I never expected that you would say it was my kindness, of all things, is what drew you to me.
In my bed, with the light from the setting sun coming in through the window, glazing your brown hair with a golden halo, reflecting against your dark eyelashes. Your head was resting against my chest as you dozed off and I stared at the ceiling contemplating our situation.
I never considered myself a kind man.
I could be cold. I could be rude. I could be cruel.
You knew that, more than once, in those first days you worked under me, you found yourself on the pointed end of my anger. Susano said so plenty of times, Kagutsuchi said it to my face, and even Yuki often found himself grappling at understatements to defend me.
Yet, that is what you said. You liked me because I was kind. I cannot help but to wonder why.
The first time we were alone, when you entered my house uninvited and unannounced, I was practicing Ikebana, and you, in the height of your naiveté told me you did not understand the principles, but thought it was beautiful. I, in turn, thought you were humoring me, by telling me flower arranging was like magic.
You, then, appeared to me as if you were a bouquet of snapdragons, catching me off-guard. Something did not sit right with me, and though I begrudgingly appreciated the thought and the words of praise, I ignored your true nature, so unlike mine.
It was not until I fell ill that I have recognized you for who you were. A caring individual, a soul unmalicious, uncorrupted. Someone to be protected.
The morning after we convinced Chikage I had nothing to do with his wife passing, I found you at the empty lobby, lost in your own thoughts as always, waiting eagerly for me to arrive, to see me.
Yet, I did not have the courage to face you that day. I hid from you, waiting for you to give up, but you never did, did you?
My shock of finding a fellow soul I could connect to must have come across in such a way that I was afraid that you would turn away from me that same night. I have never been very good in communicating my intentions and thoughts.
As a complete fool, I confided in you, I told you everything, to an outsider to Okunezato. Someone to investigate, someone to banish, and yet someone so earnest and innocent. Someone I wanted to help. Someone that needed to know.
No, those are lies. I told you because you asked me to. I caved just because you said you wanted to know everything about me, and I wanted you to. Because you were lonely just like me.
You were thankful, grateful for a hint on the whereabouts of your brother. You were so happy that someone else that saw your struggle with Hanate’s disappearance, presumed death, that it helped you in moving forward in such a way that just felt right. I know it, I can be perceptive at times, contrary to Kagutsuchi.
You did not disappoint me or let me down, you kept my secrets and promised to fight alongside me. Because dreams are all we are in the end, I remember you telling me when I asked why, and mine is a noble goal she wanted to make into reality.
Instead of running away, like you should have, what you gave back was so precious that made me wish I could return the favor.
So, I began to dream of you. Legs locked around hips. Lips against necks, gasps buried in pillows. Golden rods entwining themselves with Spanish jasmines.
It came to my mind a proverb my grandmother used to tell me, perhaps to educate me on the dangers of revenant activity. We are nothing but bud-less plants in winter's affront, life was finite and short, we had to fight for what we wanted. When our time was over, then it was over, and you have to face what you were able to accomplish.
I did not know, then, what I really wanted out of life, exactly.
The evening of the A-TO concert at the middle school, I offered to run patrol through town. Tatehira wanted to come with, after I had told him my impressions about our common legacy, and I let him, as walking with him was similar to walking alone.
I merely wanted to clear my mind through walking, and it would be unlikely for me to run into you if I avoided the northern part of town, as I knew Yuki had given you a ticket and you rather liked his music.
My mind decided to trace itself to me coming to the hotel once more, and while I knew Yasu had went through there earlier, a dread took over my stomach and I had to go inside and check for myself. I felt in the depths of my soul it was important.
I could smell the baby's breath on your lips as you held on me for your dear life, with the tears sliding down your face, and as you spoke to me, my grasp on my consciousness slipping away as the blood soaked my shirt, I knew you were the one.
I knew then, that was not it. Even if I happened to die, I had enough of an anchor to the living world to just return in the Summer, I had finally something to dedicate my life for. Alas, I did not die, to my surprise, and I knew that we could grow together.
Days passed, then a few weeks. I would think about you.
When I took a walk in the hotel garden.
When I was arranging flowers.
When I was alone in my room and with my hand below my waist, myself thinking of you in a bed of roses.
That is when you told the others that you loved my kindness. So honest and so truthful, as if you did not know how loud you were, or that I was in the mezzanine above you.
You are sugar and honey. You are red roses and flax. A place to call home. I do not deserve you as you breathe heavy on my skin and grab at my waist, and I whisper.
“I love you."
I don't know if you heard me, but I meant it. I always will. I knew what you were, I saw the pictures, but it did not matter. If you were ambrosia to the revenants, then you were for me, too.