Chapter with better formatting, in PDF file: xkyoux.wordpress.com/2012/05/0…
*Author notes available at the beginning of chapter one*
Note from the translator:
This is not a word for word translation. So there will be words missing, or words added when comparing with the original. I gave my best not to change the contents, BUT sometimes I just had to. Of course you'll find mistakes in the text, so please instead of mocking my language skills, just sit back and enjoy a beautiful love story. I decided to try to translate it because I adore their story so much. It would be a pity for others not to be able to read it, especially since the artwork that goes with it is so beautiful. This piece took 9 hours to translate, so if you don't like the way it's done, please at least respect the work I've put into this. But, I really hope you'll like it as much as I do.
Note from the editor:
Thanks to the hard work of the lovely Anna, who translated this from Polish to English, all of us English speaking fans can enjoy this truly beautiful piece. I have simply gone in and done some formatting and tweaking (English and all it's damn rules!) to make it even easier to immerse yourself in the story. However, I would like to note that it is a conscious decision by the author to mix past and present tense and to use spacing for emphasis. These things are stylistic choices, not errors, so please don't leave comments about them.
A few months ago I think it's just karma.
You know, the unfinished business you never did get back to, or those things you just plain and simply fucked up, that are coming for payback.
Today for example; I killed a spider. I am brushing my teeth, and he is just walking around the sink. I like spiders because they are useful, but I cannot help myself. I can't resist the urge to flush him together with my toothpaste spittle.
So what do you think happened next?
I don't even have the time to enjoy the feeling when the payback hits. I burn my finger with boiling hot water while making myself a brew. I have blisters.
Huge ones and they hurt like a mother.
This too is karma. Or innate clumsiness.
But, we are talking here about something bigger. My real karma comes back for me lately with a double vengeance. After many long years.
Well, in the beginning, I think that it shrank somewhat, because it always was half a head higher than me. After a moment, I realize that it is me who grew. A lot.
My 'karma' has wider shoulders than I remember, and the carrot red hair is gone too. In fact... at first I don't recognize my 'karma'. Or maybe I simply don't expect the whole thing.
My 'karma's' name is Nivan.
And he is the main part of my secret.
Why can't I have a secret about some super powers that I might possess? You know, that I am a superhero saving the world? Now that would be a life. But, unfortunately, I wasn't bitten by a mutant spider, I am not a mutant, and my parents didn't die in front of me.
But I do have this secret.
Unfortunately, a pitiful one. Just like the dreams I have about being a superhero.
If the secret were good enough for an action flick, I'd share it and make millions with it. Or even play the main role in it, become famous and make even more millions. But of course, nothing is that simple. My secret is only good enough for a cheap romance novel.
The main role stars a fag with huge problems.
Did you have a secret once, which you thought was the biggest one in the world? But naturally, it was anything but? Well, mine is just like that. But... ehm. I think that's because I didn't reveal it at the right time, so it got bigger. It not only carries some serious consequences, but it can spoil a lot of good things. It just got too big... way too big. Suffocating.
And that is my problem.
I am suffocating under its weight. I am suffocating with the smoke of all the cigarettes I've smoked today.
Pity that Nathan* can't see all this.
Why am I boring you with it all?
Because, I made a decision. [There should be the sound of fanfares right here]
Yesterday I had a fight with the Redhead.
Because you know, karma does strange things to us sometimes. Like, all of a sudden you live with someone that you carry a massive grudge against. And then you surprise yourself with the fact that you can't hold back from constantly throwing knives at his back because of it.
But yesterday, it isn't the usual case of 'but he said - argument'.
We have a fight. A real one.
A bad one.
It scares me shitless, especially when I see Firyal's face.
She never comes between us when we fight. But yesterday, she left with a look on her face that I will never forget... In retrospect, she didn't really intrude as such, but I still hate that feeling when I look at her and see how she suffers when we fight.
I feel like an idiot.
Generally Nivan is cool, but below the surface, he is dangerous. Normally it's very hard to throw him off balance, so yesterday I had to do something really impressive to achieve it.
I know well that I don't have control over the situation anymore. I feel like I'm being ripped apart from the inside. I'm suffocating with things I want to scream straight into his face, but I can't. I want him to stop looking at me like I am some lunatic - that there is a fucking reason for it all.
Thirty more minutes and he'll be back. In half an hour he'll be home and then I'll tell him everything.
If those fucking thoughts don't kill me before that.
Today is going to be a day without secrets.
A few days earlier.
"And why couldn't you go on your own?" Nivan asked, keeping his hands in his pockets and looking him over suspiciously.
"Becaaaaaauuuuse I had a brilliant idea that we could run... together!"
The Redheads brows shot up and he got a really stupid look on his face for a minute.
"Sometimes I really don't know what to say to your brilliant ideas. Hold on..." he stopped, wondering, "...you are kidding, right?" Nivan frowned.
At that question, the Blonde stopped in his tracks, turned around gracefully and grinned. "No, I'm not."
The Redhead fell silent for a minute. Apparently the thought finally got to him.
"You just came back. You were away for three days. I just came back after 8 hours at Uni. I'm hangover. And you want to RUN? To get dinner?"
"You know, in the past you were more spontaneous," the Blonde shot back angrily. "I thought we could do something different. Because the only thing we do is fart and sit around. We used to run. A lot. Everywhere and always!"
"In the past I was lighter by 15 kilograms."
"Not my fault that you've been eating so much..." The Blonde stopped abruptly, seeing the Redhead's face. "It's not that far away," he added quickly.
The Redhead's brow lifted and he gave him a lopsided look. He fell silent for another moment, his eyes bore into the Blonde.
"What do you mean by 'not far'?" Nivan asked suspiciously.
He learned that in almost everything the Blonde said there was a catch.
"Well... It's not far if we'll jump a bit."
"Yeah, jump over those roofs." He pointed with a tilt of his head. "When I'm in a hurry I take this shortcut to get to my band practice."
The Redhead was afraid of exactly that kind of catch. He sighed and looked over the buildings that, in fact, weren't too tall. They looked a bit like the marlins of the sandcastles he used to make when he was a kid. Up and down, up and down, up and...
"If you want to make another Ezio/Altair out of me then my answer is: no, thanks."
The Blonde gave him an impatient look because he thought it really was a good idea. Besides, they had already stood in one spot for way too long, and he was hungry. Firyal** was probably starving at home as well.
"Oh come on, Nivan!" He bent his knees a couple of times, showing his impatience. "I thought they taught you how to do flips with that 'ninjitsu' of yours? I bet you got some strong legs on you. It'll be fun. Don't be a prick. I'll help you."
The Redhead stared at the Blonde for a moment, as if considering the idea. Then he turned his head to look at the rooftops again and took his hands out of his pockets. "You know, it really could be fun." He smiled a bit to himself and then pushed his hair to the right side. And then he was off - shooting forward without warning. "The last one is buying beer!" he shouted, making long, strong strides.
At that the Blonde's eyes went wide. He smiled and ran after him.
"You cheating bastard! Wait!"
We were running, just like that, like we had done in the past.
Feeling the wind in our lungs, feeling so light.
We were laughing.
Climbing walls, jumping, trusting our hand's firm grip.
Without hard feelings, or unnecessary words.
Just running ahead.
Just like in the past.
In the past we used to jump over the fences, running away from the older boys, climbing up small buildings to jump off of them onto the sand that was next to them.
Now we could do even more. So much more.
I missed that.
I hope he missed it too. At least a bit.
"You drinking because you missed us so much?"
"Yeah, that's right," Firyal said, pretending to be mad. She was sitting at the table in the kitchen drinking beer from a green bottle. "You were supposed to be back in fifteen minutes, and it took you bloody ages. I feel like I've grown hunchbacked and wrinkled in the time."
"You look the same to me." The Blonde came over to her and kissed her temple tenderly.
She laughed at that and started to giggle like a teenager.
"Hey Nivan, what happened to your hair? Gone with the Wind, has it?" She looked to the Redhead, who was opening a bottle of beer, but paused just as he was about to put it to his lips.
"Me and Marcin, we gave in to our Assassin natures again," he said, not really caring how his hair looked.
She looked at them surprised, pretending she doesn't know what he was on about.
"It's a game. You know, you become this handsome guy that not only rides a horse but is doing free running with a thumb up his ass."
With that the Blonde scratched at his own backside, remembering that it was itching.
"...he can kill twelve armed guards..."
"But you didn't kill anyone?" she asked laughing. But seeing their weird stone faces, she added suspiciously, with a dose of uncertainty, "...did you?"
"Only the bad ones," the Redhead said.
At that the Blonde pounded knuckles with him, satisfied with his answer.
Firyal looked a bit oddly at them, but with sympathy for their antics. She opened her Chinese takeaway box and started on it with her fingers. "So what was it that you two were really doing, that took you so long to get back?"
The Blonde looked at the Redhead, and then at her. "We were reminding ourselves of how it used to be."
"So yeah, that's what went down." She finished telling about the three day trip they went on, still holding her palm against the Blonde's mouth to stop him from interrupting all the time.
"I respect the hell out of you, you know? For the fact that you were able to put up with that horde," said the Redhead, amused by the story about the Blonde's impressive improvisation during his show, and about his mysterious disappearance, about the drummer puking all the way back home, about sleeping in a heap together with the members of the other band, and an almost confirmed sighting of Winter - a 'famous' vocalist, that the Redhead had absolutely no idea existed up until then.
"I am putting up with you two, so the band is nothing compared to that," she said, finally releasing the Blonde's lips.
"Don't listen to her. Not only is everything she says a false rumor, but she also is trying to make a victim out of herself. She was ordering us about, telling us what not to do. And the worst is we actually listened to her!"
The Redhead laughed at that, since he already knew that side of her, so in the end he actually expected something like that would happen.
"You got yourself a new band leader in the process."
The Blonde looked Firyal over as if he's seen her for the first time and smiled. "I think you're right."
Firyal smiled widely and hugged him hard. The Redhead's lips turned up in the corners a bit as well.
"We need to celebrate that with another beer!" The Blonde was about to reach for the next one that stood next to the bed, when a thought hit him "Or maybe not. I've got something better!" He jumped up to his feet and ran for his room.
Marcin came back holding a big bottle of wine.
To everyone's surprise he came back without his pants as well.
"And where did you lose your pants Mister-skinny-legs?" she asked, amused, looking over his lean silhouette. He had a long black tee on that covered his black boxer shorts.
"Because my arse is itching, and these pants are kind of tight." He scratched himself shamelessly, and dropped into the chair, propping his legs on the bed and got busy opening the bottle.
The Redhead and Firyal shared a look with a naughty smile, raising their brows up to heaven.
"Maybe you caught something?" asked the Redhead. "Or..."
"Don't even think about finishing that sentence." NO. Definitely not.
"Hey boys, tell me how you met," she said, propping her chin on her knee, sitting next to Nivan on his bed. She already had her cheeks high with colour because of the alcohol, and you could call the state she was in as 'a bit tipsy'.
"You never tell a thing. At the end of the day I know nothing beside the fact that you knew each other for quite some time now," she continued waiting for an enthusiastic and witty reply, but they didn't come. It went eerily cold all of a sudden.
The boys shared a look - meaningful, but hard.
"Well I think that not many people know about that anyway," said the Blonde, still holding the Redhead's gaze. Firyal was looking at them stunned, or intrigued even. She was curious about their past together. At first she was surprised that they knew each other form before... because they behaved a bit like they only met just now. Or... as if they knew each other too well.
"We met in the secondary school," the Redhead started finally, moving his eyes to Firyal.
The Blonde was watching him intently and squeezing his beer bottle, hard.
"The secondary? Sheesh, that's like, ages ago! Were you good friends?"
"Best friends." The Redhead shot him a quick glance. The Blonde was still silent, and his fingers squeezed the bottle even harder, his knuckles went white.
Firyal's brows lifted.
"Marcin joined the IT class a bit later in the term. I'm not sure you would recognize him back then." He smiled at that.
"Why?" she asked, intrigued.
"You know, no tats, no piercings. Dark hair combed to the side. Timid. An average boy. But then the cat came out of the bag."
The Blonde smiled a little smile to himself.
"Nivan looked different too, back then. Skinny and tall. But he had his long black hair that he used to tie in a ponytail high on the top of his head. I'll tell you... looking like the devil and acting the part."
Firyal's brows shot up again and she laughed. "I think your personalities got switched somewhere along the line. Is your natural hair that bad?"
"Hmm..." The Redhead scratched at his neck. "I think more serious. I don't know. The red colour I have now dialed it down a bit."
"Ah, I get it. You'll show me some pictures later because I'm curious. And how did you become friends?"
"Normally. We had a lot in common. We liked the same things. We talked a lot."
"Yeah, but because of that, he had issues when it came to behaviour evaluations at school. I think they put us together in the first period."
"Aaa... I think so, yes. Because the one that sat next to me broke a leg or something and the place got free."
"Yup, that's how it began."
They shared a look again. Meaningful, but warm this time.
"I think the story goes on for a while, so if you'll give me a minute, I need to go to the little girl's room. I'll be back in a moment. Or maybe a bit later. I need to grab some food." She jumped up and dashed for the toilet.
They both had sly smiles on their faces, remembering all the good times. They avoided each other's eyes though. Because there was the second part to it, that each remembered differently.
"It got cold somehow." The Blonde got up, sat the bottle aside and stretched his muscles.
"I'm really not surprised considering your apparel."
The Blonde looked at the Redhead with a 'whatever' on his face. He stood in place considering him for a moment. "I'm not sure if it's just my imagination playing with me, but you look a bit down to me..."
The Redhead lifted one brow and smiled a little. "It's your imagination. I'm a bit tired. And besides I woke up hungover today."
"We should file a complaint that you were drinking without us again."
"Well then, I'll get back to you within a week from the date the claim comes in, OK?" The Redhead smiled.
"You should sign it straight away and express your remorse in it too. This Alex of yours seems to be a cool guy, I'd like to meet him... Hey, can I?" he asked, taking the Redhead's hoodie that was hanging over the chair he sat in a few minutes before.
The Redhead's brows shot up. "Well... I guess you can."
Satisfied, the Blonde pulled it over his head. It was big, way too big.
The Redhead's eyes lingered on him for a while. He caught himself staring and with a funny face he looked away to the other side.
But, the Blonde noticed that.
"Uhm. I think I can sense a weakness toward Blondes in way too big sweats over there."
"You sure 'bout that?" He sauntered toward the bed, and the Redhead seeing that, turned his back to him playfully. The Blonde laughed, seeing his reaction.
"Are you that scared of this handsome Blonde?"
"You wish. Go away," he said in an amused tone.
After a short wrestle he turned the Redhead on his back. Not noticing when he got himself on top of the Redhead, he looked straight into his eyes.
That day was totally different from all the others that we spent in this flat.
Despite that, the three of us we were talking a lot; we ate together, drank and played together, never before did I feel so happy to just be next to each other.
The trip we had was a really good one. Didn't matter what happened and what didn't, we got close with Firyal.
I found out things about her that probably would have remained hidden for a long time if we stayed back home.
I understood that without the Redhead I felt a bit... empty.
I learned as well that you could get pinworms at the age of twenty-two. That strangers are treacherous. Although you could pin that under the infamous karma. They will laugh at me for the next year because of that, but well, there's nothing to be done about it. Everything has its pros and cons.
That day was the first one when I didn't feel this grudge against him. I wanted to spend some time with the Redhead... and see if it's possible to go back to those moments, and win back what I loved so much. Yeah, I know, I live in the past too much. But I'm telling myself that those moments were really important to me, and never before, or after, has felt like back then. Never afterward had I a friend like that.
I wanted it back. At least I tried.
Up to a point I even thought that I could succeed. That I could work things out together with Nathan, and stay with Nivan in the friendship zone.
That when we talk it out, I'll get rid of the anger I carry in me.
But, I think I am too naive, or just too stupid, because what happened was quite the opposite...
"Do you remember that time when we got beaten by those five hoodies from our school?"
"Four. And it was me who got beaten. "
"Ehmm... I run away?" the Blonde asked innocently, wincing, still pinning the Redhead underneath him.
He rested his upper body on his elbows and played with the Redhead's hair absently.
"As usual. You just couldn't shut the hell up at the appropriate moment and then just run away," the Redhead said, and lifted a brow slightly, looking up at him with a sympathetic smile on his face. His hand rested loosely under his head.
"See, I remember it a bit differently." He scratched his head a bit embarrassed. "But hey, you were stupid. You should have been running away with me."
The Redhead squeezed his waist a bit tighter in response.
"Ouch! I tell the truth! Always, instead of running away, you puffed up your scrawny chest, and it didn't matter how many of them were there, you always wanted to fight. I always assessed my chances first. Four... or three hoodlums that might have some experience fighting. Me: skinny, not too tall, definitely only pretending to know how to fight. My chances were nil."
The Redhead laughed.
"I remember you rambling about your fast moves and strong kicks."
"Hey, I had to build a reputation for myself. Good that I had you. At least someone believed it!"
"Well then, tell me who this 'someone' is?" The Redhead lifted his brow, clearly doubting his words.
"That tall blonde girl always believed me!"
The Redhead laughed again. "Because she had a crush on you, that's why."
"She had a crush on me?!" he exclaimed, clearly surprised.
"You are stupid and to top it off, blind as well."
Squinting, the Blonde flicked a finger at his nose playfully. After a while though, he looked at him differently, remembering a specific moment from their past.
"I remember when you got beaten... really bad." His long fingers pushed away a lock of red hair that was covering a part of Nivan's face. "Because you were protecting me - and then..." The Blonde frowned and looked down to his neck.
"And then my mum almost died from a heart attack, because my face was all red. But it turned out that I only had a split lip and a scratch under my eye, but the blood was gushing as if they tried to turn me into a sieve."
"No, it really looked bad." The Blonde's lips turned down and he looked into his eyes again. "The wound wasn't that small, you had a big scar. But on the other hand, I was impressed with how you dealt with them all on your own."
He touched the Redhead's face, just under his eye. Where there was a visible mark after that fateful event.
"It's almost gone..." He smiled delicately, still keeping his hand on Nivan's face, caressing it lightly. His eyes followed his fingers. "I was scared then, it could have ended much worse." He skimmed his fingertip over Nivan's nose with a long and lazy move.
"You were my hero..."
His long finger reached the Redhead's lips, delicately brushing over them. He looked at them as if hypnotized.
He wanted those lips.
He wanted him.
The thought was quicker than his mouth. Although he was close. So close.
With dread he looked into green eyes.
A shiver went down his spine.
He saw it too.
He caught it even quicker than me.
I spooked. I wanted to run away, but he kept hold of me with a strong hand, asking me questions with his eyes - waiting for a response. I knew he could not comprehend what was happening.
At that moment when my eyes followed my fingers, touching his skin, remembering all that he did for me, trying to remember the taste of his lips, I understood.
I understood how much I'm in love with him...
* Nathan Marcin current boyfriend
** Firyal Nivan's and Marcin's roommate, who rents her flat to them.