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Winter blossoms

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Kai ducked under the loose board on the side of the garden, eyes going from one side to another looking for anyone who might see him and finding no movement to his content, it was Saturday just barely after midday and the sky was painted grey and blue, the sun boring down on the earth like a white light instead of yellow and the wind kept dancing around the trees making music with the leaves. It was another Saturday Kai had opted to steal some flowers from the pretty garden that was on his way to his visit.


It was wrong, he chastised himself most of the time when he found himself on the garden again, but they had some flowers on his hyung’s favourite colour, and they were so pretty, the actual flowers would be too expensive if he started to buy them every time he went to visit his hyung, so it became some kind of tradition, not something he did too much, but enough times for it to actually become part of his routine.


Sneak into the garden and take some flowers, not many, just enough to make something pretty, most of the times not even the same flowers but picking from the different kinds that were overflowing in the well kept garden, it was minimal, he reassured himself every time he went inside, his heart thudding against his chest in a manner that made him nervous just to think someone else might be able to hear it, but it never happened so he tried to claim himself each time, telling himself he was being paranoid.


Kai practically crawled forward between bushes, and looked around once more, localizing his targets just a couple of feet away, he glanced at the house, recalling the times he sometimes saw the guy who lived inside, he supposed it was a family house, because who had money to buy a house in their early twenties, no one kai knew at least.


Kai didn’t know who looked after the garden, he was just grateful they did, he remembered passing once or twice in front of the house before everything happened, his Soobin hyung told him he liked the flowers they had there, that maybe if he had enough money he would like to grow flowers in his own place too, kai had listened to him with intent, like he always did, and gifted him some flowers not long after that day, Soobin had been so happy about it, and embarrassed too.


The sound of the wind broke his memories once more and kai got closer to the blue flowers picking some of them from the Bush and holding them close to his chest, the soft petals tickling his chin like cold feathers, and the soft scent of them wafted around him each time the wind came to dance around his head. Kai looked down at them and nodded, his Soobin hyung would love them.


“hem-hem” the sound of someone’s voice too close to him startled kai out of his mind, a curse leaving his lips and bottom falling to the ground when he realised someone was watching him.


It was the guy from the house, his black hair barely reaching his eyes in an unruly mess, a grey sweater draped over the wide shoulders and an unamused look on his face, kai looked around in panic before he actually realised where the guy was standing, still inside the house but looking out of the window, his body leaning on the left side of the window.


Kai found himself out of words, and he tried to regain some kind of control over the situation before realising there was no way of this, he was guilty, fresh picked flowers on his hand and dirt on his pants from sitting on the floor, “I-Im, sorry I’m sorry” he said, not finding anything else to exclaim. Kai didn’t know what to do, if stand up and run or apologise more, what did you do when someone caught you while stealing his flowers?


“thought you wouldn’t come anymore,” said the stranger, his handsome features illuminated by the plane sunlight, his wolfish eyes looked him over, as if taking him in, and kai felt shame bloom inside his chest and rise to his cheeks in mere seconds “wha-what? Me?” the stranger chuckled at his response and leaned his head on the window, in a so laid back handsome manner kai though the stranger must know how much power he held.


The stranger nodded, lifting a cup of what kai supposed was coffee to his lips, “you took some babys-breath and muscaris, I know Because I was supposed to pick some of the flowers myself, but lo and behold when I finally did come out for them, their bushes were smaller than before,” the words were not spoken with anger but with something akin to amusement, kai didn’t know what to do more than apologise again.


“I’m sorry, I-I didn’t mean... I wasn’t – “ the stranger shook his head and waved him off, a smile painting his face, Kai was starting to hyperventilate Because he still didn’t know what was going to happen, guilt was starting to eat him away already “I mean, the girl must be gorgeous if she drove you to pick flowers from my garden again,” the stranger said a smirk in place now, and kai blushed from the words but shook his head lightly “not a girl,” was all he could come up with a knot on his throat making it difficult to speak.


The man nodded in understanding “a boy then?” he asked and kai was barely able to give him a tiny nod “doesn’t really matter kid, must be a dashing young man then,” he said putting his cup done on the windowsill, kai still didn’t move, waiting for the stranger to start shouting or telling him to get the he’ll away from his garden and yet, the only thing the other did was sigh, looking around as if thinking for a moment before nodding.


“that settles it then,” he said and moved towards the inside of the house, kai panicked, what settled what?! His mind raged with different horrible outcomes of the situation and when in the next second the front door opened to reveal the handsome stranger kai stood up in a flash ready to run for his life, but the stranger only smiled, putting on some shoes before grabbing an oversized jacket from the inside of the house, kai gulped down the growing fear and the stranger walked down the porch towards him putting his hands on his pockets and swayed on the spot a weird spark on his eyes “okay then, let’s go.”


Kai stopped breathing for a moment and looked at the stranger with wide worried eyes which made the handsome stranger laugh “don’t look at me like that kid, I’m not going to kill you or anything,” he exclaimed and kai felt some tension leave his shoulder “I just want to meet the guy,” he continued “I mean, he must really be something for him to warrant theft so let’s go,” he said jerking his head towards the path behind himself as if to mean his words.


Kai, who was caught between a rock and a hard place didn’t know what to say or do, a million different things going through his mind, but the simplest one was to obey, so he nodded, not really knowing how to respond, he walked then, forcing himself to move his legs one at a time to get out of the garden and towards his destined place.


The stranger followed him, walking beside him like a friend, kai couldn’t bring himself to speak, “what’s your name kid?” the stranger asked turning to look a t him for a moment before looking ahead again, kai swallowed the forming knot on his throat again and answered “kai, Huening kai,” he responded, and the stranger nodded “Hueningkai, hmm, you’re not from here then?” he asked and kai shook his head “my mom’s from here but, my dad’s from America,” he answered “I was born there but lived in China since I was little, we moved here when I was ten.”


Kai didn’t know why he was talking so much, maybe talking about other things would drift the attention away from the important things, the stranger nodded as if taking the information in, and didn’t speak for a second then, “I’m Yeonjun,” the stranger said and kai turned to look at him for a second.


Yeonjun. Yes it suited him well. Kai didn’t speak anymore and Yeonjun didn’t ask anymore questions, so silence came to walk with them too, and the wind came too to break the silence apart with the song of the leaves. They walked like that, in a comfortable silence while kai was trying to come up with a way of explaining himself.


“so,” started Yeonjun after a few minutes “are you dating this boy?” he asked and kai nodded immediately but winced “yes, I mean... No? I was, its kind of... Difficult,” he said while looking down at the road under his feet, the were getting closer now, and kai was trying to prepare himself for the pitying look the older would throw his way as soon as he found out “oh, so, complicated it is.” Yeonjun said and nodded to himself again, Kai knew he must sound clipped and maybe even rude, but his heart was still beating against his chest and he didn’t know how to express his feelings.


Kai could see the entrance to the place, and his heart seem to jump to his throat, he needed to say something before they arrived, the flowers he had picked were now limp in his hand where he had been holding on to them with too much force, he swallowed another knot and started to speak.


“Soobin-Soobin hyung is-was my...” kai started but found himself short of words “he is truly an amazing hyung you see,” kai said turning to look at Yeonjun for a moment “he is always sweet with me, and treated me like I was his whole world when we first met, he loved me very much since the beginning.” Yeonjun turned to look at him too and nodded a warm smile on his face “he sounds like a lovely person,” Yeonjun answered and kai smiled nodding, his hyung was always a wonderful person with him, “yeah, he truly is, I met him when I was fourteen and he took care of me ever since,” kai looked ahead seeing the entrance become bigger, he swallowed “we got together just a year after.” Yeonjun frowned then and turned to look a t kai with a questioning look.


“problems in paradise now?” kai shook his head, but winced at the pain that flared on his chest, he blinked back tears and admonished himself for being such a baby still “he got sick last summer,” he answered and started to slow down on his walking Yeonjun followed suit, the air, which was a pleasant chill against the sun, turned cold, stealing the warmth away from the situation, Kai stopped in front of the entrance of the cemetery and turned to the back haired boy by his side.


Yeonjun stopped too, his eyes going wide and dull with realization, Kai smiled a watery and small thing, that contrasted with his red eyes brimming with tears, he tried to seem strong, Because he was done with the pitying looks from the others, but something made it obvious he was not doing a good job at it “he’s inside, if you want to come still, but I’m afraid you won’t be able to see his face.”


Kai looked at Yeonjun with a blurry sight, and quickly whipped the tears away, Yeonjun seems to be trapped for a moment between panic and pity, but then his eyes turned warm, pity far away from them, and kai only managed to smiled before a sob broke out, he didn’t knew why he was crying again “I would love to see him with you.”


Yeonjun smiled too, a small warm thing, that made kai feel less alone, and Kai nodded, not wanting to be alone anymore, Yeonjun moved then, one arm going over both of Kai’s shoulders pulling him close to the older boy, another sob broke out, and kai leaned for a moment in the other boy, basking in the warmth the older provided, Kai was sure that if he closed his eyes he could almost feel like when Soobin hugged him, but it was too soon for that, so he only based in the warmth for a second before walking again, Yeonjun by his side.