(Title – 序章 – Joshō – Prologue)
I entitled this chapter as “Prologue” to serve as the prologue for Beyond the Moon. Hope you will love this chapter. 🐰🥕🌙
The two boys ran and ran until they were out of breath. Kichirō started feeling a bit dizzy so he stopped first, letting go of Shirō’s grip.
“What’s wrong?” Shirō asked as he took a deep breath. He took out a handkerchief from his pocket and wiped the sweat off of his forehead.
“… Huff… Puff… Gasp… I’m tired… Where are we going?” Kichirō was so out of breath that he almost collapsed. He was sweating profusely.
Both boys took a deep breath at the same time. Shirō unfolded his handkerchief and wiped the other boy’s face with the part that hadn’t been soaked with sweat. He patted Kichirō’s back and said: “Let’s elope.”
For a moment, Kichirō forgot that he was tired and started roaring like a kitten who’s tail was stepped on. “Aho! Who told you I would do that with you?!?”
“Ha ha! I was just kidding. I just want to see you. You’re mom is a scary lady,” Shirō laughed.
“Really, where are we going?”
“Let’s go to my house,” Shirō grinned and winked at the other boy.
Kichirō was stunned for a moment. He felt something was odd. “Don’t you ever dare do something stupid, or else…”
“Or else what?” Shirō teased.
“Or else I will cut your chinchin (No need for explanation what this means XD) into pieces!” Kichirō was flustered as he yelled.
“So harsh. I would never do anything shameless. Besides, I live with my brother. I wouldn’t do anything like THAT while he’s around.”
Kichirō decided to avoid this awkward topic so he asked: “Oh, where’s your parents?”
“They’re in Osaka. I only came here in Tōkyō to study.”
Kichirō nodded to show that he understood, then a thought popped out of his mind. “Oh, we’re close. My hometown is in Kyōto. So we are both from Kansai.”
“Would you look at that,” Shirō grinned. “Anyway, let’s continue talking once we get home.”
Kichirō suddenly remembered something, “I’m dead. My mom would seriously kill me.”
“Don’t worry about it. She’s your mom. Let’s find out what to do later.”
Without making any second thoughts, Kichirō agreed.
The two bought something to drink first before going to the train station. They found a nearby vending machine. Kichirō gulped hard after he realized how thirsty he was.
Shirō pondered for a little while on what to buy. In a moment, his eyes grew wide and gestured an ‘ah’ with his mouth. He pressed on the buttons, took out some change in his pocket and inserted it in the machine. The machine popped out two bottles of strawberry milk.
“Here.” Shirō took one and threw it to Kichirō.
Kichirō was paying attention all the time so he was able to catch the bottle. “How’d you know I like this?”
“Baka, you asked me to buy you one before when we first met.” Shirō teased as he pinched the other’s cheek.
“Sōka,” Kichirō secretly smiled.
They walked side by side. A pair of hearts beating as one, minds filled with thoughts of each other… They walked leisurely as if tomorrow would never come.
They finally reached the train station. When they got on the train, it was so full that they had to stand up.
“Ouch! Watch where you’re going,” a girl hissed when Kichirō accidentally stepped onto her foot.
“Hōnto ni gomen yo (I’m very sorry),” Kichirō said.
“Humph!” The girl them decided to turn away from the two.
“Be careful next time, okay?” Shirō said.
Kichirō blushed out of shame.
Before the train departed, more people got on the train. Due to his small stature, Kichirō was pushed by the people near them. He was pushed toward Shirō’s chest. Both boys where facing each other, unable to budge due to the crowd. All they could do was stare into each other’s eyes.
Kichirō looked at Shirō and appreciated every feature of the other’s face. His spiky, layered, ash-blonde hair was his most striking feature. His sword-like eyebrows made his gray eyes (due to contact lenses) glimmer with pride. Everything… Everything about him made Kichirō forget that he was a man from the start.
While he was in a daze, he felt something moist, soft and warm touch his nose — Shirō pecked his nose.
Another passenger saw this and blushed at the sight of the two boys. It was a real life yaoi show.
Kichirō felt awkward but his heart raced and felt like he couldn’t breathe… Like his chest was about to explode.
Shirō just smiled when he saw that what he did had this kind of effect toward the other boy. The two silently stood while they gazed into each other’s eyes. Shirō flashed his usual warm smile while he casually wrapped his arm around the other boy’s waist. He took the advantage of doing this since there were a lot of people inside the train. Kichirō couldn’t struggle as there was no room to budge. He just knitted his brows and as he looked at Shirō, as if he was going to shoot daggers with his eyes.
After a few minutes, the train stopped. It was time for the two to leave. Shirō gestured with his head to let the other know that this is where they had to stop.
They walked for a few minutes in silence. Shirō led the way while Kichirō followed. On their way, Kichirō wondered, “Am really doing what’s right? Should I just follow what my mother wants me to do? But how about Shirō? How about…. us?”
“We’re here,” Shirō turned around and smiled at the other boy.
Kichirō could never get used to this other boy’s tantalizing smile. He blushed to the point that his ears became red.
“You blush a lot, don’t you?” Shirō teased.
“Oh, no. It’s just hot. So… this is your apartment?” Kichirō fidgeted when he was caught by the other boy.
“Ha ha, yeah. Let’s get inside.”
Shirō opened the gate and the two went inside. They were greeted by an aunty who looked like she was in her 40s.
“Shi-kun, okaeri,” she smiled. “Looks like you brought a friend,” she swayed her eyes at Kichirō.
“Oh, hello Obasan. My name is Kichirō. I’m his friend,” Kichirō said with a smiling face.
“For a minute I thought you were a kid. Are you classmates?” She interrogated.
“Oh no, he’s my friend from our group that does cosplay. We’re working on a project for an upcoming event,” Shirō explained.
“I see. Sorry I forgot to introduce myself. I’m Mrs. Oe. I’m Shirō’s aunt and landlady. You two can eat inside if you feel hungry. I already prepared for dinner,” she warmly smiled.
“Thank you Mrs. Oe,” Kichirō felt happy and envious at the same time. He had never experienced this kind of motherly figure back in his home. It was mostly his father who did the household chores since his mother always got home late from doing overtime at her workplace. He thought that Shirō was lucky that, even though his parents were not around, he had his aunt who takes care of him well.
“By the way, Shirō. Your brother said he will be home late tonight. He had to do something with his classmates.”
Shirō grinned, the kind of smiling expression that made Kichirō shudder. It was as if he had something shameless in mind. Shirō noticed this sudden change in Kichirō’s behavior so he whispered to the other boy: “Don’t think too highly of yourself. I won’t touch you yet. You’re still a kid.”
Kichirō was dumbfounded. He puffed his cheeks and blurted: “I never said I was thinking about that!”
Mrs. Oe was confused about the two boys’ interaction and it made her giggle. “Get inside, you two. I just need to buy something. I’ll be back in an hour or two.” After saying that, she took her leave.
They looked at each other. For a moment, they were silent, then they both chuckled.
When they went inside, Kichirō smelled something that made his stomach growl. Shirō heard this so he teased, yet again: “You’re always hungry, aren’t you?”
“What’s wrong with that? I’m a growing man,” Kichirō squinted his eyes.
“He he, a cute growing-up man,” Shirō chuckled. “C’mon, let’s eat. I think Obasan cooked some Kitsune Udon.”
“Kitsune udon?!?” Kichirō’s eyes grew big in awe. It’s like he hasn’t eaten for years. “That made me drool.”
“Go wash your hands and take a seat while I prepare our food.”
“I want to help,” Kichirō pouted his lips.
“No. You’re my guest so I will serve.”
“Fine,” Kichirō growled.
Kichirō obediently washed his hands. He dried it with a towel and sat on a dining chair. He watched Shirō who was busy preparing their meal. A few seconds later, Kichirō’s phone rang. He took out his phone from his pocket and checked who it was. It was a call from Miyuki.
Kichirō, without any other option, excused himself and answered the call. Shirō looked back and watched the other boy leave. He continued preparing afterwards.
“Ki-chan, Obasan called me. She said that Shirō guy kidnapped you. Don’t you know that he was already reported to the police?” Miyuki flatly said.
“Ehh?!? Who kidnapped who? I wasn’t kidnapped,” Kichirō was stunned.
“Why don’t you just leave that guy? You know your mother won’t stop until she gets what she wants… and besides, it would be beneficial for the majority if you would do that,” Miyuki responded.
“Beneficial for the majority? You mean you and my mom? I know that you’re in favor of what’s going on right now.”
Miyuki continued to play dumb: “Huh? Me? I’m not a bit worried. Want to know why? Because I know you will come back to me, Ki-chan.”
“Miyuki, we already talked about this. I won’t come back to you. I won’t repeat what I said before,” Kichirō was shaking out of anger.
“Remember what I told you? You will certainly regret this. Wait until you get back to school tomorrow. Let’s see who will have the last laugh,” Miyuki coldly said then she hang up.
Kichirō felt like his world was going to end. His body became listless, limbs were numb, and his head was light as a feather. “What does she mean about that?” Kichirō pondered. He felt that something bad was about to happen.
He was standing on the front porch. A lot of ideas flashed in his mind that made him grow weary. He took a step back as he thought about the possibilities. After taking a step back, he felt that he bumped into something — Shirō was behind him all along.
Kichirō looked back. He felt his heart skip a beat. He then said: “You heard everything?”
“Un,” Shirō nodded. “So what do you have in mind? I feel that you’re having doubts.” Shirō instantly hugged the other boy. He rested his chin on top of Kichirō’s left shoulder as he brushed his right fingers on Kichirō’s hair.
Kichirō felt the atmosphere became heavy, that the temperature went down by several degrees… Shirō was obviously gloomy yet he still maintained his calm and caring facade. Kichirō has been thinking about this since day one. He knew that if he will pursue this forbidden love, both of them… all of them would suffer in the end. So to ‘save’ everyone, he finally made up his mind. “I’m sorry Shirō.”
There was silence after that. Everything was so silent that it was deafening.
With a hoarse voice, Shirō spoke: “Are you sure?”
Kichirō couldn’t figure out what to say. He was really confused. He already heard from others before about Miyuki’s true nature but he chose to ignore these ‘rumors’ since he knew Miyuki better than anyone. It turned out he never really did… It turned out that, he himself, would have to experience this dark side of his past lover. After a few moments, he burst into tears.
“…Just let it all out, Ki-chan,” Shirō sympathetically said. His voice was low and lost his usual warmth.
“Wu wu wu…” Kichirō cried like a child. He didn’t care about how he looked nor how he acted. He just wanted to cry because of the hard decisions he had to make. He then felt his back became wet. It seemed that Shirō was silently crying too.
“Why are you crying?” Kichirō stupidly asked.
“Because I can’t see you anymore,” the other boy said while he stammered. He raised his head from Kichirō’s shoulder and looked straight into Kichirō’s eyes.
Kichirō saw two fine lines of glimmering and translucent tears on Shirō’s cheeks. He wanted to kiss the other boy so he attempted to kiss Shirō directly on his lips.
Shirō was fast to react; he evaded Kichirō’s attempt.
“What’s wrong?” Kichirō asked.
“Don’t make it like it’s a goodbye. I will bid farewell for now… but I know, someday, we will meet again. By that time, I’m hopeful that we would be together… by that time, I can finally kiss you and know that you are mine.”
Kichirō wanted to turn back time. He wanted to correct the mistakes he made. He shouldn’t have dated Miyuki. He should have fought for what he believed in. He shouldn’t have turned into this weak and pathetic being… he should have been stronger for himself.
“Don’t blame yourself. I knew from the start that I shouldn’t have forced myself on you. I’m the one who’s wrong here. I will take my leave for now, but promise me that we will meet again in the future. Even if it will take years, tens of years… I will still wait for you…” After saying all of that, Shirō wiped Kichirō’s tears with his hands. He cleared his throat and attempted to get something from his pocket. It was the crescent moon pendant that they saw during their first date.
“How–” Kichirō was about to ask when Shirō stopped his mouth with his finger.
“Shh… I bargained with the seller since I knew that you liked this. I was hoping to give you tonight because I thought we could finally be together… It just so happened that it’s the other way around. Please take this with you as a sign of my love. When we meet again, I’m hopeful that you’re wearing this around your neck, with this pendant always near your heart.” Shirō then hung it around Kichirō’s neck using the chain necklace that he bought separately.
Kichirō looked down earnestly at the pendant for a few seconds then gazed at Shirō. “I promise, Shi-kun.”
The dark, blue, starless, veil-like sky flowed in naturally just like clothing made out of silk and satin. The crescent moon felt embarrassed with it’s everlasting smile as it witnessed the vow that the two young lovers made. The two boys embraced each other, not as a form of goodbye but as a seal to the covenant that the they made…