The L2 Box
Determined to finish my last book, I walked along the dirty crowded streets of L2 with my trusty video camera. I needed to record some information to write into my book. Something I could base my work on and use as data. Work soothed my mind. It made me concentrate on other things than my pitiful life. Something I really didn't want to be reminded of.
The whole place gave a feeling of gloom and darkness, as though everything was tinted in gray; People walked along the streets like they had no purpose, sometimes accidentally bumping into me and hurrying away quickly after receiving my glare. Everything seemed so depressingly monotonous. Was there ANYTHING good in this colony? As another headache began tingling in the back of my head, I almost gave up for the day when, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a striking brightness. At attention, I lifted my camera in that direction and hit the record button
It was a person, dressed in the most bizarre fashion, standing out from the ordinary crowd. The brown coat lined with fake orange fur reached down to the knees, Fish net stocking, and black clunky army boots. Big headphones rested on the head that had an incredibly long braid with bright golden streaks running through the twining hair; amazing, long hair reached all the way to the bottom of the butt. The figure was tall, and looked thin, though, I couldn't tell very much because the coat covered the frame. The most peculiar thing was, despite the unusually, hot, humid weather, the person seemed to try to cover up as much as possible, especially with the black scarf that covered most of the face, leaving only the eyes revealed, like the person wanted to hide.
"Hey! Mister!" I was surprised that the person belonged to boy, especially with the peculiar clothes, size, and long hair. The deep, alto definitely belonged to a male. The boy ran towards two businessmen. "Hey, you wanna souvenir from L2? I got lots of souvenirs!" The men gave a sympathetic smile, but shook their heads. The boy persisted. "Here take a look! It's all good stuff for a good price!" He took some things from his pockets and tried to show the men, but they ignored him and continued walking. "How about girls? You want girls? I know the best place whorehouse around here." Another shake of their heads. He ran in front of them blocking their path, giving a little playful, seductive pose, "How about me? I'm not that expensive!" It was hard to tell if he was joking or not. Before he could finish his list of offers, the tourists brushed him off and walked away. He looked disappointed momentarily but then he saw me.
"Hi!!! Can I interest you in some stuff?" He offered, bounding over to me with an overly too happy bounce. I didn't reply, but kept the camera focused on him. The boy frowned a bit at the camera in his face, but looked back at me. "How about some Rolexes? You look like you can afford these. I can sell 'em cheap if you give a good enough deal!" He took out a line of fake watches from his pockets. I finally looked up from the camera and met with two startling, bright, amazing bluish-purple eyes that peered back at me curiously as well as impatiently. There was a moment of silence where I was taken aback and the boy waited or a reply. I felt hypnotized. Mysterious emotions suddenly welled up in me as I continued to stare. This was it; The perfect example for my book.
"Well?" the boy asked, breaking me out of my trance. "You wanna buy something or are you just gonna stand there with that dumb camera?" he asked, getting a little uneasy with the camera still taping him. I looked at him stupidly for a moment, then decided to just keep on recording him. Didn't I say I was eccentric? After all, I didn't have anything to say to him. Why bother wasting my breath. I didn't have that much to spare anymore. After seeing that I had no interest in buying any of his goods, he huffed and walked away. Something compelled me to follow the boy. I'd need as much film on this boy as possible.
I tried to stay inconspicuous, and I knew my cover was lost when the boy kept looking over his shoulder once in awhile. Wrinkling his nose, he quickened his pace, trying to lose me, but I kept at his tail. I almost smirked. This must be scaring him; being followed around thinking I was some kind of stalker. We wandered around into the underground subway. Before boarding the train, the boy finally lost his nerve and spun around, making his braid snap around like a snake, stuck his tongue out and flipped me off. It was odd, but I had to smile.
At home, I rushed to my TV to watch what I had been able to tape. Discovering this rare boy had raised my enthusiasm for some reason. On screen, the movements were jerky, but I had managed to stay focused on the boy. Living in a ghetto word like this; it made me wonder how the boy managed to survive. And it was ironic. He covered himself, trying to hide from everyone, but instead he shone out from the rest. Maybe it was his peculiar way of dressing. Or maybe it was the unseen aura of life around him. Everyone else's was surrounded with dullness and boredom. But this boy's life was anything but boring. He kept smiling, bouncing around with a loud boisterous voice.
Instead of monotony and grayness, he was bright, lively and colorful. That clothing was his own fashion, that wild, long, hair snaked out making it tempting to pull off the hair tie. But mostly, it was the pair of eyes. So expressive! Incredible! They seemed like they were able to change colors! With the light shining from a different direction, the color seemed almost violet, but with the blink of an eye, they changed to almost dark blue. They changed colors as thought they could express their owners' emotions, changing the hue to match the mood. It was amazing. At the time, intense indigo eyes stared back at the camera, looking straight at me for a second and I found myself breathless again. It's not like love at first sight; it's more of awe. Like something that amazes you because it's the first time you've seen something like it. Like watching the most awesome display of fireworks. You can't but stare.
The way the boy dressed, acted, lived, looked, it made me even more curious and thirsting for answers. With just a glance, the boy made me feel things that made me very uneasy. I'd never met anyone quite like the boy. Someone like him screamed a need for attention, even if it was unintentional. No one could resist the friendly aura; even I wasn't immune. I wanted to know this boy's life. What he'd been through, how he managed to survive day by day, why he covered himself up. Then I realized I also wanted to know more about the mysterious face under that scarf. The boy was covered up, and I wanted to take off all the wrappings. With eyes like that, the rest of him must be absolutely beautiful, that's why he's covering up. Probably, to hide away from obscene street folk who would want to take advantage of him. My curiosity was perked. At least this would get my mind off my other depressing issues. Tomorrow, I'll go look for him and find all the answers. This boy, I had to know more.
I went back to the original place I had met the boy. I wanted to know. How did that boy manage to survive?
What was behind all those layers of clothes hiding him? How he could make me, this depressed, hardhearted writer, feel like this? I had many questions, but mainly, I just wanted to be around the boy, to feel that wonderful warm aura again. It was like having a high and my mind being numb so I wouldn't worry about everything else. Something to keep me from being chained to that cold, dark abyss of my life. I looked everywhere.... but the boy wasn't there today.
I was tired after a day of searching. My sickness wasn't making it easier. Lately, I was beginning to grow more tired more easily. Frustrated by my weakness now, I sat on a bench outside a small cheap diner. I was disappointed. My entire day had been a fruitless search and I didn't know what else to do. Stupid headache was acting up again. Just a hint of nausea was stirring in the bottom of my stomach. I think a cup of tea'll help. While regaining my composure, I turned around to check the diner, an lo and behold... the boy, sitting in the diner, reading old news papers and bobbing his head to the beat of the music only he could hear from his large headphones.
Quickly, I made my way into the diner and took a seat at the boy's table, sitting in front of him. Because he needed to eat and drink, his face wasn't covered up this time. And that's when I was able to take a good look at his entire face. For what seemed like forever, I was frozen, staring at his face. I was absolutely stunned..
There was a hideous scar. A large scar, taking in half of his face, from the apple of his right cheek reaching down to his chin. It was a chalky- yellow -pinkish- color. The scar rose from the rest of his skin, shiny and marred. Like someone had smeared melted butter on half of his face and it just froze there with little stringy lumps clinging to his cheek. It looked. for the lack of a better word, gross; a huge mess.
"Didn't your parents ever teach ya that starin' was rude?" The boy finally spoke up, briefly looking up to frown at me before returning back to his paper.
"... Sorry" I apologized, ashamed to be caught staring rudely like that. The boy ignored me and continued to read, his head still bopping in time with the music he was listening to. "My name's Heero. Heero Yuy... what's yours?" There was silence for a moment an I thought he hadn't heard my question because of his loud music, but he finally answered:
"... Duo." Without looking up, taking a sip of his coffee and continuing to read .... Ok... so this conversation
wasn't going well. I sat there fiddling my thumbs. The silence was awkward. A few minutes passed before he looked back up and pulled his earphones off. "Look buddy, what do you want? You're the guy that was following me around yesterday, right? Can I help you? You wanna buy something or not?"
"I want an interview, with you." Duo raised an eyebrow.
"Why? You a cop or something? I haven't done anything wrong, mister."
"No, I'm a writer. I want to write a book about L2."
"So, what does that have to do with me?"
"You, are an example of L2. Even though you look like you've been through hell, you're still surviving. I want to know. What you've been through. How you stay alive now...Why you chose to stay alive." I didn't want to say I was writing about beauty. He might have thought I was mocking him. I was disappointed at first, expecting a gorgeous subject. Really disappointed. But when I thought about it again, seeing that scar intrigued me only more. Hundreds of questions popped into my mind. There was a moment of silence as Duo contemplated his options, then gave me a sun-shiny grin.
"I'll do it, but it'll cost ya."
"I have 100 dollars" I began to take out his wallet, but Duo shook his head.
"1,000 bucks." hm... no wonder he managed to survive
"1,000 and I get to interview myself. Give me the camera. I'll tape myself and I'll give it back to you later." I gave him a "yea right" look. Duo gave an exasperated sigh, blowing his long streaked bangs from his big, now cobalt, eyes. "Look, I run, I hide, but I never lie. Give me 1,000 bucks. I'll give you my own interview and I'll give you your camera back."
"1,000 seems a bit expensive..."
"1,000 or nothing."
"500, and that's final." I finalized my offer. Duo frowned trying to size me up, seeing how much more he'd be able to haggle out of me.
"You want the interview or not?" His last try. Then I sighed.
"Here," I handed him one of my business cards, "think about it and contact me if you're willing to do the interview." The other boy took it looking at it indifferently, shrugging and put it away in a pocket before standing up, pulling the dark scarf back over his face to hide the disfigurement.
"I have to go to work. Ja~!" He winked at me playfully and quickly walked out of the diner. A few moments later, a waitress came by.
"Here's the bill for the two of you." My eyebrows furrowed watching Duo walk away across the street, but I paid for the other boys' lunch anyhow.
That little sneak.
This was going to be very interesting indeed.