And then, he was gone
He did manage one day away from home, to do a report over at Ludwig’s house. Their teacher assigned a project for over break and he wanted it done before it turned into some Charlie Brown type shit. Their computer had a virus from Ai playing a borrowed video game on it. And the libraries were closed due to the snow. He said he wouldn’t be long, but Quinn told him to stay over because it would snow later, and they didn’t want him driving on fresh ice.
As Yakusoku wheeled his car slowly through the neighborhood, he had to wonder exactly how fresh was ‘dangerous fresh’ because this was pretty bad now. But he made it.
And when he arrived at Ludwig’s home he was greeted by a chubby woman, with a very thick accent. She called him a cutie and told him Ludwig was upstairs and to holler if they need a snack. He thanked her and went up the stairs.
“Your mom’s got an accent,” Yakusoku says when entering Ludwig’s artsy bedroom.
He took a moment to take it in, musical composers and random scores of music decorate his pale blue walls. The bed is a queen, and everything is damned neat and organized. Wow.
“you’re a Frenchie?”
“Oui monsieur.” He salutes.
“Huh. I would never have guessed, I mean, you say a couple things funny... but I just thought you were weird.”
Cocking a brow as to which words they were exactly, but he let it go. “I’m a mixie anyway, my dad is Canadian, my mom is full-blooded French. They even lived in France before they had me.” He’s busy spreading out the literal bounty of his backpack.
“I only speak francophone French, though.”
“It's like those girls who learn Japanese phrases and just sprinkle them here and there.”
They worked through the afternoon, breaking for lunch and video games which unintentionally lasted for 2 hours... it was Resident Evil 5! Once you get going you can’t stop.
“Listen to this...” And he put on a cd of some composer, whom the Land teen does not know- as if he knew any- and lifting his violin, Ludwig found a place on the cd and played in.
Listening, Yakusoku was literally pushed with amazement. He looked at Ludwig with surprise and the male only smiled before Yakusoku closed his eyes to listen to something he’d never thought he’d ever appreciate... classical music.
The cords lift and spin, catching his ear then left it. The piano was nice, but the violin was insane. More rock should have an electric violin. When it came to an end, Yakusoku opened his eyes and clapped appreciatively.
“Dude, seriously? That was fucking awesome.” He got up and actually shook Ludwig’s hand as if, now, it were nice to meet him. “I could learn guitar, Gev could sing... dude, we could start a band. You can teach me to play music.”
“Yeah, you did mention something like that before.” He’d forgotten all about it. “I can show you a few chords, it's easy.”
Yakusoku almost snatched the talented little wood box with strings. He pictured himself making magic from stroke one... but it didn’t quite pan out that way. The screech had Ludwig’s mom calling up the stairs after them, in which they'd shouted: “we’re fine” in response.
“Well, I stink. You should play some more, though.”
“Thanks.” He took that as a compliment. “I’m not much better, though, since picking it back up. You heard me, that time we walked home...”
“THAT was YOU!?”
“YES, it WAS,” He teased in the shock department. “Pretty good, huh?”
“Yeah... man; it's like finding out your best friend is rich.” Which in a sense Yakusoku was; his dad’s money, his money, it's all the same thing. “I can’t see you the same anymore.” His phone was buzzed in his pocket calling his attention. ‘Who the hell is this?’ Flipping it open, he says quickly. “What?”
“Hi... I figured out your phone number,”
Yakusoku’s breath drew in sharp. It was the girl from the Teen Helpline. “Aah!” He held his hand to his now aching forehead.
The girl laughs in her usual low and husky tone. “I’m sorry, did I catch you at a bad time? You with a girl?”
“No! I just... have a headache,” He rushed it out. “How did you get my number, what do you want?”
She laughed again, a single laugh stretching as though she had just rolled over and her voice did the same. “Goooooddddd, I just... I don’t know where to start,” she sniffles. “He did it, he finally did it... he said that he would never hit me- or any girl for that matter, but he beat me...”
Yakusoku rolled his eyes. “I’m sorry to hear that.”
Ludwig watched the exchange while putting his instrument away. Yakusoku was practically a shriveled bag due to that headache. Hunched over and free-hand on his temple.
“No, you’re not, you wanted this to happen.” She actually started to cry. “He split my lip-... he was just so... ANGRY!” Her sobs broke through her words. “I told him to stop, I told him not to hit me!” She was yelling now. “He wouldn’t stop, he scared me... he scared me so much...”
Yakusoku straightens up, eyes sharp and glaring at nothing. He’s had enough! “I’m sorry, Amari. But listen, you need to call the police and get a baseball bat and do something about it yourself, but I’m done caring about you!”
“I can’t, I love him.”
“No, you don’t! Stop fucking saying that! You’re just confused, maybe even a little stupid, or a combination of the two.”
“No no nooo, how can I be confused? He’s my everything, he loves me and our daughter...”
“Look, if you’re gonna keep this shit up then maybe you-...”
“He split my lip... He split it, and knocked my head against the cold concrete floor...” It seems now that Amari had stopped crying. Her voice becoming more calm and storytelling. “He dragged me; our daughter did nothing but watch. I think he scared her... I think now she’s warped for life and will see all men as beaters... What am I going to do?”
“I already told you what to do... You need to tell the police.”
Okay, time to change phone numbers. “Amari, was it you who called me earlier and hung up?” Yakusoku got a phone call earlier in the morning, but the person hung up before he finished saying ‘hello’. “How did you even get my number?”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about, I just got this number an hour ago.”
“What?” He glances at Ludwig who’s giving him the ‘hang the fuck up signal’, but he kept talking. “I’m asking how you got my number at all.”
“A girl... really pretty, Hispanic, I think.”
Meina. Son of a bitch. “Please lose my number, yeah? Never call me again.”
“I’m sorry I made you mad, I’ll call the Teen Helpline tomorrow then, around 10:30.”
“Yeah, fine, that sounds perfect.” He couldn’t have ended that call soon enough. “Bye.”
“He’s crazy you know... He talks to his self, he beats on me now...” She was whispering. “I’m scared of him...”
“I know. I know. And tomorrow all your troubles will be gone.”
“I still love him.”
She laughs again, with the tone of a sly cat. “You don’t know anything about it. You said he didn’t love me.”
“I’m hanging up now.”
She continued on as though she hadn’t heard him. “He’s taking us skiing next week.”
“I don’t care. Bye.”
“Bye Promise.” She whispers.
“Goodbye.” He flips his phone closed, dropping it onto the dresser.
Yakusoku shook his head. ‘Fucking weirdo. Great, another headache.’ Rubbing it the best he could, Yakusoku’s hands rub harder at his temples to ease the pain but it didn’t seem to be working.
Ludwig watched him a moment before he slid over to his friend, and sat down behind him. “Here, let me.”
Yakusoku was skeptical at first but eventually gave in because when the pain tears up your vision, it's a migraine. So he let the violinist massage his shoulders. “Thank you, Ludo. I really appreciate it.”
“You’re a Frenchie now, so you’re Ludo.”
Ludwig actually had a pretty nice touch. He wasn’t like those people who thought they could do it, then you end up suffering quietly while they make the pain worse. Ludwig’s hands moved over the Asian's shoulder blades, his thumbs between them brushing against the spine, flowing up the back of his head and the side. It was Heaven. He really felt the knot leaving him.
Yakusoku sighed, feeling more relaxed he leaned into his friend’s touch. His headache was just a painful memory right now, the only thing missing was-... Yakusoku gasped. He imagined it. There was just no way that Ludwig had placed his lips against his neck and he kissed him! But then, once again, so softly it was like a tickle, he felt the pair of lips land against his skin right beneath his earlobe this time.
Frozen, Yakusoku finds his voice and casually asks. “Ludo... what are you doing?”
Lost in the movement of massaging the back Yakusoku’s head, Ludwig’s hands slide down his friend’s arms then back up to his neck, where another soft peck landed on the very back of his neck.
“Ludwig. Stop. It.”
Finally, due to the growl in the tone, the Canadian realized- too late- what he had done. Quickly, he snapped his hands away from Yakusoku, and he moved himself over to the desk chair.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I didn’t... I didn’t mean to- I just...” He was plainly embarrassed, his face was blood red with humiliation.
The room was quiet for a long time. Neither boy knowing what to say to the other. Yakusoku scratched his head a moment then moved from the bed and went over to Ludwig. He’d moved in so quickly, the violinist bumped into the desk, nearly falling over it. He awaited the oncoming slug, and was surprised when the grassy green gaze- grassy green? What the hell? looked straight into his own, almost fondly. The strangest part of all was when Yakusoku leaned forward and kissed him on the lips, just as softly as he had kissed him on the neck, and just as briefly, before moving.
Backing away, Yakusoku looked his friend over then smiled. “Hey, don’t be embarrassed. I don’t care that you kissed me, I’m flattered.” Moving over to the bed, he gathers his school supplies from the bed. “But you know, just because I’m not gay doesn’t mean that I’m gonna beat you up or anything, I’m not like that... I gotta go.”
“Wh-... Yakusoku, where’re you going?”
“Out.” He jingles his keys as an indication as he walked over to the door.
“But where?” On shaking limbs he walks over to him. Now he was sure of it; Yakusoku’s eyes were playing tricks on him. One minute they were green, then they were blue-green, then they were just plain blue. It was freaking him out, he had never seen anything like it. Or maybe he’s seeing things?
The Land teen shrugs, shaking his head. “I don’t know, but, I’m going somewhere... you can come if you want.”
Blushing, Ludwig quickly shook his head. “No, that’s okay. I need to finish this up anyhow.” He meant the report.
Yakusoku nods. “I understand. See ya.”
“Yeah. And Yak’?”
“I won’t tell anyone.”
Ludwig seemed to relax after that, he even smiled. “Because, I’m not... you know, but I don’t...”
“So you’re Bi... I get that... Later.” He waves a hand, walking out, closing the door after himself.
Ludwig watched him go and chastised himself when the male’s beast of a car rolled out of the driveway. “Stupid, stupid..” He patted himself on the head.
The road was pretty busy that night. Everyone must have had somewhere to go that was of importance because Yakusoku felt as though he were waiting forever just to turn a corner at a light.
He had to think. To clear his head. This month, collectively with November, was tiresome and it would be nice to take a break from it. It was just too bad that Ludwig didn’t wanna come, but, oh well.
Putting on his turn signal, Yakusoku glanced into his side view mirror seeing that the car behind him had done the same almost seconds after he had. Hmm? Flipping the handle down, just to check, Yakusoku saw that the car behind him did the same. ‘Hmph... I’ve got your game.’Looking left, though his blinker was on right, Yakusoku turned the car left after the vehicle in front of him could finally move out of the way.
Receiving a few honks from other, confused, drivers Yakusoku wasn’t surprised to see that the car had made the same turn as he had. And it wasn’t the first time he had seen this car. It was in Ludwig’s driveway. It seemed that he wanted to come along with him, to wherever, after all. He actually wanted to get something to eat. He would have eaten at Ludwig’s but, due to recent events, it was kind of awkward.
Turning left; he frowned feeling that nasty headache creeping back into his brain. It hurt too. He was nearly driving with his eyes closed.‘Shit. I better pull over til this passes.’ Pressing his foot down on the gas, the car speeds up by five over the limit of 60 miles.
Yakusoku’s car bobbed and weaved in and out of other cars, slowing only once or twice when a car refused to let him by. Ludwig stayed on his tail, though. Spotting an empty lot up ahead, Yakusoku moved into the right lane, then waited for traffic to let him over to the empty store lot. His phone rang.
“Your mom called to check up on you. What should I tell her?” It's Ludwig.
“I’m on the road... I’m... by a store- Save-A-Lot.” He replied. “You know that.”
“Umm, right. I’ll tell her you’re at my house.” He was quiet a moment then said. “You should come back, the roads are pretty nasty.”
Rolling his eyes, he wondered if Ludwig would have him ditch his car so that he could drive him back himself. He thought the male hated driving anyway, he told him so around the end of November when he pointed out that he was allowed to drive his parent's car. “I’m on my way-... Aaaahh!” His hand came up to his head.
Yakusoku winced hard but kept his eyes on the road, he had to stop the car. Now. This headache seemed like the mother load, he was in so much pain he couldn’t see straight. Yakusoku was gonna have to be a little late for dinner at the Ballantyne’s because he was in no condition to drive.
The car pulled slowly into the dark parking lot, then the engine’s turned off. There aren’t many cars parked there so he doubted anyone would care if he stayed there a moment to rest. Taking deep breaths, he tried to calm his self down.
Ludwig following him, pulling into the lot as well. He wondered if the male was going to bring him in kicking and screaming, at this point he would kick and scream because being moved with this pain was unbearable. But Ludwig’s car did the weirdest thing... it just made slow circles around his car. It was as though the violinist had gotten confused. He also mentioned the reason he doesn’t drive is because he sucks at parking. But damn, the lot is empty- pick a place!
‘No, not now... just stop hurting.’ He tried to will his tolerance for pain.
Ludwig’s car stopped, parking right beside his but facing the other direction so that the driver was next to the passenger side at the back of the car. The door opened and a leg came out.
Yakusoku tried to see who it was because apparently, the car was not Ludwig’s- it looked like his car, but it wasn’t. He strained his blinded vision over to the left, and just as the person walked up his eyes closed, and he blacked out from the pain.
Falling over the wheel the horn honked. The sound generated through the silent parking lot for a while until the boy’s door pulled opened and he was pulled off of it...