The noise of the burning paper increased as Hirotsu puffs.
Dazai found himself enjoying the sound and aroma, although they did not fall into a common category of "pleasant" they filled him in an energetic way, the first drink of over-roasted coffee. He was not a fan of coffee despite consuming it in an exaggerated manner to endure the sleepless nights required by his… his trade.
At what point did Dazai let himself be bought? It was no time for memories. He preferred to lose focus on the burned paper and the elegance of those lean, steady hands holding the filter without sticking the gloves too tightly to his lips, the slight sheen of saliva on the sponge. Dazai's face was nonchalantly cocked, his mouth slightly open.
Hirotsu used refined and formal words that suited him perfectly at his age. Dazai didn't imagine that man ever being young. As old and uncomfortable as being treated by Hirotsu made him feel, it would be more difficult for him if the man addressed him casually. He licked his lips before speaking.
"Can I have one of those?"
"These?" the adult raised the cigar with incredulous eyes. "Not that I'm particularly opposed ..."
"Then give me the whole pack" he chuckled with his hand outstretched."I'll send someone to replace them later, I promise."
"It is not necessary, I can go buy them myself."
He wasn't smiling or looking at him suspiciously as he handed him the package, walking away after a bow as his phone rang. Dazai thought that if Hirotsu had lived away from the Mafia he would have been a strict family man but a terribly caring and loving grandfather.Dazai looked at the pack in his hand as if it was going to come to life or something. He hurriedly tucked it into his pants, clicking his tongue when he noticed that the entire sole of his shoes was stained with blood.
He hurried to keep up with the adult, it was preferable that he leave the task of cleaning up the mess to the rest, Dazai had only been in charge of setting the trap for them.
If his predictions were correct, knowing there was no reason to suppose otherwise, Chuuya would not take more than ten minutes to appear.
In the past, the adolescent had lived in a space easily confused with a cell packed with other adolescents, sharing even the most intimate things like the bed or the bathroom. He was the leader of "Sheep" and, like the prison hierarchy, he enjoyed certain privileges that were nevertheless given to him in the hope that he would yield to others. He obviously did it, the sentimental idiot he thinks it necessary to pay to belong. Chuuya was used to, he was practically a homeless guy when they picked him up so Dazai was sure that even that small space, barely bigger than the room where he lived with his friends, was completely a luxury for him. He should not share anything with anyone, everything there belonged to him and in Dazai's eyes that should be a blessing for whom he only knew lack and detachment.
Chuuya was too transparent, his emotions flowed like ribbons through his body, however he was not so naive to show something that would compromise him. The bright look of him when he verified that the rental price of the apartment was something within his reach was so sincere and crystalline that no word of derision came out on that occasion.
Mori, on the other hand, had Dazai living in the mafia offices, perhaps knowing he was an animal that needs to be locked up or will escape through the door as soon as it is left open a bit.
He was envious of the freedom the Boss had given Chuuya even though he would die a thousand times without saying it or even giving it notice.
The space was that of any department in that city, just enough for one person, as generic as any other. Yet it was plagued with things that screamed who the house belonged to. The clothes on the floor, the kind of food in the refrigerator and half-finished on the plate, the posters of hard-rock singers. The aroma of citrus and vanilla. Bottles of beer and other spirits on the kitchen floor. He sighed as he took a seat at the table, turning on the television, searching for something to his liking as he filled a glass of non-soda whiskey and divided the purchased dinner into two plates. The door was opened just as the clock struck three in the morning.
"Good night, Chuuya."
The teenager blinked and snorted, too used to his interruptions by now to do more than close the door and throw his coat on the floor, walking to the bathroom to wet his face and wash his hands before heading back to the dining room, sitting next to him. silently accepting the silverware and the beer can, staring at the television, taking control to turn up the volume a bit.
"Mori asked me to go to Tokyo in the morning, if you want something ask quickly, I need to sleep."
"Do you remember you said you would teach me to smoke?"
"Ah?" Chuuya turned his face, rolling his eyes before drinking. "I said it so you would stop bothering."
"I got a pack."
Dazai pulled the package out of his pants, noticing that it had wrinkled a bit from the bustle of the trip. He left it on the table, cutting the meat into very small pieces, taking one and before biting it, cutting it again.
"You're never going to gain a gram if you keep eating like you hate it."
"And you will never grow an inch if you keep drinking liquor instead of milk."
"Says the idiot who wants to learn to smoke at three in the morning."
"You promised" he whispered, the fragile voice of a helpless child diluted in whiskey. "Okay, I'll try it for myself."
"Let's finish dinner at least. I don't want to ruin the taste of the…" a hearty laugh escaped him at the show's antics, clutching his stomach, making Dazai turn his attention, starting to laugh too. "I had no idea that you liked this show too."
"Neither I, it's the first time I've seen it."
Chuuya continued chuckling a little lower, glancing at his visitor. Boy's eyes glued to the screen shone not only from its light, there was something else there.
If he wasn't talking about Dazai, he could easily have called it joy.
"Who taught you, Chuu-Chuu?"
"Call me that again and say goodbye to your teeth."
"Elise tells you like that."
"But she is the ... something of the Boss."
"Me too. Sometimes."
The beer can slipped from his hands making a hollow noise against the table. Dazai continued to watch television, laughing louder as if that phrase had not come from his lips but from Chuuya's imagination. He preferred to leave it there, taking another bite.
"Do you want to eat my plate too? It's too late for my stomach to take in so much meat."
"You shouldn't have bought two servings."
"But when buying two they gave away a plate of anmitsu. I haven't eaten it in a long time."
"If you smoke now your appetite will be ruined, or if you do it after eating you will vomit. We better save it for another time."
"You are a liar, Chuuya. We made a bet and you lost, you are supposed to be my dog and do everything I tell you to do."
"It already has more than five months of that stupid bet. Can't you forget it?"
"I will but in exchange you must confess that you are a coward and a liar."
"Fine, fine! Damn, I'll teach you but if you throw up you better clean up."
Chuuya finished Dazai's plate in two bites, searching for the lighter in the coat abandoned at the entrance, taking a cigar from the busy pack, rolling it between his fingers to redistribute the tobacco until it reshaped it.
"It's nothing to write home about. Are you not supposed to be the genius that the Boss boasts so much?"
"I can do it on my own" he shrugged without interest, his hands on the ground. "I just wanted to learn from you."
There were times when Dazai seemed sincere, genuine. He seemed, Chuuya warned himself before letting his guard down at his words. He was a first-rate manipulator, no matter how sincere the curiosity showed in his sad eyes, no matter how innocent he looked with his hands on the floor and his long legs spread at the sides of the table, like the lanky and disinterested boy that he was supposed to be.
That they should be.
"You better pay attention."
Chuuya sighed, accommodating the cigar between his lips, lighting the tip of it giving Dazai time to grasp it all. He inhaled, his lips covering the filter so as not to get it too wet, holding the smoke in his mouth for a few seconds, playing on his tongue before expelling it through his nose. He fought back the urge to gloat over the attention Dazai was giving him.
"Are you ready to try?"
Dazai nodded, raising himself only on his knees to approach Chuuya's back, wrapping his arms around his neck. About to nudge Dazai with his elbow, Dazai rested his lips on the cigar, pulling the smoke out. He hid his face on Chuuya's shoulder as a series of coughs attacked him.
"You will get used to it."
Chuuya's laugh was clean and clear as he handed Dazai his can of beer, giving him the last drink to clear his throat.
"It's not the worst thing I've ever had in my mouth, but it's not the most pleasant either" he yawned, placing his head on Chuuya's lap. "What time should you leave?"
Dazai's yawn minutes before starting to snore softly, not unpleasant, slipped through the noise of the television stating that this creature was still a human being. Chuuya lowered the volume, nervously approaching his hand to Dazai's hair, pushing it away again preferring to continue smoking.
The filter had a slight taste of whiskey and anmitsu.
Merci pour la lecture!