This is the story I wrote for my extra credit. It's worth a possible 50 points. I think I did ok, but that's just me. We had to choose from a list of possible topics: Something lost, Something found, start the story using the words, 'your mother', or read some story and do something in the same style. I chose something lost.
Warnings: Ok kids, there is hinted guyXguy but nothing graphic, pg13 at the very least.
The soft glow from the hanging lanterns filled the small room with there eerie warmth. The room was all too familiar to the young man sitting on the futon, along with the glow of the lanterns. But that was how it had been for the past seven years, and he was sure that was how it was going to be for the rest of the days to come. He pulled the fallen sleeve of the kimono he wore back above his slender wrist stopping it from coming into contact with the still wet ink on the page in front of him. The colorful, effeminate fabric a solemn reminder of how he ended up where he was, and in his occupation. It was just like any other night before he had to work, writing the few simple thoughts and feelings down before they were lost in the routine ritual to come. He would have to turn every thought, every feeling off and become a living doll. The only important thing would be doing the job right and getting paid. What a sad life, a life given to him against his will. This thought caused him to pause in his writings, to put the pen down and to think. He thought of what had been so long ago, before his uncle had sold him. How he missed the days of sweeping the courtyard, cleaning the house, seeing to the Geisha’s. That all ended one day, when he was fourteen, an awkward age, where he still looked baby faced, but where the signs of his maturity were beginning to show. Those men from the red light district, the ones whom his uncle had been fending off for the past month, had come back interested in the girls again. They had been trying to get several of them to go back with them, promising the girls a better life, money and fame. Uncle had been quite firm with these men telling them that no one was for sale. They left like always, saying that they would be back. Like many things that had changed, business became slow and money was desperately needed. The men came back with a new addition, another stout looking one, a friend.
“Just opened his own house,” one of them said to uncle, “looking for something different, these are new times,” the other added. When uncle asked what they wanted, they told him. “We want the boy.” No other questions had been asked, money was exchanged and the boy never saw his uncle or that house again. In the beginning nothing made any sense to him, he had always been cursed as the ugly child. Not good enough to be seen out in public, hidden away when guests came around. But as time went on, he realized what the men on that night had realized. Beauty. Something that men rarely possess, he had it and that was his downfall.
These new people trained him, dressed him and sold him. He had his debut when he was sixteen. Much time was spent making him look like a top yen whore, and when he was about to be ushered out in front of the masses he was stopped by the strange man who had bought him.
“Forget who you were, understand. Now you only answer to Sakura, nothing else.”
It was that night, the night he lost his name, his identity, that he finally realized the extent of the situation. A high price was paid and he was led off to a small room lit by small hanging lanterns. There he lost everything of his former life, he became what others wanted him to be. There was no boundary between personal identity and this new persona forced upon him. What ever had been of the young boy sweeping a decollate courtyard was gone, completely overpowered by Sakura.
It had been just a little over seven years since Sakura was born, brought to life by the greedy lust filled needs of men, and the weakness of his uncle. It was amazing what people would do when the price was high enough; he understood that all to well. That was the basis of his work, pay me enough and I will do your bidding. Words all to familiar, said one to many times just to make the cut. He turned back to the small book in front of him, checking to make sure that the ink was dry before turning the pages. Delicate fingers stopped when a small piece of paper began to slide from within the confines of the pages. A picture, a simple news paper clipping torn from the page in a moment of secret happiness. A man pictured in a general’s uniform, and a name. Takuya Akira, the proud name printed in small letters underneath. The image was in black and white, but he could see the colors all to vividly within his mind. The soft glow of life in the slender yet defined face, the unusual dark red brown threads of hair that almost touched his shoulders, and his unique eyes. Eyes that were brown, blue and green all at the same time, a rarity caused by a unique heritage. The general being of mixed origins, one fourth American derived from his mothers side. How he loved the general, the one small hope left in his cold world. The general who had saved him on one of his lowest nights, a night where he just wanted to die, to finally be free. He had been ready to jump, to end it all. Sakura was only two years old, but those two years had been some of the most painful years in his life up to that point.
He had been sent out to make up for the money he had lost. That had been one of the rules, if business was slow, and it had been for a while, he would have to go and make up the difference like any other common whore. On the street where anyone could look and buy, not just the elite. It had become too much, all the stares, the dirty talk. He just couldn’t embrace what his life had become; he couldn’t be Sakura any more. And at that dark moment in his life when he had gone to the highest bridge in town, climbed over the side and been ready to jump. Everything would have ended, his life, Sakura’s life. Just as he was about to let go, to fade away into the warm embrace of death he was stopped. Pulled back by strong arms, saved by a warm embrace and soothing words. That was when he cried for the first time in years, not knowing what else to do, he was still stuck in his retched life. But when he looked up to see who had pulled him away from the dream of peace, he was rather take back.
‘Why did you stop me? I wanted to die.’ He had asked the general, not understanding why some one of his stature would save a common prostitute. The general had smiled in the dim summer night, helping him to stand.
‘Because nobody deserves to die that way, no one should have to die needlessly.’
Did the general know whom he had helped? Did he think that he had saved a girl?
‘What is your name?’ a simple question which had left the pretty boy at a loss. He didn’t want to answer, he didn’t want to give his fake name, but he couldn’t remember what his real name was, another thing stolen from him on the day of Sakura’s birth.
‘Sakura’ The name of his untrue self, given in resentment. At the simple word, a look of knowing had crossed the general’s face and in that moment the boy had began to run. He had run because he was afraid, a mixture of many different fears. Things that were unexplainable, he just felt unsafe. He had run back to what he had to call his home, being greeted by the strange man. The strange man had been angry that his prize had not come back with what he wanted, but Sakura spoke up, quick and crafty just like he had been trained. He had told the strange man that he was being chased, by a someone dangerous who had tried to take his money. A charmed smile thrown in with the mellow dramatic story and he was allowed to go, being the prized possession of the house.
He carefully placed the picture back within the safety of the pages, returning the small book back in the box that he kept his makeup and hair combs in. The general who had saved him from the edge of empty despair. A passing dream that had all to soon become his reality, a fragile story unfolding like a blossoming flower. His general, who after that night had some how found him and become a part of his life. He placed the box back in its spot within the cabinet just under the window, standing gracefully, making his way over to the tall vase next to the mirror. A simple piece of plain china that sat in the middle of the small dark wood table next to the ornately decorated full-length mirror. The vase held five long stemmed tiger lily’s, each one in a different state of bloom. A friendly reminder that the week was almost over, and that he would get to see the General again. They had made plans together, how true they were was still something that remained to be seen. It was nice to dream. And it was this dream that he and the general had created that kept him alive, it was that little sliver of hope that kept him from not going back to the bridge and just jumping. At times their relationship seem all to good to be true, actually everything from the beginning had seemed to perfect. The general had known that he had not saved some girl; he knew that Sakura was a prostitute, but it didn’t matter to him. To the general there relationship was something new, where as for Sakura; the only new aspect of the relationship was that someone actually cared for him as another human being, not just as a piece of merchandise. It was nice when they would just sit together and talk, sharing simple stories of lives that they both longed for. The general being trapped by duty and Sakura trapped by everything his name represented. They shared more intimate moments, but nothing was ever forced, nothing rushed. And it was in these moments that the general would make little promises, whispering in his ear so that only they would know.
‘I’m going to take you away one day, so you can finally be free’
Freedom, something that he had longed for from the beginning, but what if that day were to come? Such a simple promise made in the heat of the moment, but such simplicity had a staying power.
He caught his reflection out of the corner of his eye, something else that was an all to familiar sight. Long dark hair pulled back and twisted, held in place with a jade comb. Thick, heavy floral print kimono draped around his slender frame, tied in the front, another reminder of his status in the world. His pale shoulders were always left bear, another method of enticing the buyer. The worst part was the makeup, when he put on the eyeliner, the lipstick, the blush, he was putting on Sakura. He was loosing himself to the monster that had been born from the cruelty of men’s hearts, a ritual of suppression. And it was at times like this that he wondered. If he were to put on normal clothes and take off all the makeup, would the general still love him? That was one of the constant fears that plagued his happy little dream. If he were to become normal, would he not be appealing? If he lost Sakura and took on a normal name would he be less desirable? He looked away from the mirror, turning his attention back to the vase full of flowers. No, the general loved him for who he was. Not just the pretty face, he had seen the general when he looked normal. Well what was normal for him, not a classy suit, but a simple cotton kimono, no makeup, just him. It was the little things that brought the hope back to his dream, and the flowers where that reminder. Every Monday the general would come and they would spend the entire night together, and he would bring new flowers that were just about to bloom. It was their way of counting down the days until they would see each other again, each flower a symbol of hope. Nobody knew about there love, and if they did, nothing was ever questioned, the general always paid too much to be questioned. The dream was their secret, a secret that helped them both live. Even though the general never admitted it, he was a broken man. Tormented by the pain of war and of coming back to a place once called home, only to realize that he didn’t belong any more. Such sadness. He let his fingers softly trace the opening petals, smiling to himself. He was more than happy to be the general’s home, if it meant that he could wake up every day and see him. If they could both be happy and help each other rebuild lives long lost to loneliness. Such simple wishes, held together by fickle prayers. There was a soft knocking at the door, he did not look up knowing all to well what the simple sound meant. He had run out of time, it was now up to Sakura. He took one last look at himself in the mirror; closing his eyes and taking a deep breath knowing that when he opened them he would not be there. Slowly exhaling, his eyes opened and Sakura look at himself, fixing his kimono. It was show time, another night of work, another night to get paid, and another day closer to letting go. Soon there would be no more regrets, no more hiding in the shadow of a monster created to serve the will of others. He would be able to walk along the path of life with out hesitating, without stopping to wonder if he should have jumped.
A single flower left by a forbidden lover,
The smallest sigh of hope.
A simple object given out of true affection,
This insignificant thing brings both joy
And sadness to my caged heart
For I know, I can never truly be free.
BTW: I did this the night before it was due and was almost brain dead, so the general is modeled after Tora from Alice nine, and I ot his name from spinning in my chair and wohm ever I was pointing to when I stopped was the name I used. So he is a Tora, Reita (The GazettE), Takuya (An Cafe) mix. Dont hurt me it was late and I had to be at work at 3 am. (I finished it a little after 12:30am)
Current Music: Kagrra, Core