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136 Holiday Bonus pt 3

 Fanfiction from pt 2 Continued:

Cupcake Converse

I stand in front of my house silently contemplating my life; I just got back from the mall, I had to do some last-minute school shopping. I will be a senior this year, so using the money I saved up I wanted to buy more clothes since most of them were old and out of date.

So I splurged a bit. I was really happy because in nine more months I will finally be able to leave this place. It's not like anyone wants me here anyway. I sigh as I stare at my house. It is a semi-small French colonial with a balcony that has a breathtaking view of the garden outside. My father had it built for my mother. I can't even express how utterly gorgeous it is.

But as they say, never trust a book by its cover, you might not like what you read. You see my family live in Crescent Hills, one of the three gated communities in town.

Anybody who is anyone wants to live in crescent hills from self-made billionaires to politicians.

My father worked really hard to get us here, all his life he has been poor. So he lied, cheated and blackmailed to get his way to the top but even so we are still on the fringes of what these people consider wealthy.

My father is an ass kisser he worked so hard to get to where he is and doesn't want any blemishes to his name, and the only blemish he sees is me. You must understand we were supposed to be this picturesque family of five with the stereotyped roles he tailored for us. His sons would be these perfect athletics and his daughter as the perfect princess.

He was trying to get up in the world and even if he had to use us as his ladder it didn't matter.

My earliest memory was of my mother, I was cuddling against her inhaling her flowery scent. She was so loving and giving but she was also very sickly. She had to have a stay at home nurse who was named Ling. I was too small to notice it but the sicker my mother got the more distant my father became. Sometimes I would walk past my father's office and see him and Ling hugging. But I was too young; my mind couldn't connect the fact that what he was doing was wrong. Who knew that a short time later Ling would become my stepmother.

You know that saying each parent has their favorite well my mother treated me and my brother the same and I loved her for that. Our father on the other hand even before he found out knew exactly who his favorite was.

I think deep down my mother knew how I would turn out and how I would be treated because of it after she was gone from this earth because one day she called me to her room and gave me an envelope. She made me promise to hide it from my father and only open it on my 18th birthday.

I was six when my mother died and a month later my father moved in Ling and her four-year-old daughter that looked just like him.

I closed up after that, hiding from the world behind fake glasses, messy hair and grungy looking clothes. I decided the world within books were better than the one I'm living now.

My father sent me to all sorts of therapists to break me out of my shell as he called it, what he really meant was that he wanted me to be exactly like my older brother. He gave up after two years after seeing no effect deciding it was just a waste of money. He still considered me a son than. Things changed on my thirteenth year that when I became just a mere servant.

~

I remember the event like yesterday, I was really stupid and curious and you know what they say about curiosity.

I thought nobody would be home. We had sex ed recently about masturbation and what boys and girls do together but I was worried because girls didn't make me feel that special type of way as described to me by my peers and, to be honest, I was more turned on by the boys in their gym clothes than anything.

So making sure my room door was closed I turned on my laptop and searched 'boys kissing' on OOgled there were hundreds of pictures and gifs and as I looked at each one I got turned on.

I started to touch myself through my pants. I don't know how long I was doing it for, but all of a sudden I heard a gasp, I turned around only to see my father was right behind me. He had such a look of disgust on his face I didn't know what he would do.

It wasn't until the next day that things came to ahead. It started with a bleak morning, grey clouds and rain. I guess the sky gods felt my mood. I went through the motions of school and afterward I wandered around the park not caring if I got soaked.

I didn't want to go home; I knew something bad would happen. It felt like forever but I finally got the guts to go home only to open the door and see my stepmother on the couch waiting for me. She told me to hurry up and dry off and then meet my father in his study. I hurried and got changed approximately ten minutes later I was in front of my father's study.

With a deep breath, I knocked. "Come in" he replied.

Opening the door I see my father seated behind his desk I walk forward towards him. He stares at me with a completely blank face as if I'm not worth more than the dirt beneath his feet than he begins to talk.

"So from yesterday incident, it seems your one of those sorts of people... those faggots." He says calmly as if he's talking about the weather. "You always were a blight against me and this family and now this. At first, I thought about sending you to one of those camps but I think it would be a waste of time like the therapists."

The words faggot and blight against this family kept repeating over and over in my head. I didn't want to listen to anymore but I knew I had too.

"So boy listen up and listen good you no longer a member of this family I will feed, clothe and school you but once your 18 you're dead to me. As of now, you're one of the servant children we took in out of the kindness of our hearts. I have done all the paperwork, I gave you your mother's last name so be grateful." He stares at me for a bit before continuing. "You may keep your room since it's out of the way and the smallest. Also, the servant's will no longer answer to you, so do not bother them. Now go I can't stand to be near you."

He dismissed me as I was nothing because to him I was nothing. I went to my room with a heavy heart; all I wanted to do was cry. As I was walking there I saw my brother coming he collided into me knocking me hard against the wall. As I looked at him all he said was "Next time stay out of my way fag.", and kept walking.

I was dumbstruck for all of a minute until I realized I should have known. He was always a daddy's boy.

~

Letting out a deep breath, l came away from those thoughts it did no good dwelling on the past; when the future is almost a breath away.

The freedom it was so close I could taste it. I just need to keep telling myself in 3 more months and I will be 18 away from this hell and all of its inhabitants.

I already had it worked out; I would stay with a friend until I go to college. My friend's parents knew how my family treated me but didn't have enough clout to take me away from them.

Plus I knew if they tried my family would destroy them financially, my father has a lot of shady business friends.

Gathering all my bags, I straighten myself up. I don't know why I keep dwelling on the past, in 3 months it will mean nothing to me or at least I would like to think that way.

I walk inside the house knowing it would be empty besides the servants; they smile at me as I walk past them to my room. Nothing my family could do would make them turn against me much to their utter disappointment.

They still treated me as an unofficial young master of the house and I will always love them for that, but it was Yan who always looked out for me. She was an older maid in her mid-fifties, her hair just started to turn grey. She has such a vivacious personality, which my mother enjoyed when she was still alive.

They were really close; more than friends like family. I would even dare say Yan was like a second mom to my mother. Yan took it hard when my mom passes but not as hard when she found out what my father did to me her sweet little boy as she loves to call me.

I still remember the night following the incident she stormed into my room in righteous fury. I thought she was mad at me but she just held me tightly.

When she let go she said something that I will hold dear to my heart always. "I don't care if your straight, gay, blue, pink or alien you will always be my sweet little boy do you understand me." I could only nod as tears welled up in my eyes. "I will always love you," she said with a soft smile before giving me a kiss on my brow.

A knock on the door brought me back to the present; Yan came in with a flustered expression on her face. "What's wrong?" I asked concerned.

"It's your father he's having the Ming's over for dinner tonight, so we are going to need you to pretend tonight sweetie." She said sadly.

With a small smile, I say, "It's ok Yan, I'm used to it. Just give me ten minutes and I will be ready."

"Ok sweetheart." She said giving me a pat on the head leaving me to my own devices.

I fall onto my bed letting out a sigh. 'The Ming's huh, how interesting' I think to myself before I turn my head to the dresser beside my bed. It had a picture of my mother when she was still healthy, sitting in a field of flowers. With a baby version of me sitting in her lap; while she smiles sweetly down upon me. "So what do you think mom," I whisper to the picture. "I wonder will tonight be entertaining as always when father tries to suck up?" I smile softly to myself as I get up and start putting my clothes away.

~

A couple of minutes past before I entered the kitchen in my servant's uniform, Yan was already there patiently waiting for me. She was with two of the kitchen staff who were busy puttering around getting things prepared.

As I looked around at them, I thought about the only good thing that came out of this situation. I found a passion for cooking, and my passion led me to have the dream of becoming a world-famous chef.

I will show my family I don't need them. If I can get into the best cooking school in the world with them giving me a scholarship, I must be full of potential.

"Alright Yan I'm here you can go help the others, I got this," I say with a confident smirk. She laughs and walks away.

I turn to Wandan and Zilin the other two who were in the kitchen. Wandan was a short but feisty and always said what was on her mind. She was around my age working her way through college. Zilin, on the other hand, was a single mother of two with a deadbeat boyfriend who ran out on her. She still had hope that he comes back to her one day.

I smile at them while saying, "Let's do this!" Looking in the fridge and cabinets, I started listing off all of the things we would need but before I was done I was abruptly cut off by Wandan.

"Wait a minute who are we cooking for Xinya?" she asks confused. She knew that Yan only makes me help out only if it's someone really important coming over.

When I told her that it was the Ming's she was so shocked she looked like she was about to faint even Zilin dropped some of the items she had been carrying. I just stared bemusedly at the both of them. "How the hell did your father manage to get them over here for dinner," she asks me awestruck.

The reason why they were both so stunned by this was that the Ming's are like royalty. They are the richest most influential family in China; I would even dare say the world.

Although unlike other influential people who associate themselves with them, they don't try to flaunt their wealth, they are generally well-liked by all. Some say if a Ming wanted to run for president they would win by a landslide.

Laughing slightly I reply, "I have no freaking clue, but I know one thing for sure we can't mess up tonight." I sent Wandan out for all the things we didn't already have in the house, while me and Zilin began getting the ingredients prepared.

Tonight I decided to go all out on this meal with the recipes I created myself, Blue Cheese Crostini with Balsamic-Roasted Grapes for the appetizer,  and for the entrée Chicken Scaloppine With Spinach and Linguine served with white wine and lastly for dessert a Raspberry Panna Cotta.

I will make the Ming's taste buds melt in pleasure than my family will learn that the word worthless doesn't pertain to me.

My father it seems would be bringing them here around 8 pm leaving me three hours to get everything ready. I wonder if he remembered to call the rest of his perfect family so they know to be here.

A huge part of me hoped that he didn't, but my hopes were dashed when exactly two hours later that my stepmother and two siblings walked through the door.

They had numerous bags in their hands. I sigh as that small hope went up in smoke. As soon as they were inside the house they scampered up to their rooms, not to be seen for quite a while. I guess it took time to look perfect.

~

My stepmother was the first to come out, throwing out pointless orders to the staff which was ignored when she was out of view. Everyone despises her, it was like she was an evil Barbie doll come to life. She comes to the kitchen last walking around pretending to make sure that the food is up to par as if she would even know.

She asks Zilin and Wandan what we are making after they tell her she then warns them that if it tastes even remotely bad she would fire them faster than they could say sorry. As she begins to walk out of the kitchen she looks over to me disgust clearly written upon her face, looking me up and down she snorts as if I wasn't even worth her attention before leaving the kitchen entirely. If I wasn't so much of the bigger person I would spit in her food.

Calming the girls down, since they always get a little rattled when the bitch is near we continue cooking. I was so immersed with my cooking that I barely noticed hearing people walk through the door. I see my father first already babbling away trying to get on the Ming's good side. Han Ming entered first with his tall and sturdy body. He had long black hair framing his handsome face even though I hate beards he pulls it off so well.

He was followed by his wife Mok; I have never seen such a beautiful woman besides my mother of course. She was really lithe with curly brown hair and lovely brown eyes; she had the clearest complexion I've seen on a woman or ever. No wonder people say she can become a model even at her age.

Then there was Zixuan all I could think was damn. Zixuan and I might go to the same school but we never shared any of the same classes or did any of the same activities, so this is my first time ever seeing him.

I must say he is one gorgeous piece of man meat, with his toned body which I assumed came from all the sports he did and on top of that body was ahead with light brown hair, dark brown eyes; surrounded by a face that could be used in sculptors, but as I said before, never judge a book by its cover no matter how appealing that cover might be.

The night started alright, well from my point of view. The kitchen was connected to the living room and dining room so I would be able to see and hear everything that would go on tonight. So I watched in amusement as my father tried to suck up to Mr. Ming. He looked like a dog trying to beg a treat out of his master.

She bitch aka my stepmother was gushing to Mrs. Ming how she redid the house recently. It took everything in me to not laugh out loud at the bored face that Mrs. Ming was trying so hard to hide. My older brother was trying to engage Zixuan in some sports talk, while my little sister just made goo goo eyes at him.

I decided that it was time to bring out the appetizers; my stepmother stopped talking long enough to glare at me and gesture where I should put the tray. I quickly took my leave; I didn't want to be in there any longer than I had too. If anything would happen I would be the one to blame.

Just as I made it into the kitchen I heard Mrs. Ming exclaim how delicious the appetizers were and how she never tasted anything like it. I heard her asked my father to bring out the chef so she could compliment them. I smiled to myself for a job well done as I watched the rest of the Ming family nod in agreement.

"Chef?" I hear my brother say while snorting. "The person who made that was just my no-good little brother.

The Ming's looked confused. It was Mr. Ming who asked. "There's another son in this family?"

I could see my father start to sweat; he started motioning my brother to shut up. I guess my stepmother didn't sense the situation because she just continued where my brother left off.

"Yes, you see Huang's previous wife had an affair, so he's not really his son but out of the goodness of his heart he let him stay here even though he's a dirty little fag. So we make him cook and clean it's the least he could do." She said smugly as if she was doing some great service to me.

I must say I didn't know how stupid my stepmother was until now. Even if she didn't hint at abusing a minor by making them a servant but she was deliberately showing the Ming's how much of a homophobe she is. Everyone knows the Ming's are activists in gay rights, that one of Mrs. Ming's sisters was a lesbian. My father looked like he was about to faint. There was complete silence for about 10 seconds before Mr. Ming asked her in a hard tone. "What did you say?"

~

"I'm so sorry Mr. Ming about my wife." My father said scrambling to save the evening. "Don't listen to anything she says, she a little homophobic, I have put her in therapy to see where it stems from. Fan will you please take your mother to her room, I have told her not to talk that way around polite company." He said to my sister, glaring at my stepmother as if daring her to do something.

I must point out that my father was not an abusive man, well not physically at least. Not even to me, once I think he came close but stopped saying how he didn't want to dirty his hands on me. For some reason I think that hurt worse than any beating he could have given me.

The Ming's decided to stay but the mood was a lot tenser than it was earlier, father was still apologizing every so often for my stepmother. He kept telling them how he treated me the same as the rest of my siblings and it was I who wanted to do things and help out. I so wanted to call him on his bull shit so bad.

When my sister came back, my father commented that it was time to depart to the dining room signifying me that they were ready for the main course. Snapping my fingers at Wandan and Zilin we gathered up the food on trays and brought it out to them. I smiled politely at everyone with my gaze lingering on Zixuan a little more than necessary because I can see that he is smiling back at me.

After everything is set down perfectly the girls and I decided to excuse ourselves, but before we could Mr. Ming looked over at my father and asked, "Aren't you going to introduce me to your children's brother Huang?" Wandan and Zilin quickly went back to the kitchen since they knew they weren't needed in this discussion and all I could think as I watch them go was, 'Those lucky bitches.'

"Why of course Mr. Ming, Xinya come over here." My father replied, this the first time I heard my name from his lips in years I'm quite surprised he even remembered it. I walked over to where he was while forcing a smile upon my face. "Xinya this is Mr. Ming, a potential business associate, Mr. Ming this is Xinya he was the one who prepared tonight's meal."

Putting his hand out for me to shake, Mr. Ming said while smiling, "It's very nice to meet you Xinya. I had enjoyed all your food thus far." Before I could even say anything Mrs. Ming chimed in. "I agree Xinya everything has just been simply delish, come join us I want to discuss your recipes."

I sneak a glance at my father to see him giving me a dark look, so I hurry and make up an excuse. I give Mrs. Ming a sweet smile while saying, "Thank you for the kind offer, but I have to finish cooking dessert plus I promised a friend that I would meet up with them after I was done." It was all lies of course since I finished dessert ages ago and my only friend was at camp until school, but it's not like she will know that.

"That's alright darling, maybe we can meet up one day and talk about it than. I'm sure Mr. Shen can give you our number," she said with a soft smile and gave me a look that I couldn't quite decipher.

"Of course I will!" my father says while patting me on the back a tad too hard. I grit my teeth at the action and with a quick goodbye, I made a hasty exit. I head back to the kitchen asking if Zilin and Wandan to handle the rest. Which they quickly agreed too, because from the look on my face they knew it would be better if I disappear for the rest of the night.

Almost an hour had passed since I left the kitchen and went to my room, during that time I decided to watch a movie. It was some cheesy 80's horror flick that I found on Netflix but I really enjoyed them for some reason I can't quite understand. You see they are not too scary plus they are kind of funny in away. I really liked the special effects they had back then, you never see that type of stuff now of days. I guess I was really engrossed in the movie because I didn't hear the door opening.

There were two sharp knocks at my door. I jumped at the sound, putting my hand to my chest I could feel my heart beating fast. I guess the movie was frightening than I thought if the sound of knocking could startle me. I looked up to search for the source of my disturbance only to see Ming Zixuan looking at me from where he opened my door.

"Excuse me; I'm sorry for bothering you," Zixuan said sheepishly. "But I heard noises from inside this room and thought someone would be able to help me. You see I was looking for the bathroom."

I hurriedly get up from where I was sitting and walked over to him. I open my door all the way and point out where the bathroom is located to him. "It's in that room over there to the left," I say just wanting him to leave, but it seems as if he has no intention of doing so.

"Thank you for helping me." He says with a charming smile. "Although I can't help but wonder why you are still here, I thought you were going out with a friend."

I shrugged at him while replying, "She had to cancel, something came up, so I decided to hang in my room and watch movies instead."

"You could have just come back out and joined us for dinner instead, instead of staying in your room by yourself. My mom would love to quiz you on the food you made. She has been gushing about it for the last pass hour." Zixuan said with a slight smile.

"Maybe I wasn't hungry," I say a little defensively. Sure his mom is nice and I wouldn't mind staring at Zixuan all through the night, but I rather not have to deal with my father tomorrow. I'm almost free from this place; I don't want my father doing anything to mess with that just out of spite.

Zixuan was about to say something else but before he could we heard my brother voice coming from down the hall asking Zixuan did he find the toilet. I guess he didn't see me yet, which I was grateful for because he would run back to daddy saying I was talking to his client's son, he such a kiss ass.

I could see Zixuan turning towards him saying "Yes I was about to head..." That was all I could catch since I slowly eased my door closed and headed back to my movie. I could help but be slightly disappointed that my brother had come it's not every day you can talk to a rich, handsome guy who's in the same grade as you.

I laid down on my bed turning myself over I grabbed my mother's picture from my dresser. While looking at it I said with a soft smile, "Mom I know I said I wanted today to be entertaining, but not like this." With a huff, I decided to watch a little more television before I went to bed.

~

The next day I made sure to ask Wandan and Zilin about what happens after I went to my bedroom the previous evening. It was just as I expected; Zilin told me how my father kept trying to suck up to Mr. & Mrs. Ming, while my brother tries his darndest to become best friends with Zixuan.

As if that would happen I laughingly think. Although if it were to happen it would be such a letdown, I didn't want to think of Zixuan as another brainless jock. Someone who is as rich and powerful as him that has my brother's level of stupid, that wouldn't make a good combination.

Unless he was befriending him out of charity, you know to help the stupid and deprived. That thought right there made me smile a little. Then Wandan told me how my sister was acting. Wandan is one straightforward bitch but that honesty is what I like about her.

"She was flashing so much skin last night at dinner it started to feel like a nude expo." Wandan said. "I'm not saying your sister was acting like a slut, but let's be real she can count the people she's had sex with on one hand...if that hand was holding a calculator." This wasn't really surprising, since as everyone knows boys talk and the main place they do it in is in school.

Fan is still my sister even if she doesn't like me. So I didn't want to jump to conclusions, but she flaunts around her sexual escapades like they are something to be proud of. Part of me thinks this is just a psychological need to gain attention by any means necessary, be it by reckless behavior or more often than naught some kind of sexual activity.

It's most likely to compensate for the lack of attention she receives from our father and her mother. What can you say they are not the best of parents. This is proven when I hear Zilin speak.

"Maybe your father put her up to it." Zilin said. I just shrug I already knew the lengths the man would go to get what he wants.

It was afternoon when my father awoke; from what Yan said my father got shit-faced drunk after the Ming's left. As soon as he awoke though, he started to storm around the house. You could hear him arguing with my stepmother most of the day about her behavior, my brother and sister was smart enough to leave the house for the rest of the day. I decided it would be best for me to stay out of sight out of mind for the rest of the day.

He never did give me Mrs. Ming's number; I never expected he would. So it wasn't a really big deal for me. The Ming's never once came back over after that awful dinner so I never got to see Zixuan again. This was quite tragic, since he is such a wonderful fantasy material.

Summer flew by rather quickly and before I knew it was the day before my birthday. My father had already started giving me these knowing looks the week before, I was kind of shocked he remembered my birthday, but then again, of course, he would remember the day he gets to kick me out.

I guess my father told my brother because he started making snide comments, asking me what homeless shelter I would be living in. I just ignored him of course and kept my mouth shut. My father may have never hit me but the same can't be said for my brother.

Little by little I have been packing up my stuff all throughout the last two weeks. I knew I would be leaving soon so there would be no time for any dallying.  Wei, who is my best friend, my sister from another mother had come home one week prior to my birthday from the International Music Camp.

She has been slowly helping me move my stuff over to her house. It only took two trips in her SUV before I could say I was all moved out. I didn't want my father getting the idea that I wanted to move out. Who knows he might find some way to make me stay longer, so I stayed until it was the day of my 18th birthday.

Yan woke me up at 8 am with a light shake. I could see that she was smiling, she gave me a kiss on the forehead while saying, "Happy Birthday my sweet boy." I reply with a thank you as I get up to hug her. She hugs me back tightly before letting go.

"Now go get your butt ready." She says before exiting my room. I laugh a little before I start to get ready for the day. As I'm about to leave my room, I turned around to glance at it one last time before closing the door.

I head to the kitchen to see that Zilin and Wandan had already arrived; I am greeted with a chorus of Happy Birthdays and hugs. I smile and talk with them some before we start on breakfast. It's my last time making one here so I decided to make it a little special; I will let my family see what they will be missing once I'm gone.

The food was halfway done when my father walked into the kitchen. He looked around at all of us with a superior look before telling me to follow him to his office. I wiped my hands down on a nearby towel; while giving a quick smile, to reassure them I will be ok and to continue making the food without me. They give me worried looks before going about their business. My father had already started walking, and with a deep sigh, I started to follow him.

We end up in his office; he goes to sit behind his desk leaving me to stand in front of him. I must say this brings back so many memories. "Xinya." He says to me as if my name leaves a disgusting taste in his mouth. "As you know, today is your 18th birthday and as I told you a long ago once you turn 18 you will be dead to me." He opened his desk drawer and pulled out some papers.

"To show you I mean business these papers are proof that you were ever a Shen." With no emotion at all, my father shredded them. "By the way, I decided to take my family on an overnight trip to celebrate your eviction from our household. We will be back tomorrow at 12pm, I do not expect you to be here when we get back boy or you won't like the consequences. Do I make myself clear?"

I wanted to look him straight in the eye and say screw you I don't need this place, but I'm not that brave instead I just meekly nod while saying "Yes sir." He dismissed me after that, but just as I reached the door he said cruelly "Oh and one more thing, Happy Birthday." I could hear him snicker as I left and returned to the kitchen. I must have had some sort of look on my face because Wandan hugged me and Zilin asked if I was ok. I said I was and we continued the breakfast preparations.

The family that shamefully I had to call mine came down 15 minutes later after everything was done with overnight bags in their hands. They placed them by the front door before heading to the dining area.

I guess they're going to leave right after breakfast. Once they settled down me and Zilin went out to serve them, but when my stepmother saw me she immediately started whispering in my sister. Well you really couldn't call it whispering since everyone could hear it. "I'm so glad the 'Gaybage' that has been stinking up the place for all these years is finally being thrown away."

She and my stepsister started tittering like it was the funniest thing in the world. My brother just gave me a nasty smirk, while my father was blank to the whole thing.

I had to endure 35 minutes of snide comments from the she beast before they were on their way. As soon as the door closed, I let out a sigh of relief. I was finally free was all I could think. Yan came out and said that Wei just called and she is coming to pick me up in 20 minutes.

I could hardly wait since I barely spent any time with her this summer that was just hanging out. So as I waited for her arrival, I decided to chat with Wandan about this and that until she shooed me away saying she had work to do. Zilin had to take care of something so I said goodbye to her earlier.

The doorbell rang and I rushed to open it, there was Wei standing there. Just seeing her standing there, wearing her beautiful white dress that looked so lovely on her made me so happy. She looked like an angel to me taking me away from this hell. She even had her black hair in loose curls today with a cute white headband to top it off. It completed the picture of her I had of her in my mind so perfectly.

"Happy Birthday! Wei said giving me a quick hug before pulling me towards her car. "Let's get out of here." I laughingly follow her but not before glancing one last time at the house I grew up in for all these years.

The End

Whispering Regrets

"Every night I am lulled to sleep by a sound that only I can hear. It comes to me at the very onset of weariness, serenading me with words and sounds so beautiful it's hard for me to believe it to be real and once I'm deep within my slumber I have this dream... always the same dream." I trail off at this point, why go on. I sigh and look at my therapist.

"Please go on Mr. Yin," He says in that patronizing voice of his. How I despise him, everything about him makes me frown in distaste from his balding head to his tacky brown loafers.

"What's the point in me going on, it's not like you have never heard this before,'' I reply rather despondently.

He just stares at me with that patient look of his. It was the look that says I'm here for you; let me listen to all your worries. That look pisses me off so much. "Mr. Yin I can't begin to understand what you are going through, but these dreams might be the key to helping me, help you. So please if you would be so kind to continue", He said.

I don't know why he is so keen on helping me; nothing can help me and I have already accepted that when fate dealt me a hand in this cosmic card game it came up bad. So instead of dragging this along, I might as well just get on with it. With a deep sigh, I continue.

"Very well, if I must." In a voice that even to me seemed tired. "The dream is always the same even if the place differs, I'm laying down in a field of some sort be it flowers, grass or wheat in the middle of nowhere. I don't know how long I lie there but then this man appears..." once again I trail off. I glance up to fully look at my therapist to see him motioning me to go on with a small but encouraging smile. With a sigh, I close my eyes and began to speak."The dream began with me speaking to someone...."

~

"Here again I see," I said not moving from the lush green grass where I lie. It was just a mere formality after all because I knew he would be back, he always is, even though I don't want him to be. He and I are connected you see, a shared bond formed by fate.

Wedding vows couldn't even come close to what we have; our closeness...I speculate that even those lucky few who had the honor of sharing the same womb wouldn't have a tenth of an inkling.

This is an intimacy at the highest form, for he's an extension of myself the only one who knows me better than anyone else, and I would like to think he can say the same about me, even if it's only in a roundabout way.

Without turning my head I can feel him walking towards me in that graceful way of his that makes him look like he's gliding instead of walking.

As he gets closer his scent envelops me; as always, it's my favorite smell... Tiger lilies, sometimes I think I'm unconsciously making him smell like them but I like to think he does it himself because he knows it pleases me, the part of me that still hopes prefers the latter.

"Did you doubt I would?" he replies easily but I could hear the anger in his voice.

"No," I say having no reason to lie. I turn my head slowly towards his; I know that he has already settled down next to me for this was our routine when he comes over. He indulges himself by trying to get as close to me as he can and I let him. He's staring at me with that expectant look of his.

"What?"I whisper turning my head back to look up at the clear blue sky; I wonder why life couldn't be like the sky at this moment.

In one quick motion, he was up and I was in his lap while he held me tightly. "Why did you block me?" he asked desperately his face buried in my hair. "Didn't you know how that would make me feel?" This was also part of our routine; The Whys. The never-changing question no matter what form it comes in, it irritates me when he asks this. Although I will not begrudge him this onslaught,  he needed this release since I know it will fade as quickly as it comes but still what a rough ride this will be.

"....And so begins." I whisper silently to myself.

He was always better at directing how this place should look than me but when he gets emotional he always loses control of it. You see one of our gifts is to create our own personal dimension, a place that is just our own. Nobody can get in unless you allow them to enter. The thing is that even if I block him in my heart I really don't want to. I pushed away from him just as the scenery started to change, standing up I could see that the sky began to darken to an eerily gray, I could hear the thunder in the distance and all around us the vegetation was slowly deteriorating becoming withered and decayed.

"Zixuan you have to calm down!" I shouted at him "You going to destroy this place." I was getting worried since the place was growing evermore dark and dangerous by the minute.

"Then tell me why?" Zixuan said barely controlling the suppressed fury in his voice. "Why are you doing this to us?"

Selfishly I thought 'There are those there why's again.' but then I looked at him, really looked and I knew it was I who was guilty no matter how strong of a front he portrayed on the outside I could see how weary he was and it was all my fault; I can at least admit that much. I was the one who ran from him in the first place so it must be I who dealt with the consequences.

'It must have taken him a while to find me this time for him to be acting this way.` I mused sadly.

There were so many things I could have said to him so he would have understood like 'It was because I dare not hope.' or 'At the time it seemed like the right thing to do.' But the only thing that escaped my lips was a whispered: "I'm sorry."

"A simple I'm sorry isn't good enough," he says, letting out a deep breath as if he were trying to calm himself. "I need more than that from you."

"But that is all I'm willing to say," I reply. This is the moment I think when I finally pushed him too far and he will finally give up on me. Tears watered in my eyes just thinking about it but it's all for the best or at least I like to think so.

Before I could blink the tears that were threatening to fall back he was holding me. "Why do you do this yourself." He all but whispered in my ear. "Just give in we belong together."

"No...", I say brokenly while trying to getaway. But I'm no match for his strength. He tightens his hold on me, I can tell he's angry but I'm not afraid I know he would never hurt me.

"Why not?" he asks, trying to sound calm but the tension I feel from his body tells another story.

I sigh. It was the only thing I could do. "You know why not you just won't accept it.

He gently pushes me away, forcing my face to meet his and asks "Do you not love me at all?"

As I stared up into his beautiful green eyes that held so much love and longing, I knew deep down he was past his breaking point. I wouldn't be able to hide the truth from him for much longer. So I answered him with all sincerity I could muster "Of course I love you, never doubt that."

"Then why... Xinya, can you for once just tell me?``he asks.

How I would love to tell him, I thought. "I can't tell you Zixuan I just can't."

I can't keep doing this Xinya, I just can't. Kissing me gently on the cheek he says sadly, "This will be the last time you will see me."

Then he was gone and with him a little bit of hope I had left.

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

I could feel a tear slip down my eye as I stopped speaking, just remembering that dream made my heartache. I looked at my therapist while suppressing the urge to cry.

"So ..." I ask him. "Can you explain it to me?" I knew even before he spoke, he couldn't I don't even know why I ask. He is just one of the countless therapists I have told my problem and I knew whatever he would say would just be a colossal waste of my time. So I let him talk, not really listening until our time was up. Then I leave waiting for the week to past until this useless cycle begins again.

Imaginary Love

Xinya p.o.v

There is a moment in everyone's life where they think to themselves about how ordinary and mundane their life is. I never had that moment, sometimes I wish I did. I always knew I was special, from the day I was conceived my mother whispered it to me and she was right, I had special gifts the same as her which she taught me to hone. By the tender age of six, I could control them well; it was like she knew that she wouldn't live to see me become seven.

She always repeated that I need to be careful; I wasn't allowed to show anyone my gifts, not even my dad. I loved my dad I really hated hiding my gifts from him but my mother said it was for the best and I believed her. It was a week before my seventh birthday when the incident happened, It's funny with all those powers she possessed it was a simple car accident that killed her.

But I guess one doesn't think when they see their child in front of an oncoming car... the mothering instinct and all. I will always love her for that but sometimes I wish I had died then I wouldn't have been trapped here in this place for the last 10 years. I was so sad and lonely without my mom and dad in those first few months, I could feel myself slipping away and all my mother's efforts would have been for naught. I think I would have to if it wasn't for him....

~

Zixuan p.o.v

I see... I'm here again. Taking a quick look around, I find the landscape is sparse with only a blackened sky endless water that reach to my ankles. So dark that I feel I might as well be blind. Usually, there are golden waterfalls and lush grass that randomly changes color depending on his mood, but I guess it's just me right now. I decide to sit down, lying back into the water while I'm at it. My clothes quickly become saturated clinging to my body, not really bothering me. I always liked it here. It makes me feel warm and comforted. I'm glad to be back.

I feel a familiar touch in the back of my mind. The new presence brings me out of my stupor long enough to notice that I was no longer lying in the water, but gently resting on lush grass, kissed with the color of early spring. I chuckle, closing my eyes again waiting for his voice. He was always better at manipulating this place than I.

"Well... Hello, lazy one." he said with a smile in his voice.

"I prefer relaxed with pensive tendencies," I reply

"I'm sure you do." His voice was closer now. Are you going to open your eyes, Zixuan?"

"Why should I? I already know who it is." I say mockingly. This is a game we play in. I love to hear his voice. Any chance I get I take. If that means I have to antagonize him, well so be it. Cracking one eye open, I hope to see one of his famous pouts. It shouldn't take too long until I'm rewarded.

"Zixuan" Xinya whines bringing his arms across his body, tilting his head to the side followed lastly by a pout that settles across his face.

Ah.... I think, there it is. He always does the cutest things and like every other time, it makes my heart skip a beat or two.

Yes, I admit it. I Nam Zixuan am in love with my imaginary best friend. Why imaginary you ask... Well, that's because some part of me believes, this couldn't possibly be real. How could It? Who's ever heard of a best friend they can only see in their dreams. No one, that's who, yet we've shared so much time together here since childhood. If this is in fact all a lie, just a delusion of a lonely boy. Then I never want this reality to be questioned, and stay here forever always with her.

While I was lost in my thoughts, Xinya seems to realize his antics weren't getting the desired response. His eyes started to take on a mischievous glint. "How can you possibly know it's me, I could be an impostor. Maybe I was sent here to trick you and... and do all sorts of bad things."

Finally, I focus all my attention on his eyes. Eyes so impossibly brown. They are the only feature in clear detail. I could happily get lost in them. I couldn't help but let a chuckle escaped from my lips responding to what Xinya had said. "Bad things", I mumble. Like he even knew what was considered bad. I sit up and just look at his.

"I would know the difference, Yaya." Yaya was the nickname I gave him when I was 7 years old. I had an odd fascination with his name, but at that age, I couldn't pronounce it correctly, so it came out more like Ya. Xinya also has a nickname for me but he doesn't use it as much.

Sulking Xinya proceeds to sit down next to me. "I missed you Zixuan, I haven't seen you in days."

Xinya never liked it when we were apart; we met almost every night in this place since I have been in kindergarten. Though I can't say what it is exactly. Maybe it can be thought of as a place where dreams are born. I wouldn't call it a dream though, it too real. Plus dreams are defined as a solitary event, but that has never been the case for me. I thought about asking someone to help me figure out what this is, but to be perfectly honest I don't want to share Xinya with anyone.

Confused? I would be too if I had to explain this to myself. See most of the time I have dreams with one other person besides myself. His name is Xinya; well at least I think he's a he, Xinya is a name for both boys and girls. I can't really tell here, Xinya and I appear sort of distorted.

The only feature that really stands out is our eyes. Xinya always says I have the nicest eyes, which are like those of fairytale princes. I laugh every time he says that and reply 'Does that make you my damsel in distress.'

You would think that I would mind not being able to really see Xinya, but I don't think about it really. He has been here from the beginning. So I don't need to see him know what he looks like.

We both grew up knowing each other in this place, no one knows that I have a childhood friend, a best friend (although he might be imaginary) closer to me than my family or any friends that I have made in the outside world. He is special to me. We know each other's innermost selves that we could never share with another person.

Xinya and I have a bond I think and even though we never talk about our families or other stuff that happens in the world outside of this place, it doesn't matter. If one day I discover that he is real and not some figment of my imagination, I would track him down and never let him go, but part of me is afraid that this is just an illusion. That if I ask, Xinya might disappear forever. So I am content in being here with her as things are, I will follow the rules I have set for myself and he will stay with me forever.

"Zixuan, Are you okay?" Xinya asks worriedly.

I sigh blowing absently at the few curly locks that have fallen in my face. "Been having a few rough days recently. I haven't been getting enough sleep. I guess I haven't had enough energy to make it here."

"Oh I see,'' Xinya says letting his body fall back onto the grass, pulling me back with him. A sudden breeze picks up, blowing flower petals here and there. I sighed contently smelling the new flowers that were popping up around us. "Nice touch," I say.

I don't even look at her when I reach for her hand. I intertwine my fingers through his. He squeezes gently in response. I look at his meeting her beautiful blue eyes. He smiles and says, Sweet Dreams Zixuan." As soon as the words leave his lips I am immediately swept into complete darkness and I sleep deeply for the first time in days while feeling as if I was being embraced in warmth.

~

Xinya p.o.v

I look over to the empty spot where Zixuan once laid and sigh. I miss him already, but he needed his sleep. I get up and decide to wander around this world I created. I can shape it to look like anything I imagine, I can create people to interact with, but they wouldn't be real not like Zixuan. Playing around in this place, creating adventures for myself, use to amuse me, but the older I become the lonelier I am. Zixuan is the only one that I can bring here; I tried so many times with others only to fail. As special as Zixuan is to me, I can only see him for a few hours a night before I have to put him into real sleep.

I sigh softly to myself kicking a rock that I placed there so I could have something to kick. While being a god of this world is incredibly amusing, I would like to venture out into that other world... the real world. I can be patient because soon that will be my world. My grasp on this place is lessening I can feel it, soon I will awake. That thought alone brings a smile to my face.

I decided to visit my dad, well technically my dad's dream. That's the only way I can interact with him. I do tweak the dreams a bit so my placement in them won't come as a surprise. My dad has been through a lot and I don't want him to go crazy, and convince himself that I'm only alive in his dreams or some weird things like that.

As I enter the dream I see that he is sitting on the couch watching some type of sport, I must have made some type of noise because he turns and sees me. He waves inviting me over. "Hi Xinya, do you want to watch this game with me."

"Sure dad I would love to", I say with a smiling slightly and go cuddle up next to him.

He puts his arms around me and says, "When you wake I'm going to take you to a real game."

A small part of me likes to think he knows I don't belong to this dream and I'm alive and ok. I smile up at him and say, "Sure dad I would love too and maybe one of those Art shows you told me mom loved too."

He just chuckles, "Of course sport anything you want." He squeezes me tightly as if afraid I might disappear. We sit there silently for the longest time watching his dream game. All of a sudden the dream shifts, I look down at myself to find that I look like a five-year-old. My dad often does this when I visit he takes us to a time before I was asleep. I giggle to myself I remember this.

Mom had to go visit her sister; she had left for the weekend. Dad was so worried this is the first time he had to watch me for more than a few hours by himself. I looked down at myself I was dressed in my best clothes, I was setting the table me and my dad was going to have a tea party. I set out the plates, cups, utensils and a pitcher of iced tea. I was just placing the ice tea on the table when my dad came into view. He was wearing a tux (must have been from his wedding) and a top hat.

"You look very dashing father," I said mimicking a British TV show. It sounded funny coming from my high pitched child's voice.

Replying in a semi British accent he said, "As do you."

Glancing to the plate of cookies in his hand, I say, "I see that you have brought dessert, how very kind of you."

"Yes, for you see we cannot have a proper tea party without cookies", he replies still using the upper-class British accent.

I start to giggle; covering my mouth with my hand I try to control myself, but he just sounds so funny. I can see that my dad is trying to keep a straight face but is failing miserably. He starts to laugh out loud.

"I see once again we didn't make it to the end without laughing,'' he says smiling.

"That's ok, daddy let's go back to being ourselves, plus there are cookies waiting to be eaten," I say with a big smile, and that's what we did for the rest of his dream we sat there and had a tea party, we ate cookies, drank ice tea and joked with each other until we were falling out are chairs laughing, we chatted about everything and nothing. I guess the old saying is true, time does fly by when you are having fun, because before I knew it was time for him to wake and once again I was all alone.