When Takki's existence and love have been wiped clean from Tsubasa's memory. Will they fall in love again? Warning: boys' love.
Tsubasa got up. Groggily and still in a daze, he surveyed his surroundings. He was in what appeared to be a hospital and there was someone sleeping on a sofa nearby. The person as if sensing that he was up, was stirring.
'Where am I?' Tsubasa asked, looking squarely at the person who was now rubbing his eyes.
Seeing Tsubasa awake, he rushed over.
'Are you all right?' the anxious gentleman asked.
'I think so. Am I in a hospital? But why?'
'You don't remember?'
'No. I'm afraid not,' Tsubasa tried to recall a little but it was all a blurr.
'But you do remember me, right?'
'I'm sorry. But do I know you?'
'It's not funny.'
'I'm not joking.'
'Takki. I'm Takki.'
Takki inspected his basket of fruits again and wondered if the banana would be edible since it still looked rather green. But little did he know, that was to be the least of his concern.
Outside Tsubasa's VIP room, his parents were waiting, alongside two gentlemen in black suits.
'Good afternoon,' Takki greeted with a tense smile and formal bow.
Only Mrs Imai stood up to acknowledge him and bowed sightly in return. Mr Imai remained motionless on his seat. It was obvious that Mr Tsubasa still disapproved of him, of them.
Walking over to him, Mrs Imai held onto both his hands gently and pleaded, 'Takki, please let our son go. He doesn't remember you anymore. This is his chance to start anew.'
Shocked by this sudden request, Takki was speechless.
'Please, Takki. I beg of you. You know Tsubasa wants kids, right? You can't give him that. He can't have any with you. And I want him to have a family, a normal life. I want him to be normal, like everyone else.'
'Please, Takki. Please return me, return us, our my son.'
Mrs Imai was on the verge of tears and Takki was on the verge of losing his mind. How could anyone refuse a weeping mother? But at the cost of breaking ones' heart?
'I never meant to take him away from you,' Takki defended feebly.
'But you have. And now that God has given him a chance to start all over again, you will stay away from him,' Mr Imai said, still not looking at him.
'And this is not a request.'
As if there was on an invisible cue, the two men in black, presumably guards, moved in front of the door.
'Can I at least go in to say goodbye?' Takki asked softly.
'No. And you must never see him again.'
Watching the squirrel scurrying to and fro, busy with its life, Tsubasa was envious. If only his was as purposeful. After he'd lost his memory in the car accident, his life was now a blank. His parents had strangely not encouraged him to try and remember the past but advised him to start afresh. If only he knew where to start. From what he could gather, he had hardly any friends. No one came to visit, except someone named Takki, who was by his side when he woke but disappeared the next day. If there was any consolation, it was that he had rich parents. From all appearances, they were loving and caring towards him. According to them, he had been helping them out with their oil import and export business for a couple of years now. And they had insisted that he start work soon to catch up and take his mind off things.
Tsubasa wondered what kind of life he had earlier. Only just after a month in the office, he already felt like he was suffocating. Everything and everybody felt alien to him. It was as if he had woken up into another person's life. Thankfully, there was still someone, someone he felt safe around with. It was his fiancee, Yuri, the daughter of a real estate tycoon. He was told that they had been childhood sweetheart. Maybe that was why her smile felt so warm. Ever since he came around, she was always there for him, looking after him hand and foot. And Tsubasa had come to regard her as his compass and pillar of strength.
Finally finishing his sketch of that squirrel, Tsubasa folded it into a plane and flew it in the direction of the furry animal. But it fell short and landed on someone's feet.
It was someone familiar.
For a moment, the world seemed to have stopped.
Takki nodded with a bitter smile and sat down beside Tsubasa.
'I've got a job for you,' he started, wasting no time to get to the point.
'That's if you still do design.'
'Design? You mean I design?'
'Yeah, you've designed a line of uniform for my hotel before and I'm hoping you'd do it again.'
'I'm a designer? I thought-'
'Oh right, ya... it's just a sideline, outside of your family business, of course.'
Takki couldn't believe that he was lying to Tsubasa. He had promised never to do that to him. But the Tsubasa in front of him wasn't the one he knew anyway. The one he knew, his lover, was gone. His lover, the fashion designer, who rebelled against his parents domineering ways, was no longer. Tsubasa was now a mummy’s boy, a respectable director of marketing and the fiancée of a beautiful hotel conglomerate heiress.
But Takki still couldn't let go. He refused to believe that their love was so superficial that it couldn't overcome a little hindrance like complete loss of memory. With time, by being with him, Takki was certain that Tsubasa would come to love him again.
Tsubasa lugged the heavy machine back to his apartment. Although he was now staying with his parents at their request, he still kept his own apartment. It was one of the few things that he felt a vague sense of familiarity to. But it was quite a bare place, as if someone had stripped it of its memories. There were no pictures on the wall or souvenirs in the display cupboard, only the furniture remained. It looked sterile like a showroom. Still, Tsubasa felt free there.
He placed the heavy sewing machine in the spare room. In that instant, he felt like it had always belonged there, as if that room had once been a design studio, where long hours of frantic cutting and sewing took place. Tsubasa suddenly felt alive for the first time in months.
Although Takki was supposedly a repeat customer, Tsubasa didn't like him very much. He was very volatile and had violent mood swings. One moment, he was gentle and patient; the next, he was angry and silent. Tsubasa couldn't help but feel lost and confused around him. What was even more baffling was how miserable he felt when Takki was upset. Why did he feel like he'd done something wrong when Takki would sometimes turn away in sadness when looking at him or talking to him? What did he ever do to him?
But Tsubasa liked the job so he stuck with it. He took to the job like fish to water and he even thought himself rather good at it. But Takki seemed to disagree and would ask for amendments every time the job was near completion. Either the shade of the colour was wrong again or the length of the ladies skirt needed to be shortened again. If not, it would be the cuffs or buttons that needed last minute alterations. Sometimes Tsubasa wondered if the job would ever be completed.
And one day, out of the blue, Takki said, 'Yap. I think this will do.'
'You're not going to change your mind again?'
'Nope, it's over. And I think you'd better hurry off to your appointment. You're trying on the suit today, right?'
'C'mon, for a groom, you don't sound that enthusiastic.'
'No, I am. I'm just nervous, I guess. You know wedding blues and cold feet.'
'Having second thoughts?'
'No. Of course not. Yuri's the best. Without her, I'd be lost.'
'Sounds like gratitude to me.'
'Gratitude and... love.'
'Love?' Takki verified, trying his utmost best to conceal his anguish.
'Oh, can you do me a favour?' Tsubasa asked hesitantly.
'So who's the best man?' Takki asked as he helped Tsubasa fix his bow tie.
'You have no friends of your own?'
'My parents say that I'm quite a loner.'
'And so your parents say... '
'Well, I've no reason not to trust them.'
'Oh, but I do have a friend.'
'You're my friend, right?'
'Yeah, and so much more.'
'What do you mean?'
'Nothing... erm... I mean I'm our client too, aren't I?'
Tusbasa was suddenly embarrassed to have his client help him try out the best man's suit. But since Yuri's brother was busy and they were about the same size, why not? Besides, Takki looked smashing in the suit.
'Let's take a picture. We look so good today.'
'I don't know about you, but I look good everyday, all the time,' Takki corrected.
'Anything you say, Mr Good-looking. But let's take that picture anyway.'
The photo turned out so great that the bridal boutique owner jokingly suggested that she could start a gay wedding package and they could be the poster boys.
Outside the shop, as they were about to go their separate ways, Takki stuck out his hand.
'Omedetou gozaimasu. Congratulations on your wedding. I realised that I haven't congratulate you yet.'
As Tsubasa gripped onto his outstretched hand, Takki pulled him into his arms and hugged him.
Holding onto Tsubasa, it suddenly brought to mind the lyrics, 'If ever you're in my arms again, this time I'll hold you much better. This time it'll never end.'
'Sayonara? Stop it. You're making it sound like it's farewell forever. It's not like we're never going to meet again. You're coming to the wedding, right?'
'Sorry. I'll be overseas. And Jin will take care of the rest of the matters concerning the uniform.'
'Will you be away for long?'
'I don't know. Besides, it's not like you'll have time. You'll probably be busy with procreation. And before you know it, there'll be mini-Tsubasas flying around.'
Tsubasa blushed at that thought.
'Well, gotta go. Please take very good care of yourself and... please always be very happy. Sayonara.'
With that, Takki turned abruptly and left.
Takki was right. Tsubasa was insanely busy afterwards. There were the wedding rehearsals and so many other minute details to take care. But hiding behind the excuse that he had to tidy up his home to welcome its new mistress, he was able escape most of the mind-numbing chores, such as deciding on the seating arrangement, invitation list, etc.
In actual fact, there was little to do about his fairly bare apartment. But he was glad that he now had the perfect excuse to spend time away from his parents and finally move out of their opulent but cold mansion. He knew that they loved him, but he never felt it.
His parent also had a nasty habit pf prying into his life too much, constantly asking about where he had been and with whom. But since Takki had asked not to be mentioned, they didn't know that they had been in contact.
Takki had warned him, 'Your parents would flip if they knew that you're still doing design. They'd prefer that you stick to your day job.'
Sorting out his wardrobe to make space for the lady of the house, Tsubasa chanced upon a box. Inside, he uncovered some books and photo albums! The alums were so small that he had almost mistaken them for books and overlooked them. The photos his parents showed him were mainly from his childhood, with little traces of his adult life. He hoped it would be different for these new discoveries. He hoped they would reveal more insights into his life before the accident.
But the discoveries were more than revealing, they were startling. It was as if he had opened his personal Pandora's Box.
Takki was in almost all of the photos. They were evidence of their vacations in Guam, Hawaii and Spain. They were also evidence of their intimacy. As the pages turned, the photos got racier and they got more naked. What started off as photos of innocent chaste kisses on the cheeks, developed to French kisses, to full-on snogging, to hungry petting, then to... There was even a comical picture of Takki, with eyes almost popping out of their sockets, looking at a very engorged chin chin ii. It was then followed by a series of playful yet sex-charged photos; tongue on the head, tongue on the underside, tongue on the balls. Basically, there was a lot of tongue everywhere.
As if turning mechanical, Tsubasa rewound all his previous motion. Slowly putting all the photo albums back into the box, he then carefully placed it back into his wardrobe. Then he collapsed onto the floor. His mind felt drained of all mental ability and even his emotions had been stunned into malfunction. Futilely, he asked himself, 'Was that real? Should I pretend? Pretend that I've never seen them?'
Takki stood at the edge of the cliff. It was a beautiful day. And today, Tsubasa was getting married.
'It's so beautiful. Let's get married here,' Tsubasa once said, during their many trips to Maui.
Takki could still remember it like it was yesterday. The sky was crystal clear like today, not a cloud in sight. But Tsubasa wasn't getting married here. And he wasn't getting married to him.
'On a clear day, you can see forever. Tsubasa, where's our forever?' Takki asked forlornly, looking out into the emptiness before him.
'Here and now?'
Takki was so immersed in his grief that he failed to notice that Tsubasa had sneaked up on him.
Fuelled with hope, Takki hardly wavered before grabbing him very emotionally by the arms, asking, 'Did you remember? Remember us?'
'I'm sorry. I... I saw pictures of us together. And Jin said you might be here.'
The silence that followed was so deafening that Tsubasa could hear a tiny heart break.
Although crestfallen, Takki put up a brave front and gave a tight-lipped smile.
'But can we still be friends?' Tsubasa asked.
'Friends first. In future... I don't know what will happen or what can happen. But I'd like us to be friends. Can we?'
Takki didn't know how to answer. Then he suddenly remembered Tsubasa's wedding.
'I'm not sure. Maybe you were right. It was gratitude not love. And Yuri deserves better.'
'Besides, it's so beautiful here. I think I'd rather get married here.'
Hearing that, Takki once again allowed himself to hope. Reaching out for Tsubasa's hands, he gave them a tight squeeze.
'You haven't answered me yet.'
'Only if it's friends with benefits.'
'What kind of benefits?'
'The kissing kind. May I kiss the "groom"?'
Taking his silence as consent, Takki planted a light but lingering kiss on Tsubasa's welcoming lips.
At that moment, Takki made a vow. No matter if he was a lover, stranger or friend, he would stay by Tsubasa's side forever. This time, it’ll never end.
~ End ~ More at http://avery-averette.livejournal.com. Enjoy!