Okay this is a really good chapter (well all of them are) showing that Kyoux is the Master of Suspense.
This one took 5,5 hours to translate:
12. The Blonde
I was alone in my hotel room.
I was sitting on the edge of a high bed that was probably very comfy for the rest of the world.
But not for me.
Leaning forward with arms propped on my thighs, I was looking dumbly at the white, hairy rug. I was poking at it with my foot checking how soft it was.
I felt as if I made the worst decision in my life.
And it's not about me being hundreds of kilometers from home. Immersed in a different culture, that I have no clue about, which I was never really interested in. Without the knowledge of the specific language of this country. That I am in a big city, apparently one of the most expensive ones in the world.
It wasn't about all that.
At that time my biggest drama was not having my own mattress.
And it wasn't just anxiety.
Because I had to stay there for a few months and I was alone. All alone.
Having a whole unfamiliar city-at-night-view behind the window.
Absurdly, all of a sudden I realized I couldn't sleep on anything else except for my mattress.
I can't sleep on anything else except my mattress and Niv's bed.
My throat tightened.
Where was my courage gone and the confidence in making my own decisions?
The answer wasn't that difficult though.
It was gone the moment I entered this room and realized where I actually found myself.
How much I'll be missing things.
I was sitting like that, numb, thinking about what kind of decision I actually made.
Again, I realized how in that short time of living together with the Redhead I became dependant on him. How much I need his presence.
Because who will be there for me to share all my achievements and failures with? Whom will I hug or to whom will I smile? With whom will I be spending time? With whom will I sleep?
I wanted to share all that only with him.
So why... why did I do this?
Why did I run again?
Maybe it's... the heart again? Wants to be noticed. Is reaching its hands out.
Something inside me hurt. Badly.
I closed my eyes.
I have to take the responsibility for my actions.
No one forced this on me. I made this decision on my own, knowing the consequences.
I need to be strong.
But at that moment I felt weaker than ever before.
So lost, again.
Torn apart by the craving heart and screaming mind...
I couldn't even comprehend how much this trip will change me.
How much it will change the way we will look at each other...
Sitting on the edge of that bed in a really nice hotel room I didn't even suspect that in a couple of months I will be kissing his lips, while thanking in my thoughts for every day that I spent here.
For every day of longing.
Because the snow storm will reveal what was covered until now.
It will blow away all misunderstandings and will show me a road that at first I will take with shaky steps, but only for it to change to a quick and confident march.
It wasn't a normal lazy awakening.
He wasn't stretching in his bed like he used to do, shortly before he opened his eyes completely.
This time it was different.
He jumped up hastily, hearing a very irritating sound of his alarm clock. He was sitting before he realized it, looking straight in front of himself with wide eyes.
He was looking for answers in his head, analyzing moment by moment what happened yesterday. His eyes involuntarily followed his thoughts, moving anxiously.
He finally turned his head toward the object still emitting the shrill sounds.
The image of yesterdays evening put itself together, and so the anger bloomed very quickly on his face, pulling his forehead together, showing clenched teeth.
He grabbed the object, squeezing it hard in his long fingers.
He threw it straight in front of him with all the anger that made itself present, together with the forming of that evening's picture in his head.
That vibrating object gave him even more disappointment.
Instead of falling apart when hitting the floor it landed in the soft armchair, still shrilling the irritating melody.
The Blonde howled in anger and fell back on the bed. He crushed his tousled hair.
Quietly, barely audible.
He sat in the kitchen, stirring cornflakes in his bowl.
Although Nivan set the alarm clock for him he didn't go to Uni. He didn't feel all that hot today.
Okay, he was just hangover and it was reinforced by laziness.
He was still a bit mad at himself.
That he fell asleep.
But on the other hand there was this smile blooming on his face every now and then, when he remembered the yesterday's "event". He was pushing the floating cereals around the milk.
Lately it was very average between them... but...
Honestly speaking, he still felt a bit drunk with it all.
He couldn't go to Uni just like that.
Because yesterday he kissed his lips.
He smiled to himself, looking from under half closed lids, thinking about that moment.
They were soft and a little bit impatient. Fierce and passionate.
They weren't hesitant nor timid.
And most of all they were... his.
He touched red hair.
He liked their fullness and length. He loved to hook his fingers in them, touch the skin of his head.
He felt his warmth and his touch that was igniting his body.
He was so close...
- You not at the Uni?
The Blonde jumped a bit, suddenly ripped out from his reverie. He looked toward the kitchen's door.
- Firka, oh my... you scared... WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU?! - he got up quickly and walked toward her, forgetting about his own state.
- Oh, nothing much, I'm a bit bruised. Nothing big - she rolled her eyes.
Marcin looked her over clearly concerned. He knew that she was playing him down. That was probably the reason she needed the Redhead yesterday.
He looked down at her hands that were tightly and properly bandaged.
He felt bad that something happened to her. She really didn't deserve that. He worried for her.
He hugged her.
- Silly, don't lie to me.
She was surprised a bit at that. She hugged him back after a moment of hesitation, smiling to herself.
- I met those guys again... those I met back when I met Niv for the first time.
He leaned back a bit so that he could look her in the face.
- But they didn't harm you more than what I can see, did they?
- No, I managed - she smiled proudly lifting her chin a bit.
- And how about...?
He didn't finish... Firka shook her head sadly.
It didn't work out.
Firka lost her job.
He showered, dressed and made his hair. He didn't use too much hair spray on his mohawk today but styled it to the left side this time.
He still had a lot of time on his hands. There are still a few hours till the Redhead will come back home.
He needed to fill that time with something.
He took all the bottles from Nivan's room, cleaned the ashtray, and tidied his desk.
Made his bed, finding the black package in the bed. He put it on the bedside table with a funny devotion.
He looked at the clock. Only 30 minutes passed.
He let out a sigh.
He thought that it probably would be better to go to Uni anyway. Silly.
Next he fed the rabbit, giving him some attention he stroked him for a while. Then he went to wash up. While doing it he realized he would make a great house wife.
It was a hard hit to his male pride, checking the time on his mobile he finally went to his room in desperation.
He stood in the doorway and looked at his artistic disorder left on his floor. If he started cleaning it up...
- No, no fricking way.
He said to himself and navigating around his clothes, boxes etc., he took out his laptop. He quickly went to Niv's room. He checked Facebook and other crap. Yes, that was a good choice. Time with computer always run fast for him.
With every minute that was bringing him closer to Nivan's return, his stomach was churning more and more.
He laid down on his back, looking up to the ceiling, wondering how he was supposed to behave.
Can he allow himself for something more... anything? Or should he be patient and let Nivan make the first move.
But... what if he doesn't want to?
What if "that" was caused by too many artificial stimulants...
It worried him.
Something squeezed in his stomach.
He let out his breath and decided that he was fretting more than a bloody teenager before his fist date, or worse before his first time.
He looked anxiously at his clock.
He should be back by now.
Or maybe... maybe... he should do something to eat. Or do his hair again. Or...
- Marcin, you moron, calm down.
He said to himself slowly in a calm manner, trying to calm his thrashing heart and the whirlwind in his stomach.
He waited impatiently, listening intently to all of the sounds behind the walls of the room. He nervously tugged at the ends of his hair, not sure what to do with his hands.
He felt like an idiot. But he couldn't control it anyway.
Marcin sat down on the bed.
He was 10 minutes past his due time.
He laid down again.
He got up and took the rabbit from its cage.
He put him back in and sat down in the armchair next to the desk and started to turn in it in circles.
The time was passing but Nivan still wasn't back.
With every passing minute Marcin's emotions were falling. His excitation changed into unease.
After an hour and a half he went to Firka and asked her if she wanted to make something to eat together with him.
Unconsciously he knew it.
He had a feeling. Although he still hopped.
But as the evening progressed that hope changed into sorrow.
You know that feeling when you really want something but it just doesn't happen?
This is the worst sort of disappointment you could ever feel.
It only got worse after I got the message: "Don't wait for me"
It hurt. It hurt like hell.
The only thought that went through my head was that he was with him. With his man.
And that was even worse.
I didn't know what I wanted anymore.
I was disgusted by myself, because I thought that I could be "the other one". Only to be next to him. I was disgusted by how weak I was.
I realised how deep I was in all that shit.
How toxic it was for me. How much it ate at me, how it changes me. How it doesn't allow me to think about anything else.
That maybe, I just love my vision which I dress in something that in reality isn't there.
I felt lost. Really lost.
- Marcin, what are you doing?! - she asked surprised standing in the door to his room.
The Blonde was moving his things from one place to the other, refolding, packing. He was doing it hastily without much hesitation.
It was a weird sight because Marcin was always dragging things like that out. If he did them at all.
Firka was looking at him aghast. She was even more worried when she saw that he already had his boots and jacket on.
- I'm packing - he said not looking up at her.
She shook her head a bit as if she heard it wrong.
- You're packing where?
- I agreed to Winter's offer. Since his manager is in Poland today I can go with him, so I'm not waiting but moving my ass -he said without pausing his packing.
She frowned and looked at him surprised, a bit worried and anxious.
- Marcin... we talked this through, you said you didn't want to go.
- I had a change of heart.
- But... why?
He didn't respond.
- Something happened between you and Nivan?
He turned rapidly toward her. He gave her a threatening look and bared his teeth.
- And why does my life has to revolve around his person?! - he yelled, shaken.
She pulled her head back nor really believing what she saw and heard just now.
- Calm down, because you don't know what you are talking about - she responded in an even and calm voice but firmly nonetheless. - You yourself decided to change. For him. That you won't go. For him. Because you are scared that the circle will close once again. You already achieved so much and now you run again, just like that? What happened?
He looked at her, trying to stop his chin from trembling. He was on the edge. His throat tight.
- Why should I try when he is still with him? - he said wiping his cheek with the back of his hand - Why should I... - he said it more to himself now, trying to hold back his tears.
She came closer to him crouching low.
- I think that you should talk to him, and not making rash decisions - she said gently.
- Firka I think... I think I'm tired with all this... Something just doesn't want us to be together and that's it. There is always something in my way... I need a break, to think... away from him.
She let her gaze fall, she felt sorry for him.
Because it wasn't "something" that was standing in his way.
It was him.
I was tired.
I unpacked some of my things. I took a shower, put myself together and the things around me, which was a first.
I looked at the bed.
I didn't even try, I knew I wouldn't fall asleep.
I took off the duvet, the blanket and the sheet.
I made a quite comfy pallet on the floor next to the bed.
I smiled for the first time since my arrival.
"I'm going to make it"
I thought and laid down on the duvet, pulling the blanket over myself.
I was lying like that for a minute staring at the ceiling.
It was quite okay.
I turned the light off, took my laptop out and checked if I had any connection with the net.
Yes, I had.
So I checked a few things with no purpose.
Almost an hour passed before I put it away and laid down to sleep.
I closed my eyes.
All sorts of things were stomping on my head that I was trying to get rid of. Uselessly.
"I wonder what Firka is doing. What Nivan is doing, where he is..."
I realized I won't see them for quite some time and that he won't be playing with Robin.
But that's the way it is.
It is like that. When you leave.
Especially when you are somewhere out there, alone.
I shouldn't be thinking about that.
It was only the first day.
I was turning and tossing although I was really tired.
I was tired with myself.
Finally I got up and took out the cigarettes from my suitcase. I opened the window. The cold night air gushed over me. I sat on the windowsill.
A bit trembling.
I couldn't finish the cigarette because it quickly became too cold. Leaving the windowsill I rubbed my arms. I had a thought that I might have taken...
That I have...
I opened the second suitcase and looked for the hoodie.
It was stupid that being angry at him, at myself, at us... I packed it with the rest of my things, without permission...
But it made me happy. I felt like I had a part of Nivan with me.
I smelled it.
And smiled for the second time.
Because it still smelled like him.
I pulled it on.
It already felt warmer.
In body and soul.
I pulled the blanket over myself once on the pallet again. I clutched the pillow.
I thought that I am a moron indeed.
I didn't want to be here.
I would like to be next to him. And it doesn't matter in what manner.
I closed my eyes, brows drown.
But I wasn't meant to have peace. I heard the mobile ringing next to me. I lifted myself ant took it a bit surprised.
I was looking at the name displayed on the screed for quite a while.
At first I didn't want to pick it up at all.
Because I didn't expect... I was scared. I didn't know what to tell him.
But on the other hand... I really wanted to hear his voice.
But before I decided to pick it up the phone fell silent.
The screen went black again.
I squeezed it in my hand... feeling the sorrow coming over me.
The phone vibrated in my hand again and lit up.
I answered without hesitation.
- Nivan, I... - I blurted quickly, but I heard the Redhead's words come as quickly over mine. I froze.
- Marcin. I'm not with Josh anymore.
He said with his melodic, purring voice. Without hesitation or any other further ado.
I was silent.
- You hear me? - he asked not getting any response from me.
- When... - I shot back absurdly. I felt my head go heavy with thoughts.
- More than a week.
- Why didn't you tell me?
- Because I didn't know what I wanted myself, I needed time to think.
- And now you know what you want? - he asked, bit of anger showing through - Did I disturb you in your thinking? - I asked in a higher tone.
- It's not like that.
- So tell me how is it then? Because I don't get it.
He was silent for a moment, but I could feel that he got a bit angry as well.
- Marcin, don't push all of it on me. Because you despite babbling all the time how decided you were, you were fucking everything that you managed to get in your bed. Showing me that you ARE NOT as decided as you claim to be. You've got your games and secrets. And I don't get the right to have mine?
I froze, holding the slick phone squeezing it tightly in my hand. I didn't know what to say.
I felt as If I already lost this argument. As if I'm at the point of no return.
- Yes... you do have the right... Although I would prefer... I would like... - I said feeling my heavy lids.
- I'm listening.
I didn't manage to finish my thought. I fell apart.
I pulled my knees to my chin holding them tightly and still clutching the phone in the other hand.
- Nivan... Niv... I'm so sorry... so terribly... Oh God - I said all the sorrow flooding out together with my tears.
- Don't cry you fool. You hear me? Stop it - he said with a slightly raised voice - There's nothing to cry about. You run again and I told you to late what I wanted to tell you. So it's like it always used to be. You were fucking around and I wasn't coming home, we're even.
I tried to calm down.
I was ashamed.
Because it seemed like the only thing I can do is bawl, fuck and run. Great team right there.
- W-where were you yesterday? - I asked more calm now wiping the wet waterfall from my cheek.
- At work. I got a job.
- What kind of job?
- I'll tell you when you come back. It's an IT thing - he added.
- Why didn't you tell me, I thought...
- I know what you thought. Firka told me everything. I should have told you, forgiven?
- If you would have told me... then I probably wouldn't be here... - I said, smiling through tears.
- I know - he answered shortly - but maybe it is for the better. We need a break.
- Nivan... I won't do it any more...
- What? Fuck others? Don't promise what you can't keep.
I huddled myself even tighter. I didn't know how to defend myself.
I didn't have anything to defend with.
I realised that Nivan didn't trust me... and that was the biggest problem at that moment...
- How are you coping? - he said after a while but this time with his usual calm voice.
- Okay... - I said quietly - I sleep on the floor. I mean... I try to.
He fell silent, then added after a while:
- I regret that I wasn't next to you last night - said the Redhead.
With brows pulled tight my lips were quivering uneasily.
I was trying to hold myself together.
- I was... waiting as well...
- I know. I'm sorry - he said. Sincerely.
- It doesn't matter... - I smiled sadly. I thought that I too heard his smile.
We were silent for a bit, listening to our breaths.
I understood how many untold things are still between us. How many feelings, doubts, expectations.
But that gave me hope. Because there was SOMETHING between us.
And it wasn't either bad or good.
It was intense.
- I hope that... you'll be able to fall asleep - he said finally.
- Now... I think that now I probably will - I smiled.
- That's good... So...? Goodnight?
- Yes, goodnight... - I said resolutely although reluctantly.
- Sleep well.
- You too...
I pulled the mobile away from my ear and looked at the screen again.
I decided that evening that I really will change.
Not that I will try.
I will change, end of. Because then... I just didn't deserve him.
Because he was already settled... and me... still in constant mess.
Next day I made a list of attributes and habits to be changed.
Maybe a bit naively.
I was trying. I gave my best.
Because while going to bed, still having his voice in my head, his words I understood.
I understood, that I love him even more.