Feathers from Angels
Chapter I: The Breath.
There was no one on the lake. No one but a lonely guy… And he wasn't thinking of anything special. Under the moonlight crescent, he was only thinking about the lake. Craig was very sad and he couldn't fathom his friend's reaction. He stepped forward into the lake, and his feet finally touched the water. Cold, as his friend's temper. He only wanted his affection and nothing else but apparently it was too much to ask for. Craig was living in a world where no one could see what the real love was. He softly remembered about his words: "Even if I loved you, we could not be together anyway." Craig did not want to remember about it. Now, he's tears were running down his cheeks, He did not catch them from falling has he was used to do But he found the only solution left was to keep the secret into the lake she was going to die in. He slowly moved and he, all of a sudden, felt as if he were flying above the sky... A sky of water, matter fact. A sky he already knew… The one of the infinite love, full of despair stars. A sky filled with a nothingness of sadness. Nothing more than sadness. As his feet gently left the ground, he let his body laying on the surface.
"I made this wish but these stars never took a little time to make them come true."
He watched the nighttime sky, softly remembering about the boy, the only one who lived inside his thoughts, the one who had him dreaming at night... Or could it be: the one that destiny doesn't want him to live with... His friend, his best friend Alex... Crazily in love with plenty of girls and always asked Craig to help him out with a couple of problems he had when he wanted to go out with him. Desperately watching at the stars, he lowered his voice and said, nearly audible:
"I knew I shouldn't do this but now it's too late... What a singular problem anyway. Either I told him and he would rejected me, or I didn't tell him and I'd be cursed to love a boy..."
Craig was crying. Tears were running but not the way they usually fell. They were leaning on each sides of his cheeks and they melted away in the water of the lake. Emptily, he lost himself into the wide firmament, not understanding why the stars did cast a spell on him. As if they were responsible of the worst misfortune someone could have... He could not be loved by the love of his life. Nothing made sense anymore. Nothing but a voice. His voice. Alex's voice.
"Craig! What are you doing?"
The boy came to save him, because he perfectly knew his best friend was about to do something desperate. Craig was already frail, inside his mind, but he was even worse when Alex told him he could never be with him. Alex took Craig's hand removed him from the water. Craig's eyes were closed. Cold, if he were dead, all of a sudden. He weakly opened his eyes.
Nothing sparkled in the night. Nothing but the moon. Nothing but the dim light Alex could sometimes watch, when he raised his eyes in order to understand what lead his best friends but he finally found answers, he knew, and he irremediably negated this love.
"Craig, are you insane, you could have died inside this lake! What's the matter with you... You're so strange. I don't understand you at times and this highly scares me."
Craig had his eyes all opened. He wanted to die but even death did not want to take him that night. This could have prevented the deep pain he was going to survive from. But his words were purely imperfect, the mere reflection of his futility, being a human, loving another man. Who knew? Paradise maybe could give you the love you always wished for. Craig tried to articulate as best as he could:
"Alex... Come hither please... Let me tell you something which isn't set clear in your mind. I love you. I don't know which other words I should use to make you understand that my heart doesn't know anything else, doesn't know anyone else but you. If I'm wrong or if you're thinking I'm crazy to think so then please set up my death and let me die right here. If I cannot be with you, I'd rather die than living out your smiles and your happiness, still alive."
A cold wind went to move Alex's mid-long hair. The wind brought the silence between them. But Alex did not want to let it last for any longer. The more minutes were spent and the colder the wind blew them:
"Craig, I don't agree with your behavior. This is purely childish... What just do you think you're now doing? Don't you think I love you too? The thing you're trying to do doesn't make any sense... I love you Craig. I love you but..."
Craig's face darkened. He contested before Alex could keep on going:
"No. Give it up just yet. 'I love you' shall never be followed by a 'but'... Or it doesn't really mean love. I hope you didn't come until here only to tell me what I wanted to hear..."
Alex came near Craig, and he bent down to face Craig's laid down face. He closed his eyes and began a long and passionate kiss. Craig's tears began to run and he couldn't know either these tears were the result of an extremely high despair or else a high joy.
"It might be strange but I always loved you. I only though people would not agree this relationship and that is the reason why I never said anything to you... Why I was hiding in order not to reveal anything to anyone. But I do love you. The reason why we could never be happier is that I know people too much. I know..."
Craig lastly smiled. Although he smiled to hide his unconditional pain...
"You know we are both going to suffer if don't end it by now... Right?"
Alex did not move. Neither did he say anything. The soft noises of the lake candled Craig, and he watched it the lake, slowly moving it waves. He did not want to say it was right. What Craig said was the truth. Even though he was trying to escape from his fate with other girls, the only one he really saw and hoped for was Craig. And he has always been...
"I cannot risk losing everything despite my love for you... Being different from the others is definitely not something easy to live, Craig. Are you aware of that?"
Craig stood up and didn't answer. He put his hands inside his pocket. Craig didn't not especially want to die but the only thought of him, living painfully only gave him a way out in death. Alex also stood up and walked until he reached Craig's arm. He said, with eyes full of awareness:
"Tell me we will never be bothered in any kind of way, if I ever wanted to be with you and I wouldn't tell you anything else. I would love and no apprehension would enclose me in any kind of way. I promise you."
Craig didn't face him. He cried when he heard those words. But he didn't do any noise, a testifier of his screaming pain. He only said, trying to make his voice appear natural:
"Love between men is always something to be bothered with, for them. But the thing is... I know we are able to find happiness, at last."
Alex started to smoke. He usually smoked when he was stressed out or in pain. But this time, he was really moved by the self-confidence. He briefly watched Craig and told him:
"How could you be so sure? What do you call happiness, after all?"
Chapter II: Love As A Happiness Source.
Craig went back home, completely soaked. Not only was he soaked by the pouring rain, falling down the city but also was he because he tried to commit suicide in Cyprian Lake. Everything looked grayish, even though the night came faster than anyone could have thought. Craig tried to picture a life of happiness, life of a blissful love and hardly manage to really see the way he was living. For all he could remember, all that he ever wanted was Alex. But Craig knew his wishes never meant to become real, since life was far from being a fairy tale.
"God is surely hearing my pain… What could be the reason why he doesn't help me to get through?"
Craig should be happy. Alex finally told him he was in love but he couldn't help but to remember about yesterday…
"Alex, may you wait for me please, I have something to tell you…"
Every pupil was heading to their classes while Craig and Alex were hanging in the corridors. Alex gently smiled and he could not know what was coming.
"This is not something I'll tell you, actually, but something you'll read. It is far easier for people to tell things rather than saying it."
Alex wasn't really curious to know about the little paper that Craig held him, but in a sense, his best friend gave it to him… What a better reaction than opening it and finding out about the message in him.
~ You are meant to be someone in this world but you truly mean the world to me. ~
Nobody ever wrote these words for Alex. Plus, he'd never thought he once would read about these words. No, never. And surely not if it came from his best friend... Even though the message was full of intention, there was long way to go before Alex thought he would be loved that way. Of course, people were going to say many things about Craig, and it was not something Alex was really craving for happening. But if we dare face the reality, there was no way it could be possible. His friend called him, he quickly shoved the letter to his pocket and he was thinking about this. It was impossible for him to completely focus on what was happening.
Alex walked alone on a wide corridor, in the high school and he started thinking about the kind of reactions that he would have if Craig ever came to him for more.
"Hey Alex, it's not usual to see you here… What are you thinking of?"
A brown-haired gently came near him. She was called Misaki, and she used to go out with Alex. They had a very powerful relationship but he finally left her, for no reason he could think of, in reality. Maybe he was only bored to be with her, maybe their couple did not work but the girl always wanted to know about this and never Alex gave a proper answer. What a frustrating situation, for a girl, don't you think?
"Hey Misaki, what do you want from me, you should just leave me alone and get going to something else, more interesting."
She smiled, and she got used to hearing those kinds of replies, not very friendly. But she knew him, or at least, she thought she did. She watched him carefully and told him:
"Please, don't pretend you just don't want to see me around, come on. As if we did not go out for 2 years. I know you, and I know each weird corners of your mind. There's just one thing I never understood, and I already told you. Even though you left me, the reason is still obscure."
Alex walked until he was at the foot of a tree. Right there, he sat down and watched her. He did not smile, he did not do anything else but watching her. She knew this gaze, she knew he was about to say something he didn't even like himself.
"Misaki, if I tell you the reason why I left you, would you mind leaving me alone for good? And by 'good', I mean for the rest of my life and death?"
She looked tensed and unwell, at this moment, but she didn't show anything and she joined him. She didn't sit down but she stood up, right in front of him.
"I'm all ears."
Alex did not know where to start. He remembered everything he had been through, when he used to be with her and those weren't bad memories at all. At first, he wanted to say anything in order to get rid of her but the truth is the story he invented was quite not invented, in point of fact.
"I was in love with Craig."
Chapter II: Love As A Happiness Source.
She glared at him like she never did before, a bit shocked but she wouldn't give way like that. Reproachfully, she said:
"I don't believe you, Alex. I don't believe you. You're lying and you're not even ashamed to. If you were in love with him, why wouldn't you say it to me, then? I cannot believe what you're saying, what you're even thinking you're doing. You're pretending you're gay? How shameful! You could at least be a man and tell me the real reason, but I assume you just don't want to see me around ever again. If so, fine! Lord, your wish is my command. But I think you're a coward, not to face the reality!"
Alex became very serious. He face changed all of a sudden, from indifference to seriousness, from seriousness to anger.
"You don't know anything about me. You don't know anything at all. I am not pretending for nothing. If you don't believe me, cheers. But I will never let you insult me the way you did. I don't lie. I'm not even proud of this little story but don't goddamn psychoanalyze me, don't think you know me by heart. I don't want to talk to you ever again. If you cannot give valid arguments then get away! I'm not here to bear all of the things you have to say."
Misaki stared at him. She did not think that could ever be possible since he always acted as if he was not attracted by men. And to say the least, nothing is ever what it seems. She sat down and watched him. She took one of his hands and kissed him, deeply, as he wouldn't expect…
Craig wanted Alex as for a company but apparently Alex didn't need any other company but the girl who just kissed her. Craig would have been angry if he wasn't injured. He was bleeding. Blood on his face, blood on his skin. He had been injured by people who knew he was homosexual. Physically . He started to cry. He cried but nothing was sounded. Only tears were visible and those incredibly melted away. Alex looked sorry, and he felt like he broke Craig's heart.
"I hate you."
Craig said. But these words did not echo as true, even to Craig himself. Alex stood up and he tried to prevent Craig from running but incredibly failed. Craig ran. He ran away far from everything. He ran away, ran to a place where nobody could hit him again. Hit him because of the way he loved someone else, hit him because of people who could not stand being in presence of what they would call bad influence for their children. Once again, Craig weakly whispered:
"I hate you, Alex. No one ever made me feel that hurt, the way you did."
In a nighttime, Craig sat down on a wall, in one of Tokyo's cold streets. It was really cold outside, maybe his tears were going to be frozen but he couldn't stop them from falling. Moon rays gently touched the surface of his skin, and Craig's dark hair look half white and half dark. This perfectly matched with the sad fact. Even though life is as plain as a dark hair, moonlight's ray may touch you and leave you different forever…
"I read your message, Craig."
Indeed, Craig's best friend always knew where he was at.
"I don't really care, now I know what you think about it. It is okay. You should leave."
Alex didn't say anything but he took a sit, right next to Craig. Alex couldn't help but to whip Craig's tears. It has always been like that, ever since people only showed hatred to him. Craig watched Alex carefully but could not find a way to accept his apologizes.
But Alex didn't let him finish anything. He did a sign to make him stop talking any further. He had a very angry look and it seems like he was about to explode at anytime. Calmly, although he wasn't calm at all, he intended to say:
"Who did these wounds to you? Just say a name and I shall deal with this matter personally.
- That's insane, Alex, you could not go hit everyone the way you'd like to do it now."
Alex was furious. Craig never saw him in that kind of state and to be real, he was scary.
"Craig, I'm not playing. I'm going to wait here until you tell me."
For fear of suffering from Alex's anger, Craig spoke in those terms:
"Ask you dear homophobic friends. It's seems like you're always trying to defend them against me, now here's the result."
Alex departed, he ran, with that rage, which was already lurking deep inside him, and which was now spreading throughout his whole body and soul. Craig stood up and ran after him. He tried to run as fast, but that was quite impossible. When Craig finally manage to find where Alex was, he did what he wanted to do.
"What did you do, Alex? Are you crazy or what? You didn't have to do this."
Alex slowly walked in front of him. With a very serious look, he said:
"I read about your message. I must admit I was quite surprised. I am flattered but that cannot be possible. I don't want to be your world, Craig. You are my best friend. Don't you think it's appropriate to tell things like this to me? I am sorry if I am a bit harsh but you knew this would not go anywhere, right? The only thing I don't understand is: what now? Do you think I may fall into your arms and be lovers like you were seemingly picturing us to be?"
Craig did not utter the slightest word. He felt shocked, he felt bitter, he felt so many things at the same time, and to be real, he was himself unable to describe that shock. He turned his back to Alex and tried not to cry. Alex retained him:
"Craig, wait. I didn't mean any harm, but you have to be realistic. Please understand what you said to me is just not possible. I am sorry."
Craig walked away without saying anything.
He walked on the street, at night. He didn't mind the standard-lamps, all along the way he was strolling around. He did not search anything. In fact, he was lost, but he actually got lost on purpose. Many thought were coming to haunt his head but he tried to hijack them, without any success. He thought his mind was on overload. It was not good. Good didn't even mean a thing, how useless would it be, if he had tried to know what good and bad things are, now. Nothing mattered anymore.
~ Flashback over ~
Alex came to Craig's place, four days after Craig tried to commit suicide. He entered the house and he unhurriedly ambled in. He went upstairs and he was now in front of Craig's room. He was scared. Not scared about him, but scared about what Alex told him. He quietly knocked at the door. He could come in:
"How are you?
- Alex, you never ask this question unless something's truly amiss. I invite you not to turn round and round but to be straightforward.
- I am afraid of being in love with you."
To be continued…