Chapter 1: Blind
The way that young man had rushed out of his class, Dr. Brown had gotten the impression that he had the kid confined in a torture cell. His notes, which he had dropped as the young student had swished past him like a dog chasing a ball, were now being picked up by one of his students, Amelia Carter.
"Is something the matter with him, Ms. Carter?" Dr. Brown asked slightly concerned and slightly offended.
"It's probably because the class went on longer than expected," Amelia answered in her signature monotone and handed him the notes. "He had an anniversary date today."
This surprised Dr. Brown more than the boy's bizarre behavior had. The class had run late by only twenty minutes.
"What's his name again?" Dr. Brown asked as Amelia accompanied him out of the class. "I don't recall him participating in the class."
"He is rather reticent," Amelia agreed. "He is Lee Tae Min, a fourth year student of Software Engineering."
"Quite taken with his girlfriend isn't he?" Dr. Brown chuckled. "Must be a new relationship."
He was wrong on both of his observations, but Amelia didn't feel the need to correct his errors.
Tae Min's heart banged against his chest. His out of shape body was suffering under the unexpected strain of running like a lunatic, while his head buzzed with the excuses he needed to present to Lucas. Forgetting to charge his mobile last night, it had run out of battery in the middle of the lecture. Just as he had been confirming their anniversary plans. And then the blasted lecture had to run late as well.
He had considered leaving the class in the middle but Dr. Brown who was notorious for his annoying strictness would not have made that easy. Even though his class 'Research and Professional Writing" was one of those annoying requisites that nobody wanted to attend.
'I shouldn't have gone to the class today,' Tae Min cursed in his head. 'I should have charged the mobile. I should have made the time later in the evening. I should have.."
With hundreds of 'I should haves' buzzing in his mind, Tae Min climbed on his bike and sped out of the parking lot.
Lucas lazily twirled the empty glass in his long fingers. It was now eighteen minutes over the time they had decided to meet, thirty minutes since he had been waiting in the restaurant and forty four minutes since Tae Min had suddenly stopped replying to him.
He ignored the fuming redheaded woman glaring daggers at him from the other side of the room while her friends tried to calm her down. Earlier she had brazenly came to him and offered to replace whoever had been stupid enough to stand up a man like him. Shapely, gorgeous and bold, she was probably not accustomed to being rejected. Much less so in Lucas's fashion.
"Fuck off you fat slut," he had murmured not as much as sparing her a glance. "You couldn't replace his finger nail."
Shocked to her bones, the redhead had initially attempted a retort but then had silently gone back to her table. Where those annoying women had begun to coo and compliment her. Even from this distance Lucas could hear the laced happiness in the women's voices. They were pleased to see their friend insulted and rejected by an attractive man.
This was why Lucas hated women.
He opened the text messages again and stared at his unread message. Anger was beginning to trickle down his heart but he tried to bite it down. He didn't want to see Tae Min cry on their anniversary.
'Sixth Anniversary!" the reminder that Tae Min had put on their shared Google account had popped up this morning. Lucas didn't need a reminder but the pop up still made him smile every year. Tae Min was the center of his world, the only one that mattered and everything and everyone else was an outsider.
Sometimes it was hard to believe he had known Tae Min for almost twelve years, and been his lover for six. Lucas opened his phone gallery and looked over their photos again.
Thirty Eight minutes had passed in waiting.
Lucas put a timer of seven minutes on his mobile and put it face down on the table. Leaning back in his chair Lucas closed his eyes.
"Did he get stood up?" Max asked his senior. Max was a fresh high school graduate working his first job as a server and had only started today. Though he had picked up from his colleagues that this blonde dude was a regular customer. And that he had a younger boyfriend.
"I doubt it," Harry replied curtly. This ended the conversation.
Max had taken a few peeks at the man. He seemed to be in his late twenties to early thirties. Tall, handsome face with grey or blue eyes and blonde hair which were a little on the longer side. While he checked the regular criteria for being good looking, something felt off. Even with such an attractive look, Max could not help but feel a revulsion from this person. This got him more and more curious about his partner.
Forty Two minutes had passed.
Lucas ate the complimentary chips, his face becoming darker with every passing second. The control over his emotions was waning, and the desire to keep Tae Min's smile today was diminishing.
The women with the redhead were getting up to leave. One of redhead's friends gave Max her card and asked him to give it to Lucas. She then tried to catch Lucas's eye, and after failing to do so walked out of the establishment.
"Sir," Max approached Lucas. "The lady sitting at the window table asked that you may be given this."
Lucas turned to look up at him. A shudder passed through Max's body. Something was definitely off with this guy!
Lucas must have noticed his discomfort because a faint smirk crept up his face and he extended his hand.
"Well? Aren't you going to give it to me?"
His voice was deep and smooth. Probably the type of voice women go for. But to Max it just increased the feeling of revulsion.
What was this strange feeling? He was not a homophobe. Why would he have such feelings of disgust towards a complete stranger?
Max handed Lucas the card and abruptly moved away from his table. Lucas looked over the card for a while and then placed it in his pocket. Having half expected him to rip up the card after having treated the redhead like shit, Max couldn't help but be curious for the hypocrisy in his actions.
Forty Four minutes had passed.
The door opened with a force and a sweaty, panting Asian boy rushed in. Max heard Harry take a deep sigh. It was definitely the blonde's boyfriend.
Max looked inquisitively at the thin boy, who was scanning the room. The other guests seemed disturbed and confused by the commotion, but Max continued to stare at the boy. He looked East Asian, with dark eyes and hair, and pale translucent skin. His body was thin and delicate looking compared to his lover's.
The Asian kid looked relieved when he spotted the blonde dude. He rushed to his table, and as he had pulled out the chair the phone timer went off.
Forty five minutes had passed.
Lucas got up from his chair and without a word to his boyfriend walked out of the restaurant. Too taken aback to process what was happening, Max turned to Harry with a look of desperation, who just shook his head and gestured him to get back to work.
Ryan heard the key being turned and beamed excitedly. This was good timing as he had just gotten dinner ready. It was Max's first day at work and Ryan had wanted to do something special for his cousin. Expecting the happy-go-lucky energy filled boy, Ryan's heart sank at the cloud of depression he found instead.
"What happened to you?" Ryan moved towards Max and gestured him to sit down. He pulled Max's bag off his shoulders and got him a glass of cold water. "Did something happen at work?"
"No," Max muttered. "Work was fine."
"Then what happened?" Ryan was getting worried. "Did your boss say something?"
"Nothing happened at work ok!" Max snapped. "Work is fine. I am just a server, what could happen?!"
Silence followed the outburst. Ryan waited patiently as Max calmed down.
"I am sorry," Max looked at his hands. "Nothing happened to me... It happened to someone else."
"I don't know who it was," Max shook his head. "But it was just so… so..."
Ryan raised his eyebrows. "Yes?"
"Disgusting." Max buried his face in his hands.
After a few minutes Max slowly began to detail the events of the day as they ate silently. The blonde dude, Lucas, had just walked out on his date for being late. He had put a timer, and even with his date standing right in front of him, he had walked out.
"The boy was shaking and sweating," Max said between mouthfuls. With good food entering his system his mood was clearing up. "He must have gotten late and had rushed. But this son of a bitch just gets up and leaves! With his boyfriend standing right there and taking out the chair to sit down. How could he do that?"
Ryan had stared at his plate for most part of Max's story. Too absorbed in the conversation Max had not noticed Ryan clenching and releasing his fists.
"People are capable of many things Max," he said. "They can be exceptionally kind or they can be exceedingly cruel. What about the kid? Did he get angry?"
Max bit his lip. "He didn't look angry just tired. After a few minutes of sitting down he just left. Didn't even take the drink Harry had sent for him."
"Harry?" Ryan enquired.
Max shrugged. "He is my senior here. Has been working for a few years now. He seemed to have some idea about their relationship."
A few more minutes passed in silence with just the clanking of cutlery to ease the stillness.
"I should have done something," Max said his heart feeling heavy again. "I should have at least said something. Just letting him go like that. Do you think he would go back to his boyfriend after this?"
Ryan considered the question. "Probably."
"Why!?" Max slammed his fists on the table his face turning red again. "If it were I'd have murdered the bastard! Set him on fire and then dump his ass!"
Ryan laughed dryly and wanted to point out the difficulty of dumping a dead fried man.
"I don't know about whys," Ryan sighed. "People do things others don't understand. We just choose whatever path is least painful."
"Any path is better than this!" Max couldn't believe his ears. Had his mature, sensible cousin lost his mind? Had the endless hours of coding finally snapped his humanity and made him a robot?
"We can only choose among the paths we see," Ryan said. Max noticed that Ryan had not taken a bite of his meal. "And sometimes we are just...blind."
Lee Tae Min
Age : 22
Final Year student of Software Engineering
Height 5'8". East Asian descent. Black eyes. Black hair. Pale skin. Slim build.
Works as a freelance Graphic designer.
Height 6'1''. Brownish blonde hair. Grey eyes. Fair skin. Normal-Muscular build.
Works as a computer programmer in a gaming company.
Height 5'10''. Tanned skin. Brown hair and brown eyes. Average build.
Final Year student of Chemical Engineering.
Height 5'3". Chocolate skin. Dark curly hair, dark eyes. Slim muscular build.
A high school graduate taking a year off to apply to colleges. Works as a server in a small restaurant "The Kod".
Height 5'9''. Light brown hair, light brown eyes. Olive skin. Slim build.
Deviant Art Account : d /rosikaen