Like clockwork, Kenshin rose before dawn. In the summer that was earlier than usual, but he rolled out of bed silently, slipping out from under Edward's heavy arm without disturbing him. He always paused, here - he made sure Edward had settled again, rolling onto his side and curling(more) into a pillow - before he left the bedroom behind.
Pre-dawn the house was mostly silent. The majority of the residents had retired for the night - often Kenshin would encounter the vampires going about their bedtime routine, but this morning the kitchen was empty.
He was methodical - a quick sweep of dishes into the sink, empty and rinse the coffee pot, and put on a kettle for tea. The first rosy streaks of daylight were visible above the trees by the time he set foot outside. Kenshin breathed in the humid summer morning, a mug of hot tea in his hand,and closed his eyes.
The climate was not quite right - the towering old forest that enclosed the house and covered much of the grounds did temper the heat considerably - but summer, strangely, was the season that affected him the most. Perhaps it was the cicadas droning ceaselessly, the birds active bright and early to fetch their breakfasts.
Or maybe it was the fireflies that lit up the early evening air.
He was the only one who kept up the dojo - after all, what use did most of the household have for one? It was an escape for him, much like Edward's laboratory down in the basement was his own refuge. Kenshin slid the shoji aside but did not enter, instead seating himself on the porch, mug of hot tea by his knee.
Summer, he had decided, seemed just a little bit more familiar from this angle. (less)
The skies are a little sad today. The wind whips until your marrow freezes, glistening, tiny tunnels twisting a million pathways of different colors blazing in the sky, in the grass, around the bend of the alleyway, on your roof. The bitter taste in your mouth dangles ecstasy just(more) out of your reach, but look; rainbows are a streak of paint against her face, a firebrand behind your eyes. She laughs a wild shatterglass laugh, hooking a leg around your hips, and her fingers sliding though your hair leaves you wanting more.
You tell yourself: wait until someday the song makes sense and you're outta here, high flying adore, defying gravity, nothing brings you down, down, down. You're never gonna come back. Until then you endure and pass the time however you can, pissing on the curb just like they pissed on your life, drinking piss poor beer and buying piss poor whores.
In the morning there will be curved indents embedded on your back, wicked red and sharp as the curve of her lips. There's her number scrawled in pink lipstick on the broken mirror above your sink, and you suddenly realize you don't even know her name, you scarcely even remember what she looks like, and you think, why am I doing this?
Make a statement. Repeat it until you are blue in the face, until you know that no one is listening, or that those who are listening just don't care. You'll know your place in the world, and you'll resent it. Stay true to what you said, though. Those that(more) listened won't care until you change your mind. Then they will let you have it.
Whatever you do, don't make a fuss out of it. Making waves only forces people to swim harder, forces them to fight back. They'll have to expend more energy to ignore how you feel, or they will only tell you that they do care. They will come up with excuses and lies.
Use this lesson to gain a higher self-worth. Become self-sufficient. Because, ultimately, you always care about your feelings, and you can always listen to yourself. Humans are selfish like that.
If I were to distill my core beliefs down to a single statement, that statement would be 'Practice makes perfect'. What people call talent is only, after all, the result of continuous, repeated, and unceasing hard work.
(more) What could be easier than 'repeat until success?'
Unfortunately, I was the black sheep of the family, and chose to exercise my effort in a particular specialization: lying.
Despite my repeated efforts at honing my skill, and lying at each and every attempt, my lies were never able to deceive anyone. Not one lie was believed.
You see, there's a great problem with practice makes perfect; when I'm practicing my lying skills on others, they too receive practice in detecting my prevarications.(less)
"Again!" Ms. Willow bellowed from behind her desk, her eyes trained on me with a focus that felt laser like. The older kids said her father was a hawk to explain the claws she called fingernails, long narrow beak-nose, and the eyesight that never seemed to deteriorate, even as(more) she approached 70 years old. "Mr. Potts, you will repeat this until you get it right."
I felt like giving up. I wanted to give up. But I couldn't. I would never be able to look my dad in the eye if I gave up.