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   Chapter 5 No.5

Love Lost By Lady Lilium Characters: 4893

Updated: 2018-07-13 12:04

'I'm sorry' Haru spoke a short time later, once he had calmed down. 'I don't know what came over me.'

Aubrey glanced at him tentatively, the two were sitting side by side now backstage. Sasha, Amelia and Ben had left the hall to go back to classes, and Aubrey and Haru were alone. The others had been reluctant to leave Haru, but Aubrey had insisted, not wanting them to get in trouble for missing class. As for himself, he didn't care.

'I must have really surprised you' Haru said awkwardly, raising his hand to his head.

'Yeah' Aubrey replied uncertainly, 'a little.'

Haru lowered his hand, staring ahead now, though not looking at anything in particular.

'I was just so overcome' Haru began, 'I…couldn't stop myself.'

'Was it something I said?' Aubrey asked tentatively, 'if it was then I'm sorry.'

'No, it was nothing like that' Haru waved away. 'It wasn't something you said….' And then he broke off. 'Ok it was' he relented, staring at his lap.

He smiled weakly, eyes glazing over.

'You recite beautifully' Haru spoke in a distant voice. 'You are…an incredible…ah….' He scratched his palms nervously then. 'I'm no good at all this.'

'It's ok' Aubrey encouraged. 'Tell me what's on your mind.'

Haru grimaced then, a little tense. He hunched his shoulders, frowning.

'You….' He forced himself to speak. 'You reminded me of my mother…'

Aubrey blinked in surprise at this. But he did not interrupt Haru, as he continued to speak.

'My mother used to recite words from a play to me…when I was very young. I was just a boy.' Haru swallowed the lump in his throat, breathing slowly and deeply, calming his beating heart. 'I was always a weak person' Haru spoke with regret, 'my mother helped me a lot growing up, but I never really fit in anywhere.'

'I guess you haven't changed much' Aubrey said.

Haru felt a stab in his heart then, but when he looked at Aubrey, he saw that he was smiling.

'It's ok' Aubrey said, 'I was making a joke.'

He grabbed Haru by the shoulder, shaking him roughly.

'You need to learn to lighten up.'

'Oh.... s-sorry.'

'And you need to learn to stop apologising for everything.'

'So-' Haru broke off then, stopping himself.

He smiled suddenly, and Aubrey smiled with him. Haru was beginning to relax.

'Thank you' Haru said to him, 'for being kind to me…for letting me be your friend.'

'No problem.'

Haru's eyes fluttered towards Aubrey then, ke

eping his head low and shoulders hunched.

'Ah' he said, turning his head away. 'I'm so jealous of you.'

'Of me?' Aubrey said. 'But why?'

'It's not just you' Haru said, 'it's everyone. I just…. hate myself sometimes. I have always been so weak… I get sick a lot… because of that I missed a lot of days of school when I was young. I stayed at home a lot, but my mother was always there to look after me when I got sick, she was always good to me, she did everything for me, she was always there no matter what, even when she was sick herself.'

Aubrey watched him silently.

'My mother' Haru continued, 'she used to speak words to me when I was scared. I was afraid of school because I didn't know how to fit in. Everyone had their own group of friends, and I was always an outsider… because I spent so long out of school when I was sick… but my mother was always there to help me.' He smiled. 'She used to say something to me when I was afraid…she used to say, 'it just takes one act of bravery, a single breath, a heartbeat……'

'The words I said' Aubrey realised, 'the words from…. a play…'

'Courage of the Black Nightingale' Haru whispered. 'A story about love and loss… broken hearts… and learning to trust again.'

'It's one of my favourite plays' Aubrey mumbled.

Haru held his hands together before him, scratching at his nail.

'When I was scared, my mother used to say to me, that it took just one push, one act of bravery. I was able to overcome many obstacles because of her… but then...'

Haru bit his lip, as hard as he could to stop himself from crying again.

'Did your mother….' Aubrey asked, 'did she…?'

'I mustn't cry' Haru whispered to himself, 'I mustn't…I have to be strong…. That's what she wanted….'

Aubrey grasped his shoulder firmly then, as Haru turned to face him, gasping, frozen now, his breath caught in his throat.

'Your lip is bleeding' Aubrey said.

Haru fumbled, hand going to his mouth automatically.

'Stay here' Aubrey told him firmly.

He left his side, returning seconds later with a box of tissues.

'Here' he said, lifting the tissue to Haru's lips, dabbing the blood away

'Thank you' Haru murmured.

'You say you were able to become strong again because of your mother' Aubrey said to him. 'I want to help you like she did, you have friends now.' He smiled warmly at Haru, drawing his hand back. 'We will help you' he told him, 'that's what friends do…'

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