Chapter 1: Every Day
Every day, he would walk past the florist at seven in the morning, trying to catch a glimpse of the owner before he turned into the dark alleyway right next to it,
up a narrow flight of stairs and in front of his tattoo parlour.
He never successfully caught sight of their face, at most catching a glimpse of brown locks hidden behind the towering rows of flowers that filled the small shop.
He usually never saw them at all. He would love to just casually stroll in, buy some flowers, maybe invite the owner to grab a coffee as well.
To be frank, the last part would be a little hard to achieve, not just because of the impression he would give from the tattoos that littered his arms,
but it would also be rather difficult to casually have a chat when you have no tongue. Luck just wasn’t on his side that much.
He shook his head, snapping him back to reality. “Stop daydreaming, Geno. You have to prepare the studio before the first customer arrives."
Taking out a bunch of keys from his pocket, he bent down to unlock the door and went inside, the bell jangling as he did so.
He headed to the back, shoving his bag into a locker, making sure that it was inaccessible to anyone but him, having learnt his lesson after a customer tried to rob him.
Geno proceeded to pull off his beanie and stuffed it in his pockets, and grabbed the tattoo machine along with his schedule book that lay on a counter nearby.
Sitting down and flipping it open, he scanned the pages for today’s customers. Looks like he’ll be having a busy day as always.
Being skilled at his job had its pros and cons, as he rarely had the chance to close the parlour earlier than ten, long after the florist had gone home.
Then again, he had a job with stable income despite his disability, which he considered a miracle. Yet, he’d love to have the time to pop over next door and meet his neighbour for once.
“Oh, for heaven’s sake, Geno. Get a grip on yourself.” He sighed heavily and took out his phone, scrolling through his gallery for the finalized design he had made for the oncoming customer.
He would do anything, anything to get that florist off his mind.
He found it rather bothering, in fact.
Finally, the last customer of the day waved as she headed back out, sporting a brand new tattoo on her shoulder.
He yawned and stretched out his aching arms, relieved to be free from work at last.
Taking off the surgical gloves and disposing of them properly, he made short work of cleaning up the studio.
As soon as he was done, he retrieved his bag and pulled the beanie back on, hiding his white locks from plain sight.
He didn’t like it when people stared at him as he walked, and his albinism didn’t help him at all. He quickly closed the studio, turning out the lights and making sure the door was firmly locked.
As he took the subway home, he found himself thinking of the florist again. This was getting ridiculously out of hand.
He mentally slapped himself as he groaned, pressing his face against the window.
Thank god the compartment was practically empty this late at night, saving him from the embarrassment of catching other passenger’s attention.
He tried to focus on the bright city lights below him, anything to get that florist out of his head.
Was he really that desperate for company? He had his brothers, nephew, sister-in-law, ever so many family members to talk to, yet he still felt incomplete.
Did he want a girlfriend? Someone to hold?
Looks like he was starting to ramble again, though he did give that possibility a second thought.
Perhaps constantly having to reject customers when they asked him out was a reason why he had never considered dating.
He was far too busy to focus on anything else that had no connection to his job.
Maybe it was time for him to be more open, and go on dates, meet some girls…
Now that he had put his mind to it, he didn’t really seem to be interested in girls that much. Sure, they could be pretty, but that was it.
He didn't find them attractive, whether it be in a sexual or a romantic way. Was he attracted to men? Or none at all? He sighed again, and pressed his face harder against the window.
Perhaps he could try freeing up his schedule a little, lessen his workload, and get more free time. Maybe then he could finally have a chance to meet his neighbour of two years.
His train of thought was interrupted by the voice over the intercom, signalling he was at his stop. Oh well. He got off quickly, not wanting to walk the long way home.
The cool autumn air ruffled his jacket, making him shiver. Looks like it was getting colder, and winter was approaching.
It wouldn’t be long until his youngest brother, Alex, would start to exclusively wear hoodies, much to the dismay of him and his dad’s fiancé, Razein.
It often resulted in the two dragging the unfashionable young man to the department store for more acceptable clothing, though the positive results were only temporary,
mostly because he would sneak them into his older brother, Gordon’s closet, usually resulting in the two squabbling for weeks. But that was fine, they were happy, that’s all that matters.
Geno soon found himself before his apartment door, instinctively taking out his keys to unlock it and went in, the sweet scent of lavender hitting him.
Home, sweet home.