His father just dropped a bomb on him. He was told that he was to marry someone he had never met before. Someone he didn't love. Someone that was a pariah to society. The "one-handed monster," that's what the people in town called that someone.
A man that was known as Kongpob Suthiluck.
Besides his fame for being a freak, he was also famous for being the most wealthy man in the country.
Kongpob wasn't liked by the people of nobility, for he was no nobleman like they were. He held no title, like a duke or an earl. He gained his fortune by earning it with his own hands, or better yet, single-handedly.
The man only had one hand! His left hand was missing. He also had a big scar on his face. A flaw. Running from his eyebrow, all the way down. It reached almost to the corner of his mouth.
The people in town told all kinds of tales about the man's missing hand. They said the devil ate it himself. Or that when Kongpob was disobedient as a child, his own mother chopped it off with an ax! However, nobody really knew the true story...
Though the people talked meanly about Kongpob's appearance behind his back all the time, he was also loved by them up to a certain degree. He helped them financially even when their own king wouldn't. They loved him for his money and praised him for that. But that's all they really wanted from him.
"I will not do it, papa. I won't marry him," Arthit spoke softly.
It was just so surreal to him.
"Yes, you will!" his father replied, not tolerating any words back from his son. His firstborn.
Thaksin was offered a large amount of money for this arranged marriage. Of course, he didn't want his son to be unhappy, but the family was financially struggling and he had more children to take care of.
His son had always been popular and lots of people wanted to marry him. The beauty of Arthit now 21 years old, was known all over the country.
Thaksin had always refused proposals but this time the amount of money that was offered was so great, he just couldn't refuse.
"Kongpob is a fine man. Wealthy, kind, generous, and somehow willing to marry a disobedient brat like you."
"A fine man? Do you know what the people in town say about him? How can I marry someone like that? Mama, tell him! Tell him I can't and I won't do it!" Arthur told his mother, screaming.
He desperately looked at het. She had tears in her eyes and her lower lip was trembling, but she couldn't talk back to her husband because she also knew she had more children to take care of, so she said nothing.
Arthit's younger brothers and sister just sat there, looking down. The young man felt betrayed by his own family.
He needed air.
"Be back here tonight or I will hunt you down, Arthit. The marriage will be in two days. Kongpob himself will pick us up tomorrow evening."
Two days his father said? Arthit couldn't believe it. He almost couldn't breathe anymore as he stomped away from the table, swinging the door open and without even closing it behind him, starting to run through the forest.
He wanted Roan. The man he did love, and he cursed that man named Kongpob. Not only in his mind but he screamed it through the forest while running. He hated the man even before he ever met him.
The small cottage ahead of him was Roan's.
While watching through the window, Arthit saw Roan eating with his family. He knew it was rude to intrude dinner but he waved through the glass hoping that Roan would catch a glimpse of him. His lover did. Roan signed something at him, and he knew immediately what he meant.
Their secret place... It was at an old abandoned house. Almost a ruin.
Arthit waited and when he saw Roan, he ran into his arms.
Roan looked sad when Arthit told him everything.
"Let's run away together, please leave with me. We can be happy, Roan!" Arthur said while tears poured down his cheeks.
"I'm sorry, Arthit, but I can't just leave my family behind."
Roan seemed to be only a little sad. Arthit had expected him to be heartbroken, mournful, bitter, angry. Not this. If it was Roan in this position, Arthit would surely elope with him! Did Roan not love him?
He now knew that his love was greater than Roan's. Still he whispered, "I want to sleep with you."
"What?" Roan asked.
"I want to sleep with you...tonight, before I leave with Kongpob tomorrow. I don't want my first time to be with that man. I want it to be with you, the one that I'm in love with."
Even though he loved Roan more than Roan loved him, he wanted this.
Arthit looked at his lover. In his eyes a mix of love, despair, sadness, and longing, an Roan didn't have to think twice about Arthit's invitation...
Arthit laid on his bed, in his room. He couldn't sit because it hurt too much.
His first time was different from what he had imagined. It wasn't satisfying and it didn't feel nice at all, it only hurt.
Roan had guided Arthit to lay down on the soft grass and then he pulled his pants off. After that, he widened Arthit's legs and positioned himself in between. He didn't even take off the rest of their clothes!
Then he took him.
There on the grass, without any kissing or hugging or loving. It took maybe one minute. Arthit didn't even come.
He couldn't understand why his friends always talked about sex like it was a good thing. It was not a good thing at all. Not even with someone's lover.
Roan had thanked Arthit and said it felt like heaven. At least Roan enjoyed it.
But right now, Arthit was also disappointed in his lover. He felt tears rolling down his temples, and at this very moment, he just wanted to go to sleep and never wake up again.
He didn't want tomorrow to come.
Kongpob stood in front of the mirror. He just had screwed his leather-covered wooden hand onto his arm cuff. He always wore black leather gloves when being around other people, to cover up the wooden prosthetic hand.
The large scar on his face, however, was always present. He couldn't cover that up. And so, every day when he looked in the mirror he was reminded of that fateful day.
He could remember it as if it was yesterday, and not 25 years ago.
"Mommy, daddy, what are we going to do? Where are we going?" Little Kongpob asked while he looked outside the carriage window.
His mother and father had a surprise for him. They would go somewhere nice for this special day.
"Well, my sweetest little Kong, it's your birthday today! So we're gonna go somewhere special. Oh, I can't believe my baby boy is already 7 years old!" His mother whined and pinched his cheeks.
"He is big now, aren't you, Kong? You're not a baby boy anymore." Kongpob's father laughed at the silly behavior of his wife.
"I am mommy. I'm almost as big as daddy already," Kongpob spoke proudly.
"Haha oh, yes you are my love."
All of a sudden, the carriage came to a quick stop and little Kongpob fell off his seat. Next was a lot of noise, people talking and screaming.
Kongpob saw his parents looking at each other with wide and frightened eyes.
"Kongpob, you must leave. You must be safe," his mother whispered as she slowly pushed open the door and shoved her son out.
Little Kongpob saw men sitting on horses and red blood was splattered everywhere. He heard the screams of the carriage drivers and laughter coming from the wicked mens lips.
"Run Kongpob, now, run," his mother and father whispered.
But the bad men saw them.
"Run, now! Please Kongpob, do it. We love you!" His parents screamed this time.
Everything seemed to happen so fast. While he ran, Kongpob looked back and saw one of the bad men grab his mother by the hair and stabbed her with a knife.
She screamed, his father screamed and little Kongpob's heart hammered inside his little chest.
He ran through the forest as fast as his legs could take him, but then he slipped and fell into a deep ditch, rolling over sharp rocks and branches. He cut his face and got himself a scar for life.
Everything went black after his fall.
When he woke up, he learned that an older lady found him at the bottom of the ditch. Rocks that had fallen down had slammed on his little hand. It was smashed and the lady couldn't save his hand anymore.
But she did save little Kongpob.
Kongpob snapped out of his memory when he heard a knocking on his door.
"You wanted to see me?" Aim said, coming into the room.
Aim was one of the few friends that Kongpob had. They knew each other from way back and Aim worked for him now.
"Yes, please I need your help. I got a letter from the King. An invitation to his palace. I can't refuse the King even if I wanted to. It's planned for tomorrow, the day I would meet Arthit and bring him here."
"I understand. I will go, don't worry. I'll explain it to him. I'm sure Arthit will understand."
"Thank you, Aim."
can always use help with my grammar
(believe me, I know I do). Talking me down
isn't the way to help, constructive feedback
is. Thank you.