Just Across: Episode 1 (BL Romance Story) - LetterPile - Writing and Literature
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Just Across: Episode 1 (BL Romance Story)

Darius is a former high school literary and feature writer with a Bachelor of Science degree in Information and Communications Technology.

Just Across book cover.

Just Across book cover.

Until We Meet Again

Zac

___________

It was almost night time, another window of an end of a seemingly normal day.

I was sitting on a bench while waiting for the train, holding my old pen and a precious notebook filled with already written verses. I just couldn't add more "flamboyant" words in my unfinished work. Nothing's coming up, lately; the ideas I've had may have already gone home themselves. The editors will probably call me anytime soon to ask me about it, and I'll be there to answer them to make more flustered excuses.

I gaze upon the area to gain some sort of inspiration, and as usual, I'm alone in this tiny world I'm living in. Or maybe we all are, the few of us here, who waits for the train to come.

But no matter how you look at it, I feel like it's just me, myself, and I. And the guards that roam the establishment, as well. They're all too focused on their problems while looking for answers, no matter how minuscule or towering they may be.

I glimpse at my half-finished story, scanning from each line and passing through every meaning, and then looked above just beyond me to see the colors of the setting sun.

"Such a disaster," I muttered.

As I was imagining the sands of the time slowly and continuously dropping below a non-existent hourglass, I unconsciously played with my old pen. My thoughts swam to the deepest parts of the Mariana Trench. And then, my clumsiness suddenly kicked me from behind.

When the pen dropped, I almost thought that it broke off as its cap flew like a bullet in the opposite direction. The pen, on the other hand, was a tractor with a broken break on the fields of a farm. I followed it for a mere meter, trying to catch fish that escaped its bait, before finally stopping below of someone stepping on it.

He was wearing a brown, thin sweater when he reached the old, almost broken pen.

"Excuse me, but I think you've dropped this."

I stopped to look to where that familiar voice was coming from. I stared at his pale hands, up to his shoulders, until I reached to look at his image of the person's face. And unlike other days that had already passed, the unfamiliarity I felt seemed to have ended.

I stood straight and reached for the pen from his hand. The light of the setting sun ran across his fingers. The sudden glitter almost blinded my right eye.

"Y-yes, thank you," was all I could say.

He smiled before asking for my name.

"Hey! You're that famous writer from the city. I know you and you're works."

"Famous... is kind of an overstatement, perhaps?"

"I mean, the whole city almost knows who you are. You must've been here to write a new piece?"

He was right about that.

"Your pen looks broken, though. Do you not want to buy another one?" He said in a monotonous yet gleeful tone.

"Oh... you're right. It would be such a waste, though. There is still some ink in it left. Thank you for the offer."

"Are you writing something important, perhaps?"

"Well... something like that."

"Really? Then would you mind if I lend you a hand on buying another pen? There's a nearby bookstore at the AA station."

"..."

"Oh, sorry, I don't intend to be creepy or anything. It's just compensation for what I did to your pen. You know, casually stepping on it or something like that?"

"Oh no! I don't think you're... creepy. Or weird. I just think that you're just being friendly, that's all."

"I'm glad to hear that."

"But you don't need to do that for me, though. It was my fault for accidentally dropping this pen in the first place. Actually, I should be the one going into trouble finding a new pen."

"Come on, now, it's going to be on me. And I know you've been working hard for your next book release. It would be a problem for me if you can't find any replacement for it as soon as possible."

I looked at my pen and thought that he was right. And I didn't hesitate to accept his offer.

How could I after all these times?

"Oh, my name's Jacob," and just like that, we shook our hands.

The inside of the train seemed pretty empty at this hour.

"It's a good thing that there are a few people around, we can talk inside the train if you like.

He was sitting right next to me, with my brown satchel acting as a wall in between us. Jacob's been looking through his phone for minutes, while I continue to look outside, observing the view. The sun had completely vanished in the horizon.

"Hey, Jacob, do you think that we can make it to the bookstore at this rate?"

"Of course, it's quite nearer than you think. Having second thoughts?"

I never had any in the first place.

"Not actually, but I am thinking that you might be busy with something else."

"No problem at all. Besides, it's my treat, right? Anyway, don't you know the stations and the places here?" He dropped his phone in his wallet and snugged it like a sleeping baby, and then looked at me directly in the eyes.

"I'm just... not familiar with them, I guess." I hope he didn't recognize my sudden avoidance of eye contact.

"You know, I think you should travel more. There are lots of places in here worth exploring. Tons of possible settings and inspirations for your future works. It's an opportunity if you think that much about it."

I slowly and subtly grabbed my notebook out of my satchel and pretended to read something... important. Just to clear out my sudden awkwardness in the situation.

"As if I could travel more with how busy my schedule has been, I think I may be able to that. Besides, I've got some of my imagination. That would help, I suppose."

"Well, you're right about that. Good thing's AA station's just a few stations away." He said as he looked outside the train and watched the view.

"Well, just hang on a bit more, Zac. We'll get there soon."

He was right.

The station we dropped off was nearer than anyone would expect it to be. The bookstore he was mentioning was also just a couple blocks away. It was even grander than it was before. Shelves of books, of all genres and types, were dominos you can't topple easily. They even sell other items on the counter now, as well. The business must have been booming ever since...

"Hey, Zac," he was standing in one of the shelves, pointing at one of the sections. "Isn't this one of your books?"

"Yeah, the one I recently published. Those took quite some time before finally getting published, you know?"

He grabbed one and looked at my name, then suddenly turned to look at me with a painted smirk on his face. I caught a glimpse of his fingers once more, and I was sure this time.

He was wearing a silver ring.

"What do you mean by that?"

"Oh... um... where's the pen anyway? Have you found it?"

"Yeah, right! I forgot. Wait here for a second."

He returned the book to its shelf. I stared at it as he scours the bookstore for the pen. I stared in front of my books on that shelf. Those weren't my proudest moments, to say the least, but the work I've done did offer some vivid reminisce.

"I... had."

You have finished episode 1 of Just Across. To be continued...

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© 2020 Darius Razzle Paciente