you'd better tell me what you wanted to.'
Silence answers him. Words stay trapped inside of me and I can't manage to squeeze out any sound. I must look so stupid! How is he going to retaliate? I'll only know if I tell him. This is our very last chance, I am not to waste it. If everything is already lost, it won't change anything but maybe there are still remains of hope.
'I've come to apology,' I finally mumble and as Link keeps silent, I resume: 'My behaviour was no better than yours.'
Well done Sheik! You say you're here to apology and then you slip a criticism into the conversation. What a good way to say "sorry"!
'I accept your apologies,' Link answers, which isn't really what I had expected even though I suddenly feel much lighter.
Then, without thinking at all, I ask: 'Can I stay and sleep here this night? I don't want to be alone...'
Oh my Din! What am I doing? A heatwave breaks on me instantaneously and I turn scarlet. I hope the darkness prevents Link from noticing it.
'I can sleep on the carpet, I don't mind!' I add quickly, feel more and more awkward.
'Don't be ridiculous,' Link answers gently. 'You can lie down by me. If you want it, of course...'
I nod, feeling unable to utter the slightest word. I step forward but freeze about a foot away from the bed. I don't dare going further. So Link slowly takes my hand in his one, his lightly callused fingers squeezing between mine, and then he pulls me towards the bed. As I slip through the sheets and the blanket, I suddenly realize a single bed is going to be a bit small for the two of us. But Link's hands on my hips and back put an end to my thinking.
'Link...' I moan. 'I haven't stayed for sex or anything like that...'
'I'm not looking for sex, Sheik.'
My hands are now resting onto his chest: I can feel his heart beating frantically. His face is only an inch away from mine, his breath heating my lips, and our legs are slowly intertwining like an old tree roots.
'I know it sounds so cliché, but your eyes are so beautiful. This cherry dark brown... maybe crimson. They are simply splendid.'
His aquamarine look dives into mine while his head lean forward. Then, as his lips are nearly touching mine, he mutters:
'I love you Sheik. I've always loved you even if I didn't understand it.'
'I love you too,' I whisper back.
And, in order to support my words, my lips cross the last physical and mental gap that separated us.