A Honey-Colored Letter

Dear Aoi,

How are you? I hope you like the Sakura this year. Have you noticed how her petals wave at the clear blue sky? The sweet scent drifting into the waves of the wind's turbulence, carried into thousands, no, perhaps million miles of unknown lands or even worlds where your solemn mauve eyes seek? I, on the other hand, could only think of the world you silently long to be. 


I hope to see you soon. Hopefully, before Spring ends, so I can show you how majestically it stands amidst the infinite blue sky.

Sincerely Yours,
Hana


How is it that the sky easily changes colors? And the sun slipping so smoothly into the dusk, the faint purplish shade trailing behind, caressing away the pinkish ones which leaves the dark head sighing. For the last time, his mauve eyes cast down on the piece of honey-colored paper, which is firmly locked in his right hand. In a blink of an eye, his mind is filled with the clear blue horizon, the splashing vivid colors of red and yellow painting away the ebony hues of the starry night sky.


"...You'd better find a girlfriend soon..."

He takes in a lungful of air, shaking his head as her words echo inside his head, reminding him once more of that fateful encounter.


Slowly, he pulls the gray muffler closer to his neck, wordlessly pondering as he saunters on the silent hill, beneath the graying days of his life. Although, he must confess that he has always been walking along the rolling plains and crashing waves of his life, refusing to stop by to see the golden days trailing behind him. Especially for that person he always passes by.


Once more, his mind drifts back to the slumbering memories of honey-colored days and pinkish sakura petals silently whispering her song to him. 


"Don't tell me, you don't know how to write a letter?" 


Aoi Arata feels his shoulders tense and his eyebrows furrow at the sudden intrusion that halts him to scribble his thoughts down on the blank parchment laid before him. Slowly, he raises his head, turning his sharp, icy mauve eyes to the tall girl with slim-built body, smooth oval-shaped face framed in her long, wavy burgundy hair. She stands in front of his dark brown desk, a toothy grin splaying on her plump, peach lips. 


"Eh... I thought Arata needed my help. I personally came here so I could assist you," Hana Kazumi adds, her smoky gray eyes capture him, trapping him under her soft gaze.

"Here, Allow me to help you. Geez... You're helpless, despite of your good looks and brains!" 


"Wha - Hey!" However, his words of protestation are muffled in the sea of hubbub, rippling in the silence as she quickly pulls her chair beside him, propping herself down, while brushing aside a strand of stray hair on her smooth brows. 


"This is so simple. It's just writing a love letter and here you are racking your brain for almost ten minutes. I can't believe you're the top of the class," she chuckles, snatching away the pen and paper from his hand without any permission. However, Aoi could only clench his hands, gulping down the air threatening to rise up in his throat and shutting his eyes from the intruder. 


"Why are you even helping me?" he inwardly groans, slamming his broad back against his wooden chair, snapping open his eyes then letting them sweep across the others, who are deep in thought, brows creasing as they bury their noses in the piece of paper laid in front of them, trying to cook up some genuine ideas about their non-existent paramour. Although, he cannot blame them, since he also shares the same plight, seeing the shadow of despair clawing away the golden light from their eyes. How soon the noise dies in their lips, as their minds try to speak up the words to fill the  emptiness of their hearts.


In the deafening silence, only the ticking clock could invade the serenity of their minds. Aoi gingerly shoots her a quick glance before studying the entirety of their class. Boys and girls sit in their own places, frowning over a simple matter of a letter, a herculean task left by their teacher to work on their own devices. He soon wanders through the sliding crystal window, seeing the white streaks of clouds roll along the blue sky while passing over the waving sakuras. 


"This will be the first and the last time so, be thankful," she chuckles once more, which makes the boy turn to her. Aoi creases his brows, pulling up his lips in a straight line at her sudden words.


"Don't look at me like that," Hana simply says in a low voice, fixing him with an astute stare. Aoi swiftly turns away, avoiding her piercing gaze that sees through him. He has never been close with her and she could return the same sentiment as well. However, that is until she invited herself to sit beside him, nonsensically snatching away the wordless parchment under his nose.


"Argh... You think it's fine to allow a girl, especially two people who barely know each other except for their names, to write a boy's love letter?" Aoi mutters under his breath, escaping the taunting gray eyes aimed at him like pointed daggers. Begrudgingly, he sweeps his gaze across the others, who are in deep gloom. Hiro Jones, on the other hand, seems too engrossed and happy to be even bothered by such a menial task as composing a love letter. 


'Yeah. Writing a simple love letter,' he drily thought, right arm propping up on his wooden desk, while putting his chin down on his hand. 


"I think Sensei just wants us to experience how to write one. There's nothing bad about it. And you especially need this, since you seem the kind of person, who never writes one," she remarks with a ghostly smirk upon her lips. Aoi knits his brows deeper, refusing to hear any words from his strange classmate.


"Hmph. Pathetic. How is writing a love letter this important? Really, Sensei is just one of those people frustrated over love," he answers, rolling his eyes in exasperation.


Hana could only nod in agreement, the smile now completely breaking out on her lips. His words are sharp, cold and as always, sear her heart into tiny bits of shard crystals. Gripping his pen tightly, she continues to scribble down the words, pouring out her sentiments into the piece of paper he has been staring at for a long time. 


"Really, Arata, you're also one of those people who are frustrated to even write a love letter," she chuckles with the usual ringing voice before rising up from her seat. The dark head cast him a sharp gaze, contempt overshadowing his deep mauve eyes of which she returns with her usual cool gaze. She slips the paper into his right hand before turning on her heel, nibbling her bottom lip as she stifles a chuckle from escaping her throat.


"You'd better find a girlfriend soon," she adds in a throaty manner, throwing him a sideglance, as she quietly pulls out her chair back to her table just on his right flank. Aoi feels the warmth of the honey rays caress him. Eventually, he finds himself zoning out, unconsciously stealing glances at her. 


                     ***


The days flutter by like the sakura's soft pink buds kissing away the clear blue sky and crimson sunset. How soon memories unfold at the breaking dawn? And how fast it becomes one of the mementos tucked away in the starry dome of dreams engulfing one at night?


Aoi knows he will need to let go of simple things. They were fleeting sensations, memories, and times like the butterflies skirting around the blooming red rose, or the waking glowworms in the tepid summer night. Eventually, he must learn to wind back to the usual golden days, don the same stoic smile, with the silence embracing his world like the summer breath.


Though, his heart longs for that honey-colored day, when silence comes to him. He can hear her ringing voice sending ripples in the shallow depths of his heart; her smoky gray eyes capture him, holding him under her cool spell, and reading his soul like the palm of her hand.


Soon, his world is drawn into her. Every second of the hour, he would steal a glance at her, quietly watching her smoky gray eyes wander towards the full-bloom sakura. Hana would only sit on her chair, bask in deep reverie, perhaps her eyes could see the distant lands, completely ignoring the world all around her.


There is a song in the silence. A sweet hymn drifting along the wave of time and space. Aoi has never been one to indulge himself in the matters of sentiments, however at that certain dusk, when serenity cuddles him, he grips his pen and lays down the blank cream parchment on top of his dark brown desk. The classroom seems hollow, casting tall shadows from the cold, empty desks and chairs that were once warm of human contact.  Only the soft whisper of the spring wind and the occasional din from the gymnasium fills his ear. 


Writing a letter is not his forte, especially if it's dedicated to someone. Slowly, he swallows a mouthful of air, coating his lungs with resolve. His fingers tightly coil around the hard pen, circumstantially blotting the smooth white paper with the accursed dark ink which wrinkles his brow, grimacing at the predicament. Inky splotches now occupy the once blank parchment. 


"Damn..." he groans, then slips out another paper from his desk, smoothing out the article with his hands before drawing in a second lungful of air.


In the duration of indefinite moment, pouring down his sentiment allows him to completely shut himself from the whispering world; and he realizes that deep within him there is a voice he forgot to listen to. 


The birds soaring up against the crashing wind, the soft murmurs of the rustling leaves, the faint crimson, gold and purple hues vanishing into the ebony dusk - Aoi stares before these times, while quietly holding onto the piece of parchment that he tucks away in his literature book. For how long he has kept it there, he is not entirely sure, since he cannot count the days that quickly drift by like the tides of the deep blue sea. Soon, Spring leaves as Autumn fills up the sky with gold and mackerel hues. During that moment, he no longer watches those smoky gray eyes as Hana transferred to another school; however, he welcomes it with a faint smile, brushing away the memories and turning around from it, leaving behind the gray days of his life.


Aoi lets himself into the poorly lit school hall, devoid of any voices that usually fill his ears. It has always been his habit to stay late in the school library reading and studying, forgetting how every moment seems to flow so quickly akin to the sand passing so easily through the cracks of his palms.


His own soft footfalls echo through the ghostly hall as he ambles his way towards the exit, until his ears catch whispers and shuffling feet along the corridor. Dubiously, he halts on his tracks, stopping to a corner as he perks his ear to any voices that will fill his curiosity.  

 
"I - I'm currently looking for my bag..." 


A voice sears through the eerie air which sends a familiar ring to Aoi. Gingerly, he peers over the wall, taking a glimpse of the amber-colored locks cascading down behind the girl's back, almost reaching her shoulders, cowering before the tall, jet-black haired boy standing in front of her. Aoi squints through the shadows, trying to make out the faces of the two figures bask in the gloom of the dusk. 


"Ahm... Prank played against you?" the male sighs, exhaustion lacing his familiar voice as he shuffles on his feet whilst scratching the back of his head. "Isn't that already too much? And just look at how late it is already."


Aoi slowly turns away, completely forgetting whatever he just witnessed. Two people meeting in the dark and talking about something isn't his concern. Once more, he treads along the dimly lit hall, passing along the dusk that sets its wings along the horizon. 


Not long, he arrives at the towering shoe locker. He reaches out for the small, square door just about his eye-level, opening it to pull out his black, leather shoes; only to reveal a pink square envelope, neatly tucked between the ridges of his shoes. His smooth brows crease upon seeing the surprising article inside his locker. Cautiously, he turns around, his eyes seeking for anyone who slipped it inside his locker, though, not a soul roam around. Hesitantly, he picks up the letter, slip the black leather shoes on his feet and puts the white rubber ones inside the locker.


'A letter?' he wonders, warily flipping the pink envelope over his hand. Once more, his eyes survey the dim surroundings, inspecting any shadows lurking behind him, though he is the only present soul.

A letter. Slowly, he shakes his head, trying to think of any logical reasons for him to receive a letter. Quietly, he wonders of any girls, who were following him however, his taciturn façade is enough to make them turn away from him.

 

The crease on his forehead deepens as he continues to stare at the pink envelope. "It's better to open it," he mutters under his breath, carefully opening the envelope and unfolding the honey-colored parchment that is methodically folded into four parts.

 

Clear, mauve eyes are soon enthralled by the letter, drawn into the power of words which brush his heart with warmth. 

 

Silence hangs around like the morning mist, the starry night sky overhead the luscious meadow, and the gentle sea breeze washing away his blues away.

 

However, he can only remember her in that honey-colored day. Her blunt remarks that left a grim line on his lips, her cool gaze directly searing him, and the fleeting, soft brush of her fingers as she slipped the paper into his right hand. 

 

"It's already too late to even say good-bye," he utters, crumpling the pink envelope in his left hand, the other hand is careful not to wrinkle the precious parchment.

 

"...I hope to see you soon. Hopefully, before Spring ends, so I can show you how majestically it stands amidst the infinite blue sky..."    


However, he soon finds himself chasing after the lost warmth and honey-colored day he has been longing. Standing under the dusky dome of sparkling hot white and yellow stars, his clear and wide mauve eyes frantically looks around, while his heart races hard. Yet, only the eddies of amber-colored leaves on the plain vast of loam, and the waving Sakura, no longer wearing their bright pink hue, welcome him, as the biting twilight air tenderly strokes his soft cheeks.

Aoi knows how those gray days roll behind him are now part of his memories. They come and go, like the waving seasons, leaving their trail of colorful footsteps behind. And Hana, how sudden she came and bid her good-bye...

Nonetheless, he will wait for another spring to arrive, especially when the sakura trees start to bloom.

The End

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