Parfait

Surely everyone loves sugar.

Something sweet.

The good things. The perfection.

Those kind of sweetness.

Let’s just say that it’s probably because we’re all stressed out by the bitterness of experience we all had. So tired of it that we crave for it so bad. The essence of sugar fuelled the hollow of glum we had during that day with exquisite feeling we could hope for.

Everybody quench for those ambrosial sensation sipping into our very soul, as if hoping that it would extracting all the frazzles in exchange of instant bliss.

We all desire for something that satisfy our crave and swaying our souls to an aesthetic dream.

But not everyone willing to shares them with others. Or even lead them to it.

“Hey!” A soft voice snapped me out of my deep thoughts. Goodness, how long have I been into such pit?

I simple reply him with small hum.

He sighs. “Daydreaming again?”

“Have I?”

He gave me a perplexed smile as I said so. “Oh god…luckily nothing happened to you.” His limb went back to elegant composure. Then, his hands reached out to me to pull us close to the nearby shops. “Are you alright?” This time, his tone slightly hushed down, sounding concerns. “Never have I thought this thing happen again whenever we went out taking stroll, off to Melina’s bakery, jogging our way to any park, or even…oh god, don’t get me started. It even happen while we’re crossing the road.” His lips parted as he tries to inhale deep breathe. Eyes close while his forehead slightly furrows.

“I think we should seek help from the psychiatrist. No, I mean you. Alice, you need help.”

Honestly, that is some brutal yet shocking suggestion coming out from her lips. “I’m not mad, Lucas.” Taking me to such so called sanctuary would only drive me to abnormal state even more than I already am.

He nods knowingly, “Yeah, I do acknowledge that you are still sane. But what I mean is that your mind been off lately and it seems getting worse the minute I observe you and your new pattern of behaviour.” This time, he crossed his arm while gazing at me with those stern, cold eyes, “I shouldn’t have said this out loud but we’ll need a tracker for this case.”

I couldn’t remember what my usual reaction would be whenever he throws out some random ideas.

It feels like…amnesia. Like, I didn’t even know who I am anymore. I notice my heart still pounding as a proof that I am still alive and kicking. Technically, yes. But part of it seems to be lose touch somewhere. As if has long gone faded yet leave certain ghostly trace within me.

As for Lucas’ silly answer, I might have smack him on the shoulder since he’s taller than me or probably just ruin his shoes because he meticulously took care of his style way too much that to the point that no single stain shall be permitted to land on his precious sneakers.

However, I just don’t feel like it anymore.

I only nod. My voice slowly cracked, “Thanks, Lucas…” was all I said to him.

He simply smiles weakly. I heard no further crazy responds from him regarding what just happened or upon my short answer. He’s probably aware of it. Or maybe he don’t because there might be chances that my acting skills these days are well developed (except for the unconscious ‘daydreaming’ part). Knowing Lucas, I don’t supposed my current changes of well-being would slide off from his radar that easily. He’s pretty observant, y’know? One might suggest that it’s probably because we’re childhood friend. To be frank, we’re not. And I’m actually met him like couple of semester years back. To which specific date I have no longer restore those in my memory. But I do remember meeting him at the nearby Starbucks in New York. Grab my usual Strawberry Frappuccino Latte while doing my homework at the usual spot which was near the window. It was raining and I could see few people in front of me running around with umbrella, heading home or to wherever destination they need to be. The faint sound of rains added sense of tranquillity to the existing ambience.

“Dang it! Not now…” I heard someone groan. And sigh in frustration.

I am not considering myself antisocial, but I mostly prefer mind my own business on most of the times. You have no idea how socializing drains my energy, especially when more drama pops in to add some spice to the situation like some cheap budget television show but with less potential candidates for the slot. In that case, I should be able to claim for salary for all my consistency endurance. Well, if that exist.

The male secretly chuckles and sighs. Not the kind that one would be in blissful mood, though, even if I’m in his shoes. Sucks.

“Hey,” I have no idea how and why I’ve slated my shoes to his spot and casually greeted him, but something driven me that day. “You seem to have a problem with…umm…internet…so, I thought I might — no, I mean, like, to help you — “

“Really?” He cut me off instantly. “Well, umm…that’s nice…” Looking at his expression, this boy sure had a long day sitting here finish up his tasks and things happen to get in his way. For some reason, probably. I taught him how to use the Wi-Fi services at Starbucks via Google. Glancing at his surprised face, I assume he’s probably new here or simply just discovered the Wi-Fi service in Starbucks. Somehow, the conversation escalated into something friendlier. He happen to be in the same school as me and knew me. Well, sort of. But he happen to quote on the poems that I’ve sent to the club anonymously. Too bad, he’s an observant and a quick witted one at that. I was about to get back to my spot, until he called me for something.

“I was thinking we should meet up sometime.”

I snort, “Are you sure?”

“Well, we’re already acquainted. So might as well get cordial as friends.” He playfully wink. It’s just a friendly gesture.

“Didn’t see any harm in that. I can’t see why not.”

Both of us exchanging contacts and Instagram id (he insist on the IG as well).

“Now we’re officially friends!” He beamed in delight. Don’t tell me he’s been planning this all along. And yet here I am fell into his charm. Either way, I felt like he has different vibe compared to other people I’ve had socialized. Warmth. But not a typical kind of warmth. A trustful one. I could feel that my heart could lean into him if time ever need to be. But no. Not just yet.

Though, I couldn’t keep our physical friendship and meetups lasts long than I ever hope by the time I got enrolled into some kind of elite college, thanks to the scholarship and my excellent grades. Achilles Academy. Swarmed by elite kids with super-wealth background where buying South Korea is like piece of cake to them. Frankly, that’s none of my concern. As long as I could make my parents proud, I’m all good. Even though I’m separated from my accidental-best friend, Lucas. I might as well secretly have a feelings for him but he deserves better than me although I do believe I have everything he could have listed on. As long as he’s happy.

Even if he’s asking me tips on how to tackle Laura, the school famous pop star. I couldn’t go mad even if I wanted to. So I just let the pain fades away and it was never easy. Hiding tears and forlorn expression was becoming my super skill that I could never proudly put into my CV or resume for work unless necessary, though needs to be crafted into professional way. Not even my given personal butler knows my emotions really that well since I hide it so good so far. He didn’t ask anything else rather than he supposed to. For instance, “what would you like for dinner, milady?”, “do you need my assistance, milady?”, or probably “have you fully prepared everything you need for the next class, milady?” those kind of things. And I simply courteously nod and answer each to his question. No more, no less. Even my mom praised me for such having a lady-like demeanour. A dream come true. To them. At the very least, that brings up smile to them.

Right?

As for my life in Achilles Academy, I wouldn’t say it’s close to Disney’s idea of perfect dream because, well, typical sceptics between class are just obvious here. Especially if you’re not from bourgeoise family. None of those should be my concern, right? Mental abuse is just inevitable even if we’re in millennial era. It happens everywhere and not just here. I just have to learn to endure it to the end. It’ll be just for three years and a half to get a hold of myself. Protesting too much is just way too hassle for me. It’s against the college code of conduct. Improper for a lady. Hypocrite, I know. I just have to believe in myself that everything is perfectly sweet as it is. It’s going to be alright. My new best friend, Kourtney, is one of the sweetest and kind damsel that always stay by my side ever since I came to Achilles Academy. Aside from my butler, Aegis, that is. She’s chirpy and bubbly. Often time I see her stand up for me when a group of popular girls came closer to ruin my day. Too tired to entertain. But I’m making sure that I never forgot to thank her for that. Plus with a genuine smile. Goodness, what is genuine anyway? Somehow the word felt so foreign to my brain. Either way, I cope things by moving with the flow. Same goes to Lucas where it’s been a while we’ve lost contact after I’ve been enrolled to this merry college and it felt like a huge wall between us. Until one day, he came. With his usual smile though he felt awkward to meet me in front of the college. Honestly, deep down I feel devastated to see his face. However, thinking how my rage upon his sudden disappearance, sour expression, my glum demeanour whenever he’s around, I just couldn’t bring myself to imagine if our friendship to be severed like a timing bomb. Things could get snap at any moment if I lash out of him for things that I feel disappointed.

“You’ve been coming here quite often lately. Don’t you have a damsel in distress to entertain?” I barbed.

He chuckled, rather timorous. Or was it slight of embarrass that shifted over his expression? “You mean…” His Adam’s apple suddenly bobbled to bespoke of such tremendous name.

“Laura.” I stated. “Laura Everlyn Curvaill.” Smirking. I felt content to be able to fully pronounce such name. What a bewitching young lady to compared to I am.

He chuckled again. “Let’s both forget about her. I mean, I miss you. So much. But we can’t really meet each other that now you’re in prestigious college and my dearest bestie, Alice, is now currently living a wonderland.” He laughed at me triumphantly as if he was having so much fun. His smile. His laughter. And his pitiful, lame jokes. God, I’ve missed all these. And yet it felt like such simple perfection of happiness that ever happened in my life years back somehow slowly evaporated.

But oh for goodness sake, I’ve tried my very best to retain my calm composure around him. Not allowing single wrinkle of frown or even exasperate sighs or any other signs that I’ve grown tired of him. Anything to make sure that everyone is happy. Including him. I could snuck some time later if I need a moment to cry but surely, not when one needs to be positive in front of their beloved person. Though, it might be hurt but it should done nothing much to me because I believe I’m used to it. Or so I thought.

That evening, Aegis came to my room with the usual small tray. One object. And it’s covered with a round object made off stainless steel. Courteously knocking the door before entering.

“Come in,” I said. He enter as I permit him so. It’s late in hour so I expect he might have gave me some letters addressed for me.

“You wouldn’t want to guess, milady?” I swear I catch a glimpse of playful smile across his face, though it isn’t too obvious but I’m not blind. And I haven’t put off my contact lens yet either.

“Quite playful trick you have up on your sleeve this evening, Aegis.” I smirked.

Without further ado, Aegis lift up the steel cover and present me a plate of…

“…burger?”

“Your favourite, milady.”

“Excuse me?” Never have I told him anything about me. Not even my favourite Double Cheeseburgers from Burger King. I know that smell. I know the shape. I would like to inquire more but something else bugging my mind at the moment.

“Why all of the sudden, Aegis?”

By the look of it, he seems to be rather hesitate to spit out his thoughts. I put the burger away and crossed my arm while waiting for him to answer. He remain aloof. Yet, I could sense there is something he try to share with me. Something that perhaps he might feel too sensitive or inappropriate to say, despite of his calm composure. I clear my throat to signal him that I’m still here and waiting.

“Lady Alice, if I may express my deep condolence and empathy towards you, though this may be improper for me to treat you so. I would like to see your bright smile more than ever. A genuine smile, milady.” His voice slightly cracked. Slowly, he place a cup of Chamomile tea on the nearby coffee table. “I-I…” He took a deep breathe before hesitantly turning to face me, “I’ve been eyeing on you, milady. Almost every weekend, you went out to the lawn, sitting on the bench and sometimes taking stroll around the garden, you are talking and laughing with no one by your side.”

I was taken aback by his confession, “I beg your pardon? If you mean I was laughing and talking alone, perhaps you did not see that my very best friend came to-“ Suddenly, a new reality hit me. “Wait, what?”

“I’m afraid there was no one, milady. For the whole months and weeks I’ve observed you closely for I fear something terrible befall upon you. I knew your best friend, Lucas, as I’ve did some background of you on my own. That was against the policy of the butler role I currently possessed here in this very academia. But knowing your silent suffering was part of me that I could no longer ignore. This wasn’t new. Neither do I ever realize the time it blossomed within my chest.” He continue, “Sir Lucas has been died five months ago. Her so-called-beloved damsel betrayed him by having an affair with another man. Turns out the man that claimed to be her paramour took revenge upon Sir Lucas for having an affair with his lovely woman. That is all I know.” He gulped once the explanation been laid out.

Tongue tied as soon as I hear those details. My hands are shaking weakly. This time. And I truly meant this time, I could no longer bear any glass of endurance to hold down my tears and silent forlorn. I couldn’t care if my face looks ugly while crying. I couldn’t care if my butler feel annoyed or disgusted with my emotion because it wasn’t as perfect as people would have like it to be seen. It isn’t sweet. It isn’t perfect. It’s sour and painful. My eyes shut close, physically trying to retain the wave of huge pang I’ve received.

I’ve been caught off guard. A strong pair of arm wrapped me into warmth embrace. Husky voice whispering softly into ear slowly tunes down the exasperation that I’ve felt.

Tu es parfait à ta manière, madame.”

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Hikari Syuu

Hikari Syuu

I love writing and I do freelance writing from time to time. My main genre basically goes around romance, fantasy and spice of life.