He came with the rain (PART I)
Jun. 24th, 2012 | 06:43 am
Title: He came with the summer rain
Pairing: Sehun and Hunhan (Hunhan)
Genre: romance, angst, drama
Warning: Subtle sex scenes, A LOT of tears and some cursing.
Authour's note: I noticed my stories are always quiet slow and mellow in tone, so no crazy antics, no wild sex, no dancing unicorns and slapstick humour, just two boys who happens to fall in love and the obstacles in between.
It was a distant summer in a rustic countryside miles and miles away from the heart of Seoul when Sehun, the bored and aimless 17 year old student met Luhan, a prodigy piano student from Seoul who had rented a room at Sehun family's guesthouse for the summer. As the summer wore on, an intense yet short-lived love affair like the ponderous rainfalls began between the two young boys which ignites their hope, faith and forcing them to experience the pain and ache of first love that would ultimately change their life forever.
Everything about him was just about perfect.
His smile,a smile that glowered brighter than any midday star, they arched gently, just enough to show his warmth. His lips always quivered slightly when he smiled, like they were two fragile creatures, yet it was bright, bright and beautiful, nonchalant and carefree like nature’s most beautiful form has been placed upon those peach-coloured lips. Then there was his worn out beanie; it smell of warm coffee, of scattered rose petals, the smell of an old friend and perhaps a past lover. The white beanie always covered his ash blonde hair, hiding just enough of the white, delicate nape of his neck and framing his small, otherworldly face within its thick brim. Then there was the whole of him, soft spoken, slender, beyond beautiful, cold and isolated.
I shut my eyes and said my name the way he used to.
“Se Hun ah, Se Hun ah, Se Hun ah.”
He always spoke my name slowly and softly, stretching out each syllable as if he was allowing them to linger on the tip of his tongue.
I’m back to countryside, miles and miles away from the heart of the crowded Seoul, the lightest scent of summer could already be traced through the fragile spring air and I was walking down the maple lined dirt track, kicking up the ground with my worn out school shoes. The sky that day was hot and humid as if the surrounding air particles had been ignited by some kind of fury. My white school blouse clung to my body like another layer of flesh while thick droplets of sweat trickled down my forehead and stung my eyes red. I was 17 then, young in flesh and immature in mind, the sort of 17 year old boy who was captain of the baseball team and had the prettiest girl in school as my girlfriend yet I was never content with what life was then. It must have been around ten minutes or so of waiting when a black Benz finally pulled up to the side of the road where I was standing. The door opened and a young boy about my age walked out; he was preppy and crisp in look with ash blonde dyed hair, porcelain white skin and cheeks that were kissed flush pink by the smouldering sun rays. That was the first time I met him, billowy white blouse with cream coloured khaki shorts and white canvas shoes.
“Hey,” was the first ever word I spoke to him and a smile was the first gift he gave back to me. I still remember how that smile shook me right to the core of my being as if it was slowly awakening something that was hidden and completely untouchable within me. Yet I shook it away as quickly as it had come.
After the smile, he pulled down his suitcase in the most elegant manner and placed it squarely besides his feet. After his farewell to his chauffeur he dragged his suitcase over to me and reached out his hands; they were long, slender and almost untouched by time.
“Hello, you must be Sehun-shi,” he spoke the words slowly and politely with another smile.
“Yeh, and you must be Lu Han, the music student from Seoul,” I said, scratching the tip of my eyebrows, the heat was starting to irritate me.
He nodded and we both stood in a mild state of awkwardness as we gazed at each other then at our feet, not knowing what to say or do. I licked my dried, crack lips, gave him an awkward glance, clasped my hand together and gestured him to follow me down the track. He trailed a few steps behind me; the soles of our feet stepped rhythmically along the dirt casted track with closed lips in utter silence. Our tender heads were shaded underneath the familiar row of maple trees. We pressed through the barricade of the dense heat with the occasional breezes casting its way through the stalks of the green and paving the air with its coolness.
“So, I heard you’re a prodigy pianist,” I said, finally breaking the silence of the quiet afternoon.
“No, no not at all,” after a thoughtful moment he continued, “I came down here because Seoul was just too noisy for me, I just couldn’t concentrate on my music there so my principal sent me here for the summer just to freshen up a little. I’m so very grateful that your family is willing to take me in as a guest, I do hope I don’t irritate everyone with my piano playing,” he ended the sentence with a flourishing smile; he was now walking besides me and the proximity between us somehow made my mouth dried. I quickly look down at my worn out shoes and cleared away at my throat.
“Well, my grandparents adore music,” I said.
“And you?” he asked, his dark eyes gazing into mine like two curious creatures.
I licked my lips, kicked up a handful of dirt and stared at the ground beneath.
After a short moment I replied bluntly, “Nothing really, I adore nothing,”
Luhan returned my bluntness with a kind smile.
“Life can only have meaning when you are capable of dreaming Sehun-shi,” Luhan had just about finish the sentence when it began to sprinkle, a light veil of cold rain washed through the intense blue sky, signifying the beginning of summer; hot, intense with its ponderous, short-lived burst of showers.
By the time we arrived at the old guesthouse, we were both drenched in rain and sweat. In the falling midst of dusk it stood like an ancient relic, hidden within the dark shadows of the mournful willow trees, with the wooden panes of the front porch washed in a surreal layer of summer rain. Its traditional maroon rooves was slick, dark and shiny like the scales of a black fish.
I lived with my aged grandparents back then who owned a traditional guesthouse in which they would invite a few young art and music students from Seoul to dwell in every summer free from charge. We made more than enough money throughout the year from the harvesting months of the large crop fields. I moved in with them after my parents died in a car crash; I was ten then and had no other relatives left in the village. When my parents died, I didn’t cry or scream, I just locked myself up and spent seven long days staring at a blank ceiling without eating or sleeping. I wasn’t even sure if I was even alive, it was as if every switch within my body had been flicked off and all that was left within me was darkness and of me, an empty shell of flesh. On the 7th day, I slowly felt a tender stream of sunray touch the flesh of my arms and then everything snapped right back to where it belong. I got up from the seemingly untouched bed, had a long shower, changed into new clothes then bicycled to school. I forced myself to move on with life, putting on a façade that everything was fine yet their death never left me, even till today, it lies like a dormant creature within the crest of my being, occasionally ushering a slight quiver to remind me it was still there, it had never left.
“The house is beautiful, 1700’s style architecture, so rich with history,” Luhan said with a gentle smile as he wiped down the rain on his face and neck with a white handkerchief. His arms would occasionally brush against mine as we stood next to each on the front porch, sheltered from the shower.
“Do all people in Seoul talk like that?” I asked with the slightest grin as I shift my eyes from the falling rain to his face. For the first time that day I saw his eyes, they sparkled, glowing like dark pools of water under a full moon that reached a world beyond ours, they stared back into mine with the most aching vulnerability it almost made me cry. I winced slightly and looked away, back to the rain, the willow trees, the silhouettes of the distant ranges, anywhere but his eyes.
“I don’t know, I don’t talk to people much,” he spoke the words light-heartedly, like a joke, like bad sarcasm, like it didn’t matter; yet I could see right through the façade; he was ultimately lonely.
“So, I heard you’re going to be studying at my school for the summer,” I said breaking off the suffocating silence.
“Yes, I am. School in the morning and piano playing in the evening, my parents has it all planned out,” he replied.
“What, like you’re whole life?” I asked; a genuine question, an unintentional mockery, yet I could see it hurt him; it hurt him because it was true, it hurt him a lot which in turns ache me; an unknown pain. It is so clear to me right here, right now where that ache had come from, it was simply because I cared, I cared for him, the whole of him and yet I barely knew him, his existence had been unknown to me until an hour ago when his white canvas shoes stepped out from the black Benz, and even though he stands next to me, breathe the same air as me and brushes his arms against mine, I still knew nothing about him.
He gazed at me for a strange second, shook his head, smiled softly as he always does when he didn’t want to reply and carried his suitcase into his bedroom.
“I will see you at dinner Sehun-shi,” he said and pulled close the screen door.
I stared at the rain for a little longer, shaking away his smile, his eyes, his loneliness, the weird feeling pulsating inside of me. I shut my eyes, took a long deep breathe then slowly made my way into my own bedroom which was only a few rooms down from his. I lay down on my bed without turning on the lamp, staring up into the murky darkness of dimly lit room, trying not to think, to see, to feel nothingness but that nothingness was pervaded by the image of his smile, his arms, his eyes, him. I heaved a sigh and listened to the gentle sound of the rain pattering on the roof and gravel ground outside and before long I had fallen asleep, body wrapped inside a light summer heat.
I woke up to the sound of a creaking door, gentle steps upon wooden floor and a flicker of light. I slowly opened my eyes to a bright, round glow coming from the oil lamp on my study desk and a blurred silhouette of a familiar face, the face smiled kindly; it was my grandmother.
I smiled back with a slight groan as she placed her tender hands on my glowing cheeks.
“Sehun ah, I need you to check up on Luhan tonight, it seems like he’s caught a mild case of pneumonia from the rain.”
“Really? We were only out for a while,” I muttered, rubbing at my tired eyes.
My grandmother reached up and brushed the white tendrils of hair off her face, gracefully etched with fine wrinkle lines, they were beautiful though, as if every single one of those creases had a story to share. My grandma's eyes which had turned a light brown under the light gazed at me the way she always does when she didn’t know how to put her thoughts into words.
“What’s wrong grandma?” I said taking her small hands into mine.
“Well you see Sehun ah, Luhan isn’t like others,” she took a moment to place her thoughts into words, “the poor boy’s suffering from a very serious illness. That’s why his parents wanted him to come here; they thought fresh air might do him some good.”
“What sort of illness?” I asked, my wet, dark brows arching into a slight frown.
“Spinocerebellar ataxia;” she stopped, I swallowed the swelling lump of air in my throat. Her thin lips trembled as tears glistened on her light coloured lashes, “Sehun ah, his brain is slowly disintegrating.”
His room was quiet when I came in with the tea. It was dimly lit by an oil lamp hanging on the wooden plank near the door. His suitcase was placed neatly under his study desk with only a few books on top.
“Hey, Luhan,” I said sitting on the edge of his bed yet he was asleep. His brows were slightly furrowed while his lips had lost its shade of pink; his small frame trembled imperceptibly under the blanket; he was so sickly, so frail yet so beautiful. I gently brushed away the dampened tendrils of hair that had fallen onto his face and dabbed at the droplets of cold sweat glistening like rain drops on the pores of his forehead.
“Lunhan ah,” I said again, softly, I was afraid of waking him up.
I traced the contours of his face with my eyes, slowly, gently; the bridge of his nose, his closed eyes, the curve of lips, his lips. I shut my eyes tight and tried to see nothingness, feel nothingness. I took a deep long breathe then got up leaving behind the steaming cup of tea to wither cold on his study desk.
Days hardened into weeks and the light showers of summer continued, soaking the warm soils of the grass fields, dripping off the leaves of the maple trees, washing down on the dirt casted track. The summer brought back the beautiful smell of the cedar trees within the surrounding forest into the small village. Each day, I pedalled Luhan to school on my old bicycle, along the familiar road, through the narrow tracks of the old cedar forest, and then passing by small cottages with colourful clothes hung on thin lines and strings of smokes rising from its chimney. We didn't speak much on those trips to school yet I could feel his slender hand grasping tighter onto my waist as each day passes by and this somehow made me happy. I didn’t ask him about his illness yet it was palpable that he was unwell. As the days of that summer hardened into weeks, I saw the gradual changes as his round cheeks began to sunk, the bright creatures of his eyes started losing its lustre, his smile weakened and every note he played became unfinished and frail. I had never observed another human being so intensely that every inch of him, every one of his small gestures becomes a part of me, a part of him and lingers on even till this very day. The weaker he became, the more I wanted to protect him, protect him with every part of me because I cared; I was too afraid then to admit that I liked him yet even then I understood my feelings for him transcended anything I had felt for another human being. It was untouchable, magical and sacred. Yet the stronger these feelings became the more I tried to avoid him, hate him, and ignore him.
“I’m not taking you to school with me anymore; you can get a ride with Kai,” I said one evening after dinner. Luhan was sitting in his room playing the piano like every other day. He frowned slightly. Was he hurt, confused or was he just merely annoyed that I had interrupted his piano playing? I couldn't tell.
“Why?” he asked calmly, placing his hands onto his lap.
“Just because!” I said, almost exasperated. I felt horrible, stupid, like a little child throwing a tantrum over nothing.
He frowned again; he was hurt, confused.
“Alright, if that’s what you want,” he said softly with a gentle smile and turned back to his piano.
Right then, right there as I stared at his frail back, I wanted to hold him, tell him in one long breathe everything inside of me, of me, about me, tell him I was confused, lost, lonely, scared; scared of these unknown feelings growing inside of me like moss, consuming me to the very core of my being and ultimately of what I might do if I let it consume me. I wanted to tell him that his smile, his eyes, everything about him, within him, aroused in me something I had never felt before.
However I said nothing, letting the thoughts rot into silence. I turned to leave when Kai walked into the room.
Kai was an honour student studying at the prestigious Art’s Academy of Seoul. He arrived at the guesthouse a few weeks before Luhan. Kai was the sort of boy that was gifted with classic looks; charm and confidence which naturally made others respect him. It was hard to genuinely like a human being so perfect like Kai yet no one can deny their natural admiration of such superiority.
“Hey guys,” he said with a grin, confident, brash and completely mesmerising. Charisma oozed from his erect posture, his suave black blazer and slick black hair that would occasionally fall onto his face.
“Hey Kai,” Luhan said, his face lightened up, his smile wide and lively; I throbbed inside.
“Wanna go for a walk?” Kai asked, placing his hands firmly onto Luhan’s shoulders.
I stood awkwardly, like a spectator on the sideline, watching, aching.
“Come with us Sehun ah,” Luhan said to me.
I shook my head.
“Come on,” Luhan said again, his eyes seems like they were pleading ever so slightly yet I knew it was probably only a figment of my imagination, of what I longed for.
“I think Sehun’s probably tired, let’s go,” Kai said ushering Luhan out the door.
I was left standing in the room, alone, staring into the blankness of space. In the distant I heard their faint laughter, the gate swinging open, a dog barks, my own heartbeat.
Another long week of summer passed by and I barely spoke to Luhan and when I did they were blunt, short sentences. Since I could not understand the feelings within me, I tried to stop it and the harder I tried the more irritated I became with myself, with him. I forced myself to hate him, to hate his smile, his laugh, his eyes, his slender frame and his soft voice. I tried to feel numb, to feel nothingness, to hate, to ignore, I tried everything to not think of him.
“Why are you ignoring me?” Luhan asked one day as we were stacking away books in the quiet library. It was late in the dense afternoon and the sky was painted in the deepest shade of red. Occasional breezes from the outside world would flutter the white, translucent curtains. It looked like the swirling white dress of a graceful dancer, casting otherworldly shadows onto the dark carpet beneath. All of the students had left apart from the two of us who were allocated to clean up the library.
He gazed at me long and hard, his lips pressed together, his hands clutched to the side, I had never seen him so intense, so agitated.
I breathed and lied.
I returned to stacking up the books in my arms.
“Yes you are!” he raised his voice, his lips were trembling now, his body was shaking.
“You’re thinking too much, I’m not,” I said, coldly brushing back my long hair from careless months.
“Am I doing something wrong? Am I annoying you? Tell me, I’ll fix it, just, just stop doing this Sehun ah,” his final words became weak, his dark eyes moistened.
Without him, I was not myself, yet with him I could not control myself. I closed my eyes shut for the slightest second yet it was the longest darkness I had ever experienced.
Hate him; I hate him, everything about him. Then I see his face, gently washed within the summer rays and all the lies shatters into smithereens right in front of my eyes.
“It’s not you,” I said finally; softly, gently.
“First you stop taking me to school, then you ignore me, you don’t sit next to me at dinner like you use to, you don’t each lunch with me at school, if it’s not me, then it’s you, and if it’s you, then it’s still something about me,” he spoke the words brashly, almost in fits of tears.
Luhan ah, stop it, stop it, you’re hurting me. Stop crying, stop those tears, look at me, look at me and read my mind, stop yelling at me, stop caring about me, so I can stop caring about you.
“Luhan ah, stop crying,” that was all that left my mouth.
“You know about my illness don’t you, is that why you’re scared of me,” he asked after a long moment of silence.
I looked at him; the thought had never even crossed my mind.
“Yes, I mean no, I know about your illness but how could you even think of such a thing,” I said, I could feel a lump swelling in my throat.
“It’s my illness isn’t it?” he said.
“No, it’s not, that’s not it!” I yelled; agitated, furious, raging. I put my face into my palms and breathed.
“You idiot,” I muttered, then without thinking, pure nothingness, I unconsciously pulled him into my arms, his breathe were heavy against my chest, his body continued to tremble.
"Let's stop this Sehun ah," he said, his voice was frail and drained.
I pulled him tighter into my body.
"It hurts Sehun ah," Luhan said after a moment of silence.
"What does?" I asked concernly, pushing him away, my hands firmly on his shoulders.
"Where does it hurt Luhan ah?" I whimpered out the words softly. My eyes became wet, my voice trembled and my hands shook.
Luhan shook his head with a gentle smile, and took my hand into his, placing it onto the warmth of his chest, I felt the heavy pulse of his heart beneath my fingers.
“When you don't talk to me, it hurts; when you avoid my gaze, it hurts. It just hurts so much I don't think I can take it anymore." Luhan breathed out the words; a thin trail of tears left his eyes.
"Luhan ah," I whispered, pulling his head onto my shoulder.
I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you; I didn’t mean to make you cry, it hurts me too, it hurts me so much to ignore you, to hate you, because I care about you more than I care for any other person.
I wanted to tell him that, yet I couldn’t and so all I did was stand in utter silence as his head rests on my shoulder. I still didn’t understand the feelings within me yet all I knew was that, this moment, right here, right now, nothing has ever felt so right in my life and till this very day when I tell you this story I would not trade that moment for anything in this world.