T H E F I N A L E
"Two souls are sometimes created together and in love before they're born."
— F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Beautiful and Damned
"Let's get you inside, sir. It's kind of cold here now."
"No, I'll be fine. I like the cold."
The nurse stopped for a while and stared at the old man sitting in an opened balcony. A diffident look was plastered on her face.
"You can go now," he repeated, reassuring the woman with his smile. "I'll call you after a few minutes."
The nurse finally smiled and nodded. "If you say so, sir," she politely said as she bowed her head.
The old man's smile didn't falter as his eyes followed the woman to the door. When he was so sure that he was all alone again, he closed his eyes as the hushed silence immediately embraced him. He turned his face on the dim forest below him and cuddled at the cold wind that was gently blowing on his face.
It was cold.
But a fire was constantly burning inside him, keeping him comfortably warm.
It had been a year since then.
A year, huh...
"Happiness is a choice, not a result. Nothing will make you happy until you choose to be happy. No person will make you happy unless you decide to be happy. Your happiness will not come to you. It can only come from you." — Ralph Marston
"I don't understand it," a girl lowly muttered to herself as she looked outside the glass door of the computer shop. She was asked by his father to watch over the shop for while he was gone.
The boy blinked at the girl and asked, "What happened?"
"You see those men?"
The young lad peered at the two men walking away at a distance and nodded. "Are you talking about the short one?"
"No, the tall one."
The girl scratched her head. "He walked into the shop this morning and asked for a printer."
"What of it?"
"He just asked me about that printer again—just now—a few seconds before you came here."
The lad squinted his eyes in confusion. "Did he finally buy it? But he isn't carrying anything with him."
The girl sighed. "He already bought it just this morning."
"Wow... Good for you, then. Your father will be happy—"
The boy stopped and raised his eyebrows. "Wait a darn minute... You said that he asked for the printer this morning then he went here asking for the same printer again just now but then he actually already bought it when he first came here? What was that?"
The girl, Mari, pursed her lips in irritation. "That was why I said I couldn't understand it, stupid."
The boy rolled his eyes. "Enlighten me, please."
"I'm sure it was him who bought the printer this morning."
"Then why would he ask for it again?"
"I-I don't know. When I told him he already purchased the printer this morning, h-he became stiff and he had this serious expression on his face. T-then, he said thanks and he left together with that pale haired man."
"Are you sure it was him? Maybe they just resembled each other... That could happen, you know. There were already so many cases like that."
Marie shook her head. "I'm so sure that was him... And besides, there aren't so many gaijins here, you know. I would know when I see one, wouldn't I?"
The boy just shrugged his shoulders. "Well, you have a point."
"Maybe they are twins or something?"
"Well, who knows?"
"People universally tend to think that happiness is a stroke of luck, something that will maybe descend upon you like fine weather if you are fortunate enough. But that's not how happiness works. Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it."— Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love
"Is that alright?"
"What are you talking about?"
"That woman called you 'gaijin'.
Tykki snorted. "I can't believe you still heard that. We're already pretty far away from them, you know."
"Well, she was talking loud enough for me to hear and besides, you heard it, too, baka."
Tykki just shook his head and shrugged his shoulders. "I've been called worse, trust me."
"I can't believe how calm you are about it. Some foreigners are not pleased when people call them that."
"Well, I guess I am not just some foreigners, then."
"Half," the shorter man said, nodding.
"Sonotori desu yo,"Tykki answered, faking a weird accent.
The man beside him laughed.
"I would like to remind Tykki Lawrence Mikk-san that he sounded exactly like that when he first came here in Japan," he said, laughing and amused by Tykki's antics.
The foreigner smirked. "Well, I've already gotten rid of that blasted accent years ago."
"But you still hate wasabi."
"That is a different matter —"
"And you don't like eating sushi."
"—that should not be brought into this conversation.
The shorter man burst out laughing.
Tykki just smiled, contented in hearing the almost melodious sound of his companion's mirth.
After a few seconds, he stopped and turned into him again, his expression was playful.
"But seriously, you two surprisingly have the same taste, huh?"
Tykki pursed his lips but did not comment on his remark.
The man understood the silence and he just smiled, knowing some day, the two brothers would talk again.
Just like him and his precious younger brother, Allen.
He scratched his head.
"You're parents weren't really that creative, huh?"
Tykki looked down on him. "What do you mean?"
Tykki just shrugged his shoulders. "Ah," he nodded. "The two of them are pretty eccentric."
"What is his name again?"
Tykki sighed, knowing the man wouldn't really stop until he got what he wanted. It was not like he hated his brother (big brother, actually). It was just that they had way too different personalities that they seldom get along.
"Tyki Natanael Mikk," he grumbled.
"Who is better in bed, you or hi—"
"It's me of course," Tykki deadpanned.
A lot of passersby flinched and recoiled when they heard a young and handsome white haired man cackled hysterically on the street while clutching on the arm of a tall dark haired foreigner who was awkwardly trying to pacify the man to no avail.
"When you breathe, you inhale and then you exhale. But every single time you do that, you're a little different than the one before. We're always changing and it's important to know that there are some changes you can't control but that there are others you can."— Dan Dunne, Half Nelson
Allen was drowning.
He tried gasping for air but something was stopping him from gathering them into his lungs again so that he could breathe.
Deeper and deeper he fell into an abyss and Allen started to squirm his way out but a pair of strong hands was hindering him from totally breaking free.
Deeper and deeper he fell.
Oddly, amidst the cold he was feeling outside his body, the white haired man was slowly smoldering inside.
Allen opened his eyes and there he found the thing that was trying to smother him to death. He found strength on his arms and he started to push the thing away from his face to breathe some air.
He saw Kanda snapped from his stupor and scrambled away from him, almost hitting the lampshade on the bedside table.
"I-I'M S-SORRY!" he said, wide-eyed, lips were sensually damp and red. He looked so darn embarrassed that Allen thought he would run away the second he moved from the bed.
"I'm s-sorry... I-I wasn't thinking straight. I w-was just trying to wake you u-up and... and..." Allen saw him swallowed hard; his whole body was trembling slightly in shame.
The stammering sounded and looked so adorable though.
It wasn't every day that he saw Kanda in this kind of stammering mess.
"It's okay, Kanda-kun," he said. "I didn't mean to push you. I just thought I was drowning and—"
Kanda flushed some more.
Allen still wasn't used in seeing this side of the stern Kanda Yu he knew before.
"I-I swear-! I-I wasn't doing a-anything weird! I-I brushed my teeth this morning and I—!"
Allen sat on the bed. "I'm the one who should apologize. I haven't gone to the bathroom yet and—"
"NO! You tasted good!"
Kanda stopped when he realized what he just said.
Allen, who could not really understand what was happening and how the hell did the two of them get in here, blinked.
Kanda reddened so much that Allen began to worry if he was really feeling alright.
"THE BREAKFAST I-IS READY! I'LL JUST WAIT FOR YOU DOWN STAIRS!" The long haired man shouted as he hurriedly went out the room.
Allen was left on the bed, confused.
"Will he be alright?" he asked to himself.
He brought his fingers on his face, slowly tracing the damp lips that Kanda was ravishing just a while ago.
Then, he understood.
Did he want it?
He should have just asked him then.
Allen's eyes slowly widened when he remembered the look on Kanda's face when the man was kissing him a few moments ago.
A slight flush was seen creeping in on his face as he slowly hid it underneath the pastel strands of his hair.
Kanda looked so ethereal. Allen knew it wasn't even a word that one should use when describing the sometimes horrible and pompous attitude of the aloof young man; but at that moment, it fitted him well enough.
Beside the spacious bed covered in white linen, a picture frame was seen displayed at the right corner of the table. It was a photograph of four young men—two were widely smiling, an arm was coiled on each other's shoulder while the other two who're standing at the back were not looking at the camera at all; They were, instead, menacingly glaring at each other as if they were having a silent, cold war that only the two them knew.
Allen looked outside the window.
I am living.
The trees outside the room danced together with his calm, beating heart.
And then, a strong gust of wind suddenly whispered in the air, and Allen could swear that until now, he could still hear their past riotously ringing inside his ears once in a while.
I am living.
We all are.
"It was the kind of kiss I could never tell my friends about out loud. It was the kind of kiss that made me know I was never so happy in my whole life." — Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower