Side Story: An Ambient Sunset
• Includes spoilers for those who haven’t read vol4 (up to ch30).
“WHAT DO YOU KNOW, MR. I DON’T FEEL A THING!”
He really lost it just now.
Well, I don’t blame him.
Even if what he said to me hurt. I don’t blame him.
He was looking forward to the school trip today but his precious brother got angry last night, pushed him and he ended up twisting his ankle.
I felt like he wanted to cry all morning but, is trying with all his might to hold it in.
He sat down after his outburst at me and dropped his head forward, arms hanging between his legs.I kept my gaze forward even though I can feel him side-glancing me, feeling guilty.
Black shook his head then said, “You had… nothing to do with last night. I… Didn’t mean to take it out on you”
I continued to sit still, eyes forward.
“You even skipped school with me today” he continued.
I didn’t feel like replying just yet. He looked up at me for some time then dropped his head downwards whispering “… I’m a jerk.”
I stole a glance at him then looked at his wrapped ankle. I started playing with my watch, rolling it around my wrist as I asked; “How much does it hurt?”
He raised his head quickly, focused his almost-silver-eyes on me, then averted his eyes saying, “its really annoying. Keeps hurting me like waves of electricity going all the way up to my neck.”
“That sucks, man”
I stopped rolling the watch, took a glance at the time then stared up at the sky, cocking an eyebrow; “What did he do this time? Mr. Kill an innocent then join the crying crowd.”
I expected Black to snap at me as usual, but, I was wrong… strangely.
He moved his arms to his sides and rested his palms on the pavement.
“I left the room after he bandaged it, and got out of the house before seeing him today.”
Silence stretched long between us. I noticed his hand next to mine clenching the edge of the pavement. I looked up slowly and he was clenching his teeth.
“Let’s go to my house.” And when he remained motionless, I added; “Wanna sleep over?”
After a few seconds, he gave a sigh bringing his arms up over his knees and nodded silently.
I got up in front of him. Kneeling down, my back to him I said, “Hop on, mister”, to which a reply in a low voice came;
“no need. I can walk… Reall-”
“Really reaaally reaaally slowly, like how we got here?” I interjected looking back at him over my shoulder.
I then smiled and continued “come on. The sun will set soon. It’s my turn to cook something today. it’d be nice if we can eat in the kitchen for a change. Before dad gets back that is”
He nodded gently and shifted himself slowly towards me. I helped him up my back, careful not to bump his ankle against my thigh, then I started walking.
he is really light weighted, this boy.
I felt his small palms over the top of my shoulder blades, fingertips next to my neck on either side, and his thumbs were moving nervously, making invisible vertical lines as I heard him faintly whispering his thanks.
After a while, I lost track of his silent movements when I began to forget myself in the surrounding sounds. Crows, distant cars, the mosques fainting prayer sounds and my steps on the asphalt. Unconsciously, I started humming a song I’ve been listening to that week. Then I started singing in a low voice the words which were about pain and how it shouldn’t make one lose hope that dawn will eventually come. I almost forgot the boy on my back, when I felt two hands gripping tightly at my shirt. My steps became shorter and my voice lower.
I wanted to see Black’s face.
It’s not hard to predict, but I found myself wondering; What kind of expression is he making…
Before I was able to say or do anything, I felt his hair brushing the side of my ear and his forehead pressed over my left shoulder.
My feet stopped and my heart clenched.
As always, I really wanted him to cry.
To let it out.
I felt weak as he tightened his grip around the back of my shirt and cried silently but violently.
He sniffed and sobbed again and again.
I took a deep breath and locked my gaze at the fading scenery ahead, as he kept whimpering and shaking in my hands. I pressed my lips in anger.
A minute or two passed, then I gave him a gentle push upwards to adjust him on my back and continued walking slowly.
A humming of a song was all that’s left by the time we reached the cross-bridge before my apartment.