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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - DRAMA
In Japanese, "no yume-dochu" translates to "the dream parade," which was a costumed parade that the oiran of 19th century Japan once performed. For a time reference, this is post-BDM, in the aftermath of the Miranda broadcast. Part 1:
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1484 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
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It all started with a boy. And I say boy because, though he was nineteen years old, he wasn't quite a man yet. He was charming, he was rich, and he certainly knew what he wanted to do with his life, but he lacked the emotional maturity to know what he wanted out of life. In the end, he let his childish fears and social insecurities dictate the path he would walk down, and I was forced to take the high road. It's not something I enjoyed, but it is something that I'm proud of myself for. If I had stayed, I surely would have regretted that decision for the rest of my now empty life.
Before I enlighten you with the tale of how and why I came to feel this way, let me first begin by explaining the nature of what I am. Who I am has nothing to do with my recollections, and beyond what I know and feel inside, I'm not entirely certain of that little detail myself. But what I am is much less difficult to relate and quite essential to understanding my motives and reactions throughout the course of this memoir.
I am a companion. Companions are not, as some might say, glorified prostitutes. We are artists in our own right, and can talk more comprehensibly on the subjects of politics and the economy than most men and women in government. Our purpose is to please, whether it be with the prowess of our sex, the fineries of our culture, or simply the inclination to listen and comfort. When you pay for our services, you do not merely buy our bodies, but our time and engagement.
My own training began at the age of eleven, whereas many of my peers were a year or more older than I was. To say I excelled in my studies would be an understatement, though I'm not one to brag. I prefer the shroud of mystery, illusion, and untold secrets that surround the more refined of our kind. I certainly hold enough inside of myself that giving off this perception is not particularly hard for me. On more than one occasion, I've been told that I'm a rarity, and I haven't yet decided the meaning behind this concept.
When you hear the word "companion," the first image that comes to mind is of a beautiful woman dressed in fine clothes, perhaps holding a cup of tea and employing that enchanting little flick of her eyes that she's practiced so much. Therefore, I must apologize if I have misled you. Let me, instead, place a different picture in your thoughts: a handsomely dressed man, possibly holding that same cup of tea, though his eyes are less hesitant with their gaze. It is often assumed that women are the only members of the guild, but there are in fact houses that train men as well, albeit far fewer than the houses of women.
Now that you are aware of the nature of what I am, I can proceed to revealing the tale that I earlier promised. I will not digress to bore you with my childhood, or the years of training I underwent. These are not important anyway and would serve no purpose to define me. I was an orphan that knew no life outside of the (companion) house. I loved my life and have always wanted to be a companion, and no more need be said about that time.
My life truly began when I completed my training and was registered with the Companion Guild. Until this time, I had been a half finished painting. Here and there, my instructors, my mentors, and my friends, had laid out the elementary brush strokes, but it was only an outline. An unformed shape that you couldn't quite make out, like those optical illusions where you're supposed to see the hidden picture. Was it a boat? Or a kite? That's how it was before I finished my apprenticeship, leaving everyone squinting hard enough to give them all migraines.
But the day that I actually stepped out of the house; that's when it all came together. That's when I stepped away from myself and filled in the gaps, saying, "This is me. This is who I am." Retrospectively, I suppose it would be natural to feel a bit foolish at this feeling of absoluteness, wholeness, compared to the emptiness that I have already described. However, this is not the case. Then, I was entirely correct in my clearly defined frame of mind. Who else could I be? That life was all that I had ever known and all that I had ever wanted. You could even go so far as to say that it defined me then, and for quite some time after that as well.
What you never really think about is that you are a machine. A highly complex and passionate, self-thinking piece of technology, but a machine all the same. You have your simple processes and your complex processes all running in tandem to make you tick. Everything that you experience is coded directly into your DNA, to your harddrive, your RAM. It therefore goes without saying that your code is constantly changing, being rewritten. If, like I had, you spent your entire life in one place, doing one thing, and wanting that thing only, it's only fitting that that one thing would make up your entire genetic code. I was a companion and nothing else, irrefutably, and I didn't want that to change. Which is why I was so unprepared for life, as it were.
It wasn't until I was eighteen years old, however, that the boy from which this had all started entered the picture. To say that I was a man and he was a boy would not be entirely correct. To say that I was vastly more mature and far wiser than he was is more accurate. By the time that I met him, I had realized something about myself, and remarkably, it didn't challenge the assertion that I had made on the day of my registration. I had simply discovered that, while women were wonderful and all, I definitely preferred men. Some might call it "sly," but you have to realize that, as a companion, I had been taught to service both. The fact that I prefer men does not mean that I dislike women. In fact, I find my time with them to be quite enjoyable and refreshing.
We didn't meet in the normal fashion-normal for companions and those that they socialized with, I mean. I had seen him before, out and about, when I attended social events on the arms of clients, but I had never really spoken to him, or noticed him further than a passing glance. It was generally the women that took me out to fancy balls and socialite gatherings, rather than the men. Most of the men preferred anonymity, a fact which I found myself increasingly disgusted with, though I would never voice it to them. I couldn't find it in me to feel respect for a man that secretly enjoyed the company of other men while living it up as a "ladies' man" so that no one would catch on to the fact that he was sly. Finding the unabashed, unashamed, "this is who I am," type was not exactly easy, however.
In all actuality, the tectonic shifts in both of our own personal worlds could have been avoided entirely, and almost were. I had simply been browsing the goods in the Persephone bazaar and saw a face that I recognized. A cursory glance told me that it was a boy that I had seen but never spoken to, and I was prepared to go about my business as if there was no familiarity at all. I wasn't working and I wouldn't have spoken to him without first being introduced in such a casual setting as this. But the more I tried to ignore him, the harder it was not to notice him.
He seemed to be walking parallel to me, turning when I turned, pausing when I paused. The enigma of his shadowing me eventually drew my complete attention back to his face. He was watching me. Had he simply looked up because I had, the same as the rest of his mirror image actions? Or had he been watching me the whole time?
There was something disarmingly attractive about the desperation written across his face, but at the same time, I found myself wanting to wipe it clean of that expression. I sighed, looking away. When I looked back, he was still staring, the pleading in his eyes had grown. Then he turned on his heel and left the bazaar through a small back alley. I almost let him go. Almost. I kept telling myself that I was a companion and that I shouldn't concern myself in the affairs-and especially, the emotions-of others. And yet, for some inexplicable reason, I followed him down that alley.
He was waiting for me. Of course. He'd been trying to get my attention all along. It was obvious now. "Can I help you?" I asked him. I'll never forget those words, and never forgive myself for them. Those four simple words. And yet I never could, and he never let me. Help him.
"I was hoping you could." he said. His voice was softer, sweeter, than I remembered from the snippets I'd heard before. It lacked the over-confident, grinning arrogance that many young socialites bear. Now, it seemed hesitant, almost... afraid.
"I'm at your service. Would you care to discuss this in a more... comfortable venue?" I asked him, letting my eyes do that casual little flick from your mental image, giving him a smile.
"No." he said, and I got the impression that he didn't want to be seen going into a male companion house with me. "No. Here is fine..." he said. "I would like to, er, purchase your time." he said, and his voice was barely more than a whisper, his face as red as the blood flash heating it. After several moments talking of price and location, I agreed to his request. I was to meet him the next night at his lavish estate.
His name was Dylan Haymer, and he was about to change my life forever.
Friday, March 13, 2009 4:05 AM
Friday, March 13, 2009 8:04 AM
Friday, March 13, 2009 12:47 PM
Friday, March 13, 2009 6:10 PM
Saturday, March 14, 2009 9:09 AM
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