The picture he took was simply perfect… it was of a boy with bright, golden hair, holding a beautiful bouquet of sunflowers with the background of the blossoming cherry trees, under the blue sky. AkuRoku. Sequel of Sunflower.
Well, after receiving a lovely PM from kaaycie, I was… reminded that I ever wrote Sunflower. Which was really weird since Sunflower was once my heart and soul and baby. Well, I hope this sequel would turn out well anyway.
Also, that and that I owe Tsuky-sama this one.
And of course, I still love my wife, Meilynn 64, whom I will also dedicate this to.
Happy BELATED birthday to Insanecat6, hope you had a good one with your DS. (:
I hope to bring those of you who are reading warmth in this cold season.
The Perfect Picture
A second chance to life...
The Sunflower Boy
The wind blew against his direction as he walked down the road to his house. He shivered due to the chill of the air and he paused in his track, blinking for a while. He shrugged when he looked back and found no one. There was a very familiar presence. And he tilted his head to the side. A very familiar presence?
Well, that was definitely awkward and weird happening at the same time. He just moved into the town and he didn't know anybody there. How could there be a familiar presence? He was merely an office boy, just recently graduated with a business degree, working in a small office as an on-call office boy.
He couldn't even begin to describe how he hated his job.
However, he still had to go to work every day to receive his pay. Who would support him if he didn't have a job? Nobody. He would rot in the roads and that idea was definitely the last thing he had in mind. Sure, it was the summer and all… and it wouldn't be too bad to sleep on the road without having to pay rent or anything…
Well, that was not going to happen.
He had a job. He could afford his own food and apartment. He was… one could say… happy.
The walk back to his apartment took around ten to fifteen minutes depending on how fast he wanted to walk. Sometimes, out of laziness and tiredness, he would drag his legs and walk slower. And sometimes, he would just walk back home in a very fast pace just to earn the "alone" time he deserved.
His job was brutal. The higher ups/workers wouldn't stop ordering him around. Serving coffee, buying doughnuts, lunch, cake… you name it, Axel would serve it. That was as if the invisible slogan that Axel carried around all day which gave him the honor of being ordered and bossed around.
Ah yes, how he hated his work and how he loved to keep it all to himself instead of doing something about it.
At least he had a job, right? Better than all those unemployed people all around California out there… No offense. But the economy was getting worse and worse by the day. He had to live with what he had—even if it sucked.
Dismissing the weird feeling he had earlier, he casually walked back home again with a medium sized side bag hung on one of his shoulders and his arms looped at the back of his head. He whistled silently, feeling the soft air blew against him gently. He enjoyed the feeling.
He took in a deep breath. If he was one of those people who loved smoking, he would surely have stopped somewhere to smoke. But he was not. He didn't enjoy smoking. He would rather lead a long live rather than hand half of his life over to that deadly, poisonous stick. Or so he thought… with how life was going on, he started to think that he should really enjoy life and care less about being… careful.
He looked across the other side of the road and tilted his head to the side at the sight that he saw. In that quiet walkway, a boy was hopping through the side road, hugging a brown paper bag. The boy seemed really happy, that was for sure. He wondered slightly why the boy was happy. And he frowned…not at the golden haired boy, but at himself.
It seemed like he had gone depressed enough to think that nobody should be happy in that dreadful world.
The smile on the boy's expression was a real and sincere one.
And he chuckled. Maybe the boy had just received a present or something.
Wow… just something that simple and the boy was skipping on the sidewalk, probably on his way back home.
Axel released a small sigh accompanied with a weak smile and continued to walk back to his apartment.
That was rather interesting.
The next day was the same day. Office boy work again, going around running errands, delivering mails, making coffee, buying lunch… being bullied.
It was tiring and at the same time, humiliating for someone who had studied so hard to earn a Associate of Arts degree in business. Sure, it was not a Bachelor Degree, but hey. It was a degree anyway.
Well, he was earning money.
That was what Axel always believed in and recited to himself over and over again when he was working. Too bad it didn't work most of the time. Fortunately though, he didn't lose his temper over those bossy and stupid people he had to serve. He felt nothing like a servant, really.
The day quickly passed by and it was soon evening. The sky was still bright because it was summer. And he left the office at five. He walked to the bus stop three blocks away from where he was and took the bus for twenty minutes back to where he lived. And then, it was another five blocks of walk to his apartment.
The cherry blossoms on the road were blossoming beautifully. Its pink color awkwardly blended well with the blue, slightly gray colored sky. And for this one time, he halted to a stop, just standing there to look around the way back to his apartment.
Dull and dull…
Was all that crossed his mind.
He bit his upper lip and pulled out a camera hidden in his side bag. He wondered why he brought a camera that day, more so that he pulled it out from his bag. Was he really going to photograph nature? The boring nature? No way, man. He was not an old man. Only an old man does something like that to past his time.
And he was certainly not old and certainly didn't have so much time. He had to save his precious time to relax at home and relieve himself from all the stress and oppression he was facing. He would burst into pieces in office if he missed that moment of solitude even for a day. And he certainly didn't want to "burst into pieces." The last time he checked, anger and rage would take him nowhere.
He was about to put his camera back. However, he paused and blinked a couple of times when he saw the same golden haired boy walking down the road again—still at the other side of the road. He closed his half opened bag, camera still in his hand.
Well, it seemed the golden haired boy was happy again, except now, the boy was carrying a bouquet of flowers—yellow colored flowers…
Axel had never seen someone carrying sunflowers with such joyful expression. He wondered if he was being a stalker.
Na, not really right? He was merely observing the world around him carefully.
He was being a stalker and he was even seeking an excuse that he wasn't being one. This automatically made him even more of a stalker. Great…
He might have been thinking too much.
Taking up his camera, he readied himself to take a picture before the boy disappeared. How lucky was him that the boy turned around as the wind blew, giving his spiky blond hair a swish which made it looked fluffy despite its spikiness. The blossoming cherry trees danced to the side where the wind blew. And the clouds shifted lazily.
Additionally, fortunately enough for him, the boy didn't notice that Axel was silently taking a picture of him. Axel certainly didn't want to deal with any child protection service or something.
And the boy disappeared to the other side of the road. Axel shifted his attention, not wanting to look suspicious. He smiled a genuine smile that he hadn't had in a while. Shoving his camera back to his bag, he continued on his way back to his apartment.
That evening, he hooked up his camera to his laptop.
It seemed… he might have captured a perfect picture.
Of the blossoming cheery tree, the perfectly blue sky, the greenest of trees, the passing car, and of course, the golden haired boy carrying a bouquet of sunflower—except, the boy wasn't smiling…
Friday marked the end of the horrible week. Job was still as dreadful as ever. And Axel slowly noticed himself becoming more and more of a stalker as he quickly realized himself watching out for the golden haired boy, hoping to be able to at least watch the boy from afar once again.
It was really strange how such simple smile and grin from a boy brought him the same joy. It was extremely weird how Axel was affected by such simplicity.
However, it was already two days since Axel saw the boy.
Getting off of work on Friday was the greatest joy for Axel. In fact, it might as well be his Christmas present. Finally, two days off from that horrible office boy job of his. He began planning on what he would do on the weekends.
His plans went ashtray sooner than he thought. As his supervisor suddenly called him in, asking if he wanted to take home some unfinished file work and input some data into Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.
Axel, of course, couldn't say no… considering his position and the danger of being fired.
And thus, weekend for Axel would be filled with nothing but the stacks of files he had to input data into the Excel spreadsheet. All those numbers and tables. One by one…
Coffee would certainly sound good. And he was out of grinded coffee.
Thus, he went to the supermarket just a block away from his apartment to grab a bag of that black deadliness (some would say).
The chilly air of the supermarket rushed at him as soon as he entered the area. The hotness of the summer air left him almost immediately.
As he entered the supermarket, there was one thing that he significantly noticed—sunflowers were displayed everywhere… beautiful, lively petals of yellow.
He raised his eyebrows as he was reminded of the golden haired boy he hadn't seen for two days. Two days… that sounded pathetic.
Walking inside, he quickly went into the corner in which he knew the bags of coffee would be arranged.
He grabbed a can of Yuban roast coffee and was ready to get out of the place before he stopped in his place, almost bumping to somebody. "Whoops, sorry 'bout that, didn't see you there." He commented casually. He really didn't see the person he bumped into. The person was too short for him to notice…
Come to think, that sounded rude.
Axel blinked once and twice before finally registering in that the person he bumped into was no other than the golden haired boy he had been crazily infatuated over the last couple of days. The word infatuated might seem like he was taking it too far…
"Oh, it's no problem," a fresh and kind voice resounded through the noisiness of the supermarket.
"It's you…" Axel muttered breathlessly.
"Yes?" the boy, who was carrying a basket filled with goods tilted his head to the side, looking confusedly at the taller redhead in front of him.
Axel immediately shook his head. "It's nothing. You just remind me of someone."
"Oh really? Well, that's nice," the boy gave a warm smile. "I'll see you… hum… you know, drinking coffee isn't good for you health. All the caffeine would eventually ruin your body… Try apple. Apple gives a good supplement of energy!"
"Huh?" Axel frowned slightly.
The boy laughed. "Sorry, I didn't mean to lecture you. Just stating my opinion. It's really nice meeting you in this lovely day. Have a good one."
And with that, the boy was gone.
Axel stood there in silence, watching as the boy went to the register and went out of the supermarket. Well, the kid was certainly nosy.
Then, he shifted his attention back to what he was holding. His face formed a thoughtful look before he walked away and put the roast coffee down. Well, he might as well give apple a try.
And thus, Axel bought a bag of apples home.
He laughed at himself later on, finding it rather humorous that he was listening to a boy's suggestion.
Before he went to pull off his data entry work in front of his computer, he clicked on the untitled folder containing that one piece of picture he had taken the other day. The picture of the boy who had such a warming smile.
Afterwards, he renamed the untitled folder…
The Sunflower Boy
Hope it was okay.