4-6 Ghost of you

Chapter 4.

“So, Emma, what is the story about that handsome Russian?” One of the women asked after they had sat down in front of the coffee table. The other women also looked at her with quiet interest, keen to know what the answer would be. “I know that I am not the only woman to have noticed him, nor am I the only one to wonder what is truly going on between you two.” Anna continued.
“There is nothing going on between us, nothing except friendship.” Emma told them calmly, sipping her coffee.
“Really? … Well, not according to the rumors I’ve heard.” The woman said and the few others giggled. Emma sighed, trying to remain calm.
“You shouldn’t believe all the rumors you hear.” She said then.
“You don’t have to hide the truth from us Emma.” She grinned. “I, for one, couldn’t blame you the least bit…Should that man decide to claim my independence, I would gladly and without resistance, give it to him.” Anna laughed then and the others followed quietly, blushing.

Aino had just happened to walk into the room and heard them, she rolled her eyes. ‘Bunch of hens.’ She thought as she took a glass of water.
“I dare say, had they all looked like him, this country’s independence would have been long gone.” Anna said and more giggling could be heard. Aino froze. ‘A bunch of brainless hens.’ She thought again and couldn’t believe that she was really hearing this.

“I do wonder Anna, what would your husband or your father say if they heard this? Your husband and father who fought on the field for this country and for you?” Aino asked with cold voice. The woman looked at her coldly.
“Who asked you anything?” She asked with contempt. Aino held her gaze and then turned her eyes to Emma who had an apologetic look. She left the room without a word, deciding to walk to her house, the only house she had ever really considered home.

************


The man was looking at him again, Olavi noticed as he sat on the ground near the house examining the old books of his brother. For a moment their eyes met and it made his heartbeat increase, he felt his cheeks get hot, he was almost afraid to swallow. The man was the first to look away, quickly returning to his work.

With confusion Olavi looked around, saw his sister a little further away, kneeling on the ground near the roses. Yet her eyes were on him and frowning she glanced towards the Russian. Olavi tried to smile to her and lowered his gaze back towards the book on his lap.

Why was the man looking at him in such a manner? Why did it make him feel so strange and nervous every time when he did so? He closed his eyes for a moment, but could not make himself relax in the noise the men were making as they worked with the house. He took the book, his sketch book and pens and decided to walk to the lake.

“Olavi.” Aino called him as he was passing.
“Hm?” He asked and looked at her.
“Where are you going?” She asked.
“To the lake, I’ll come back for dinner, okay?” He told her.
“Okay, be careful.” She said.
“I will.” He answered, smiling gently to her; she was always worrying about him, always looking after him, though many times he was just as protective of her.

***********

He loved this time of the year, the late summer. He loved to watch the soft colors of the evening. He sat on the soft grass, his back against the firm oak tree, gazing towards the lake. The water was still as mirror, he felt himself relaxing as he watched the beautiful nature and listened to the sounds of it. He thought about them; his father, his mother and his brother. Many had said that he looked exactly like his elder brother and he wished he could remember him better. There were little pieces here and there that he did remember, he wasn’t sure if all of them had really happened.

He remembered a fall evening, a sound of a running stream. The voice of his brother, almost a whisper, telling him to place the bark ship onto the water. He remembered the nights and the terrible sounds of the war … His brother opening up his arms and welcoming them both to the safety of his embrace. Holding on to them, quietly whispering the words of Finlandia hymn* or just humming the tune close to their ears. He remembered that Elias had seemed so old to him, so wise, he had depended on his brother much like he would have relayed on a parent. It was strange now, now that he was the same age and he did not feel like he could do the same that his brother had. Take such responsibility for them. How hard it must have been, and how hard it had been. The letter that Emma had read out loud replayed itself often in his mind.

He stood up, removed his shoes and socks, tried the water with his toes before deciding to shed all of his clothes and take a swim in the quietness of the evening. The chillness of the water first made him hesitate, but he forced himself deeper, knowing that his body would soon get used to it. He stood still in the water that reached his waist. Looking around and seeing no one, he carefully ran his fingers on his arms and chest, examining his own body, wondering what it would feel like to know the touch of another person on a naked skin. He carefully let his hand move under the water and touched his organ. The touch, he had learned, could make him feel incredibly good, and also a bit ashamed when the pleasurable wave had washed over him, leaving him panting and dirty on the darkness of his own bed. Why did something so good feel so sinful at the same time? Few light touches more and then he willed himself to stop touching, to stop the sinful act, though his body yearned for more.


****************
Alexander, after finishing the work for the day, decided to make a walk to the lake before dinner time.

When he reached the shore and was about to step closer to the lake, he saw the boy. He swallowed hard, his face flushed, as he saw the naked flawless skin of the boys back, the light muscles of his arms, the way that the boy ran his hands on his skin, washing himself. He could almost see the curves of the boy’s buttocks, but only almost… He felt his cock twitching with interest, reminding him of how long it had been since the last time he had even seen such a pleasurable sight, let alone touch one.
When the boy turned, a part of him had expected for a small moment, to meet with warm green eyes, but instead met with startled blue ones.

“Oh you scared me.” The boy stuttered and stepped back, suddenly very aware of his own nakedness. He could feel the heat on his face, almost certain that his cheeks had flushed.
“I am sorry, did not mean to startle you.” Alexander told the boy, trying to hide a smile as his eyes still took in the beauty of the creature before him. The boy who kept reminding him of his dead lover.
“It’s okay, I just, you came so quietly and I was lost in my thoughts… I decided to take a swim.” Olavi spoke and suddenly felt incredibly stupid. Of course the man could see what he had been doing, he was standing in the water after all!
“Yes, it’s lovely, warm and…” Alexander started looking up to the sky.
“Indeed it is.” Olavi admitted, wrapping his arms around himself, suddenly feeling very cold, he tried to keep his lips from trembling.

The man stared at him, they were both silent and Olavi didn’t dare to move from the water that hid his naked lower body. No one had ever looked at him quite in the way that older man did and somehow he felt embarrassed of the thought that he could see him completely out of clothes if he were to walk to the shore now.

“I’m naked.” He said then as he thought of nothing else, he almost giggled saying it out loud because it sounded so stupid and then he blushed.
“Oh, I’m sorry, I uh, I’ll turn around then, shall I?” The man said quickly and turned his back to him.
Olavi started moving, still cursing the words that he had chosen. Why couldn’t the other man see him naked? It wasn’t like he had never been naked in front of other men, but then again, he had never gotten such an intensive look from them, either.

“I believe it’s almost dinner time, will you, um… would you like to walk with me?” Olavi asked while buttoning his shirt. The man turned to face him.
“Yes, of course, I am feeling a bit hungry already.”

********************

Dinner was mostly spent in an uncomfortable silence that was not even broken by the children. Aino glared at Alexander in that suspicious way of hers, Alexander tried to offer her a smile, but like often before, it was coldly taken. Emma was absent-minded as she thought about the conversation with her friends and Olavi glanced at Alexander from time to time, wondering what was it in the man that made him feel so curious. Finally it was Elias, Emma’s son, that decided to break the long lasted silence and started telling them how he had captured a rabbit all by himself, while playing in the foods, the story of course was a lie, but was told with great use of imagination.


*****************

In the darkness he saw the figure, the person who sat close to the window, seeming to watch his sleep. Alexander tried to see more clearly, shifting on the bed. The figure stood up and the light revealed his face, a gentle, loving smile on the full lips. “Elias?” He asked with a whisper.
The blond boy moved closer, more light filled the room, revealing the smile on his face that never faded. Alexander sat up, looked at him.
“I miss you.” He told him.
“And I you Sascha…” The light touch of the soft hand on his face, Alexander placed his own on the top of it and leaned towards the gentle hand. He looked up to the green eyes that he had missed, placed his other hand on his waist pulling him on his lap. Their lips met.
“I’m sorry…” He said.
“Shhh… Sascha…” A finger was placed on his lips and soon removed. The smile was still there; sad and loving.
“Stay with me…” He pleaded.
“I cannot… you are dreaming Sascha… This is a dream and soon you’ll wake up…. Wake up Sascha…”


He opened his eyes, finding himself on the bed in the quiet room. He lifted his hand up to cover his eyes. It was only a dream. It was just a dream, but why did he feel so real in it? Over 11 years and still he missed him enough to bring tears in his eyes. Why was it so hard? Of all the people he had lost, losing Elias had been the hardest, seeing his death… It still made him feel sick, it was not the way he wanted to remember his love, he’d rather remember him the way that he had been on their last night together, or the way he appeared to him in his dreams.

He got up from the bed, deciding to get a glass of water. He walked towards the kitchen, his heart jumping when he saw him through the kitchen doorway; the boy was facing the window, dressed only in pair of pants, the cool light of the moon embracing the slim figure almost like a lover would. He could not be seeing a dream again? Could he? Alexander wondered as he quietly walked closer, wanting so much for it to be him. He touched the shoulder and with a startle the boy turned, a flash of green eyes. Alexander smiled, leaned forward and captured the inviting lips with his own.


 

Chapter 5.

It was more than surprising, to say at the least. One minute he had been standing there, gazing out of the window, admiring the beauty of the dark night and enjoying the quietness surrounding him. And now, his body was pressed against a stronger one, while hungry lips tasted his own, a tongue was examining his mouth. There really was a tongue in his mouth! He was too surprised to do anything, so he was still, eyes wide open and soon the man seemed to realize that the kiss was not exactly being responded to.

He pulled away and for a moment they just stared at each others.
“Oh my God…” Alexander breathed out, and after realizing that he was still holding the boy, he quickly released his hold and stepped back “I’m so sorry, I…” What could he possibly say for an excuse? Sorry I thought you were your brother? Yes, perhaps not…


Olavi just looked at him, not really knowing what to say, what to do, wondering what had just happened. He lifted his hand up, to touch his lips, feeling the warmth, still feeling the exploring tongue in his mouth. He had been kissed before, but always with a closed mouth, the way people kissed in movies. But a tongue? And why an earth was he more surprised about the fact that there had been a tongue in his mouth, rather than the fact that a man had kissed him? He looked up into the brown eyes; he really had kissed him!

“You…you kissed me…” He stuttered. Not even realizing that he was still holding his fingers on his lips. “Why?” He asked then.
“I…”
“Uh, you kissed me!” He almost shouted then, when his mind finally seemed to grasp on the fact how wrong it was. A man should not kiss another man!
“Shh…” Alexander tried. “It was a mistake, I…I was sleep walking and I… I am sorry…” He whispered.
“Um, okay… I have to go to bed, it’s late…” Olavi said and quickly hurried towards his bedroom.

Once he got there, he closed the door and leaned his back against it. He tried to calm down, brought his hand up yet again to feel his lips, carefully licking them, tasting him. Some dream the man must have had to kiss him like that, he thought to himself and a slight smile rose to his lips. “Uh, disgusting… It’s disgusting… stop smiling for goodness sake.” He whispered to himself as he finally walked over to his bed.

**^^**^^**^^**^^^**

He was truly annoyed when he woke, remembering the dream he had had and seeing what it had caused. Another secret laundry day for him, he sighed and undressed himself.

Being a teenager sucked and it sucked bad. Being a teenage boy and having a grown man kiss him, sucked even worse. But what sucked the most, was that after that kiss, he had such a perverted dream that he wasn’t sure if that was even normal anymore. Flashbacks of the dream in his mind, he grunted, knew that he should feel disgusted with himself, but somehow the images almost made him hard again. “You truly are one sick puppy.” He told himself and tried to think about something else that would make the erection disappear. Thinking of his Swedish adopted grandmother, sitting in the living room naked, while drinking tea, did the trick for him.

And now, all he really had to do was to avoid that nasty Russian at any cost. “Yes, he is nasty.” He whispered to himself, but then his mind pointed out that the man really wasn’t disgusting in the least, that in fact, he was quite the opposite. He probably was going crazy… really, really crazy. This had to be devil’s work… Maybe a visit to church would help? And maybe, what he really needed to do was to find a girl to kiss. Yes, that would be it, just kiss some girl and be normal again. Hanna would kiss him gladly, he knew she would. But why did he feel so ill just thinking about kissing her then? He really didn’t like her. But he was sure it could be changed, maybe they had just started off of a wrong foot, maybe she really was a sweet girl…? Oh how he truly hoped that she would be.

**^^**^^**^^**^^**

He had the worst headache ever. They sat by the lake, Hanna was snuggling against him, kissing his cheeks, kissing his lips (close mouthed mind you) and telling him how happy she was that he had finally had the courage to ask her for a walk. He was really starting to get pissed off, what did she mean that he had had the courage?! It was not out of shyness that he had ran from her for goodness sake! It was just because he found her whole being so utterly annoying, even hearing her voice made him feel ill… So… Well, after he thought about it, maybe it really was brave of him to have asked her. After all, he was in great pain now because of it; mental pain.

“You’re the most handsome boy here.” She told him, then there was a quiet giggle. “In fact, you might be the most handsome boy in all of this country, perhaps even in this whole world.” Her hand caressed his cheek and he felt really embarrassed, he always felt embarrassed when people said things like that, complimented his looks.
“Am not…” He muttered.
“Yes, you are, you are to me…” She purred. “Everyone will be so jealous after I tell them…” She whispered close to his ear.
“Tell them what?” He couldn’t help but to shriek. The girl looked at him and then she smiled.
“That you and I are now an item” He looked at her as though she had gone mad. He quickly stood up.
“You and I are not an item of any kind.” He said, looking at her. Her lips began to tremble, her eyes watered. She turned her face away. He started to feel really bad, he hated to see a girl crying. He knelt down again, touched her shoulder.
“Please, don’t cry Hanna…” He whispered. “I’m sorry…” He said then.
“You think I’m ugly and I am… I was a fool to think you might care for me.” She sobbed.
“No Hanna… You are very beautiful… I… please don’t cry.” He was so bad at this, he thought to himself.
“But you hate me…” She cried, looking at him with her green brown eyes that still held the tears in them.
“I don’t hate you… Of course I don’t.” She smiled through her tears.
“So you’ll go to the next dance with me?” She asked with hope.
“Will it stop your tears if I say yes?” He asked and got an enthusiastic nod as a reply. He sighed deeply. “Alright then.”

**^^**^^**^^**^^

They sat in an old hay barn.
“So who wants to have the first taste?” Nikolas asked, gesturing to the bottle of moonshine that he had stolen from his father. Olavi tried to look anywhere else but the bottle, he had no desire to drink that foul stuff.
“Olavi.” He heard his name then and cursed silently. He turned his face to look at Nikolas. “As the new one in our group, you get to be the first.” The older boy grinned at him. Other two were looking at him as well, expectantly.
“Older first?” Olavi tried looking at them and smiling. Nikolas just shook his head, still grinning and keeping his eyes firmly on him.
“No, I want you to be the first, or perhaps you’re not man enough?” That worked for him and so he took the bottle, took a deep breath and tasted it. It burned his throat and he coughed viciously. The other boys laughed and then drank from the bottle as well.
“You just need more practise.” Nikolas told him, giving him the bottle again.
Hesitating, he took another drink, he just wanted to make some friends and if that meant drinking some home-made vodka, then he would just force himself into it. Plus, it would probably be the best way to forget about the kiss, the dream and the promise to Hanna. Gods, he hated the mere idea of dancing with her…

**^^**^^**^^**^^**

This definitely hadn’t been the greatest idea he had had, drinking moonshine and walking home late at night…Or at least he tried to walk, he was hiccuping, giggling and stumbling, few times he actually fell down. The other boys had decided to stay and sleep in the barn, but he had wanted to go home, sleep in his own bed and maybe tell that Russian a thing or two… Or maybe better not. He wasn’t sure if he wanted to see the man or not…

**^^**^^**^^**^^**


Alexander sat on the porch, smoking a cigarette, gazing up at the night sky. He felt confused and lost, he wasn’t sure where he was going. Most of his life, well at least after the war; he had just been drifting. He hadn’t really been living, he just sort of was…

He rarely laughed anymore, rarely found any joy in life. For the past 11 years he had just felt such emptiness, such sorrow and such loneliness. The days, weeks, months and years passed by him; he only grew older.

He felt tired of the endless running from the past. There really was no one that would wait for him at home, he wasn’t even sure where his home was. There had only been a few people in his life that he had truly cared for, and almost everyone of them were dead, everyone except Sergei and his family. Only Sergei understood him and was often trying to convince him to join back amongst the living; away from the shadows and back into the sun, but perhaps he had just seen too much evil to do so?

Would the dark, evil shadows of his past ever stop following him? He just hoped that they wouldn’t find him this time.

Last night had confused him. The dream… Speaking to Elias and then seeing the boy… His mind had tricked him, made him see something that wasn’t there, the flash of green… The body of the boy had felt so warm, he never realized how much he had missed the warmness of another, the touch, the real touch…

He woke from his deep thoughts when he heard someone hiccupping and then stumbling onto the porch. He turned his head and saw Olavi sitting on his bottom close to the door and giggling quietly. Alexander stood up and the boy snapped his head towards him. A hint of fear, then anger, then nervousness flashed in his eyes.
“You’re drunk.” Alexander took note. Olavi lifted his chin up, tried to get up, but failed.
“Am not…” He tried.
“Yes, you are.” Alexander said and walked closer.
”So what if I am? You’re not my father.” He said glaring at him. Alexander sighed.
”Indeed I am not, but I still think you’re a bit too young to drink like this.”
He said as he offered his hand to the boy, who couldn’t pull himself up on his own.

He took the helping hand, stumbling backwards a little.
”I’m almost 16.” He said, hiccupping, covering his mouth with his hand, trying to make the hiccupping stop. After some swallowing he took the hand down and tried to support himself against the wall behind him. His eyes met the Russian’s. ”You didn’t seem to think I was too young last night, now did you?” He asked tilting his head to the side.
Alexander didn’t know what to say, ”I’ve noticed the way you keep looking at me and last night… Last night you kissed me… Why did you? I know that you couldn’t have been just sleep walking…” The man was silent, searching for the right answer to give, not knowing what it would be.
”I-” He started, ran his fingers through his hair and sighed. ”Alright, you really want to know?” He asked then.

Chapter 6.

Olavi looked at him and nodded his head. “Yes, I want to know.” He told him.

Alexander sat down, gesturing to him to do the same. When the boy did, he lit up another cigarette. He was quiet for a while and Olavi began to wonder if the man would ever start telling him what he wanted to know.
“Long time ago, I-…” Alexander turned to look at him, hesitating. “It was war then and I fell in love with someone who I wasn’t supposed to and I believe that I had his heart as well. But like I said, it was war then and he- he was killed… I guess I’ve never really moved past his death and you… you remind me of him. I saw a dream and when I woke, still fuzzy from the sleep, I saw him in your place. This is why I kissed you.” He told him, not able to tell the whole truth to the boy, the timing didn’t feel right or perhaps he just wasn’t ready to leave?

“He?” Was the only thing that Olavi could say at the time. His mind spinning with questions, fears and images that the confession had brought to him.
“Yes. You’re now the only one that I’ve told this in many years.” He admitted, smiled sadly. “Does this frighten you?” He asked then.
“Does it frighten me that you… that you are that way? That you are a…” Olavi tried to find the right words for it, but came up with nothing. His mind was spinning and he wasn’t sure if it was from the alcohol or from what the man had just told him. He knew he should feel disgusted, but somehow he didn’t. His head started to ache from the drinking. “I’m not frightened… I just, uh… I won’t tell this if you won’t tell my sister about this night.” He asked.
“Agreed.” The man promised.
“Now, I need to… I need to get to bed, to get some sleep.” Olavi said, feeling quite nauseated, his body had began to tremble.
“Here let me help you.” Alexander offered standing up and giving his hand to him.

“I don’t need help, I’ll be alright.” The boy said as he got up on his own with trembling legs. He felt so confused about everything. A part of him was happy to know the secret that the man had kept, but a part of him felt slightly disappointed about the fact that it had been someone else on the man’s mind every time he had looked at him, and this was what disturbed him the most.

**^^**^^**^^**^^**^^**^^**

“I want to go there.” She whispered.
“To India? Why there?” There was a gentle smile on his lips.
“I want to see the elephants, the women with black hair and colourful clothes, the parrots, everything.”
“It’s very hot there and the air is filled with spices… Maybe someday I can take you there.”
“After the war ends?”
“Yes, after the war ends.”
“I want to come too!” The little boy pouted.
“Of course, we would not leave you behind, Olavi. One day, once the war has ended and I am married to Emma, we’ll take a trip there, all four of us.”
“Will mama come too?” The boy asked again.
“Yes, if she is well enough, I’m sure she will.” He smiled and the children snuggled closer to his warmth.
“I wish we were already there.” The girl muttered.
“We can take an imaginary trip there right now, how would that sound?”
“Yes!”
“Alright…close your eyes…”


^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^


He screams in agony, the sound of his pain left to repeat in her ears. His eyes meet with hers only for a brief moment; filled with tears. He has always been strong, he has always been the one to protect them, but this time he cannot even protect himself.

He is naked, screaming, crying as the men laugh, as one by one they move in him, tearing him, breaking him. There’s blood, she sees the blood, she sees him trembling. The sounds of laughter, moaning, screaming and crying mix together. They are hurting him, raping him…


Aino woke up with a cry, she sat up gasping for air, stared at the far wall. Her whole body was covered with sweat, her hair moist, her night gown glued to her body and she wept. The images, she could not get rid of them, she could not will herself to forget and there was no one whom she could talk to about them. Carefully she stood up, sparkled some water on her face, before she carefully sneaked across the room, out of the door, towards her younger brother’s room.

She opened the door softly and saw him sleeping. She hesitated, but stepped in just the same and closed the door. She walked close to the bed, smiled gently and knelt down to touch his cheek, she stroked his hair gently and kissed his forehead. She smelled the alcohol on him.
“What have you been doing?” She whispered quietly, but could not feel the anger that she should as the boy looked so much like an angel when he slept.

She stood up and sat on a chair close to his bed, just looking at him quietly. She worried for him, everyday she was afraid that something might happen to him and ever since the Russian had stepped into their lives, her worry had been growing. She saw the way that the man looked at her brother and that look was anything but innocent. The man was looking at him that way, she could see it in his eyes, the lust that the man did try his best to hide, but she could see that it was there and it made her sick to her stomach.

What worried her the most was the fact that she could see that Olavi had begun to show interest towards the man as well. She knew that he was curious about him, but did he know what he was getting himself into? Olavi was sweet and kind, perhaps sometimes a bit too gullible for his own good. So she could not help but worry for him.

He moaned in his sleep, moving, beginning to wake up. He stretched his arms, yawning and then slowly his eyes opened. He startled slightly when he realized that there was someone else in the room with him.
“Good morning, little brother.” Aino smiled to him in an amused manner.
“Morning,” He mumbled, pulling the blanket up to cover his mouth.
“Oh that won’t help a thing, I can smell it on you, you’ve been drinking, haven’t you?” She scolded him.
“Um…” He blinked his eyes, looking ashamed with himself. “I feel really ill…” He confessed.
“That is what you should feel, it will teach you not to touch that stuff, will it not?”
“Aye…” She smiled to him.
“Now just you remember that.” She said and got up. “I’ll bring you some tea, it’s alright if you just rest today, I forgive you this once.”

After a few minutes she returned with the tea and gave it to her brother who made some effort to sit up. She sat down on the chair again, with her own tea cup in hand.
“There is something I’ve been wanting to talk to you about.” She said then. Olavi, who held the warm cup between his hands and was tasting it, looked at her with question.
“It’s about that Russian…” She started and noticed a strange look in his eyes. A look that told her that she was right with her worries. “I-, I do not like you spending so much time with him. There is something in him, he is…” She hesitated.
“Maybe it’s just because he is a Russian, maybe that’s the only reason you suspect him, but I’ve talked to him Aino, I’ve talked to him and I like him.” He said. She sighed deeply, feeling frustrated and stood up, walking close to the window and back again. Olavi followed her with his eyes, wondering what was going through her mind. She stood still and turned to look at him.

“You want to believe in the good in people and I respect that, I just… I worry about you, you’re the only family I have left and I-, I don’t want that…”
“What is it that you fear?” He asked carefully. “What possible harm could it make for me to be friends with him?” Aino looked at him quietly, wondering if she should share her memory with him.
“They took our brother…” She said then and he was quiet for awhile.
“Some men did, some Russians, but Alexander wasn’t one of them.”
“He looks at you like he-” She started. He started to feel uneasy, wondering what she was about to say. “I … I just don’t like you near him… Please Olavi, as your sister I’m asking you to be careful. Will you promise?” She begged kneeling down on the floor and taking her hand between his.
“I can promise that I’ll be careful. You won’t lose me Aino, I promise.” He said thinking that it was unnecessary to promise to stay away from the man; inside he knew he didn’t want to stay away, that he couldn’t stay away.

**^^**^^**^^**^^**

Olavi noticed that the man was trying to avoid him after the confession, though he still caught him looking at him sometimes.

Alexander was a man who didn’t talk much, he didn’t laugh, smiled rarely, there was a certain amount of sadness in his eyes that never faded. Emma would talk to him often, sometimes the woman got him to smile and a few times the smile was actually genuine. Olavi was certain that Emma had a crush on him, and she wasn’t the only woman in the village. Alexander was a tall, dark, handsome man, who could certainly please an eye. The men in village seemed to hate him even more for it.

The nasty remarks and the laughs he got, were taken as if they had no affect on him at all. He seemed to have a wall build around him that no one could quite get past. As the days went by, Olavi wanted to break that wall more and more, to get him to live again. He knew that he was in trouble for feeling the way that he did towards him, it was a sin, one could be arrested or even killed for it, should the wrong people find out. But still he couldn’t help but think about it.

**^^**^^**^^**^^**

He walked into the church, sat on the long bench and stared at the altar painting with a deep thought.
“Olavi, how nice to see you here.” The old priest smiled warmly to him.
“Father.” He greeted him.
“Is there something troubling you, son?” The man asked and saw the boy hesitate, so he sat down next to him.
“I-, did you know my parents, father?”
“Yes, I knew them, I was the one who married them to one another and the one to baptise you and your siblings.” He smiled. “They were good people and I don’t think I’ve ever seen two people more in love than your parents.” Olavi glanced at him.
“I don’t understand father…” He started. “What I mean is… They were good people, they were good Christians, my brother was a good Christian, a good brother and yet all of them suffered such a horrible fate and I…”
“What you want to know is how could God allow that to happen to them?” He asked.
“Yes.”

The old man sighed. “It is hard at times to understand the ways of God, you are not the only one to have asked me that. You might question your believes, it is natural for us to do so, but you must keep your faith, son. Your family is in a better place now, I can assure you of that.” Olavi was quiet for awhile.
“But what about this life? No matter how good of a person you are, no matter what you do to please God, it is not enough.”
“What we do in this life, affects the afterlife. We get our reward in heaven.” Olavi frowned.
“How can you be sure that there is heaven? What if there’s not? What if you do just one mistake and…? What if this is as good as it can get? So one should just suffer in this life, with only having the faith that once you die, you get to be happy? And why do some people get to live their lives happy and rich no matter how good or bad they are, when others have to suffer? It hardly seems fair to me.”
“Child, you ask too many questions. What I suggest for you is to read the Bible and you get your questions answered.”

So the priest left him with bunch of religious reading, but not with an answer that would have satisfied him. He visited his mother’s grave before leaving home, placing wild flowers on the grave side, running his fingers on the engraved initials. Viivi Elisabeth Lahti B: 1.9.1908 D: January 1943. He sat there for a long time, thinking about her, the blurry images that he had of her. He wondered if she would be proud of him or not.
“I love you mother.” He whispered before standing up, one last look before he turned and left.

**^^**^^**^^***

Alexander was not at the dance on Saturday, he never attended the gatherings, though Olavi had heard Emma trying to talk him into going many times. Olavi could not blame the man for not going, some men would have given him hard time with no doubt, especially after some drinking.

After he had danced a few times with Hanna, he managed to leave without her noticing, to his sister he told that he was simply tired and would go home to sleep. Reluctantly Aino let him leave on his own.

He felt nervous when he entered the room where Alexander slept. He wasn’t there, but he was sure that the man would come there soon. He sat on the bed’s side and waited. No exactly sure what he was doing but knowing that he needed to do it, that he needed to talk to him.

**^^**^^**^^**^^**

Alexander washed his face and looked at himself in the mirror. The lines under his eyes, on his forehead, he looked so tired and he looked old. He smiled lazily to himself and ran his fingers through his hair, sighing. Another day was over, another day that he survived. He did not like to think of the future much, for each day seemed so much like the one before it, he saw no light. He had no idea where he would go after the job was done, nor did he really care. Every place was the same and the people… He thought about the young blond boy, Elias’s brother and smiled slightly, then he thought of Emma. The woman had been very friendly to him and somehow he hoped that he would be able to pay her back for her kindness. Though it would most likely end when he finally told her the truth.

He decided not to think of it now, there was always the next day, the better day…

When he entered his room and saw the boy on his bed, his heart almost jumped to his throat.
“I’ve been thinking.” Olavi started. “I-, I think there might be some curse planted on my family. My parents were good people they never hurt anyone, they lived their lives respecting the word of God. Mother got two stillborns after my brother. Then the war started, father was killed, mom got ill, she was ill for such a long time and then… Then my brother, I know he must be dead, like my mother, like my father and like the two siblings I never got to see. And it doesn’t end there… Both of my grandparents are dead, my aunts, my uncles… There is no one left, there is just me and my sister.” He looked at him for the first time since the man had entered.
“I do not know anything of the afterlife, I only know that I am alive now and I… I want to live now, I wan to live before I die, if there really is a curse, then I want to feel, I want to feel that I’ve been alive before I-“ He stood up. “You never laugh, I haven’t heard you laugh while you’ve been here and your eyes… You are so lost in your grief that you don’t see the beauty of a moment, you’re trapped in the darkness, you are alive but you don’t really live.” He gathered all the bravery that he had inside and walked closer to him, until he was standing right before him. He lifted his hand up, touched the man’s cheek gently, then his lips, heard as Alexander’s breathing got heavier. He got up on his tiptoes and softly touched his lips with his own.
“I want you to show me what it’s like.” He whispered and with uncertainty he touched the man’s chest, ran his fingers down.

Alexander felt the heat of the boy’s body, his lips, his touch. It had been such a long time and his senses were high, his skin was hot and he wanted, oh how he wanted to feel more, to touch the boy, to take the boy. He kept his eyes closed, trying desperately to control himself, to get some sort of hold, he couldn’t do this, surely he couldn’t? The boy couldn’t possibly know what he was asking, what he was doing.
Alexander felt his fingers on his lower stomach and quickly grasped the boys wrist, tightly, the boy gasped in surprise.
“You do not understand what you’re asking for.” Alexander whispered, his voice already thick with lust and the urge to satisfy it. He opened his eyes and stared into the deep blue ones.
“I-, I want this, I want to feel, please….” The boy pleaded with small voice.
Every cell in Alexander’s body wanted to act. ‘Just take him’ the voice inside his mind whispered.

Web published: My Secret Shore

© KOLGRIM 

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