A young man carried his luggage on his shoulder, he had a bright smile on his face, he walked with the rhythm of the air.
Like a fish swam toward the big sea for the first time, he did not have a single care for the world. As an orphan, he had no attachment.
As a man who just turned eighteen, he was an adult in the eye of the law. For all those years he had lived, he learned how to smile.
A smile that was as bright as the sunlight, and as hidden as the shadow.
He was a wanderer, walking city to city, with only three pieces of clothing on his back, and a blanket to keep him warm.
When he was hungry, he knocked on doors to find employment in exchange for food. Everyone in the town knew him as the wanderer, and everyone was glad to help the bright young man in needs.
He usually had an optimistic personality. Yet occasionally, he was agitated by the darkness of the night, at the emptiness that emerged his body and invaded his heart.
"What is this feeling?" He wondered. Sometimes, he shook his head and occupied his mind with other illusory inquiries.
Other times, he looked up to the sky and sang the lullaby that embedded in his memory for as long as he could remember.
But most of the times, he embraced the emptiness for it is the only feeling that informed him he is alive. However, deep down in his heart he knew that there is an answer to be search.
Throughout his indifferent life, he had been wandering from one place to the next, breathing from the sweet smell of hot baked goods to the fruity scent of flowers during Spring.
Yet, despite all his efforts in the search , the emptiness still followed him. He had been walking for hours in the new city he was currently in.
Suddenly, a scene in front of him occupied all attentions, luring his feet to walk toward it.
An old man was sitting under a tree, his eyes were aiming endlessly into different directions, and finally they caught a pair of shoes standing in front of them.
With his soulless eyes, the old man looked up and stared at the well-build figure that had invaded his personal space.
The young man welcomed him with a smile, and he seated himself next to the old man. "What are you waiting for?" The young man asked with a bright smile.
The old man looked away and stared back at the street. "Love" he replied after a long pause. The young man looked at him with confusion, finally he asked "What is love?".
A long awkward silence came between them. Finally the old man smiled and looked at the dark sky. The moon was shinning so bright, but the air was filled with depression.
"It is the end of the beginning. Once you find love, your life will not be lonely anymore." The old man replied.
Unsatisfied with the old man's answer, the young man said "Can I wait with you?" This way I'll be able to know when love comes ~ he thought to himself.
The old man looked at him through his tired eyes, "What are you waiting for?". "I don't know." Another silence filled up the air around them. Suddenly the old man said, "You cannot wait with me.
Waiting without a reason only leads to death, and believe me young man, death is not worth waiting for since it will come eventually."
Stunned by the old man's response, the young man stood up and started to walk away after giving the old man his brightest smile.
While his smile was still on his face, his mind is filled with thoughts for he never experience love nor death before, Then abruptly,
his body felt numbed and his legs could not support him anymore. While he was falling down, he took a last look at the tree.
As he looked at the blood streaming out of his body, he smiled for the first time. He thought, " If love is the end of beginning, then I hope death is the beginning of the end".
Then he closed his eyes without the single care for his world while the car that carried his blood drove away from the chaotic scene.
"Where are we going, mother?" ~ a young boy asked.
"Honey pie" ~ a woman replied, releasing her hands from his. She wore a white dress with tears and stains compliment it. She was barefoot, and her neck had a long scarf wrapped around it.
She was a beautiful woman despite how life had treated her. "Can you sit here and wait for me to return." She bent down to talk to the young boy.
"Yes, mother" The young man, who took over her beauty and big green eyes, replied.
The woman hugged him tightly. " Mommy will always love you, please remember that". She then stood up and walked away, leaving the boy to mutter to himself. " I will stay here and be a good boy.
I will grow up and be strong, then I can fight off those guys who kept on making mother cried every night." He sat down on the ground while darkness infiltrated his future.
"What are you doing?" ~ an older boy asked the young boy with green eyes and fair figure.
"Waiting" ~ The young boy replied, looking down to the ground.
"For What?" ~ the older boy asked while he sat himself down next to the boy.
"Mother told me to not talk to strangers" the young boy said.
"I'm Damon. What's your name?" "Axel" ~ the young boy replied.
"Great, now we are not strangers. What are you waiting for?" Damon persisted.
"Mother told me to wait here" Axel looked up with sadness in his eyes.
"How long have you been sitting here?" "...3 days."
The surrounding was filled with the silences, so did the blackness of the sky.
"It's getting dark, I have to go" Damon stood up and walked away. Axel looked at his back with great sorrow. Then suddenly, Damon ran back and grabbed him by his arm.
"Come live with me" Damon said, "My mother would love to have another son."
Axel tried to resisted for a bit, but he knew deep into his surface, he wanted to go with Damon, for Damon was his star that shined through the endless road.
"What are you doing here now?" Damon asked while following Axel who was holding a small plant.
Axel kneeled down and put the plant in the hole he just dug up. Carefully, he shoveled the dirt back to cover the hole, then water the small plant.
"I'm planting a tree, in case...in case mother comes back and didn't remember where I sat."
"You have been coming back and wait for her for a month already. She was never intended to come back for you Axel" Damon exclaimed.
"NO! She asked me to wait for her. She will come back for me, she told me she loves me. Don't you understand, she told me love me" Axel broke down in tears.
Damon, who had never seen Axel cried before, stood awkwardly next to the boy while tried to comfort him.
"I'm sorry, just stop crying. She does love you. Please, stop crying. Dammit!" Panicking he said. "Who care if she is not coming back. It doesn't matter. Because...
because I will always be here with you...for you".
This statement surprised Axel, as much as it surprised Damon. They stood facing each other, and behind them, a stream of light beam shined toward the small planted tree.
"Why are you doing this?" Damon, now had growth to a refine young man, grabbed Axel's hand and prevented him from packing.
"I want to serve my country" Axel said, pulling his hand back from Damon.
"Bullshit" Damon exclaimed " Is this mother's doing? That woman knows better than to butt into our affair."
"Your mother...our mother wants what best for you, Damon." Axel said, looking down to his luggage.
"What best for me is you, is us." Damon grabbed the young man and puled him closer to his body. "Don't go, Axel. Don't leave me behind. "
Damon put his head on Axel's shoulder, and said in a broken voice.
Axel, with all the forces he could find, pushed Damon away.
"There is no us" Axel said, looking into Damon's eyes, "There will never be an us. Not in the past, not in the present, and definitely not in the future".
Axel put his luggage on his shoulder , and walked out of the house.
Then, he suddenly stopped and looked at the tree he planted, and with a rock, he scraped out the message he crafted onto the bark years ago.
"I'm back now" ~Axel, now a man in his thirties, stood in front of the tree. "So please come back and greet me, Damon". He talked to the tree.
"You told me you will always be here for me, then please come out and face me."
He touched the bark of the tree.
" I was wrong Damon. There is an us." Axel said in the broken voice, "There will always be an us". He whispered, " I will be here waiting for you".
Before his wedding night, Damon visited the tree that Axel planted. He rang his finger on the bark, on the scrapped message. He kissed it once last time.
Then he pulled out a long cloth, and tied it tightly on the branch. With a knot formed, he slowly pulled himself up and wrapped the knot around his neck.
"At least now, there is an us" Damon said with a smile.
"What are you waiting for?" A young man approached Axel, now in his seventies.
"Love." Axel replied, looking out to the darkness, hoping to find his beam of light.