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 the original. I tried my best not to change the contents. BUT, sometimes I just had to. The thing is that Kyoux plays a lot with form and tense, and that made it that much more difficult to translate. I wanted to leave as much as possible as it was in the original so that the atmosphere and her writing style were reflected. And that might get English people confused sometimes, as it probably would be written differently if the correct English were used. 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 and translate it because I adore their story so much that 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 5.5 hours to translate, so if you don't like the way it's done, please pay me some respect for the hours I've put into this and don't read. But, I really hope you'll like it as much as
Note from the editor: Thanks goes to the hard work of the ever talented Anna, whose painstakingly translation from Polish to English is making it so all English speaking fans can enjoy this truly beautiful piece. I am simply doing some formatting and tweaking (English and all it’s damn rules!), so it is even easier to immerse oneself in the story. I tend to either work in snippets, or lose myself, and all concept of time, completely in the words. I converse a lot with Kyoux during the process, so I really have no idea how much time I spend. That’s okay though. I volunteer to do this for love of the story. However, I would like to point out that it’s 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. Focus instead on the lovely story Kyoux is weaving.
I've been thinking about what happened. You know, about the 'almost kiss' and the 'talk' I had with Nivan.
I provoked him and I know it. But, I really didn't have the strength to talk about it at the time. Well, that's what I was trying to convince myself of. Because otherwise, it made me a simple coward.
I couldn't sleep after all the 'closeness' that night.
And no, jerking off wearing his hoodie didn't help either.
I couldn't sleep because I realised...
Let's change the subject.
His words were unpleasant - a fact. But only because they were true. And truth hurts the most, they say.
But, I didn’t regret hitting him. Well, maybe in the beginning, when I saw his cheek go really red, and those eyes of his turned into the eyes of an enraged animal.
I had a fleeting thought then, that I would, in fact, die a tragic death.
Thankfully, it didn't end up that way. I'd live a bit longer, with the malignant satisfaction that I hit the Redhead.
But on the other hand, seeing that cheek that he was not even bothered about, although I left a big mark on it, I still had the urge to apologize to him.
Or something along those stupid lines.
Waahh, I'm so incorrigible.
But, back to my oh-so-serious train of thought. I thought about what the Redhead said, and realized that from his point of view, it really looked different. Although it baffled me that he didn't mention 'The Night', from a few years back, when we did what we did.
It kinda, sorta, bothered me - a lot. Maybe even more, now that I think about it. Because, it looked like he didn’t want to remember. I didn’t know anymore... I didn’t understand.
I couldn’t sleep, so I went back to remembering our beginnings, how we met. And came to a few conclusions.
But let's start at the beginning...
Our story... (Wow, sounds nice, doesn't it?) started when we were fourteen, somewhere in the middle of the term.
After a few months, I don't remember when exactly, I moved to Nivan's IT class.
I was always interested in computers. I thought it, I don't know... manly and cool. In contrast to playing a piano, mind you.
My parents were yakking about it since I was a kid, that I had a musician's ear and long fingers. That I was born to become a famous pianist. Brilliant idea, which deprived me of a carefree childhood. But they treated it very seriously. I even played in a few contests, but I never put my heart into it. I couldn't get them to absolve me from my pianist fate. I didn't want to fail them, though. After all, they wanted what was best for me.
As for them, they didn't fare that well. After they separated, I stayed with dad and convinced him that I preferred to study IT. In fact, I have absolutely no idea how I managed that. I had to have some super charisma and eloquence injection, or he realized that it was, in fact, better than a questionable career as a pianist. I'm grateful for that to this day.
I was a shy, good and a little withdrawn, boy. Nivan was the exact opposite.
Where I sat up straight, to take up the least space, eventually hunching over the book, he would sit almost diagonally, at ease, and loosely place his forearm on the back of either his or my chair.
To this day, he can't sit up straight even for a minute. Funny really.
I remember exactly, that this was the pose I saw him in the first time I met him.
He smiled, the 'troublemaker' vibe radiating off of him. His eyes didn't stray from me while I approached the desk he sat at. I felt a bit uneasy, as if he was taking my clothes off of me with that unpleasant stare of his. It took him only few seconds to overwhelm me with his personality.
I let my gaze fall.
I didn't say a word.
He did it first. A bit differently, because he did it on paper.
He wrote: "I don't bite. Chill out."
I looked up at him. He was still smiling. It was a different smile, though.
We started to chat on that piece of paper. He asked me different things, but I can't remember what they were. We were joking and fighting not to laugh out loud.
Only after the classes finished, I learned the timbre of his voice.
He whispered something in my ear, something nice. It gave me shivers. Just then, I realized that the green eyes with their black frame were not unpleasant. Quite the opposite.
Nivan was open and friendly.
We shared common interests, we had the same sense of humour.
By then, we needed only a tiny bit of time, to become best friends.
Nivan impressed me a lot. He was taller by a full head, he knew how to fight, he was training in martial arts and he knew a helluva lot about PC's. He was open to people, drawing them to him. He was popular among girls, but never interested in them.
I wanted to be just like him.
I changed because of him, that's for sure. I opened up to others.
But, I guess I was a bit naive.
Only after many years would I realized that some things we did went beyond the boundaries of simple friendship.
The thing was, I thought that it wasn't wrong to cuddle up to your best friend, or to lay on top of him as I played with his hair. Or watching him up close while seated in his lap. Sleeping next to him, while I held him in my arms, and spending most of the time together.
Doing together anything we could.
And that was 'ours'. While in public, around others, we behaved more 'conventionally'. Maybe that's why I naively thought that it was OK, about what we had. That it was simply normal. Or, I was so infatuated with him, that I didn't see when we crossed the line.
By the way... I think that I was that kind of person that needed a lot of close contact. Intimacy.
I was not able to function when I'm on my own at home. I felt best when there was someone nearby. I guess that's why I now lived with Firka and Nivan. Because I couldn't stand to be alone in my dead grandfather's house.
Even that Nivan was the opposite. I often saw that he just needed to be alone. He needed to have his space. And despite that, he always allowed me in. And I wasn't able to leave. I liked his room, his house, and his family that never fought. I needed his presence.
And now, with a good dose of anxiety, I could see that I craved it again. I always barged into his room when he was busy and I know that I was a nuisance. I really admired his patience. Because, although he complained a lot, he never told me to leave. I always appreciated that... I needed to tell him that.
I remember a situation that happened once... I failed one test or another at school. I was always ambitious in my own sort of way, so these little hiccups at school really dragged me down. Nivan knew that, and despite having a different view, he understood.
I sat down at the desk with a dissatisfied and depressed look on my face (I really need to unlearn that one, really). I propped my cheek on my fist, trying to hide a bit from him. I didn't like him to see me like that. But, I couldn't control those reflexes, I still can't. My other hand rested on my knee when I felt his fingers on my skin, there under the table (yeah double pun intended, or maybe I just lost my marbles). He stroked my hand, as if trying to say that I should not worry because he was there for me.
I looked into his eyes, which only confirmed what I suspected. He always, in some magical way, even in those worst moments, made me smile.
Except for... that evening. When I should have given him the same... but didn't... because as I already said, I was either stupid or naive.
Nivan was more mature than me. He knew from an early age what he wanted. Who he was and how he was going to love.
And I hadn’t even really thought about it, to tell you the truth. I was just going with the flow when it felt right. My internal life was really underdeveloped back then.
I didn't have a clue what sort of signals I was sending him...
And so it happened.
It was one of those nice spring days, really warm, hot even. And we were running again. To Nivan's house.
I meant to stay overnight.
I'm still mad at myself that it didn't happen. If it had we probably would have had our first time together.
We ran past a small woodland and were on a hill surrounded by meadows.
We started to argue for the fun of it. I have no idea what it was about, but it was funny. We were laughing out loud. We started to fight, hitting each other with our sweat soaked t-shirts that we had taken off. We gained such speed that we didn't realize when we reached the edge of the hill. We lost our balance. 'Nivan the ninja', well, a beginner ninja, but already with his famous reflexes, caught me. But... I took him to the ground with me and we started tumbling down. Together.
The fall was softened by tall grass and the fact that the hill wasn't that steep. But my back hurt for a couple of days anyway.
Nivan landed on top of me.
And I think I don't need to continue, because it is just pathetic.
But I'll tell, whatever.
Maybe I can jerk off one more time while I'm at it.
Nivan was lying on my chest, and a moment later he repositioned himself so that he was directly above me. His hair spilled all around me, touching my face. Tickling my skin. They were the same length as they were now, but black like tar. Without giving it any thought, I pushed some of it back behind his ear.
Skimming my fingers over his face.
I liked when he was so near, studying his face, it was so captivating.
I saw his brows moving slightly, drawing together. His lips touched mine. I felt a heat wave rolling through my body. We were never that close before.
My eyes went wide, I didn't let his tongue sneak in any further.
I pushed him away. I pushed hard and decidedly, probably looking at him with surprise and fear - not comprehending. I shouted something...
It probably was: "Are you crazy?"
Yes, that was probably it.
I jumped up and ran away.
Leaving him there... on his own. Probably in a more confused state than I was in myself.
I don’t even feel like explaining myself.
Now, I would do it differently.
I would give myself to him, all of me, in that meadow, in that grass, surrounded by night wrapped in his body.
Why did our friendship end along with that night?
That was the second stage of my 'internal' life. I was thinking a lot, discovering a lot. I needed time to understand. But at that time... I simply didn't know how to behave around him.
Because in reality... I liked it. And I think that was what scared me the most.
That the experience shook me so badly. That after what happened, his being close became different. I couldn't act reasonably and I had ADHD butterflies in my stomach.
So, I avoided him whenever I could. Not even considering how bad he would feel about all this.
It was probably enough to simply have talked it out. Maybe I would have found out that he felt the same as me. And that it's not unusual and was normal. That this was how it was when you really liked someone.
I couldn't keep calm sitting next to him, so I swapped places in the class, which I think hurt him the most.
I'm such an egoistic jerk...
After a few weeks of constant pondering about this whole situation (way too long) it came to me what I really felt.
I wanted to try, and I wanted to share my brilliant realization with him
But Nivan wasn't waiting for me anymore.
And that really hurt.
I saw him with a guy that he was in Aikido training with. I don't know, maybe I imagined it, or I was that jealous about someone taking my place that... I thought they were flirting with each other.
I mean... I was sure of it. And to be perfectly honest, I didn't trust my judgement at that time.
I knew the other guy, I felt cheated. I felt used by Nivan.
And so fucking jealous.
Jealousy turned into anger. Anger into frustration. And frustration into indifference.
Nivan tried to talk to me, but eventually gave up.
We went our separate ways, finding new friends in different circles. In situations where we were forced to be around each other, we either didn't talk to one another or we were simply rude to each other.
In retrospect, when I think about it all... I don't have anything against the Redhead, about the talk we had. About his outburst.
Because he cared then too... maybe even... heh.
Maybe he even felt something for me.
I wanted to hit the wall repeatedly with my head when I thought about it.
We were so good together, lock and key, who knows... maybe if I hadn’t run we would still be together to this day.
I had him at arm's reach.
And now... now there are others. There's Nathan, whom I'll eventually hurt. There's Josh, Nivan's partner... and my own wall. And his isolation.
If someone ever came up with a time machine. No to expensive though.. .then I would be the lab rat.
For now, I can only imagine... how it would be.