Bak Ishi and Kat Walsh
When Kat woke up that mornings she never imagined how her life would change. It felt like she had been looking at the world through fogged windows or tinted lenses. She heard enough of the conversation between the brothers to know that she should have run; the moment Tationy Tylo told her to in her somewhat indirect and completely vague way.
Perhaps, that was the reason she was being so quiet. Bak had already smoked four cigarettes. She hadn’t even the energy to tell him she did not like the smell or that she wished he wouldn’t smoke around her. His own silence was deafening. Inside she was screaming; say something, say anything. There was a little part of her that was grateful he said nothing and another part that needed him to speak. Pretend it was normal; even though it would hardly make her happy.
There were moments that she felt his eyes upon her. A brief glance away from the road. Anticipation of what he might say, but no words left his lips. Her cellphone rang, at least a dozen times. She only dared look at it once; her mother. That meant the meteor had already hit the news.
Her mind still occupied with hundreds of questions and the look upon Kuro Ishi’s face as he stared her down. She had no doubts that he would kill her; what had she gotten herself into?
Even after they arrived at Bak’s home, she moved with him. There was certainly a part of her that wanted to run and another part of her that wanted to rock that boat. Those parts where silenced by the girl that was afraid. She was hardly meek, perhaps far too nice for her own good, but she could be strong when she needed to be. Which was all the more reason for her to be concerned that she kept fallowing him. Letting him lead her. Why? What beast was he to be able to sway her just by grabbing her hand?
Casually she looked around his place. The aesthetic was exactly how she imagined it would be, but at the same time the design completely defied him. Taking it in meant she did not have to look at him; eventually, however, her eyes met his. She could see it. The resemblance he shared with his older brother Kuro. They had similar eyes and a rather prominent nasal crease.
His mouth opened, closed, opened again. It was clear he wanted to say something, but was struggling or at a loss for words. “Are you hungry or anything?” He finally asked though it was clear that it was not what he had intended to say.
“No,” She managed to respond as she fidgeted with her hands. Her eyes remained on him even as her mouth opened to ask him about what his brother had said. She was his responsibility. The part about killing her she tried to put out of her mind, but it was still very much there. “May I use your bathroom?” Yes, she completely copped-out and did not ask if he intended to kill her or what it meant to be ‘his’ responsibility.
“Straight down the hall,” He directed.
Kat thanked him politely as she moved away. Trying to keep her pace steady so it did not seem like she was running. The world felt like it was spinning and she was just trying to keep from being thrashed about by it.
If she was honest with herself, she spent far too much time in the bathroom. It was almost embarrassing, but she had to collect herself and regain some of her courage. Not to mention she had been holding the need to pee for hours. Still, when it came time to return to him she did so with a great deal of hesitation.
“Bak,” She said his name and then spied him lying out on his sofa. There was a cigarette burning in a nearby ashtray and the subtle rise and fall of his chest said that he was sleeping. This was her opportunity to escape if she wanted to. Did she want to? She kept asking herself the question over and over again. The part of her that was genuinely nice feared what would become of him if she took off on him; not to mention what would become of her.
No, as much as she wanted to run due to fear, Kat was not about to abandon him. It could very well get him killed, not to mention herself. Not after what he did to protect her. She still didn’t understand. Tried desperately to make sense of it; rationalize it. In her heart, she kept saying he had to be some sort of angel even though she suspected he was probably more of a devil.
She brushed by the sofa, though did not get very far as she felt him grip her wrist tightly. “Leaving?”
“No,” She stammered. “I was just going to put your cigarette out. I think the two of us have been engulfed in enough flames for one day. Don’t you?”
“Oh,” He said it so casually. It was clear by the way he spoke he was exhausted, “I would have understood if you ran Kitty Kat. Those soft teasing lips of yours say one thing, but those big blue eyes are looking at me like I am a monster.” There was a pause as his eyes opened, “Go ahead and protest. Tell me you do not see me that way.”
Her lips parted slightly which caused a smirk to grace the lips of Bak. She expected him to make a comment about her teasing him, but instead he pulled her quickly down upon him.
Inches away; face-to face with a heart beating so wild and fast she thought for certain he might be able to hear it. Kat swallowed the lump that formed in her throat, choked on her own saliva as she tried to speak, “I…”
Her words stopped suddenly as his body relaxed, his eyes closed, and his lips parted. Was he going to kiss her? Inwardly she was screaming, no. She was not ready for this. They did not know each other. They were moving too fast. His words, however, would catch her completely off-guard, “My body has nothing left.”
“What do you mean?”
Bak struggled to open his eyes, “I am tired.”
Kat’s eyes widened, “Did you..did you hurt yourself saving me?” His silence gave her the answer she needed and only made her heart scream louder and far more wildly, “What were you thinking? Why would you?”
It was not surprising to her that he refused to give her an answer, “Take care of me while I am sleeping….”
“You want…I can’t do what you can. Bak,” She practically yelled his name when she noticed he was drifting quickly. That was when she realized that his body felt cold to her; why had she not noticed before? “Bak, please say something. Please…” She almost felt emotional and she certainly was not the type of girl to cry. There she was staring at his face, yelling at him for some response.
The fear overtook her heart again. Kat was not certain she could handle anymore of these up and down feelings. Some comfort came and an odd sense of happiness when Bak whispered, “Don’t wiggle so much; your warm body is kind of turning me on.”
She had to refrain from laughing, but failed as a small amused chuckled left her lips, “Stop complaining; you know you like it.” If he had been coherent she was certain he would have responded, but it was clear by the shallowness of his breathing that Bak had passed into oblivion and not long after she joined him.