Perth, reversed

 

"Why was I born?"

Daisuke often asked me these types of questions. He truly believed that I would know.

"Caprice. Whim of a wild god, perhaps. I donít know, Daisuke."

We were sitting on asphault in a nearly empty parking lot. It was a sunny day, boiling hot, and the cars were sparse because it was a Saturday.

Daisuke nodded. Score another remarkable insight for Ichijouji Ken. "Which god?" he pressed eagerly.

"The unlikable kind. A monster god." I smiled as I said this, and looked at him directly in the eyes. He is extravagantly lovely.

I think I stared a little.

"AÖmonster?" He asked, wide-eyed, hurt. Itís too easy to hurt him, even with a joke. I try to remember that.

"I would have created you," I said absently, and then grimaced slightly. That was far too tender, and he would make me pay for that.

"Youíre not a monster!" he protested. Typical. The torture begins.

What could I say? He could believe what he wanted, but I knew what I was capable of. I didnít want to say anythingÖ the whole subject made me weary. How could he understand this? Daisuke loved to talk about deep things. He loved to talk, period.

I wanted to enjoy the green sea breeze and forget for a moment that I could be both god and monster. I looked at the pebbles at my feet, and allowed myself to be distracted. Where do all these tiny, commonplace rocks come from? They are not pieces of pavement, or of asphault, and yet they collect with the dust to form autonomous little piles. I began to sift one such pile through my fingers.

"I am," I said at last, in my softest tones. He believes in me too much; he doesnít understand me at all.

Daisuke frowned. This was too old a topic for easy, trite words. He knew that I wasnít saying this because I had once ruled the Digital World. He knew that it really wasnít about Osamu, either, although it had taken him a while to understand that. The whole situation is extremely complicated; Daisuke knows this.

Thatís why I let him be my friend.

"What god created you, then?" he asked at last.

I thought about this. It was a good question, a very good question. "A lonely one," I said wryly. "He is reckless and passionate, and probably evil. But lonely, so I guess that would make him rather human donít you think?"

"Mmm." Daisuke nodded.

Things were changing between us all the time, and yet he was still the same. Daisuke. I wondered how this could beÖ in this summer heat, I counted in my head the time I had known him, and the months multiplied into years. He is my oldest friend.

Daisuke.

The fact that I am in love with him is almost incidental.

"Why were you born, do you think?" I pressed, going back to his original question. "What is your reason for being?"

"No fair!" We sat close together on the pavement, and he pushed me gently. "I asked you." His touch lingered, but whether it was for real or merely something created by me is beyond my ability to discern.

"And I told you, I donít know."

I wanted him to be born for me. But such a desire is improper and prideful, and gives evidence of my great and utter wrongfulness. I donít deserve to be blessed, I donít deserve gifts of fate, and I absolutely donít deserve Daisuke.

I felt him looking at me. I looked away.

"Are you lonely?" I could imagine the expression on his face as he asked this. He would be puzzled, and yet pleased for figuring out the hint I had dropped. And then he would be sad, because he is far kinder then I could ever hope to be. I decided to risk a peek; his bronze eyes burned and he was uncharacteristically flush. Exactly so.

"I am aware."

"But are you lonely?" He persisted. Daisuke never gets enough credit for his subtlety. The way he cuts through my studied defenses is nothing less then an art, no matter how simple his manner might seem to others.

"Yes," I admitted. This is how he makes me pay, for calling his god a monster.

Is it so wrong, to want to be that god?

As I knew he must, Daisuke placed his arms around my shoulder, hugging me from the side. Typical, how very typical.

I should really stop manipulating him like this. It is very irresponsible. But can I even help myself? I think I need his touch more then I need water, or light. It would be wonderful if he loved me.

The sunlight gives Daisukeís olive skin a coppery hue. I donít know why this is. Everything about Daisuke is rich and exotic, like sandalwood and spice.

I allow myself to be comforted, to be heldÖ and when the tears start to fall, to be rocked. This is what I do. I do this to him. I contrive for him touch me without confessing anything.

This makes me a coward.

Someday, heís going to wonder. These private, careless moments happen more frequently now, because Iím so greedy and I continually cast for more. Will he be ashamed? Furious? Will he never talk to me again?

I shiver. This just makes him hold me tighter. Coward.

There is something I can say now. Something I ought to say; words to make this story complete. "Daisuke," I should whisper. "I know why you were born."

He would be curious, because he respects me and would believe my answer. "You were born for me," Iíd say, and he would agree that it was true, and kiss me, and weíd be together forever, and Iíd never fear being deprived of his touch ever again.

Some days, I truly believe that is what would happen, and I curse myself for my weakness. But a part of me fears the other Daisuke, the one who will always be too good for me, the one who will run away.

"You were born for me."

Maybe heíd laugh at me, but more likely heíd be disappointed. Heíd say I was dishonest, that I used him, that I made him believe that we were friends when really, I wanted more.

How could I refute him?

Things fall apart; the center cannot hold. Nothing is perfect, neither summer, nor friendship, nor youth. I miss my chances even as I create them; I allow them to slip through my fingers as thoughtlessly as I drop the pebble-like fragments of sand. In this golden hour, all I want to do is lean.

Right now is the time for absolute honesty. I am not depressed. I am not desperate. I am not jealous. And yet, it is the absence of these weaknesses that robs me of any sense of urgency, and I allow time to pass in Daisukeís embrace, in perfect solitude and silence.

Eventually, he disengages his friendly hug, and stands up, dusting himself off.

"Weíve got to go," he says. I want to hear regret in his voice. "Miyako and the others are waiting."

Itís true. I smile up at him, and then allow him to pull me up. "What about your question," I ask, as casually as I am able.

"It can wait," he says. Typical Daisuke.

+fin+