Categories > Original > Romance


by Hisui 0 reviews

Kyote Chumei meets an albino boy that changes his life forever, but is there more to this odd boy than meets the eye? ~A simple, but sweet love story between two boys~ These characters are my ...

Category: Romance - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Fantasy, Romance - Published: 2007-06-08 - Updated: 2007-06-08 - 9528 words - Complete

"Can you see Heaven?"

That simple phrase is the key to the chain of events that changed my life forever. I met Mitsuko Shino in my last year of high school, but let me start at the beginning. I am an introvert and I admit it. Large crowds just do not appeal to me at all. I was walking through one as quickly as I could on my way to the library when someone bumped into me. On reflex, I caught the offending body before it fell and looked at the face. Fine featured and extremely pale, it held eyes too light a blue to be native, but too slanted to be foreign. As I looked into those strange eyes, it felt as though a bolt of electricity ran through me and if the boy's pale face was anything to go by, he felt it as well. He stood slowly and whispered an apology, then turned and hurried on his way.
I watched him as he left and noticed he was slim, but I could sense a hidden strength. He was only a little shorter than my 5' 10" and his form fitting uniform accentuated his leanness. Our near identical height was where the similarities ended, however. He was the light to my dark. His hair was so light it was almost white and his eyes put the sky to shame with their blueness. My hair was blacker than midnight in winter and my eyes were so dark that many people think they are black at first glance. Truthfully, they are dark, dark green. As he walked away, I felt this instinctive...something. A yearning, perhaps? Either way, it didn't matter because I had to get to class.
That night found me thinking about him. I had never seen him before, so he must have been a new student. I found myself wondering what his name was and where he was from to look like that. He reminded me of foreigners I had seen in magazines and movies, but he looked Japanese if you didn't consider his coloring. The hair could have been bleached and the eyes could have been contacts, but I doubted they were. I usually go with my instinct and my instinct was saying it was all natural. I resolved to find out more about him the next day.
Unfortunately, the next day when I asked people if they knew anything about him, even just his name, I came up with nothing. Finally, just before lunch, a girl I asked on a whim told me his name was Mitsuko Shino. Armed with that information, I went to the office to see if they would tell me more. They refused to release any information on him and seeing my saddened face, the secretary, who was really a very kind woman, told me that they weren't allowed to release any information on a student without written permission.
Defeated, I went to my personal retreat, which is in the belfry of the school. Our school used to be a church that was closed back in the fifties. It still has a large belfry, but students aren't allowed in it. I go to the belfry whenever I can, of course. It was a little musty and dirty after being left closed for so long, but I took care of that. I spent every lunch period there, and sometimes if I already knew what we were going over in class, I would skip the period and spend it in the belfry.
I walked slowly up the stairs to the belfry and I noticed the door to the small room was already opened slightly. On my guard, I crept closer to the door and peeked in. There was a boy with very pale skin and hair so light it seemed to be almost lit with an ethereal glow in the dim light. He had his back to the door, so he didn't notice me. He was looking out a gap in the boards that I had made to let more light into the small room. Mitsuko-san, I thought to myself.
I opened the door further and walked in. He turned sharply and ducked as though I was going to hit him. It seemed to happen on reflex, not because he gauged the situation to be a precarious one. "Who are you?" I asked frankly. I guessed he deemed I wasn't an immediate threat to his welfare because he straightened up and leaned against the wall. "Mitsuko" he said. I waited for more, but he remained silent, just looking at me steadily. "What are you doing here?" I finally asked, breaking the silence. "It is customary to share one's name with someone you just met, especially after they have shared theirs, is it not?" he said quietly, his tone holding no emotion. I blinked. "My name is Kyote Chumei. Now, what are you doing here?" He closed his too light eyes and sighed. "Just escaping the masses. I was looking for a good place to hang out when I noticed the belfry. I figured it would be nice." He opened his eyes, revealing nothing but the blue of them. "Please forgive me for intruding on your personal space." He bowed slightly. "I will find somewhere else to spend my lunches" he said and began to cross the room to leave. "Wait!" I called. He paused. "I didn't say you had to leave or anything; I just wanted to know who you were and why you were here."
"Oh, in that case, do you mind if I stay?"
"Not at all."
"Thank you."
Neither of us moved for a moment, but then I settled against the wall to the right of the door. He looked around for a moment, and then sat across from the door. I pulled out a small lunch, but I didn't open it. I wasn't very hungry; my curiosity was getting the better of me. I opened my mouth to ask a question, but then I decided against it. "Yes?" he said, the question clear in his eyes as he looked at me. I felt heat rise to my face, but I wasn't sure if he noticed or not. His eyes were totally empty, but not like the emptiness that comes with naivety, but of experience and careful masking. At my lack of response, he continued to say, "You were staring at me." He paused. "My hair and eyes are natural, if that's what you want to know."
"They are?" I had already figured they were, but to hear it straight from the horse's mouth I was surprised all the same. "Are you foreign?"
"No, I am what you call an albino. I'm native all the way through."
He said nothing else as I digested this new bit of information. "So," I said, and then paused. I'm not very good with people. I wasn't sure what to say and I didn't want to offend him. "You're new here, right? Where did you come from?" Something flickered in his eyes, too fast for me to be sure what it was, but it looked almost like curiosity. "South of here. Forgive my rudeness, but why do you want to know?" I was taken aback. Am I asking too many questions? I hope I didn't offend him. I wasn't sure why I was so worried about offending him. I pushed the question to the side and said, "Am I prying too much? If I am, just tell me, I will not ask anymore. Never mind, I'll just stop talking now."
"No, no! It's not that!" He looked almost panicked. "It's just, well..." He drifted off and then took a deep breath. "No one is ever interested in me. People just leave me alone as if they are afraid to catch whatever it is that makes me an albino, at best. At worst, they bully me and call me names." Almost as though he had forgotten I was even there, he pulled up the edge of his shirt to reveal a horde of old scars. His finger traced the edge of one gently. "Or they beat me up." He paused and then whispered, "They said things like 'You're so pale, I bet your blood is transparent. Let's find out' or 'You can't be human, let's see if you bleed like one.'" His eyes focused on me once more. "Humans are cruel creatures. That is why I moved here. That's why I am up here-to avoid all the jackals down there." He motioned towards the floor. I wasn't quite sure what to say to that. "Well, I won't be like that. I give you my word. You can come here whenever you like." He smiled at that, but it didn't quite reach his eyes. They seemed weary. "You know, that's not the first time I have heard something like that, but this is the first time I have felt that it was sincere." His eyes brightened a little at my smile.
So, that's how it all started. Every day, I would meet him in the belfry for lunch. Occasionally, when I would skip, he would be there also. Sometimes, we would talk; other times, we would just enjoy the comfortable silence between us. I found myself really enjoying my time with him and one day I told him so. He appeared startled for a moment, but then he smiled. He had been doing that more often now. His smile just kept getting bigger and bigger until a throaty chuckle rolled out of his mouth. "Really?" he asked me. Over time, we had stopped sitting so far apart; now, we sat side by side. He laughed and laughed until tears threatened to fall from his eyes. It was the first time I had ever heard more than an appreciative giggle out him. Finally, he calmed down and he leaned his head on my shoulder. "That's a first."
"Is it?" I asked.
"Yeah" he sighed, "no one has ever said they enjoyed my company before. I'm sorry about laughing, but it filled me with such joy. I couldn't contain it!" He sighed again happily and snuggled into me slightly. "You're comfy," he said softly, already on his way to sleep. Heat always made him sleepy and it was quite warm in the belfry, but even worse outside. I craned my neck and looked at him. That was the first time he had ever slept leaning against me, and so it was the first time I had looked at him this close. I watched his finely featured face with its high cheekbones and full lips and arched eyebrows and long, platinum lashes framing large eyes that were so blue they were like the bluest ocean. They were hidden, but I knew exactly what they looked like. I felt the irresistible urge to wrap my arm around him and pull him close. I blinked sharply. What am I thinking?! He's my friend! I thought. I looked back at him, torn between pulling him closer and pushing him away. The bell to signify it was almost time for class rang and I sighed in relief, having been spared making the decision. I shook him gently and his eyes cracked open. "It's time to go. Come on" I said to him. He sat up slowly and rubbed his eyes with his fists like a young child. He stretched a little, yawned, and then said "Sorry about falling asleep like that. The heat-" "Makes you sleepy. Yeah, I know" I cut him off. I began walking to the stairs to leave the belfry. "I don't mind you sleeping on me." I paused. Where did that come from? I really don't mind, will he take that? I thought. "As long as you don't drool," I added. I flashed him a smile and was greatly pleased to find that he was smiling as well. "Oh, no, I wouldn't want to ruin your shirt. Snoring now," he paused to let a dazzling smile through, "that I can't promise." I laughed and walked to class.
About a month after that, I deemed it was socially acceptable to invite Shino to my house. We agreed to meet in the belfry after school and then we headed to my house. We stopped to get a snack at the store and talk. When we got to my house, it was about 4:30, an hour after school let out. My dad was home, but my mom was still at work. She was a doctor at the local hospital. My dad was a successful businessman and sometimes went on trips lasting weeks. He had just gotten back from one of these business trips that day and was resting when we got there. He got up to greet Shino, though. "Well, young man, it's very nice to meet one of my son's friends. What is your name?" Shino seemed to be reserved again, something I hadn't seen in awhile. "I am Mitsuko Shino. It is very nice to meet you, Kyote-sama." My father was quite taken aback. I'm not sure if he had ever been called Kyote-sama in all his life.
"Well, er, I think sama is a bit excessive; there's no need for that. San will be fine. You are my son's friend after all." He turned to me. "Have fun and please try not to be too loud. I'm going to be taking a nap." I promised we wouldn't bother him and went to my room, Shino following quietly. Once we were seated comfortably, he gave me that Look that said 'I have something to say, but I don't want to, so if you don't notice this look and ask me, I won't say anything at all'. Over time, I had gotten very good at reading his Looks. He used them more than anyone I had ever met. Almost as though he has been trained not to speak out of turn, I thought.
"What is it, Shino-kun?" He didn't look at me, but instead chose to continue staring out of the window. "You...have a very nice father, Chumei-kun... You are very lucky...," he whispered. My heart went out to him and the pain very apparent in his voice. "What is it? Shino-kun?" He looked at me and blinked. "Oh, nothing, never mind. Come on! I wanna play that new video game you've been bragging about." I let him change the subject, but I didn't forget it. I knew something was wrong. Shino only ever said wanna or something so obviously grammatically incorrect when something was wrong.
One day, my father left on a business trip to close a very important deal. He would be gone for at least a week. My mother was working hard and that night she was stuck at the hospital working late with no idea when she might get home. She was sure it wouldn't be before midnight, though. The teachers were piling on the homework and I stayed up late working on a paper that was worth 30% of my grade for this semester. I glanced at the clock on my desk. It read 9:57. I yawned and stood to stretch. I winced when I heard my bones popping, but felt relived after the stretch. I flopped on to my bed and stared at the rain pelting the glass of my window. It had been rainy all day, but the storm waited until late to unleash its true fury. I wore what I usually wear to bed: long flannel pants and no shirt.
Suddenly, I heard someone begin banging on my front door. Cautious as always, I peeked outside before opening the door and was surprised to find Shino soaking wet, sobbing, and clutching a shoe in his hand. I opened the door quickly and he pounced on me, crying, bringing me to the floor under him. He curled against my chest and continued weeping. Confused as I probably could be, I kicked the door shut and waited for him to slow his crying. He showed no signs of stopping anytime soon, and he was soaked with rainwater, getting my floor-and me-wet. He had started to shiver and I didn't think that wet clothes would be helping. Putting any protests out of my mind, I began to undress him. His sobbing slowed and he began to hiccup as he realized what I was doing and he helped me. I left his clothes there and carried him in only his boxers to my room. I laid him on my bed and covered him up. I stood and went into my bathroom to change my pants, which were soaked from lying under Shino for so long, and to get a towel to dry Shino's hair. When I came out, Shino had curled into a small ball on the center of the bed and was looking at me with panic and pain filled eyes. "Please... don't leave me alone... Chumei..." he whispered. I went to the bed and lied down next to him, wrapping my arms around his torso, lending him my warmth and strength. I didn't have any idea what had happened to him, but I would ask later. I patted his hair dry as well as I could with him curled around me the way he was. It was still damp when I put the towel on the ground next to the bed, but at least it wasn't dripping. I laid awake watching him as his heart rate and breathing slowed to deep sleep. As he warmed, I saw that his cheek was very red and he had a large purple bruise on his arm. It looked like someone had grabbed him very hard, probably in a rage, and had quite possibly hit him. But who? Who would hit Shino? I thought. I fell asleep with thoughts plaguing my mind.
My alarm went off at six o'clock sharp, pulling Shino and me from our shared slumber. Shino gasped and pulled up sharply, obviously still in a panic. He looked around for a moment and relaxed with a sigh. He looked down at me and said, "We should go ahead and get up if we're going to get to school on time. He moved to get up from the bed, but I reached out and pulled him back down. He landed on his back and I pinned his arms at the sides of his head and loomed over him. "We're not going anywhere until you tell me what the hell happened last night."
"I figured as much" he sighed. "I suppose that you wouldn't believe it was just a nightmare, would you?"
"A nightmare wouldn't send you all the way to my house in a panic during a thunderstorm with only one shoe on and the other clutched tightly in your hand like you didn't even realize it was there. I know something happened last night and I took you in without any questions, so I think I deserve an explanation." He turned his head to look away from me. I caught his chin and forced him to look me in the eye. "I know that someone grabbed you last night on your arm," I said as I brushed my other hand, feather light, across the bruise on his upper arm, "and someone hit you." I brushed my thumb gently across his cheek where the bruise could clearly be seen. He didn't flinch away as I stroked. "Well, I guess I should start at the very beginning so you'll understand." I nodded and lay next to him, looking at the ceiling, but listening intently.
"The people that I live with now are not my real parents. The woman whom I call mother now tried to adopt me, but her husband didn't want a child that had something 'wrong' with him. My mother tried to convince him, but he would have none of it. Eventually, she simply adopted me without his consent. We lived south of here then. All the time that I have been with this family, Mother's husband has been on my back about everything. He is constantly calling me a freak and when I would get bullied, he would say it was my fault for being so weird. The only support I would get would be from my mother.
About the time I was 13, the bullies had started to get more violent. They carried knives." He stopped for a moment and ran his hand across his scarred chest and stomach. So many painful memories etched forever into his skin, a constant reminder that not only is he different, but that he is hated for it. "At first, I was warned to hide it from everyone, so I did, even from my mother. Once, after a particularly nasty attack, I came home covered in blood and still bleeding from a wound in my stomach. That was when we started moving, hoping to find a place that wouldn't mind my being an albino. It never worked out. I'm 17 now and this is the nicest place we have found so far and you're my only friend." He smiled and looked at me. I smiled back.
He closed his eyes and continued. "Yesterday, Mother's husband and I woke to find her gone. She left a note saying that she would be back soon, but she needed a vacation from her husband. I got out of the house without incident, luckily. I think he was in shock that Mother would just up and leave him like that.
After school, I was at the library working on the paper that Mrs. Rose gave us, you know, the one that is 30% of our grade. I stayed there until it was about to close, around 9:30. When I left, it was raining. I was soaked by the time I was only halfway home." He stopped to yawn. "Worse, a car drove by and splashed me with dirty street water. By the time I got home, I was cold, wet, dirty, and tired. I was removing my shoes when he came in and saw my condition and how I was dripping dirty water onto the floor. He flew into a rage and grabbed me to stop me from going anywhere while he did whatever he was going to do. I struggled, of course, then he back-handed me across the cheek. I realized then that he must have been drunk. He had threatened to hit me before, but he had never done it. I guess my fear gave me strength, because I suddenly found myself free of him and going down the street. I don't recall the actual running, but I do remember thinking 'Chumei-kun will keep me. He will keep me safe.' Then I remember seeing you and... gets...fuzzy..."
He drifted off and I looked at him again. Is he asleep? I thought. I waited for more from him. After a few minutes, I looked at him again. It looked like he was asleep. I leaned over him again and looked close. He's so... beautiful...for a guy...I wonder...I lifted a hand and traced his lips with one finger. I wonder what his lips feel like... taste like... I leaned closer almost without realizing it. I slowly pressed my lips against his. My eyes began drifting shut... His eyes are so beautiful...His eyes! I noticed suddenly that his eyes were open. I jerked back in embarrassment. "I-I'm sorry-" "Don't apologize. Please don't apologize. I have wanted you to do that for so long." He sighed and put his hands on my shoulders. I smiled and said "Really?"
"Yes. Will...will you do it again?"
"I think that I have wanted to do that to you for a while, too." I leaned down again and kissed him once more. This kiss lasted longer and Shino moved it to the next step when he parted his lips slightly and ran his tongue across my lips slowly. It was a strange sensation, feeling someone else's tongue, but I met it with my tongue and showed him what it was like.
He pulled back and smiled. "So I told you 'what the hell happened last night', as you said, but are we going to school today?" I leaned down again and kissed his unbruised cheek softly. "Nah," I said. "We'll just stay home today, you know, to give your bruises a chance to heal a little." "Is that all? Just to have my bruises heal?" Shino asked as he rolled us so that he was on top. I grinned from my new position on bottom. "Well, maybe, maybe not. I guess you'll have to find out, won't you?" His smile turned into a wicked smirk at my words and he pulled my hands above my head and used his leverage to pin them there. I let my eyes widen and said "Torture isn't allowed."
"Kissing isn't counted as torture."
As he leaned down to unleash his 'not torture' methods of getting information, someone knocked on the door to my bedroom. "Chumei! Wake up! You have school!" A pause. "Are you feeling okay?" It was my mother. Shino whispered quietly and quickly "Are you going to tell her you're sick?" I rolled him off of me and said "Are you crazy? No! She's a doctor! She would have us examined so thoroughly that we would wish for school!"
"Surely you're exaggerating-"
"No. I know from experience." I said nothing for a moment. "Cover up Shino." He covered himself, making sure his scar-covered torso wasn't visible. I got up and walked to the door. I opened it and saw my mother looking back at me worriedly. I could tell she was still very tired from her late shift. "Mom, please come in for a moment. I'm not feeling sick, but I need to tell you something." Curiosity replaced the worried look in her eyes and she followed me into my bedroom. She stopped short when she saw Shino. "Who is that, Chumei?" she asked. I sat on the edge of the bed and she settled down next to me, but kept her eyes on Shino.
"Mom, this is Mitsuko Shino. He is a friend from school and he came to me last night because his step father hit him." I motioned to the bruise on his cheek and the one on his arm. She scooted closer and looked at them thoroughly. "These seem to be okay" she said after looking at them for a moment. I continued with "His mother isn't on the scene at the moment and he has no where else to go." Her brow furrowed as she looked at Shino. "I understand" she began finally. "You did the right thing Mitsuko-kun. No one should ever be forced to live in abusive conditions. You may stay here as long as you deem necessary." She smiled kindly at him. "I know how it feels to be threatened. You can come here anytime you like. Hopefully, the next time you're over, it will be for a nicer reason." He smiled back and I said "Do you mind if we stay home from school today? His bruises might raise some questions."
"Of course. Mitsuko-kun, are you going to be staying for another night?"
"Well, I would love to, if it wouldn't be too much of an inconvenience."
"Not at all. You should go get some more clothes so you can stay here for a while today, if you think that it will be okay for you to go back to your house."
"It should be fine...As long as Chumei comes with me. I don't want to meet Him by myself." Shino looked at me pleadingly. "Don't worry. I'll go with you." My mother patted me on the knee and said "Well, now that that's all taken care of, what are you two going to do today?" Shino and I looked at each other. "Well, we'll eat-" Shino began. "And play video games-" I continued. "And talk-" Shino said next. "And-" I began, but my mother cut me off with "And do your homework."
"Oh, Mom! Come on!" I protested. "No, if you are staying home from school and I am to condone it, then you can't slack on your homework. I will call the school to let them know you are staying home-and I'll let them know about you too, Mitsuko-kun-and ask them if they can get someone to bring you your homework. Those are my terms; take it or leave it." I paused to consider and look at Shino. He sighed and nodded slightly. "Fine. You have a deal."
"Great, now I'm going to be out today-" my mother said.
"Aren't they overworking you a little at the hospital?" I cut in. My mother laughed and said "Oh, I'm not going into work today after that late shift last night! I'm planning on a day at the spa. A new one opened up a few streets over and I'm just dying to try it out." I smiled. Her face always lit up so bright when she had a day off to go to the spa. "All right, Mom. Have fun."
"I plan to. Thank you" she said as she was leaving. After a moment, she poked her head back in. "I'm leaving now, okay? Don't do anything you wouldn't do if I were here." I tossed a grin at her. "Right."
"Oh yeah, and be good, too."
"Man, you always have to add that don't you?!" I groaned as she smiled. "We'll be fine, Kyote-san. Have a good time at your spa." Shino said, laughing lightly at our antics. "Okay, bye, you two."
"Bye, Mother."
"Good-bye, Kyote-san"

That day, we lazed about. I found out that Shino can't cook anything except for cheese omelets but he cooks really good ones. Needless to say, we had omelets, but with bacon and cheese because I made bacon. We both played games and talked a bit, mostly about school. We worked a little on my homework when taking breaks from the game. Around two o'clock, we decided to go get Shino some more clothes and his homework. He took a shower and I put his clothes in the dryer. They were almost dry when he got out.
I tried not to look, or at least tried to look like I wasn't looking. He caught me anyway and blushed hard. I smiled. "You look so cute when you blush like that" I said as I walked up to him. He turned away to hide his blush. I wrapped my arms around his waist and flirted with the edge of the towel he was wearing to protect his modesty. I kissed his shoulder softly and listened, pleased, when his breath came out in a short gasp. I moved slowly up his neck and to his ear, nibbling gently on the edge. "Almost cute enough to just eat up" I whispered hotly into his ear. He leaned his head on my shoulder behind him to give me more access. His breath was nothing but short gasps and he remained flushed. I stopped in my ministrations to just look at the delectable picture he made. He moaned under his breath and I chuckled and pulled away from him. "And so sensitive." He paused to catch his breath and turned to look at me. "Why..." he said, but then he stopped and he bit his bottom lip. "Why did you..." I grinned, but self-doubt was curling in my belly. "Sorry, but you just looked to good to pass up."
"No," he whispered, "why did you stop?" My doubt turned into something else and moved from my belly to below with the hooded, aroused look he gave me when asked that. My eyes drifted shut and I groaned out "Your... your clothes are done." I managed to pull myself together long enough to leave and get his clothes. When I came back I did not look at his scantily clad form when I gave him his clothes. I grabbed my towel and went to take my shower. I took my clothes in the bathroom with me so when I came out I was already dressed. He was dressed and lying on my bed, waiting on me. I stopped for a moment to admire his form stretched out on my bed and I did not imagine him stretched out on my bed naked, I did not! Well...maybe a little. I couldn't help it! He looked good naked! "Come on, Shino. Let's go." I said walking out of my room.
We got to his house after a while and I could tell that Shino was getting more and more nervous the closer we got. I wrapped my arm around his shoulders and gave him a half hug. "Hey, it will be okay" I told him. He smiled and wrapped his arm around my waist and squeezed. We reached the door to his apartment and he took a deep breath to ready himself. He tried the door and found it was unlocked already. We glanced at each other and I shrugged. We went in and I shut the door behind me. I looked around the room. It was kind of dirty, like it hadn't been cleaned in a couple of days and there were beer cans surrounding a comfy chair situated in front of a TV.
Shino looked around, a frown covering his face. He shook his head silently and called out "Tom?" When there was no answer, he walked around the apartment looking for his stepfather. He didn't find him, but he did find a short note on the kitchen counter. It read "Boy, when you come back I won't be there, so I'm leaving you this message. STAY HERE. Don't leave again and DON'T go spreading it around that I hit you or there will be more where that came from. We need to talk this out. I'm hanging with my friends at Joey's Joint. I'll be back in a few hours. -Tom"
After reading Tom's note, Shino looked at me and noticed that I had read the note over his shoulder. He had a grim smile on his face. "Let me translate this note for you so you aren't confused. He is saying that I should stay here so when he gets back from his drinking fun with strippers at Joey's Joint he can finish what he started last night. He doesn't talk with his mouth; I'm not sure he knows how to. He only talks with his fists." Shino sighed and said "I'll go get my stuff. It looks like I won't be able to come here again anytime soon."
Shino sat the note back on the counter and grabbed a pen. He wrote my number down and under that wrote 'this is where you can reach me.' He put the pen down and went into a back room which I assumed was his bedroom. I stood by the front door, tension apparent in my shoulders. When Shino came back with his bag, he had no trace of a smile on his face, grim or not. His eyes were shut off to the world the way they were when I first met him. I opened the door and he stepped out. I closed the door behind him and followed down the stairs leading from his door.
He stayed slightly in front of me, as if he were anxious to get away. I noticed how defeat seemed to force his shoulders to sag, adding years to his youthful form. Once we were about a block away, I captured his body in a bear hug from behind. He stiffened for a moment, but then he relaxed totally into my arms. I didn't say anything; I just held him. After a few minutes, Shino turned in my embrace and hugged me back. I realized then that he was crying. Not sobbing, just silently allowing tears to fall down his face. We stood like that for what felt like an eternity.
We got back to my house without saying anything about what had happened and how Shino had effectively abandoned his home with his step-father, if you can call it a home. After he cried on my shoulder and I held him, we didn't really need to talk. Everything had already been communicated. When my mother came home, I told her quietly what was going on and she nodded and accepted Shino into our family, just like that. She didn't ask any embarrassing questions or anything; I love that about my mother. We decided that Shino would share a room with me since we didn't have a guest room.
Shino and I worked on and finished our homework and then we played around on the internet a bit. Around dinner time, I taught Shino how to cook something more than omelets and, to my surprise, he picked up on it very quickly. We went back to my-our-room after we ate and we both sat on the bed, one on each side. For a few moments, the only sounds were of our breathing. I wasn't sure what to say and many thoughts raced through my mind. Before I could settle on one however, Shino spoke.
"Chumei-kun, I don't want what happened today to make our relationship awkward at all." I turned to look at him, but he kept his back turned to me. "This is just my life, and I know it may seem bad to you, but you have given me the strength to do something I probably should have done a long time ago." I smiled to myself and laid my hand on his shoulder. He turned to face me. "If you don't want our relationship to be awkward," I said, "don't call me Chumei-kun. Just call me Chumei."
At my words, I saw and felt him relax a bit, so I pressed my lips gently against his lips and waited for him to make the next move. I kept my eyes open and watched him. He left his gaze on me as well and tilted his head and kissed me back. His mouth moved over mine and it felt like a pound of sugar exploded in my mind, it felt so good! I kept my tongue to myself for that kiss and he returned the favor. That kiss wasn't destined to become something more than what it was: a simple show of passion and love for each other. That sensuous pleasure we indulged in spoke every thought that crossed my mind before he spoke and more. It was everything, every pleasure, every feeling of sincere love I had ever felt. It was more genuine than any syllable ever uttered. My heart ached with the absoluteness of it all. We found ourselves lying down, curled around each other in a loving embrace. The kiss finally wound to a halt and we pulled away. We lay there saying nothing with our mouths and everything with our hearts. The gentle thudding seemed to be more potent than any words ever proclaimed and truer than any feeling ever felt. I knew, in that instant, that I loved him. I was suddenly overwhelmed and I buried my face in his neck and he held me close, closer than before. We fell asleep wound around each other.
Our first date was at the park down the street from my house. We went there to watch the clouds and relax, which was something I hadn't done in years. Lying on the grass, our bodies extended in opposite directions and our heads lay side by side. "Look, Chumei, there's one that looks like a dragon!" Shino said, pointing. I shifted my gaze and saw not only a dragon, but a princess as well. "I see your dragon, but what's that in his claw?" I took a dramatic pause and gasped. "It's a princess!" Shino giggled. "Quick, let us find a hero to save her!" he said, catching on. "But where to find one?" We each searched half of the sky. By the time we finished saving our princess from the dragon, a wizard, a glaring clown, and a cursed hippopotamus with an enchanted ice cream cone had joined in the hero's cause. We laughed whole-heartedly at our silliness. We eventually calmed into a comfortable silence. I closed my eyes and fell easily into a half-dozing state.
The sound of my name said softly roused me from my dozing dreams. "Chumei..." He paused. "Can you see Heaven?" I smiled inwardly. Without opening my eyes, I answered him. "No, but I feel it." I felt him lean over me and I opened my eyes to see him looking down at me with an odd look on his face. I smiled again and pulled his mouth closer to my own. "Every time I kiss you, I feel it." He came to me and kissed me. My eyes remained open, watching the clouds behind him, absentmindedly, as most of my focus was on our kiss. A gust of wind disturbed the white masses high above our heads and they reshaped themselves into long fluffy figures. More of my mind focused on the clouds as they settled into vaguely recognizable forms, right behind Shino. They look almost like wings...They look good on Shino...My private angel...I almost laughed at my train of thought. Almost. Just in time I remember the soft press of lips against my own. I pulled away gradually and motioned for him to change his position to lie atop me. He obliged and we continued cloud watching, occasionally stopping for a small kiss or two.
The next time I saw the wings, we weren't outside, although we were kissing. We were in our room relaxing with incense burning. While talking late one night, we found that we both liked incense. However, he favored jasmine while I preferred a light vanilla scent. The night I saw the wings, we lay encased in the calming scent of jasmine. The thin streams of smoke curled around us as we lay entwined making everything fuzzy and soft. It was a very cozy atmosphere. I looked down at Shino snuggled into my chest and smiled. He was so cute! Unable to resist, I drew him to me and kissed him. It was languid and slow, completely unhurried. When he tried to deepen the kiss, I pulled back, forcing him to remain at my pace. I noticed the threads of silver smoke condensing behind Shino. I watched them out of one eye as I leisurely brought my tongue across his lips. Silver lines formed as if etched by an unseen, yet talented, hand, drawing with great detail a pair of feathery, angelic, glowing wings. I skillfully broke the kiss so as to not alert Shino, but as soon as our lips left contact, the wings dissolved into swirling smoke again. Confused quite thoroughly, I put it out of my mind, neither accepting nor denying what I may have seen.
Days and weeks later, I took an important test that I studied for quite diligently. I stayed up most of the night, only getting a couple hours of sleep. Shino elected to stay up and help me, but I sent him to bed around eleven; this was my test and there was no reason for him to lose so much sleep over it. I awoke at seven and left for my test. It was mentally exhausting, but I felt confident in my answers. I came back home to an awaiting Shino. He made me a small snack and laid down with me for a nap. I slept deeply and dreamlessly and don't know how long it lasted.
When I awoke, I was alone. I called out for Shino, but I got no answer. It was then I noticed that there was a piece of paper lying on the table near me. I picked it up analyzed it. It was a note from Shino and it read "Chumei, when you wake up, I probably won't be there. I wasn't really sleepy because you sent me to bed far before you came yourself. I went for a walk. You will be able to find me at this location."
It went on to list the address of a building not to far from my house, only half a mile or so. I stood to leave when my stomach rumbled. I grinned and made a sandwich for myself, then headed out to meet up with Shino. As instructed in the note, I walked to the roof and saw Shino there. He was standing at the very edge of the building and his eyes were closed; he looked to be standing in bliss. I cleared my throat and he turned to face me. He smiled. "Chumei, did you enjoy your nap?"
"Yes, I feel fine now. Why are you here, of all places?" Shino turned back to look out over the city once again, but it didn't seem as though he saw the city itself; it was more like he saw something more, something I couldn't see. After a moment, he spoke. "Chumei, do you feel the wind? Come, stand next to me." I moved to his side. "When I stand here, I feel the wind combing through my hair, plucking at my clothes, and I feel magnificent. I feel as though I'm flying." He looked at me. "Close your eyes and relax. Can't you feel it?" I did as he said and smiled. I could. I wasn't sure it felt like flying because I've never flown, but I could feel something. I felt Shino put his arm around me and hug me loosely. We stayed there until late in the evening, just enjoying the calming wind.
Over the next several months, Shino and I slowly set up a living schedule. We would wake every morning at six o'clock and he would laze about in bed for another fifteen minutes while I took a shower. I gradually became accustomed to him seeing me in nothing but a towel and I grew accustomed to seeing him in such a state of undress; after I finished my shower, he would take his. I would go begin breakfast and when he finished, he would come help me. We would eat, elect to leave the dished until after we got back home and head off to school. At school, Shino had made a few tentative friends once I got him to open up a little around some one other than me. We still met up in the belfry for lunch and no one had caught us yet. School was ending soon for the summer and the last day of school was practically optional. It wasn't actually permitted to skip school that day, but most people did. Shino and I went to school, but spent the day in the belfry making out and talking about anything and everything.
After school let out, we headed out for a night on the town to celebrate our graduating high school. We went to see a movie and ended up having a popcorn war in the theater. Next, we sang karaoke and I found that the voice I loved to listen to could sing with the best of them. Then we stopped at a small restaurant and had dinner, which consisted of miso soup and, later, sashimi. It was getting kind of late and shops were beginning to shut down, so we decided to finally go home. On the way, we saw a cart selling small treats cheap, so we bought some taiyaki tarts and ate them on the way. We made it home, giggling all the while and hanging on to each other for dear life. We were both so exhausted, we were giddy. The sake we had at dinner couldn't have helped much either.
Shino decided it would be too much trouble to undress and collapsed on the bed, fully clothed. I stripped down to my boxers and slipped on my flannel pants. I crawled onto the bed next to Shino and managed to get him dressed for bed as well. We settled down for the night in a tangle of limbs, too tired to be embarrassed at our intimate embrace.
When I awoke, I blearily looked around. My subconscious assessed the situation. I tried moving my toes, then my legs, and so on until I finally tried sitting up. Everything seemed to be working fine. My conscious mind was stirring, so my subconscious relaxed and allowed it to take over. I looked around and realized that I was covered and very much alone. It was still very early and the sun had not come up yet. I deduced that Shino had left me to sleep and covered me up, because I hadn't been covered the night before. "Shino?" I called out for him, but no one answered. I suddenly got a whiff of jasmine, faint, but definitely there.
I got out of bed and walked around calling for Shino. I didn't find him; I didn't even discover a note like I had the last time I woke up alone. My mind began racing, thinking of any place he would be. I quickly pulled on a shirt and shoes, keeping my pants, and left the house to look for him after leaving a note asking him to stay there should he come back before I got there. 'Remind me to get cell phones after this.' I thought as I walked down the street.
The first thing I did was to retrace our steps from yesterday. I ran about, looking for Shino, until I was out of breath. I sat down to rest and think of what to do next. I went quickly back to my house to see if he had come back yet. The house was still empty. I next went to his house.
As I neared, I saw a man going inside in what appeared to be a drunken stupor. I waited until he had entered the building a shut the door before coming closer and peering in the window. The man was sitting in the chair in front of the television. The room was much dirtier than it had been the last time I was there. Tom watched the television with an odd, blank stare and it was then that I recognized his loneliness. In that moment, I found that I could not hate this man, even for all he had done to Shino. I could only pity him. This sad, lonely man who had spent the last seventeen plus years of his life terrorizing my Shino and all I could do was pity him. He had carefully crafted this loneliness, however unintentional it was, and I shook my head silently as I peered in at him. As I watched, I realized that he was crying. I turned away to leave him in his moment of weakness and my mind went on to more pressing matters, such as where Shino could be. The sun wasn't even up yet. I felt the panic rising so I took a deep breath to calm down. Again, I got a whiff of jasmine. Suddenly, I knew where to look. The roof of that building I found Shino at the day of my test! A new destination in mind, I hurried off to find my Shino.
I reached the building and rushed up the stairs with a haste that would have made a track star proud. I burst through the door to the roof and glanced around-but no one was there. I sighed and felt the hot prickling at the back of my eyes that signified tears were on their way. I walked slowly to the edge of the building to see if I could at least feel the wind. Where would Shino go? I thought.
Tears rolled down my face and I couldn't even be bothered to wipe them away. I felt so dejected and so alone. I looked out over the sleeping city and noticed the horizon was beginning to redden announcing the coming dawn. A gust of wind blew from my left and it was laced strongly with the scent of jasmine. I turned to face it and was almost blinded by a blazing white light. I clamped my eyes shut to avoid the blinding. When the light had almost completely faded, I opened my still smarting eyes and saw the gleaming outline of a being there. It slowly metamorphosed into a radiant person. I gaped openly as I took in the resplendent robes adorning his body and the two magnificent, silvery, luminous wings gracing his form and fluttering slightly in the wind. The scent of jasmine enveloped me and I could feel my panic and sadness slowly drain away only to be replaced with awe at this vision before me. His eyes were closed and there was such a look of peace on his face. Unable to speak, I thought to myself 'Is this really Shino? My Shino?' His eyes opened as if in response to my internal question and, as he stared into my eyes, I knew that he was. The glow around him faded and he walked slowly to me, as if worried about frightening me. I stood my ground and when he reached me, he cautiously wrapped his arms around my body and laid his head on my shoulder. "Chumei..." he whispered.
"Shino, what is all this? What's going on?" Shino released me and sat down on the roof, his wings rustling as they shifted out of his way. My body refused to move so Shino tugged me down next to him. I sat slowly, my gaze shifting from his clothing to his wings to his face. My mind was racing. Shino seemed to understand and remained silent to let me think. Finally, my brain and my mouth decided to reconnect. "Shino, are you an angel?" He smiled slightly. "Yes, Chumei, I am."
"Are you my guardian?"
"Then, why-?"
"Oh, Chumei, I love you so much! It was so hard to keep this from you!" He threw his arms around me and pulled me close. "Allow me to explain everything. I am angel and my job is to live on earth among all the humans and check up on them and make sure they are still behaving as they should. I was assigned to live a life as Shino Mitsuko. The day I bumped into you was the day my assignment was supposed to end. I scheduled to commit suicide later that same day and go back to Heaven. I believed I had seen more than enough of how humans behaved. Then I met you and I felt something I had never felt before-"
"That jolt of electricity?" I interrupted. He smiled. "Yes. I had to investigate it further, so I found out where you hung out and decided to meet you there. I told you the truth. You were the first person to really take an interest, besides my human mother. The more I hung out with you, the more I felt sure that you were special. I asked you if you could see Heaven that one day because there have been a few cases where a human could see Heaven. I knew you were special, and I wanted to know how special you were. The answer you gave me wasn't what I was looking for, but it made me realize something. You loved me. Really, really loved me. And realizing that made me realize that I loved you too. The more I stayed with you, the more I loved you. In all the time I have been an angel-which is many times longer than you have been alive-nothing like this has ever happened to me. This morning I finally had to report in. I was going to leave and come back before you knew anything had happened." He laughed. "I guess that didn't work so well, did it?" I smiled. "No, I kind of messed up your plan, didn't I?"
"But guess what else I did while I was away?!" he asked, very excited. "What?" I asked. "I asked to stay and finish a human life with you! And I was granted permission!" he exclaimed and threw his arms around me, bringing me to the ground under him. "I can stay with you until you die!" I smiled. This was the first time I had ever seen him this happy. "You really love me, don't you?" He nodded enthusiastically and snuggled into my chest. I laughed and said "that's good, because I love you, too." We sat up and looked into each other's eyes. The kiss that followed seemed to be the most natural thing in the world. We broke apart just in time to watch the sun rise. Shino sat in my lap and a strong wind was blowing, encompassing us in the scent of jasmine.
Sign up to rate and review this story