I know I disappoint quite a bit on this blog– I say I will post this and that and never get around to it. But I promise that eventually.. eventually we will see the handwritten post on SHINee’s disbandment. That is, if I ever find that sheet of paper. Otherwise, I need to rewrite it. Eventually you will see this and that.
I have more than ten 70% written posts in my drafts folder on WordPress.
The same affects me as a writer. Before, I said something about a Homin fanfic that I was writing, and perhaps releasing it in May. Goodness gracious. I stopped writing it after the opening sequence, and have completely forgot what the plot was supposed to be about. I have done the same with myriad story ideas; I have written a bit, and then something happened– and it sits there, gathering dust.
Perhaps I should take it up again? I have always been terrible at gauging audience interest. In the following lines, I will post a sampling of each unfinished story. If you would like to see anything continued, please let me know by comment, email, whatever, or vote anonymously in the poll– for I do not think I will ever continue any of these stories. By all means, please critique.
Warning: this may take up a lot of your precious time. Please abandon at any moment. I am not that cocky to believe everything I write is gold (much the opposite). One more note, they are all romance/drama!
Title: Gray Twilight
Summary: Blanc is a writer suffering from depression, caused by a difficult childhood. However, there was one bright spot in her childhood, but he is long gone. Blanc writes to escape pain, but lately even this fails, and she hires a professional musician to keep her ‘medicated’.
Oh, darling, she said, as the waitress set down their order. You simply must go.
“I do not feel entirely well,” said Blanc, sipping her cup of cappuccino, looking out at the window, watching the trees sway, watching the little girl walk her black, solemn, Labrador.
“Don’t be this way,” said Lia. “We’ve all been so proud of you winning the Pulitzer… and this is a chance to – Blanc?”
Blanc watched the oak tree’s golden orange leaves fall on the girl and her dog, in swirls dictated by the insouciant wind. Blanc put down the cappuccino onto the saucer with a clatter. “I do not deserve it. It has not been a blessing to me. It has been a burden.”
Lia grasped Blanc’s hand resting on the table with both of her own hands, with manicured and delightedly pink fingernails. “I know, darling. But even so.”
“I do not feel well.”
“Tell them I am deeply sorry to have caused any inconvenience, and would like to extend my thanks to those who have organized it on my behalf.” Blanc stared at the man sitting on the bus stop bench, his shoulders slightly lopsided. She decided he just suffered a heavy emotional blow. His wife had burned in a crematory while adventurously copulating with the crematorium overseer. She released her hand from Lia’s grasp. “This is unnecessary. Accumulating praise on the undeserving, the unworthy is the work of fools. Dear Lia, you know how I hate to see you a fool, though a dear fool you may be.”
“Blanc, you haven’t been thinking of suicide…lately?”
Blanc turned to look at Lia, whose horn-rimmed eyes betrayed a weary anticipation. “No, dear. I have been taking my Prozac daily.” She laughed, a clear bell.
Lia felt disordered when she heard that laugh, quite contrary to her own stark blonde hair tied in a neat bun, a tint of blush. She would not lose Blanc again. She got up quickly, wrapping her scarf matter-of-factly around her, afraid of showing Blanc what she always could see.
“I’ve already gone shopping for you,” Lia told her briskly, taking out a crisp ten dollar bill to pay for their coffee. “I’ll see you at five.” She left, a flash of alligator and black leather.
Blanc sat there for a few moments more, agitatedly fingering a platinum band with a single, small white diamond on her left hand’s fourth finger.
She opened her eyes, in her eyes she could only see…
“Let’s go home.” She sat up, and reached into her pocket. “Promise,” she whispered, clutching the paper. “I can see Polaris.”
“Don’t be silly, the sun’s still out.” He helped her stand up. They slowly walked down the street, both still trapped in their own dreams and reveries of desire. The playful wind teased her loose hand. The contract flew loosely – her mouth curved
and he heard
the first real sounds of
she knew she never had
something that would be lost forever.
into the street. He did not
he could not
see the headlights
he saw his promise
he saw her pain
The headlights blared.
“What fucking kid is running around the street at this time.. what the fuck.” A man with muddy-crimson eyes muttered, his hair shocked into dirtiness and unkemptness. His stained undershirt bore the faint air of fetid desires.
She crawled under the car, and fetched the paper, dirtied and bloodied… all the more dear with… She smoothed back his hair from his pained, sweaty brow. Her breath was shaky, but she steadily held his hand. The ambulance’s roar was dull in her ears. She shrieked as they lifted him, the blood on his head dripping, staining her, getting into her eyes. She shrieked at the man, “Bastard daddy! Bastard daddy!”
It was the first word he heard her say in years. Bastard daddy. She did not cry as the police handcuffed him. She did not speak when the police asked her the address of her home. “Bastard daddy!” she shrieked to oblivion.
His mother overdosed on Fantastik when she could find no more meth. His father was long gone, with his train of prostitutes and zebra hats.
Her father was killed in a fight during his five-year sentence in jail. His fetid desires must have stunk up the whole place, getting into every corner, everything, everyone. Her mother could not deal. Life had dealt her a hand of horrible cards, and the only possible path was suicide, of course. Her daughter would just have to deal, she decided. On Halloween, she hung herself from a tree in the front yard.
Only three days later, when they realized it wasn’t a decoration, the neighbors called the police.
She got shifted to a foster home. He remained in the intensive care unit. She got shifted to another foster home. He remained in another hospital. She never cried. He never cried. She got shifted to another foster home. He disappeared. She never cried. He never cried.
Title: Murder Likely?
Summary: Lucia is the adopted heir of the Laurent Group, and though incredibly intelligent and sometimes intimidating, she has trouble recognizing her human feelings. Though she does not realize it, she has an attachment to Dr. Greene, her teacher. Dr. Greene most certainly has an attachment to her, and he realizes it, very much so. However, enter another heir, Jonathan London, the ‘patron of sodomy’ at a nearby all male’s school, in some ways, Lucia’s opposite. They both have plans for each other, but sometimes life is unpredictable.
I was named for the patron saint of the blind, St. Lucia. So am I told by my distant “uncle” who adopted me. He says that I am his future, and I am the brilliance that will eclipse him, and that I will be the heir to Laurent Group, the vast multinational empire. I am a writer, but he insists.
School is nothing. This last year at St. Elizabeth’s is just a gap year for me, to collect my thoughts, and to help my mentor, Wesley, to continue to guide me. I write at night with him, sometimes, and he accepts it. The first time I showed up at his house, one of those old Victorian ones at the edge of campus, he was surprised, but he was not asleep. It was one o’clock in the morning.
Today, he welcomes me every night, knowing that I like a comfortable desk, and a bright light.
The school knows, and they disapprove. I am the valedictorian, and they try to shuffle me under the carpet, for to them, I am a scandal. I am not a product of their rigorous, innovative curriculum, but I am my own, and that frightens them.
I will help the blind to find their way, when I have found my purpose. Don’t you agree?
The spiraling cord wrapped lazily around my wrist as I put down the phone, not knowing why I picked it up in the first place. Absentmindedly, I gathered my necessities — a green leather-bound notebook, a felt-tipped black pen, and a slightly worn, but crisp, navy sweater, for the lab rooms were always cold.
The start of another school year, but it was my last as a high school student. This year simply did not matter. I was applying to one university only, and I knew they would accept me, welcoming me with wide arms to New Haven.
Due to St. Elizabeth’s block scheduling, today I had two hours of AP Biology, a course that I would hardly need.
It was a new course, so new that only five girls had put it into their schedules, and we were required to integrate with our brother school, St. Johnsbury. Every morning, when I woke up, from my large window facing west, I saw its tall chapel steeple, imperious and forbidding in the dawning clouds.
St. Johnsbury and St. Elizabeth frequently held mixers, but the Formal in the beginning of the year, right before school commenced, was the only one that was compulsory. Needless to say, I did not go. Though a single room was often quiet enough, reading in an entirely silent dormitory is another experience, captivating and wholly liberating.
I walked slowly to class, my eyes resting on the green atmosphere of St. Elizabeth, carefully manicured by thirty or so gardeners. Murray Hall, with its musty brick façade, creaked as I opened the heavy door. I walked into room M04, a freshly painted room of bedazzled white, complemented with professional, sleek black tables. A woman, in her late thirties, stood at the front, almost as dazzlingly white in her white lab coat, splayed over a Pucci patterned dress.
Dr. Archer smiled a sleek hello, and I instinctively took the first seat in the front. I opened my notebook, and wrote today’s date. I put down the pen, and started to watch the clock.
The students came in groups. Iris, Addison, and Reiko came in with desultory laughter and the glowing tan of summer. They were the old money of St. Elizabeth’s, the wealthiest. The ones who frowned upon the nouveau riche, and the ones who frowned upon those had nothing. They frowned upon me, for I was only the adopted, and not a true heir.
Two students who I would later know as Thomson and Ian from St. Johnsbury ambled in a few seconds later, their dark burgundy uniforms ironed expertly, and their white shirts peeping brightly underneath.
It was three minutes after eight, and Dr. Archer began to introduce herself, sitting on the desk in the front, crossing her legs.
The door burst open, revealing a student with light hazel hair – almost a dark blonde – pulling on the hair of another errant pupil. They were both smiling, and a bit breathless, but the student with the light hazel hair recovered himself first, and let go of the other’s hand. He gazed at Dr. Archer for a brief moment before saying, quite simply, “I apologize.”
His voice whispered in the classroom like a light zephyr, though he had said it loud enough for everyone to hear. I noticed everyone suddently sat a little straighter, Reiko self-consciously straightening her long, dark curls.
“Take a seat, Mr. London,” Dr. Archer said. She recrossed her legs again, as she shifted on the desk. “It’s the first day, after all. You too, Mr. Searle.” She smiled, her bold red lipstick catching the sun’s gleam.
Unconsciously, I surveyed the first entrant. He was as I had heard him to be, tall, muscular, yet the lines of his body made soft curves. His brown eyes were warm, melting in the sunlight of a swaying fall.
His companion was slightly shorter and his highly defined muscles were more prominent – almost as to complement his lithe and airy companion. He was darkly built; his eyes were breathtakingly almond-shaped, colored by bottle green contacts. He had an air of suggestiveness – perhaps because of a perpetual faint smirk, or a glimmer in his eye that never failed to stop glittering.
Jonathan London, or as he was more colloquially known, “Jack”, looked around the classroom momentarily, and I held his gaze once it reached me, for we had recognized each other for what we were – the heads of our respective classes. I tilted my head I recognition, as he gravely inclined his head. Our reputations preceded us, and I was curious to see if the reputations could follow.
This moment passed, and he sat with Rafael Searle in the back.
Even later than Jonathan and Rafael, was Ariana, though she did not rouse and invite glances as they had – for though she had their youthfulness, she had an anxiousness that paralleled my solemnity.
Her schoolgirl bangs flustered, her cheeks pink, Ariana’s energy was spent, her head bent down as she handed Dr. Archer a pass and slid into the seat next to me, not daring to look at anyone. Summer had not changed anything; her skin tone was as translucent as ever, and her straight mahogany hair was still plain, all one length stopping one foot below her shoulders. I suppose Ariana could be called the only friend I had in St. Elizabeth’s; yet as far as friends go, even she was inferior. I had never once went out with her, eaten a meal with her, shared an intensely personal feeling. She was a lab partner, a project buddy, and a “peer” editor.
I seem cold, but I am not. I do want a friend, a confidante, but I have found no one. Or rather, no one has found me. I am waiting, patiently.
Dr. Archer handed out index cards, and told us to write something unique about ourselves on it. I had sat there, immobile, for a few minutes, until Dr. Archer gently suggested that anything we “…did over the summer or what we enjoyed doing in the meantime” would do. She collected all of them after five minutes. She started calling up students, and I was first, and she handed me a random card from the stack.
I read clearly and loudly, “I coauthored a research paper on allopatric speciation of the Nigerian chad last summer.” I looked up once, and my eyes fell on him immediately.
He was fiddling with his black rimmed glasses, looking distractedly out the window.
“Ian,” I said, and sat back down. Ariana was next, her bangs falling, shading her eyes. In a small voice, she began, “I enjoy reading the dictionary and playing lacrosse.” She hurriedly added, “Not at the same time, of course.”
The class tittered when she could not remember Thomson’s name, Rafael’s name.
“Jonathan,” she finally said, blushing erratically.
I kept my eyes toward the front of the classroom. The reading went on (“I have three horses in Nantucket” and “I interned for Yves St. Laurent in 2007”) until there were only two cards left.
Jack took the one of the bottom, and read, “My name is Lucia.”
Dr. Archer stood up from the desk she had been sitting on, and faced me, her hands fighting the urge to be on her hips. “That is certainly not something unique about yourself,” she admonished, almost sounding elementary. Jonathan looked at me, his expression humorous as he walked back to his seat. I turned my gaze back to a bristling woman.
“Make amends,” Dr. Archer commanded.
I stood up, and I faced the class. “I am sorry for any displeasure or inconvenience I have caused. My name is Lucia Davenport.” Sweeping my eyes over the sparse population in class, I inclined my head slightly in deference, and I sat down again.
Whispers from the trio – Addison, Iris, and Reiko – gradually increased in volume, and I caught “so full of herself” and “arrogant,” aimed pointedly at Jonathan and the boys. However, I ignored them – I would not be seeing them for the rest of the year anyway.
Dr. Archer had pursed her lips, looking sour, but she continued, collecting summer assignments, handing out syllabi and passing out textbooks. I mechanically smiled. Dr. Archer did like me, to be sure, but I was often told that I had a touch of crazy that rendered me irritating to a lot of people.
The clock was cruel. We still had another hour to spend in the classroom. Dr. Archer smiled sweetly, and set us to work on creating a lab to isolate ribosomes. She chose partners for us, and Ariana was paired with Thomson, and Dr. Archer chose Jonathan London for me.
He took my felt-tipped pen, and poised it on a writing pad, his loping yet graceful hand serving as the scribe. The silence continued for a few minutes, until he laughed, and said, “The prophetic meeting. Lucia Davenport, finally.”
He proffered his hand.
Not knowing how to respond, I took it, while he said, in a low, murmuring voice, looking straight into my unchanging, dark eyes, “Miraculous.” His eyes did not leave my face. I looked down, his hand was warm.
My hand tightened, and I replied, much more loudly, “Yes, Jonathan London, the Eros of St. Johnsbury; the patron of sodomy. It is an honor.” I released myself from his grip. I was abandoned; I am an orphan, an abandoned child, a black hole without guiding stars – but it does not matter now. I am still bitter, but those who try to invoke pity must ever endure scorn.
“Yes,” he said, momentarily grinning, glancing toward Rafael, who was partners with Addison. “We both have ambition, you know. Perhaps not the same sort.”
We shared a long silence. I looked up again. His hair lay in delicate strands across his forehead as he mused; Jonathan London, was heir to a shipping business, son of a retired fashion model. The distinctive scent of Clive Christian whimsically invested itself in his relaxed aura. His tie was already loosened, though it was only 9:30 in the morning. I knew that Jack and Rafael were together, and they were the controlling couple amidst the homosexual frenzy of St. Johnsbury. The teachers there did not care anymore – young males needed a way to relieve their sexual repression, and it was all right if they just “straightened out” in college, anyway. Nobody cares what happened in high school, they say.
He was looking at me, at the same time.
We felt akin, almost alike. We had the label of easy genius, yet we shouldered the burden of intelligence, and of always being right. We read Ayn Rand and Plato in the same blink of an eye, we inhaled carbon dioxide and historiography in the same breath, and we felt the cosmos and Phobos in the same touch.
I shook myself out of these thoughts, and felt my mind focusing on the task at hand. There would be more time to think about this during the next class.
“We would perform a simple chromatography. The cells would be soaked in an alkyl linker in resin, and due to the basic nature of this polymer and the RNA component, the ribosomes would separate from the cell,” I dictated, speaking slowly. I closed my eyes for a brief moment, and calmly recited. “This method was detailed in a 2008 paper by Maguire, Wondrack, Contillo and Xu.”
“That’s it?” he asked me, languidly writing down notes.
I nodded. “If you would like to make some clarifications for Dr. Archer, you can do that. But I would not bother.”
Feeling that reply would satisfy Jonathan for a while, I looked around the room – Iris was chewing her pen while Thomson looked up things in the textbook, Ariana was looking excluded while a busy Ian wrote down detailed instructions, and Addison passed her hand through her hair dreamily and laughed at Rafael’s jokes.
A soft, yet direct voice recalled me back to my partner. “I didn’t see you at this year’s Formal.”
“I was indisposed,” I baldly said, looking him in the eye, long and steady, which I was pleased to discover, made him slightly discomfited and more prone to a lighthearted manner.
“Jane Austen’s favorite excuse.” He deliberately took a studied air, and leaned forward, almost as if I was a confidante. “Pray tell, were you indisposed every year right before the Formal?” He smiled slightly.
“Unfortunately, yes, for I have a – ”
“ – delicate disposition?” He quipped, and leaned back again into the chair, his lips settling into a half-grin, unimaginably seductive to most claiming to be female.
“Exactly, Mr. London, I’m glad you grasp my meaning.” This sentence was a closing statement; I uttered it with a finality of purpose. I looked toward the window, out in the evergreens of Wake Forest. Isolation to a world of girls in St. Elizabeth’s gave me no sense at all of those of the male sex. I would not say I was naive, but I lacked the feelings, the attraction, the ability to assess men.
“You’re lonely, aren’t you?”
I let the silence grow before I replied, somewhat acerbically, “If by that you mean ‘lacking companions’, then I confess to being lonely… and you, you’re confused, aren’t you?”
He contemplated for a moment. “Women are handsome. I have a heart. I suspect you do, also.”
“Yes, I think I have a heart.”
“But for you, it is art that is truth. The heart has nothing to do with it.”
“Love is truth,” I rejoined. “Art is a lie that makes us realize the truth.”
“Picasso,” he accused me. I looked stonily out the window, as he chuckled, almost sardonically.
I slid my pen back into my notebook, and I stood up. “Have a good afternoon,” I said to Dr. Archer as I walked out the door, just as the bell rang.
He looked up from the small stack of essays in front of him, as I turned my back and gently closed the creaky door to A18 in Heely Hall. I heard him rise from the desk, as I turned again, to face him. Wesley still had the same red-rimmed blue eyes, tired yet wide awake; he had the same carefully combed, burnished brown hair, and the pale, smooth lips. He was born in 1983, and he had already received his doctorate from Yale at age 24. He had turned down a teaching post at the Sorbonne in Paris, and settled in St. Elizabeth’s only last year.
It was 10:31 am. “Lucia,” he said simply. He motioned for me to have a seat in a desk, which I did promptly, as he sat in another desk next to me.
He began with a thin smile, his eyes watering slightly. “Though I am your teacher, I am not your guidance, I am not your supervisor. I am not even a counselor. Unless, that is, if you request it of me.” He took a studied breath, as I nodded silently. “However, the dean has made one stipulation: you must show up for every class, and that I must make biweekly reports of progress.”
“Is that all?” I said, breaking a small pause.
He smiled more fully, the rising sun splaying into the empty classroom, teasing the dust motes. “Yes. Welcome to independent study.” I noted that his hands, which were folded into an uncomfortable knot, now relaxed again. The light blue of his soft wool sweater enhanced the natural alabaster of his hands.
We both stood up at the same time, and he went back to grading papers, and I took out my green notebook, and sat in the windowsill, my pen poised. Needless to say, I did not write anything for the ensuing two hours. Biweekly reports of progress? The administration was harder to please than the Muse.
Ms. Weber stared through me, and blandly said, “You haven’t considered any other colleges? Just the one?”
“Yes,” I said, as Ms. Weber went back to zealously clicking Ms. Weber my school record on the computer, scrutinizing my grades and extracurriculars. A heavily applied orange tan sagged off her face, framed by emerald and pearl drop earrings.
“Honey,” said a voice that was dripping vinegar, “If you like that school, you could consider Brown, or for that matter, Harvard. They’re all great schools, with a lot to offer.”
“I’ve already considered them. They do not have what I want.”
Ms. Weber glared at me, exasperated. “Have you at least visited the Yale campus, sweetie? Maybe it won’t seem as… glamorous up close.”
I smiled slightly. “Dr. Greene will be taking me next weekend. I already spoke to him about it, and the dean, as well.” I paused for a moment, and gathered myself, saying, “Thank you for scheduling me in for an appointment, Ms. Weber. I appreciate it.” Ms. Weber’s mouth was lopsided, on the side of disgust and dislike. I left, and Reiko went in immediately after me, carrying a small blue-wrapped present. Ms. Weber, for all her outrageous orange tans, did know quite a few admissions officers. Walking in a brisk pace, I reached the faculty apartments in good time.
The last house on the left, the one with red roses in the front, was the residence I was looking for. I curtly rapped on the door, three times, and a somewhat disheveled looking Wesley, still in the same light blue sweater.
Before he could say a word of greeting, I began, “Dr. Greene, would you accompany me to Yale University for an interview and tour this coming weekend?”
“Yes, of course,” he said slowly, almost nonchalantly, his eyes shifting over my face. He was pleased, as all alma maters must be, I rationalized.
“You’ll tell the dean?” I affirmed, as he simultaneously nodded. Almost as an hurried afterthought, he started to say, “Would you like to come in for that apple cider you wanted — “, when I smoothly said, “See you tonight.” I headed down the steps, noticing I did not hear the door close until I was at least twenty paces down the walkway.
I came back to the dormitory, and I checked the syllabus for AP Biology, and did all of the next two weak’s readings and assignments in one concentrated sitting. I had to show up next Monday for a lab and a test, but it was manageable, and it would not take any time away from precious things that needed doing.
It soon grew dark, and I quickly headed off to Reed Dining Hall to eat a small dinner before it closed, before the clock struck nine. I said gave my thanks to Laurie, who had saved my usual Cobb salad, and a sampling of whatever that night’s menu offered. When I came in late, which was most nights, Laurie always smiled when she gave me my meals, revealing her gap teeth. She was only in her fifties, comfortably plump, and her hair still a sandy blonde. “Study hard!” she advised me every night. “Take school seriously. If I had only listened…” Laurie’s eyes would grow dark, and her smile would droop, but she would gain sight of me again, and pat my shoulder. “Get good grades, get a good job. Be a good student for me, Ms. Lucia.”
Laurie said this to other students too, but I was the only one who stopped and listened every time. Tonight, I found Ariana eating late as well, her plate loaded with the usual spattering of green vegetables.
She looked up as I sat near her, and said, “First day back, how was your independent study with Dr. Greene?”
St. Elizabeth’s is relatively small, so my previous schedule debacle was intimately known.
Wesley was the first one who stood up for my option to have independent study.
“Unproductive,” I truthfully answered, spearing an asparagus on my fork.
“What did you think of the integration in Biology?”
I shrugged; I was currently eating a piece of pork chop.
“I think it’ll be great!” Ariana put down her fork for a moment. “A class with males in it… it’s my first one.” She laughed a little, almost embarrassed to have been caught in this much excitement. I knew that Ariana lived in a family with two other sisters, living secluded in a forty-acre property in New Hampshire. Picking up her eating utensils again, and in a more subdued voice, she asked, “What do you think about Ian?”
He seems intelligent,” I said, after a little pause. Ariana having a crush on Ian was highly likely. The very fumes of testosterone so near her for the first time must have intoxicated her. Ariana basked in happy silence — for this compliment, if any compliment, was actually one of best I could ever be wrangled to say — and I hurriedly finished my dinner, so I could get back to the dorm by nine o’clock.
I had finished when Ariana interposed, “Wait, Lucia, you weren’t at the Formal this year!”
“Didn’t a couple of drunk eighth graders crash this year’s party?” I said.
“Addison’s cousins — ” Ariana’s eyes widened at such a violation of good citizenship.
“And where the janitors eventually found ecstasy tablets crushed on the floor?”
“Oh yes — “said Ariana. “But, Lucia…”
It was 8:55 pm. At 9:00 pm this evening, uncle had demanded my presence. I left her at midsentence.
I opened the laptop. The screen was entirely black, but at exactly nine, the screen flashed on, and the heavily lined face of my Uncle stared back at me. Behind my uncle was a heavy crimson damask. Two young butlers flanked his sides.
A small pause ensued. I looked back at him.
“How was the first day?” He curtly asked.
I gave a small nod of approval, and he immediately continued on.
“You will represent Laurent Group at the Palazzo function this Sunday.” He motioned to his left. “Alden will send over the dress by messenger service tonight. It will arrive tomorrow morning.”
I do not attend St. Elizabeth’s Formals. However, I attend everything Uncle requires of me. Without him, I am without anyone, and I should be grateful. His power will be mine someday.
He stared impassively as I nodded my approval again. “Make friends with Jonathan London. Eliminate Rafael Searle from his life.”
The screen flashed again; it was now blank. I closed the laptop.
Uncle has been bedridden for over five years, and he can still find the strength to run the empire, and to hatch new schemes. He never will reveal the true nature of his plans to me, but he knows I will not eliminate Rafael.
That is the one thing Uncle scorns in me. He calls it my human pity, and my misguided self-interest.
But this was an order.
Rafael Searle will become insignificant, then.
I turned my mind to another matter – Saturday was the day I also had my Yale interview. Wesley would just have to come along. I would just have to ask Alden to messenger an Armani suit cut in Wesley’s size. This would be the third time Wesley has accompanied me to such functions – he does not mind it, I believe he enjoys mingling with intelligentsia, at the very least, a tolerable dinner.
I know he is lonely, not from ‘lacking companions’ but from the emptiness in his heart. His first love, his wife, cheated on him a while ago, and she decided that it would be best for a divorce. I can see this in his writing, when he lets me see it. These useless parties and functions I bring him to may serve to divert him.
Gathering some paper and a pen and pulling on a light jacket, I left the dorm, seeing Reiko and Addison lolling around in the common room, doing work while texting. No one ever asked where I went. Everyone knew. No one bothered to ask when I would be coming back. Perhaps never, as far as they were concerned. I was the Laurent Group, and that was all that mattered. Free rein in everything, whether or not I was a true heir.
He opened the door just as I walked up the stairs. He smiled. “Lovely evening,” he commented.
“Alden will be sending a suit tomorrow.”
He nonchalantly took my jacket and hung it in the foyer closet. “Yes, ma’am.”
I was about to give him a caustic look, but I was taken aback by the grayness of his face. “Did she stop by?”
He looked away, as we both headed to the study room. “No, her lawyer came with some papers I had to sign.” He wearily pointed to a stack on his desk.
I picked some up, and looked through them. “Don’t concede anything to her.” I ripped the papers in my hand in half, strewing them on the floor. He stared at me, fidgeting with his wedding band. In a fit of cool passion, I took a few steps toward him, and wrenched the band off his hand, and threw it on the floor. “Never again.” I did not understand him, I did not understand why he would want her back, when she had wronged him, and that he had to have a life without this blemish.
He staggered towards the wall for support, and he slowly sank to the floor, his shoulders slumping.
I sat next to him. “Why?” I asked.
“You’ve never been in love. You’re still green, still silver.” He looked the other way.
“Don’t concede anything.”
He gave a short laugh.
“My life isn’t yours.”
“It is mine. Ever since the day you I met you. You have belonged to me.”
Wesley looked at me, surprised. I was surprised, but the words were what I wanted to use. They were the best expression.
“I will fight your battles.” I concluded, thinking that there was no more to discuss. I walked to my desk, opened up a notepad, and started to write.
He sat in his desk as well, pulling out his personal journal, and writing a few painstaking lines. In around half an hour, I noticed he had fallen asleep at the desk, his head resting against his open journal.
I got up, and shook him by the shoulders. “Go to bed.”
He groggily got up, and with me supporting him, we walked to his bedroom, where he collapsed into bed. I pulled the covers over him. I went back to the study room, and his journal was still open, and my eyes automatically read his latest entry, which was:
“You have belonged to me.”
That was it. I smiled, and I sat down at his desk. I rewrote this phrase over and over again, until my hand was tired. It was now two in the morning; I did not want to head back, so I let myself in the guest bedroom.
I woke up at six, and I headed down to Reed to eat breakfast. Halfway there, I changed my mind. Today, I would dine in Glass Dining Hall in St. Johnsbury. I would test the rumor that Jonathan was an early riser.
The dining hall maître’d knew I was not a student of St. Johnsbury, but they recognized me in a way they would not have recognized Ariana or Reiko, and they guided me to the upperclassmen room, in which I was the first occupant.
As the orange juice was being squeezed at the table, Jonathan walked in, clearly right after a morning run. He was glowing in the early morning light, and he loped gracefully to the table. He greeted me hello, and he asked me in a funny tone what I was doing in St. Johnsbury.
“St. Elizabeth ran out of oranges for the orange juice.”
He laughed. He did not believe me, with good reason. “It was because of me, right? You wanted to see me?
I looked at him, and I managed a rare smile. “Yes.”
“But I am the ‘patron of sodomy.’ You hardly have a chance.”
“I agree,” I said. Plebeians resort to the tactics of seduction.
“Thank you for your agreement.” He turned to his smoked salmon and cream cheese bagel before continuing.
I watched him, and he sensed that.
“What?” he asked.
“Does your father know?”
He hesitated. “No.”
“It’d be damaging to the image.”
He laughed curtly. “I’m always thinking of the company.”
I detected the sour note of bitterness. “You don’t want it?”
“You don’t want it either.”
I stared at him, he stared back, his hazelled eyes smoldering with curiosity. “True,” I admitted. I brushed away a few strands of hair away from my face, and he suddenly gave a wild laugh.
“You are crazy, Lucia. Everything I’ve heard is true, isn’t it?”
“We are in the same situation. We both struggle against the tides of predetermination,” I said resolutely, almost calmly, though feeling my heart beat faster as I anticipated his reply.
“You can fight it, you can create your own destiny,” he suggested.
“No. I decide the destiny of others. My own fate is certain. So is yours.”
“Do you talk like this all the time?”
“Superiority complex,” I countered, feeling slighted. He chuckled at my hurt-looking face.
Title: Untitled [file name: Butler]
Summary: Mia is one of the competing prospective heiresses to the Laurent Group; in the latest twist, apparently the heiress will be married by the time she receives the top position. Nonetheless, Mia has a very strong attachment to her butler, and her butler to her as well. [A/N: I wrote this before I read Kuroshitsuji.]
He could not have these nights anymore. These nights of desperation, of wild thoughts, and of quiet isolation. He was here now, in her bedroom, watching her sleep, feeling his chest painfully tight as he stood over her sleeping figure, wrapped in a grey comforter. For four years, however cold and vicious her waking hours had been, she was his sleeping beauty, his life-sized doll.
He opened the door, and stepped outside. He closed the door softly, his heart racing as he slumped against it. He slid to the floor, his back touching the door, his hands in his face.
The unsettling stares into the distance, her eyes resolute and unfaltering, tortured him. He hated how he sometimes thought how her lips would taste, and if he could melt her heart of ice. He struggled to hide this, to think of his duty to her first, and to think of his desires as something passing and inconsequential.
He would think of her graceful austerity, completing tasks with a clock-like regularity. He would brush her hand, accidentally, and she would look up at him, her eyes unreadable. It was all he could to not grasp her at that moment, and tell her everything.
He heard crying coming from the bedroom, faintly. He immediately got up, and his face became composed. He opened the door again, and without saying any words, he sat on the edge of her bed, holding her, as she cried into his broad shoulders.
She often had nightmares, though she never remembered them the next morning. His heart broke every night, for her suffering, and for his own suffering. He would do anything for her, but this was the only consolation he could give her: his warmth, his touch — something she ordinarily shunned in the light-filled day. These secret embraces she never remembered the next morning.
Her dark hair splayed over his chest. Her sobbing had quieted down into a few erratic gulps. Using his long, slender fingers, he wiped the tears from her face, and he put her back to bed. He pulled the covers over her again, almost regretting the loss of contact.
Tomorrow, he thought. Tomorrow he would tell her.
She sat still as he swept her long black hair into its trademark, spare and elegant knot, finished with a diamond studded clip. Tonight he had picked an understated burgundy dress for her, strapless and wrapped closely around her waist. The back ended in a small, trailing train of silk. In other words, an uncommanding dress that did not attract widespread attention, but called for quiet admiration. Over the years, he learned that dressing her crimson, in startling yellows, and vivid blues, only intensified her aristocratic physicality. Understatement would soften the edges, and call attention to not her expressions, but to her music and words.
He finished, and she gathered her composure. ”Thank you, Ren.” She inspected her reflection in the mirror, and a face of highly defined contours stared back at her. The same face she had always seen in the reflection; she did not know why she always looked, as if to make sure that specific reflection was still there.
With two hands, he presented her a small book bound in black velvet. ”This is your address you will give, written by the firm, if Uncle chooses you.” He bowed his head as she took it from him. ”Good luck, Mia-sama.”
“Whatever happens tonight is not because of luck.” She stood up. ”It happens because of one man’s will. We have done all we can do. Are we leaving now?”
“Yes,” Ren said. ”I have prepared a car that will take you to the gardens. It is waiting outside for you.”
Mia watched him, faintly irritated at this deviation from standards. He noted her change in expression, and he began.
“I will not be accompanying you tonight. Starting tonight, I will not longer be your butler. I apologize, Mia-sama. Uncle has instructed me to provide a replacement, and I hope that you will be happy with him. I have been training him for a few months.”
The door opened, and a tall, slender man with auburn hair swept carefully above his eyes, feline eyes, and a curling lips came in the room, and in the deepest bow, introduced himself to Mia.
“Good evening, Miaka-sama. I am honored to serve you. Please call me Raine.” He lifted his eyes to survey her face, daringly, a grin flitting on his face.
“Raine graduated at the top of his class at the Saint-Saens Academy. Please accept him,” Ren said, his voice level as he bowed his head again, this time longer. Mia clutched the velvet book tightly between her fingers, looking only at Ren. ”No, I will not. Not tonight. Tonight, you will accompany me. Renzo, you know only you can come.” She held out her hand to him, with her palm facing upwards.
Ren felt the guilt, the night was the culmination of their struggles together, and it was finally the night where Mia’s destiny would be commenced. With two hands, he took her hand, and closed her fingers into a fist. ”I assure you, Raine is prepared. He will be the sword with which you fight your battles, and tonight is not the end of the battle, but just the beginning, Miaka-sama. You know this.”
“Fare well, Mia-sama. It was an honor to be in your service.”
He released her fingers, and gave prolonged bow. The door closed behind Ren, the room silent.
Ren walked slowly down the hallway, and he locked himself in the library, just to gather his thoughts. Just for few moments, he thought. He had closed off his emotions, he did not let it show… she had held her hand out to him, something she had not done since she was a seven, and he was an enthusiastic fifteen, oblivious to their futures. They just knew what they loved: she loved the music underneath her fingers, he loved learning, and they both spent the days with each other, delighting in their childish habits.
Almost unconscious of his surroundings, he slowly collapsed onto a chaise lounge, breathing shallowly.
That summer of fifteen, he was sent away to grow up, and to realize that she was his one duty in the world, and that to only her, he owed his allegiance. She was his duty, and his duty, now and henceforth, was to disappear. He accepted this; day by day, he had noticed it in his change of habits, and even as an S-ranked butler, he could not stop. He came to the conclusion that he was no better than a fresh apprentice in her presence, and that she needed someone else, someone who could withstand. Someone who could withstand a fatal attraction, someone who liked boys, and not girls.
Title: Untitled [file name: Cute kid]
Summary: Felicia (“Fell”) is a social worker nearing her 30s. One day, someone new comes into the office, fresh out of college, rather thin and pretty instead of handsome– Alexander. Felicia recognizes him immediately– he is one of the first cases she ever handled.
Fell plopped the file folder on top of her desk, and sat down, the dim lighting causing her to squint. She opened a drawer on the right, looking for another file folder. Looking for Benjamin Walter, the little boy she had seen last week, and she would see again today.
Julia popped into the cramped office, though not overly messy, was musty and had stacks of paper. “Hey, Fell, you finally came back from seeing Cassidy! Come with me to say hi to our new co-worker. I missed his introduction this morning because I was out too.”
Fell stared at Julia for a few moments, and then finally put down the folder she just picked up, and stood up. The dust motes she stirred glittered in the now lazy afternoon sunlight, streaming through the old and yellowed blinds. She could spare a few minutes.
They walked down the rickety hallway. Fell knocked on the frosted glass door, and hearing “Come in,” they entered another musty office.
He was still unpacking his items. He looked up.
“Alex,” Fell suddenly said. He had straight chestnut-colored hair, falling over his ears, swept across his forehead, slightly hiding his left eye.
He blushed, a faint pink visible. “You recognized me.”
Fell smiled. “Well, your blue eyes haven’t changed.” He had gotten rid of his piercings and lip-ring, and his hair was now its natural color. He looked very clean, very young. He had raised the blinds, and opened the windows wide open to the spring day.
Fell became aware of Julia, looking with interest at their relationship. “Alex, this is Julia, the head coordinator, and Julia, this is Alex..” They shook hands. “I used to be his case-worker. How long ago was it?”
“Eight years ago,” he said softly. She smiled in wonder.
“I thought you wanted to be a teacher,” Fell said.
“I still do,” he said, blushing even harder, looking down.
“Don’t go,” he breathed. “I want to tell you something, Fell.” He sounded so serious now, unlike the overindulgent child he was before. She was worried. He clasped both of his hands in his lap. He took a deep breath.
“Alex? What are you saying? You should go to bed now,” Fell said, uncomfortable. “You should sleep on this, this is so sudden. You’re good at what you do, everyone will miss you. What were we just doing tonight?”
In a softer voice he said, “Will you miss me?”
Fell tried to speak. She just looked into those blue eyes, wet, broken glass.
“No,” he said. “That’s not what I wanted to ask you.” He clasped his hands even tighter.
“I followed you here.. I wanted to be a teacher, I still want to be a teacher.. but I always wanted to come back again, come back to you.” She watched the nape of his neck, his chestnut hair falling neatly over it. She wanted to be closer, to touch that trembling person.
“I think.. I’ve always felt this.. but being so close to you now, I finally realized that I love you,” he suddenly turned around to look at her reaction, and he was so startled to see her so close to him, a few inches away from his own face.
“You’re crying,” she said, her heart beating quickly. She took a tissue from the box on the table, and handed it to him. She wanted to smile, to say that everything was all right. His hair was messy, and his eyes were red. She wanted to say everything would be all right.
He was looking up at her, accepting the tissue, the light pooling in his eyes, and she thought that the world was unfair, that his skin was so smooth, and he smelled like..
He tilted his face, she closed her eyes.
Title: Untitled [file name: Changmin blind oneshot]
Summary: Changmin does not what comes over him– until it becomes blindingly obvious. Mild bromance with Yunho. [A/N: I have actually written all the main plot points of this, so contrary to the shortness of this sample, I have actually about 70% written.]
He first saw her at a wedding of a close relative of Yunho’s. Yunho had agreed to serenade the newlyweds, and had somehow convinced Changmin to go as well. Changmin would rather have stayed in their apartment and watched some television, but in the end, Yunho had pushed him to wear his nice tuxedo and comb his hair.
Just as a gesture of small defiance, Changmin had refused to wear the bow.
After the reception, Yunho and Changmin mingled, Yunho greeting relatives, Changmin greeting starry-eyed girls, one of whom stammered for an autograph. Changmin put on his perfect smile, and said no. He could feel the surreptitious click of cameras everywhere.
Changmin moved towards Yunho, who was now talking very animatedly with a girl, no, a woman. She was just so slight that in her grey dress, she could just blow away in the wind, not really a woman, not really belonging to the human world. She had long, straight hair, and unusually colored honey-brown eyes.
“Changmin-ah!” said Yunho. “I’d like to introduce you to my cousin, Park Jisun.”
To Jisun, Yunho said, “He is on my left, at one o’clock.”
Changmin and Jisun both bowed perfunctorily, and Changmin proffered his hand perfunctorily.
Jisun only smiled, her arms at her side, her eyes wavering on his chest. “Changmin-ssi, it is nice to meet you. I have heard so much about you from Yunho. You have such a strong, brotherly bond with Yunho. Sometimes I wish I had an older brother.”
Yunho smiled, and said, “But Jisun-ah, I’m your brother.” Catching sight of Changmin’s extended hand, Yunho batted it down. Changmin was perplexed. Perhaps she was one of those people terrified of germs.
“Don’t say such sappy things in public, it’ll ruin your cool image, oppa.”
A middle-aged woman in chartreuse came up behind Jisun, grasping Jisun’s hand. “It’s time for your wedding party photos, Jisun.”
“All right, umma. See you later, Yunho! Bye, Changmin-ssi,” she bowed slightly and walked away, with her mother guiding her.
As soon as they were out of earshot, Changmin said, “Hyung, why didn’t she shake my hand? Is she a germaphobe or something..?”
“She’s blind,” Yunho said.
“Oh.” Changmin only just realized how her eyes never really met his, though they looked in the general direction. “She’s pretty, though,” he offered.
Yunho chuckled sadly. “She does look like she’ll blow away in the wind, doesn’t she?”
Changmin widened his eyes, exactly what he had thought before.
He lied easily. “No, she seems strong, and cheerful, despite whatever hardships she has had. Hyung, it’s almost time for dinner. Let’s find our table.”
Jisun was seated next to Yunho, with Changmin on the other side of Yunho. It was the first time Changmin got almost completely ignored by Yunho as he helped her eat and described how the food looked. He talked with a few more starry-eyed girls to pass the time.
Finally, it was time for Yunho and Changmin to get ready for their serenade stage for the first dance of the night. They sang well, but Changmin thought irritably that he was not able to reach the high A quite well.
After the serenade, Yunho predictably went to where Jisun was sitting, Changmin trailing behind. He took her hand, whispering, “Let’s go sit out in the garden. We can talk more freely there, it’s quieter.”
Completely unexpectedly, Jisun said, “Where’s Changmin?”
“I’m here,” said a voice from behind Yunho.
“Let’s go together.”
Changmin hung his head, looking at Yunho. Yunho nodded his head. Yunho held her hand as he guided her outside.
They finally picked a bench near a cherry tree, the blossoms just opening. They sat on either side of Jisun. Jisun turned to Changmin, “I’m sorry I kept Yunho from you the entire night. I could hear your breathing. You were upset.”
Changmin blanched as he stared into her face, reminding himself that she was blind. “Not at all,” he managed to say. Tete-a-tete with brats would make anyone irritated, he thought.
She smiled, then suddenly sneezed. Yunho stood up. “I’ll go fetch your jacket. It’s starting to get a little chilly.”
They were silent together as stray cherry blossom petals floated around in the insouciant wind. They could hear the faint music of the wedding.
“Ah, they’re playing a waltz. I want to learn how to dance it someday.”
“Why don’t I teach you a bit tonight?” Changmin smiled.
She blushed. “I’ve never danced with a man.”