Knight in Tattered Armor

Have you ever read books like ‘Perks of Being a Wallflower’ or ‘The Dollanganger Saga’? If you have, then you’ll find what I’m doing rather familiar. Memories alone are enough to bring heartache, but for the sake of the people I care for and once cared for, I’ll remain safely behind an alias that none of you would know me by. Considering that people are actually reading this, seeing as high school students really aren’t the best to tell this story too, I will tell you now that no name here is true, and that if you were to cross reference any of these records, then you would come up with nothing.

I’m not making any sense, am I? Well, that’s not important anyway. Sense isn’t something you’ll need to understand this story, cause looking back, I probably had a big lack of sense in this tale. I’m not going to state my class ranking, but if you know me personally, you would be rather shocked to hear me say that. For arguments’ sake though, let’s just all assume that these people are fictional, and that none of this is real. It would be easier on your moral stability, and it would also be easier on your emotional health if you looked at it as if it were a work of fiction.

You can just call me “Yuri” for the length of this tale. Why did I pick that certain name? Well, there are many valid reasons. One, is that it is a name for both a boy and a girl. Though I wish it weren’t so, there are quite a lot of homophobic people in the world, and seeing as Yuri is easily taken for a girl’s name, then it would be easier for them to read if they had a slight imaging change. They could consider me as a girl, if they really refuse to see me by my real gender. Not that it’s anything important to me. I’m just doing this for the sake of you people who are so ignorant to not accept a relationship between people of the same gender. According to my boyfriend it would be showing I am nice.

What do I care about those people anyway?

To start this tale of angst, comfort, romance, and maybe tragedy, I would have to begin at an age that you would consider too young for love to develop. Must I emphasize that what often influences us as children are what we assume to be right now? At the time, I was a very happy kid with a love of reading those childish fairytales with the stupid happy endings. Obviously, after my reality check, I began to hate them, but these childish tales played a big part of this own interesting work of art if I must say.

I lived in the city, an apartment to be exact. Our building wasn’t anything extravagant, in fact you could compare it to the apartments you can find in Hong Kong. Or, at least the ones I’ve seen. My home was composed of two bedrooms, a kitchenette, a dining area, and a small living room. Each bedroom had a bathroom, and there was one in the living room where the guests would go. It wasn’t much, but as the famous Ron Weasley states: “But it’s home”.

Each floor of our building had three apartments of the same size. I lived on the eleventh floor in apartment A. You’d think my explaining useless, but this apartment building was where this entire debacle started. I was six when it happened, the new neighbors moving in to apartment C. My best friend, who for the sake of anonymity we shall call “Katsuo”, and I were, at the time, playing in the room that my sister and I shared in our apartment. Katsuo was our next door neighbor from apartment B, so it was rather obvious that we were close. According to my parents, we’ve been talking to each other since we were in our diapers.

“Yuri,” Katsuo had called out, turning to me with a big grin on his face. Curiosity was one of my best friend’s traits. I can’t say it didn’t get us into a lot of trouble, but each adventure we had was quite the memory. “Do you want to see the new neighbors?” I think that Katsuo now regrets ever saying those words to me, but that is just my presumption. I don’t honestly know how he feels about this particular memory, but I’m too lazy to get up from my desk, wake him up, and ask him.

“Why?” I asked, looking up from the train tracks that I was assembling. “They’re just neighbors.” Oh, my childish cheek. How I miss that innocence. Believing everything was just that. Believing that babies came from storks, believing that Mommy and Daddy never did anything naughty, and believing in other things. The only thing I’m glad to have grown out of, was believing that Princes on White Horses actually existed.

“Maybe they have kids with them!” Katsuo answered back, and thinking about it now, I really should not have been swayed by that response. I hated sharing toys, hated the thought of even playing with another kid besides my best friend, yet Katsuo seemed so excited that I couldn’t say no. Stupid pig, that idea got me and him into a big mess! Then again, if it wasn’t for that big mess…we wouldn’t have made the biggest realizations of our lives. What those are? We’ll get to that later.

We both stood up, leaving the train set behind us, and made our way out of the apartment door. Asking permission from parents wasn’t a really something Katsuo and I did quite often, and that would probably explain why they seemed to always be on the lookout. I think they even paid the building security guard to keep an eye on us and to always make sure we never made it past the front doors of the building. That aside, we did go to apartment C to check out those new people.

No matter how many times I emphasize this, I will keep repeating it. BIG MISTAKE.

Katsuo was right about them having a kid, yep, they had two at the time. Two boys. This meeting was one I wished I could forget many times, but sadly, your brain does not allow you to forget your mistakes and embarrassing moments. “Let’s go say ‘hello’!” Katsuo muttered, and if he didn’t regret his previous words now, then he probably did regret those! I was most confident! And he wonders why I blame this entire debacle on him! If you, by any chance, know who I am and know who the real Katsuo is, then give him a good whack on the head for me will you?

NO! That does not give you idiots permission to whack any person you think is Katsuo! Also, that does not give you an excuse to whack people and tell them that your excuse was you thought he was Katsuo! Again, my boyfriend told me to put in this particular note. Seriously, the things that guy comes up with. I love him too much to dump him for that though.

Anyways, we walked over to the new neighbors and remember how I said my loving of fairytales is a big factor in this tale? This is the reason why. Looking at that oldest son of theirs, I remember butterflies filling my stomach. His well kept hair, his fair skin, his intense eyes, his practically cold aura. Just staring at him made me go back to the prince in Beauty and the Beast. Not because he was ugly, God no, to this day I still say he is very handsome, but because his attitude kind of reminded me of the beast. The slight glare in his eye as he caught sight of Katsuo and me peeping from atop the moving boxes, the cold façade that I thought probably hid such a warm heart. Love at first sight? I thought so. That isn’t true though. Who finds their true love at the age of six?

Then again, I apparently found mine when I was in diapers…but that’s getting ahead of myself.

This boy from apartment C that I found myself falling for due to the reason of my love of fantasies, let’s call him “Ryunosuke” shall we? It suits him, the name. A strong dragon. Of course, I still consider falling for him one of the biggest mistakes I’ve committed, but what can I say? He had qualities that really did make him the perfect Prince Charming. But, then again, I am not your ideal Princess am I? Should have been obvious that I wouldn’t be ending up with him.

*  *  *

‘Yuri’ looked at what he managed to have written so far and frowned. He wanted a simple and easy enough introduction into the sad tale, but reading this, he honestly felt like he was just rambling. ‘Yuri’ was rather disappointed as he sighed and crumpled the piece of paper. That was not going to do! Telling people his story had to be something that would be more than endless musings of the person writing. ‘Yuri’ felt like he needed to do better than to just simply write what came to mind.

“This is frustrating.” ‘Yuri’ mumbled to himself, allowing his head to rest on the pieces of paper. Looking behind him, ‘Katsuo’ was asleep on his bed. Why couldn’t the stupid pig be awake and help him out? It was his story too after all! To be precise, it was their story! The pig had no right to sleep while ‘Yuri’ did all the writing! But looking at his sleeping face made the writer just want to stay put and not disturb his best friend. Even asleep the guy had a strong hold on him.

‘Yuri’ found that highly unfair, but couldn’t really do anything about it. So, he just decided to turn around and continue writing. Perhaps he could work on an intro later. Maybe trying to move on to the main part of the story would be much easier than getting to it.

*  *  *

Freshman Year of High School, the end of all innocence. Why, you may probably be wondering, do I say such a thing? Well, why don’t I ask you a question in return. When do things suddenly become all about popularity over grades? When do labels begin to set in with what crowd you hang out with? When do your friends suddenly deem you ‘unworthy’ of them just because your hair is a mess?

Now that we are, or at least I’m assuming we are, on the same page, we can continue on. This story began at the age of six, but it reached its climax on that very year. This year changed everything. Friends became enemies, friends became couples, couples split up, and enemies became couples. Not making much sense am I? Don’t worry, all of those will be explained further on as we progress with the little tale here. Impatient people aren’t we? Well, too bad, I’m setting the pace and making you all squirm in your seats is what I plan on doing. Then again, you could just skip ahead and fear missing a very important detail here and there. I don’t really care which option you choose out of the two.

Getting back on track, Freshman Year. “Welcome Freshmen” the banner said, welcoming us all for the first assembly. Both my best friends were on either side of me, all three of us wearing happy smiles. Ryunosuke was to my right, while Katsuo was to my left. We were waiting for another friend to join us, another good friend of mine who we shall call “Jin”. He was a rather bad morning person, but no one would think that when you first met him. He just always had that permanent good mood about him.

“Can you believe it?” Katsuo had asked both Ryunosuke and I. “We’re finally in High School!” He announced, and to be honest, I was just as excited as he was. The road to proper education was not easy, and knowing we made it this far was a rather comforting thought. Both Katsuo and I were pretty sure that Ryunosuke felt the same way, but being who he was, the stupid dragon would never admit that.

“I can,” Ryunosuke stated bluntly. “What I can’t believe is you’re here with us.”

Did I forget to mention that Katsuo and Ryunosuke managed to develop a rather odd rivalry? They competed about a lot of things, and sadly, due to the fact I was the third best friend, I had to referee each match and decide who the winner was. Of course, back then, my decisions were a bit biased as I made Ryunosuke win quite a few more than he originally did. Hey! Don’t give me that look! I thought I really loved him back then! You hypocrites saying you would have been fair? Hah! Tell that to my face when you’re faced in the same situation! We’re getting off track again aren’t we?

“And how long did it take you to think up that retort?” Katsuo answered, smug that he too managed to come up with one rather quick. “Must have taken you the entire Summer!” Okay, you probably don’t understand why Katsuo would be happy to come up with a comeback so fast, right? Well, you see, Katsuo in a physical battle is unbeatable…in a battle of wits however, he always seemed to show up unarmed. I find it a rather cute trait of his sometimes. Easily flustered and embarrassed, quite the contrast to his manly physique.

“I’m not like you,” I remembered wishing for Jin to hurry up and show up. He was a better mediator at these types of fights than I was. “I don’t need endless hours of thinking to come up with something so easy as a comeback.” Obviously, by that being said, Ryunosuke smirked at his obvious win while Katsuo scowled at his defeat. I didn’t know what to do, so I just kept glancing back towards the door where I was hoping Jin would walk through any minute now.

“Smart ass…” Katsuo whispered, and I remembered hitting him rather lightly on the shoulder. Again! Don’t give me those freaking looks! It was a time when I thought I was head over heels in love with another guy! You judgmental folk sure are hard to please!

“Be nice, Ryuu-chan.” I managed to let out. “Katsu-chan is just excited, and to be honest, I am too.” Of course when Ryunosuke blushed then, I thought it was probably because he thought he had offended me too. Turns out, which I will explain later, it was a whole different reason. There always did seem to be curtains covering my eyes when it came to him. Never revealing the truth and allowing me to believe in what my delusions told me to believe. Moral of this kids: Don’t believe in stupid fairytales.

*  *  *

Tucking the piece of paper with the words away, ‘Yuri’ smiled. Turns out writing a body was easier than writing an introduction for him. “Why are you up so late?” Arms wrapped themselves around ‘Yuri’s’ waist as a head was placed atop his own. Obviously ‘Katsuo’ had woken up and was rather curious why ‘Yuri’ was still at his desk and working on something rather than sleeping beside him. Protective bastard that was just way too caring and loveable.

“I’m trying to finish this article ‘Jin’ asked us to write.” ‘Yuri’ answered, looking up and kissing ‘Katsuo’ on the cheek. “The one you refuse to write and help me with.” He continued, making ‘Katsuo’ groan aloud. He was obviously thinking that he should not have bothered to ask and should have just stayed on the warm and comfortable bed. Damn his heart and the love it held for ‘Yuri’.

“Why do you want to share it anyway?” ‘Katsuo’ asked, taking a seat beside ‘Yuri’ by pulling up another chair. “Do you really want to warn people about fairytales so badly?” He continued, looking and reading through the paper that ‘Yuri’ had just tucked away. No, of course it was more than that, but should ‘Yuri’ tell ‘Katsuo’ all of that? The entire truth of why he was doing this? Maybe he should just let the guy believe what he wanted, but ‘Yuri’ knew that his boyfriend would not really appreciate that.

“It’s more for closure.”

“Closure?”

“Yeah.” ‘Yuri’ nodded his head. “I just need to get it all out my chest. How much I regret it, how much I wish it didn’t happen, how stupid I was for not realizing what was in front of me.” He concluded, resting his head atop ‘Katsuo’s’ and letting the other read through what he had so far. “I just need someone other than you, me, and Jin to recognize how stupid I was.” ‘Yuri’ decided to add, knowing that he was probably rambling right now.

“Do you need it that badly?” ‘Katsuo’ asked, lifting ‘Yuri’s’ head and staring deep into his eyes. The latter just nodded as ‘Katsuo’ released a sigh. “Then just get back to work and I’ll help how I can.” He added. “How does that sound?” With a smile from ‘Yuri’, the boy picked up his pen and continued to write once again the events of freshmen year.

*  *  *

Katsuo was busy, so I decided to head up to the rooftop with Jin to meet up with Ryunosuke there. The four of us usually all had lunch together when we could, but it seemed like today we would be one person short. Had I known that this was going to lead to so many events, I probably would have gone with Katsuo rather than met up with Ryunosuke. Then again, the thing about regrets is that you don’t get them until after you make the mistake. Life is just unfair that way, don’t you think?

“What is it that has you nervous Yuri?” Jin had asked me, noticing how bouncy I was. Well, to explain that, I’d have to jump back to a couple of days ago, but seeing as I don’t want to create an entire portion just for that, then I’ll just explain it now.

You see, around four days before this day, something weird had happened between me and Ryunosuke. It wasn’t anything bad (well not yet at least), but it was something pretty serious. Having a childhood crush on someone for so long could make any minute things blow out of proportion, but even without the crush, what happened between us was beyond what normal friends did. Ryunosuke, the perfect prince who I considered to be the guy who would bring me to my happy ending, had kissed me those days back.

It wasn’t anything serious, just a small peck on the lips, and he even smiled as he walked into his apartment door after it. He hasn’t spoken a word about it ever since, but I feel the need to. Does he have feelings for me? Did he feel the same way? Jin was staring at me with utmost curiosity and I really needed to give him an answer to my odd behavior. What do you think I did?

“It’s nothing, just woke up on the wrong side of the bed.” You guessed it! I lied. Jin wasn’t as close to me as Ryunosuke and Katsuo were, and though I trusted him, I just didn’t confide in him about these types of things. “You know how that feels like, right?” I decided to add. The best way to get Jin distracted was to talk about drums and to talk about waking up in a bad mood. “When nothing just seems to go your way?” Automatically after that he began to site his examples and began to sympathize. I appreciated his company, but it was really one of those moments when I wanted to be alone.

Suddenly, something made both Jin and I stop in our tracks.

“You stay away from Yuri if you know what’s good for you!” That voice was all too familiar. He wasn’t supposed to be on the rooftop, in fact, he was supposed to be busy doing something else! “I actually thought you were a good friend, but you’re nothing like that at all, are you?!” I wondered who Katsuo was talking too, but Jin held me back and told me to remain quiet. At this, I followed, but now, I just often wish that I had gotten there earlier. Maybe then this wouldn’t have lead what it had escalated to.

“What are you saying, I’m the best friend that Yuri’s ever had!” At the sound of Ryunosuke’s voice, I didn’t have the power to hold back and just barged in without letting anything finish. Due to my anger that Katsuo wanted my prince to stay away from me, I didn’t take notice of the smirk in Ryunosuke’s face, nor did I take notice of the anger in Katsuo’s. All that was running through my brain was that I didn’t want Ryunosuke to stay away from me. Not when it seemed like he was returning my feelings!

Okay, now I allow you to look at me with distaste. Putting someone ahead of my best friend is never forgivable no matter how much you twist your words. I was in the wrong, and I am in your mercy. Glare and hate all you want, but the mistake has been made.

“KATSUO!” I had shouted, missing the cringe in Jin and Katsuo’s body and missing the wider smirk growing on Ryunosuke’s face. “WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?!” I was furious, yeah, and this was the part of that year that I truly hated remembering. I can’t even write down the harsh words that I threw at Katsuo. I can’t even bare to remember how I ended our fifteen year friendship just for some stupid guy who I thought was my prince charming. I was an idiot, amongst other things, the biggest idiot of have let Katsuo go.

Words like ‘traitor’ and ‘bastard’ escaped my mouth that day, and Katsuo locking himself in his room and refusing to go to school followed. I wasn’t much phased about those at the time though, why? Cause something, that I thought was for the better, changed in my life after the entire thing. I didn’t think that it was all too sudden, nor did I find anything mysterious about it. Those curtains in my eyes never spread, and as always they blinded me from seeing the truth.

*  *  *

‘Yuri’ suddenly stopped writing as he realized droplets of water suddenly falling on the paper. Looking up at the ceiling, he didn’t find any droplets falling. His cheeks felt damp, yet there was no sound of rain coming from outside. Looking back at the paper, he tried to continue writing, but the droplets wouldn’t stop. Reaching a hand up to his cheeks, ‘Yuri’ was shocked to find that the water was coming from his own weeping eyes. The writer was crying.

“Wha…?” ‘Yuri’ released, wiping the tears away with his sleeve before ‘Katsuo’ could notice them. It was a futile effort, however, seeing as when he spoke, ‘Katsuo’ turned to him immediately and found the waterworks. ‘Yuri’ was annoyed that he still cried at the memory, but when he felt ‘Katsuo’s’ arms wrap around him and pull him into a hug, the sobs emerged at the comfort that was received.

“How many times do I have to tell you that I’ve forgiven you for that?” ‘Katsuo’ asked, rubbing his boyfriend’s back as he whispered more calming words into his ear. “Forgive yourself too, I understand what love feels like you know.” ‘Katsuo’ tried to lighten up the mood, but if failed for ‘Yuri’ just continued to sob into his chest and clutch onto his shirt tighter.

“Why are you like that?” ‘Yuri’ suddenly asked. “You forgave me after all the things I said to you.” He continued. “I can’t even imagine that I did that, and the fact I did hurts me so much because I know I hurt you.” ‘Katsuo’ just listened as he allowed ‘Yuri’ to let everything out. “I don’t deserve you, but you still forgave me. You even saved me.”

“It’s nothing you don’t already know.” ‘Katsuo’ suddenly stated, pulling away slightly as he looked into ‘Yuri’s’ eyes once again. “I say it to you every day, every night, and every single chance I get.” The boy smiled. “It’s simple, really, ‘Yuri’. It’s because I love you.”

Looking into the eyes of ‘Katsuo’, ‘Yuri’ couldn’t hold himself as he leaned up and connected their lips together. The warmth that spread through him was amazing. Each kiss they shared was like their first one all over again. For the past three years nothing has changed between them. The spark was as bright as ever, the shock was as intense as ever, the love grew stronger and stronger every day. So when they finally pulled apart, ‘Yuri’ got back to writing as ‘Katsuo’ kept his hand tightly on his boyfriend’s waist.

*  *  *

Those curtains stayed tightly glued to my eyes until the very last second. It covered the fact that Ryunosuke was using me to get something else, it covered and shaded me from the fact that Ryunosuke didn’t really have any feelings for me other than lust, and it shaded the fact that the prince I met was not a prince in a beast’s form, but a beast in a prince’s form. It took one close call for me to realize that everything I knew and believed was a lie, and it took one close call to make me realize what I had all along.

“Do you love me, Yuri?” Ryunosuke had asked, as we both sat on his bed. There were small bits of details that I was so glad that he didn’t notice that actually saved me. The fact that the window was open, the fact that the door was unlocked, little things like that to which I am eternally grateful. “Cause, you know, I love you so much.” At the time, those words made me turn to mush, and I responded automatically with an enthusiastic agreement that I loved him more than anything in the world.

When he kissed me, nothing seemed out of the ordinary. It was a simple kiss like the many we’ve shared by then. His hands were on my waist as mine were around his neck. I closed my eyes and didn’t notice as he pushed me back onto the bed. I was hypnotized by the false sense of security, that the only time I only began to take notice of what was going on, was when his hands began to drift from my waist.

“Stop.” I said, pulling away and taking hold of his hand. I guess I thought, since he was my prince, that he would understand and be caring about the entire situation. “I’m not ready for anything like that.” I continued on, and I honestly was delusional to not have noticed the hunger and and lust in his eyes to actually smile and think that he would just get off of me and let me walk through the door without trouble. How wrong I was, when he suddenly just began to kiss down my jaw.

I struggled to get away, but Ryunosuke didn’t stop. “You’ll enjoy it.” He kept repeating. “I promise.” He would keep adding. I remember screaming for him to get away, but his hands had trapped mine and his legs trapped my pair as well. Just when his hands managed to trail down and was about to venture into untouched territories, Katsuo slammed the door open and pulled Ryunosuke on top of me.

At that moment, my ideal Prince became the dragon that his name intended. My prince turned into the monster that every fairytale had. He was the big bad wolf, he was the evil step mother, and he was even the witch. It was also in that moment that the lowly servant became the lowly knight who eventually dawned on the armor and saved the princess. He became my knight in tattered armor rather than my knight in shining armor. He wasn’t perfect, not even close, but he was perfectly made just for me.

“Stay away from him!” Katsuo shouted, and I ran into his arms seeking protection. “Leave him alone, and don’t ever go near him.” He continued on, glaring at Ryunosuke who was on the floor with a popped lip. I couldn’t care less what it was that was injured, cause Katsuo was my protection now.

*  *  *

“Okay,” ‘Katsuo’ stated, picking ‘Yuri’ up bridal style and leading him to the bed. “It’s time to sleep. That’s enough bad memories for one night.” He continued on, setting his boyfriend down beside him and covering the both of them with a blanket. It wasn’t as if it was something strange. They’ve practically been doing that since they were kids and having their outrageously long sleepovers. What fun those must have probably been, with the sugar rush and the hyperactive-ness.

“I meant what I wrote, you know.” ‘Yuri’ stated, hugging ‘Katsuo’ tighter and leaning his head on his lover’s chest. “You’re my Knight in Tattered Armor.”

“Then guess what that makes you, ‘Yuri’.” The other answered, pulling ‘Yuri’ closer and placing his head atop his boyfriend’s. A soft groan came from ‘Yuri’ obviously showing that he was about to fall asleep. “You’re my…Damsel in Distress.” A slight smile spread across both boys’ faces as they drifted off into a peaceful slumber where the dreams that greeted them were of one another.

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