jueves, 28 de julio de 2016

Cerrado hasta mitad de septiembre

Queridos lectores:

Este blog permanecerá de vacaciones hasta mitad de septiembre, a menos que alguna noticia importante requiera escribir una entrada especial.

Abrazos.


jueves, 10 de marzo de 2016

Mi hijo de niño

Mi hijo de niño


Déjame dibujar
con palabras tus virtudes.

En una esfera
irisada vives;
la inocencia permanece
inmaculada, inmune
a las garras que rodean.

La malicia no te roza,
la esquivas en una danza
de hechiceros y de duendes.
Y tu risa tintinea
y alumbra la niebla del bosque.

En tu mente, siempre inquieta,
las quimeras toman forma
y tus manos las tornan verdades.
Vas a construir palacios,
a descubrir otros soles.

Tu intención es transparente
y haces preguntas que importan,
y muestras sinceridad
frente a las aguas oscuras,
seguro en tu incertidumbre.

Tu cariño es más sincero
que el de un primer romance
y no hay canción comparable
a la palabra mamá
pronunciada por tus labios.

Déjame dibujar
con palabras tu retrato,
antes que el adulto al acecho,
al que adivino en tu rostro,
gane terreno al que eres
y ocupe tu espacio y tu cuerpo.

Autora: Vanessa Navarro Reverte.

viernes, 12 de febrero de 2016

El lugar adecuado, el momento preciso 2



Aquí tenéis el final del relato. Espero que os guste.
 
2

 Soñó, soñaba, que visitaba un museo en el que solo se exponían dos cuadros: La hora del Angelus, de Jean François Millet, y La estación de Perpignan, de Dalí. Unos estudiantes de Bellas Artes la animaban a que posara para ellos. «Tiene usted la misma expresión que la mujer de estos cuadros», le decían. «Es por causa de la irregularidad del terreno; eso no es mero suelo, es tierra sobre una tumba, la tumba de un niño». Después el cuerpo de Ana se transformaba, se convertía en una mantis que devoraba a los estudiantes, los cuadros, el museo y el mundo de los cuerdos, dejando a su paso tinieblas líquidas.
     Ruidos y movimientos la llevaron de regreso a la realidad. Se había efectuado una parada, la correspondiente a Valencia; ahora tenía un compañero en el asiento contiguo. Era un hombre que le resultaba vagamente familiar. Cerró los ojos de nuevo. No pretendía entablar ninguna conversación. Ya no pudo volver a dormir. Aburrida, miró de reojo al reciente pasajero. La estaba observando. Se sintió incómoda, pero la curiosidad latía en el fondo.
    ¿No lo había visto ya antes?
 —Disculpe, ¿es usted Ana Mulero?
La pregunta, el tono de la voz, provocó una reacción en la memoria de la mujer.
—¿Álvaro Peña? —titubeó.
El hombre sonrió con confianza, más relajado.
—Vaya, entonces sí que eres Ana. —Ya se había pasado al tuteo—. Temía estar equivocado. Muchos años sin vernos. ¿Cómo te ha ido la vida?
«La vida va hacia su término», pensó. Sin embargo, contestó con una frase neutra. La coincidencia de encontrarse en el viaje definitivo con un viejo amor de adolescencia le pareció absurda, ridícula. Había sentido por el caballero una atracción platónica que no se culminó porque nunca fue recíproca. Por entonces ella era demasiado introvertida para llamar la atención de Álvaro, el compañero guapo y encantador en la Escuela de Idiomas. Aunque tenían amigos en común, no se atrevió a revelar sus sentimientos hasta una extraña noche de noviembre en la que ella se quedó con él incluso cuando sus íntimos ya se habían marchado; y luego él la acompañó a casa antes de tiempo y sin mucho interés porque la joven madrugaba al día siguiente; y después ella confesó, recibiendo el esperado no por respuesta. La negativa provocó que superara ciertos miedos irracionales y de esta manera creció como persona. Al poco, cada uno de ellos emprendió un camino distinto y ya no se volvieron a ver. Ahora se producía una intersección sin trascendencia en el lugar menos oportuno. Tras un breve intercambio de corteses líneas de diálogo ella volvió a encerrarse en su mutismo. El hombre leyó el periódico durante un rato. Cuando terminó lo dobló con cuidado y rostro pensativo. Se volvió hacia Ana.
—Lamento molestarte otra vez, pero me gustaría contarte algo que sucedió cuando éramos amigos en Alicante. En esos momentos lo callé; más tarde no tuve la oportunidad de decírtelo. Te debo una muestra de agradecimiento desde hace años y no soporto estar en deuda con nadie.
Ana arqueó las cejas.
—No te entiendo.
—Verás... ¿recuerdas la noche en que me dijiste que te gustaba?
Ana hizo una mueca sarcástica. No se podía creer lo que estaba escuchando. Álvaro prosiguió con cautela.
—No me interpretes mal. Tan solo lo pregunto porque fue esa la madrugada en la que me ayudaste. Cómo ibas a saberlo, claro. Me sorprendió que te quedaras con nosotros. ¿Recuerdas a Javier? —Ella asintió—. Estábamos esperando a otro amigo en un bar convenido, pero se retrasaba. Tú tenías que irte y te acompañé a disgusto, pues prefería seguir de fiesta. Además, fue una situación incómoda para ambos, te veía como a una hermana y me resultó algo inesperado. No supe reaccionar, lo reconozco. Llegué a mi casa enfadado; me había perdido unas buenas risas y alguna otra copa. El domingo por la tarde llamó el padre de Javier. Había tenido un accidente de coche junto al chico que esperábamos. Cuando los vi en el hospital sentí un terror que nunca antes había conocido. Javi sufrió problemas en las cervicales durante mucho tiempo y fue llevado a juicio debido a la tasa de alcoholemia. El otro, Domingo, aparte de los traumas físicos, pasó semanas con amnesia parcial y le asaltó una fobia a los automóviles que le impidió conducir durante dos años. Pero lo que me heló la sangre fueron las fotos, la parte derecha trasera del vehículo. Destrozada, aplastada. Aquel hubiera sido mi sitio, allí habría estado yo sentado. ¿Quién podría haber sobrevivido entre ese amasijo de hierros? La muerte me habría alcanzado en condiciones humillantes si tú no hubieras salido con nosotros, si no me hubieras forzado a pasar unos instantes violentos que me salvaron la vida. No tuve la oportunidad de agradecértelo después; me alegro de tenerla ahora. Así que gracias por haber estado en el lugar adecuado, en el momento preciso.
Le ofreció la mano. Ana se la estrechó en silencio, un silencio suspendido en el espacio, como un bálsamo.
El tren llegó a la última parada. Los viajeros se apearon y Ana y Álvaro se despidieron.
—De nuevo, encantado de volverte a ver. Quién sabe, quizás nos encontremos por la ciudad. El futuro es impredecible.
Una sonrisa ya olvidada iluminó el rostro de la mujer.
—Es impredecible, sí, es cierto.
Y lo decía con sinceridad.

Autora: Vanessa Navarro Reverte.


sábado, 30 de enero de 2016

El lugar adecuado, el momento preciso



Vuelvo al blog con un relato que escribí hace ya un tiempo. A pesar de que considero que es más cercano a mi poesía que a mi prosa por su caracter intimista, sigue siendo un texto al que le tengo bastante cariño. Se publicó por primera vez en la antología de relatos Prosadictos y recibió buenas críticas. Espero que os guste.
  Nota: he decidido dividirlo en 2 entradas para que os resulte más cómodo leerlo.

 
El lugar adecuado, el momento preciso

1

En apariencia, el destino del tren que acababa de dejar Barcelona era la ciudad de Alicante; en realidad, caminaba hacia la muerte de uno de los pasajeros.
   Si echáramos un vistazo superficial, aventuraríamos que la persona condenada es una anciana enjuta de manos temblorosas; o quizás podría ser un hombre cuarentón, obeso, con aspecto de agente comercial, que no logra relajarse y no deja de mirar el móvil; o, incluso, una mujer embarazada, una niña casi, que a los cinco meses de gestación aún tiene los dedos amarillos y un persistente olor a humo en la ropa. Pero no, nos equivocaríamos. La elegida es Ana, una mujer cuyos ojos indican cien años en lugar de los treinta y cinco que tiene, vestida de negro, silenciosa. ¿Y cuál va a ser la causa de su defunción? ¿Acaso un cáncer oculto que va a revelarse durante el viaje? ¿Una embolia repentina, un infarto? ¿O un accidente del propio vehículo, cuya única víctima mortal será ella? Pensamientos lógicos, mas volveríamos a errar. La causante, la culpable, es una niña, su hija Marta. Todo porque algo o alguien, desde una altura inconcebible que no distingue dolor de alegría, decidió que la pequeña emprendiera repentinamente y antes de tiempo el mismo trayecto que su madre ahora ha elegido para sí misma. Elegir, decidir el momento. Es el lujo que va a permitirse, la responsabilidad ante la hija muerta.
   La vida de Ana no se diferenciaba de la de otros miles. Había tenido una infancia feliz, una pubertad deslucida por culpa de la timidez, una juventud reposada. Se había licenciado en Económicas, había comenzado a trabajar en un banco, se había casado con su novio de la universidad y se había establecido fuera de su ciudad natal. El matrimonio había marchado bien los primeros años. Ambos eran prácticos, ahorradores, ordenados; tenían un hogar acorde con estas características. Cuando fue el momento adecuado tuvieron descendencia, una nena, Marta. Probablemente habrían tenido otro vástago a los dos años si no hubiera sido porque el marido había mandado la pulcritud, el pragmatismo y el ahorro al carajo y se había largado con otra mujer. Sin embargo, Ana no se desesperó; lo mejor de la pareja era, sin duda, el fruto, y la custodia le pertenecía.
   Entonces un pequeño monstruo se adueñó del pecho de la criatura y aunque los sabios maullaban consejos nada se pudo hacer, pues cada bocanada de aire lo inyectaba en ella un poco más, tejiendo la urdimbre para un nido de dragones que, al eclosionar, devoraron el corazón y la cama.
Cuando perdemos al padre, a la madre o a los dos nos convertimos en huérfanos; si perdemos a la esposa o al esposo nos llamamos viudos o viudas. ¿Qué somos cuando perdemos a un hijo? No hay palabras que nos definan. ¿Seguimos siendo padres o ya no lo somos? No hay palabras, porque va contra la naturaleza y no hay parte en el cerebro o en el alma humana que pueda racionalizar el hecho, asimilarlo. Simplemente somos, o fuimos, hacedores de una burbuja irisada que explota y, luego, dejamos de ser.
   Los progenitores de Ana vivían en Alicante. Ella quería despedirse de ellos antes de sumergirse en un olvido de tranquilizantes y sopor perpetuo, acumulado en las últimas semanas casi con gentileza y cierto grado de satisfacción, desde una falsa lucidez absoluta que enmascaraba una absoluta desesperación. Le dolía (sufrimiento sobre sufrimiento) despojarlos de su condición de padres además de la de abuelos, pero todavía les quedaba otro hijo y dos nietos a los que aferrarse. También deseaba decir adiós a la ciudad que la vio nacer, volver a sentir el olor a salitre de la playa de San Juan, dejarse acariciar por el viento de levante.
    Después le esperaba la nada.
   El sol entraba a raudales por las ventanillas del tren y algunos corrieron las cortinas con torpes tirones. A través de los cristales se desdibujaba el paisaje valenciano con sus tierras rojas y doradas. Ana pensó en túneles. Cuando la oscuridad del túnel absorbía el cristal de la ventana lo convertía en espejo y, entonces, ya no había dorado ni rojo, solo unos ojos desolados.
   El mosquito polifónico del agente comercial interrumpió el flujo de sus pensamientos. Hablaban de cuentas que no cuadraban, de clientes, de tratos, de otras historias. Todo parecía caminar al filo del abismo, un paso en falso haría que el mundo se desplomara. ¿Por qué la gente pensaba que los asuntos triviales son los esenciales? Perder o ganar una comisión era trivial; que su hija naciera a los siete meses era esencial. Si hubiera tenido un período de gestación corriente habría podido disfrutar de otros dos meses junto a ella. Sesenta días más de vida. Tomar (haber tomado) anticonceptivos orales era esencial. Si hubiese decidido quedarse embarazada antes, su Marta habría muerto quizás a los seis años en lugar de a los cuatro. Ana no había visto a la chica encinta, que viajaba en otro vagón. En ocasiones existe misericordia en el azar, además de crueldad.
   Dos jóvenes sentados cerca de su asiento discutían sobre la conveniencia de haber cogido el tren en lugar del avión como medio de transporte. Ana pensó que con un vuelo se habría dirigido con mayor celeridad hacia su destino. ¿Por qué no lo había tomado? Sencillamente porque quería alcanzar la muerte, no sobrepasarla.
   En el televisor comenzó a proyectarse una comedia ligera que ya había visto. Hastiada de tanta banalidad, sucumbió a la desidia y se sumergió en la laguna del sueño, negrura preñada de pesadillas.

Continuará...

lunes, 31 de agosto de 2015

Love Matching Marks 2 (An ASoIaF fanfic)

Summary:

This is an A Song of Ice and Fire fanfic based on the following prompt:
Any/any. AU. They live in a world where love at first sight happens and when they meet their soulmate, a matching mark appears on both persons' right wrist. 5+1.

Notes:

Disclaimer: I own nothing but the plot, and I earn no money from this. ASoIaF belongs to G.R.R. Martin.
It is a romance in a modern setting with a difference, for there's a little magic regarding the OTP marks. As it is too long a fic for a single post, I have split it in two in order to avoid everlasting scrolling.This is the 2nd and last part.

5. Sansa
 
Sansa Stark sighed contentedly. Although she wasn’t as crazy about romance and beauty as she had once been, she still thought that grandeur added to a wedding meant blessing. After several years of engagement, Renly Baratheon and Loras Tyrell, both of important families, had just got married, taking advantage of the new Marriage Equality Law. The celebration was but magnificent. Everybody who was somebody attended the wedding.
She had her friend Margaery to thank for this, as far as she had been the one to convince her brother Loras to include Robb and Sansa into the invitation card sent to the Starks. Well, it couldn’t have been too complicated a mission. Having a young and talented writer like Sansa, who had already won a major poetry award, was glamorous, and the grooms loved glamour. Besides, she was well aware of her friend's crush on Robb. Margaery had been looking at him with doe eyes from her place at the head table. Barely a moment ago she had asked him to the floor. Her friend was playing her cards. Anyway, she doubted Margaery would be lucky in her attempts: Robb was dating some Jeyne girl. The Starks were not much happy with the girl's family, but that was unimportant. They didn't have the love marks, so they would split up eventually. Unfortunately, Margaery and Robb didn't have them either.
The grooms did have the marks. As they waltzed around, Sansa could almost see the radiance coming from their wrists. In fact, they glowed of happiness. She felt a little jealous: they were meant for each other and they looked so cute together!
Garlan Tyrell approached the table and greeted her parents before asking her for a dance. She accepted; everyone knew Garlan was a gentleman. She moved to the sound of the music and saw her parents share a smile. They were meant together, as well. They had lived and were still living a love story, nearly as romantic as she had once considered aunt Lyanna's. Foolish little girl.
When Sansa was younger, she had daydreamed of being like her aunt. Someday she would be able to leave everything behind for true love. Nonetheless, when she grew up and realized the pain Lyanna's flight had caused to others, she had had doubts. Maybe love was not always the key to happiness. She knew her father used to adore his little sister. Nowadays, their relationship was distant and estranged. They only got through via phone or mail and only from time to time.
Maybe she would also find her true love, one day. However, she would not rush; she was young and she had already fallen for the wrong boys before. She had been a fool. She would not make the same mistakes again. Sansa would wait.
The music changed and they stopped dancing. Garlan’s wife appeared and the three of them engaged in small talk. After a while, the couple left and Sansa lounged around the place. She had a glimpse of Renly talking to a young woman whose lean body, dark hair and mischievous smile triggered a memory in Sansa. Greyjoy. Theon. The first boy she had laid her eyes upon was her brother’s best friend—a cliché and a waste of time. Annoying little girl.
If only it had been her biggest mistake.
***
Sansa had been barely a teenager when she started fancying Theon. She had done what almost every little girl would have done in her place, that is, make entries in her diary, draw hearts, write silly poems and blush when the object of her affections was in sight. She had also dreamt of the love matching marks, of course. It didn’t matter that she had met Theon several times before: the marks would appear, sooner or later. They had to appear.
Thus, one day, Sansa had finally gathered her courage. She’d made up a silly excuse about Theon’s watch and touched his wrist. Then, she had waited for something to happen until Theon mocked at her and complained about whims and annoying little girls. Sansa had fled, sad and embarrassed, and erased the drawings, crossed out the words of love and cried herself to sleep.
Nonetheless, that failure had not been enough to make her forget her hopes of finding her soulmate. Soon after, she had started hanging out with Margaery. When her friend introduced her brother Loras to Sansa, she had almost fainted. Apart from his uncanny handsomeness, he was gentle and good-mannered, and nicer than Theon. He had even given her a rose.
Needless to say, she had fallen head over heels. She had resumed writing and having dreams of wonderful things to come: matching marks, a tender and passionate relationship, a beautiful wedding, a new sister in Margaery, children. Stupid little girl. The day the two girls found Loras kissing Renly, several things were broken—Sansa’s heart, and the boys’ eardrums when Margaery started yelling at them. At least, it would have eventually made for a funny story that the four of them still remembered with a smile.
On the contrary, there were no smiles when it came to Joffrey.
In the beginning, their story had reminded her of a fairy tale—a pretty and polite prince charming that adored her, families that got on well, dreams of golden futures, popularity. God, she had been so delusional that she had even seen the non-existent marks! However, step by step, the golden façade had started to crumble. It began in little ways—a rude word against her siblings, a derisive comment on her clothes or hair style, practical jokes that none but him found funny, a look of contempt when Sansa uttered an opinion. It only got worse. By the end of the time they were together, Sansa had lost her friends, argued with her family, changed her looks to suit his tastes, given up her own preferences, learnt to take in every cruelty he said or did to her, to bear the humiliations. She had learnt to be nullified.
The last straw came when he had viciously kicked her puppy Lady, hurting her. Lady had whined, Sansa had started and pushed Joffrey, and he had slapped Sansa. Hard. Epiphany. She had left him and never thought of coming back. He thought otherwise and it was necessary an encounter between Robb and Joffrey to put an end to the nightmare. Nobody ever knew what had transpired in that encounter, but, afterwards, Joffrey appeared at school with a limp and a swollen eye, and no intention of ever getting close to Sansa again. Her father and his father’s friendship had suffered from the strain. Sansa was beyond care. She only wanted to make a fresh start and go on with her studies and life. Professional help and university had granted her wishes.
Something had remained within her, nonetheless—a haunting demon made of mistrust, shame and rage. A demon she had only been able to tame after meeting Professor Clegane. He was a scarred and embittered man known for his rudeness and harshness. In spite of that, he had the gift of bringing out the full potential of the students that attended Creative Writing—like a hound, he dogged and pushed and dug until the treasure showed or the tomb collapsed.
Sansa hadn’t collapsed. She had bled out both the treasure and the demon and written them down.
***
“Which realm are you visiting, honey? Outer space, Musetown?” a voice said.
“Memory City, Robb. It’s not the best place to go on holiday, trust me,” answered Sansa.
“Don’t worry, that dick isn’t coming,” Margaery said. She was clinging to Robb’s arm.
Sansa nodded. Joffrey’s homophobia was notorious.
“Let’s drink to that! Margaery has just told me about that new cocktail. Will you have one, Sansa? ” Robb asked. His eyes where a bit glazed and he had a goofy grin on his face. Margaery was smirking.
“No, I won’t, thank you. Go get your drinks, I’ll be dancing,” Sansa answered.
“Don’t get lost in thought, then. See you later,” Margaery said with a wink. They left, holding hands. Sansa sighed. It seemed that the Starks wouldn’t have to be bothered by Jeyne’s family for long.
She danced, humming happily. After a while, a young man got close to her and they began talking. He was nice and funny, and his talk was interesting—Sansa enjoyed the time with him. Then, the youngster hesitated and took something out of his bag.
“Err...You don’t mind if I asked you for your autograph, do you?”
He was holding in his hands her first book of poetry, Little Bird, Little Wolf, the one that had been awarded. Sansa smiled and took the book from him.
“Of course, it will be a pleasure. So, do you like poetry?”
“Well, I like reading. I’m more into the classics, but a friend of mine recommended this book to me and now I must say I love it. Seriously, it’s really deep, and I find the bittersweet contrast quite moving. Some lines are soul-piercing.”
“Thank you,” she said. That was flattering, and he was good-looking. Truth be told, he had a shock of dyed blue hair, but he had beautiful indigo eyes and a fit body. It’s a start, but beauty is not the most important trait in a person, remember!
“You see, when Renly told me that Alayne Stone was going to attend the wedding, I thought he was joking. So it has been a wonderful surprise!”
“Well, Alayne is just a pseudonym, so she is not here, indeed. My name is Sansa.”
He laughed and Sansa’s smile broadened as she finished writing.
“And to whom...?” she asked.
“Young Griff,” he answered. Sansa frowned and he resumed laughing. “I know, it’s a ridiculous nickname, but Coach Connington always call me that and I kinda like it.”
“Ok. Young Griff, then.” Sansa signed and gave the book back to him. “So, do you have a real name?”
“Of course. It’s Aegon.”
Aegon? A memory sparked in Sansa’s mind. At the same time, her fingers touched Aegon’s, and the spark turned into a shining made of blue and indigo.
“No way! That can’t... And with a Stark!” Aegon said, but he didn’t move his hand from the contact.
A glass fell to the floor behind them and both started. A woman that was wearing a beautiful sun-shaped pendant stared at them in horror.
“Mum?” he asked.
And Sansa remembered the family names. She remembered and shuddered. That was a joke. It had to be a joke.

But love and hope don’t know of memory, and the story will start again.


Epilogue: The Head Waiter (+1)
 
The head waiter hid a grimace—the wedding reception had only just started, and the guests were already behaving pathetically. Everyone was commenting on how lovely the ceremony had been. Everybody complimented someone else’s clothes or hairdo. A bunch of females was making a fuss over the wedding bouquet, which had been caught by one of the bridesmaids, the Tyrell pussy. Undoubtedly, that was going to be a long, long evening.
It was not that the head waiter hated weddings—not really. In fact, he had been married once. Things had not run as expected, but he had no objections if he were to get married again—for the right reasons.
What upset him was the fact that everything seemed fucking perfect there. Tooth-rotting perfect, as if a giant bear had opened a monstrously huge jar of honey and sugar-coated the whole place. The hotel that gathered the reception was the best in the area. The weather was mild and the gardens where the cocktail was taking place were in bloom. Several tasty courses would be served for dinner. Wherever you looked at, you saw happy faces. Everyone seemed happy and, when he said everyone, he meant it. The place was crowded.
He could not wait for the turning point to come—it always did. Someone would drink too much, some old grudge would arise, someone would flirt with the wrong person. Then, veneers would fall off. Bye-bye, perfection. Now, let’s get the party started.
Nevertheless, he hoped the point didn’t come too soon. That reception was crucial to his future. The business was successful, of course, but there was a major difference today: he was the one in charge. There were plenty of opportunities there, and they were waiting for him, not for D.
“Would you like something to drink, madam?” he asked the bridesmaid who was sister to the bride. The girl took a glass of wine while using her cell phone and struggling with her dress at the same time. A juggler, this one. He had heard that she was a theatre actress. That didn’t impress him—he could best her anytime. He had been able to deceive a jury. He was playing the part of a footman for those snobs’ sake presently. Compared to him, the Stark chick was but a dilettante.
Dilettante. He tasted the word. He had listened to it on a TV show. He had made a habit of learning new words of late. He would be given his dues soon, and great men needed use learned language.
He took a look at his watch. It was time for the guests to move into the hall, where they would be waiting for the grand entrance. He gave some commands to the staff. Within a few minutes, all the guests were heading for their tables. He smiled. Yes, he could manage that. Better than D.
The music sounded, and the newlyweds arrived. The head waiter was not much into redheads, but he had to admit that the pregnant bride was beautiful. The groom was also handsome, even with the ridiculous streaks of blue that spoilt the almost white hair.
He felt a pang of jealously and disgust. They had youth, beauty, love and money. Apart from their families’ wealth, they were successful in their careers. The groom had won medals with the National Sailing Team. The bride had a name in literary circles. He had heard that she had written a playwright for Broadway, lyrics and all, and he put his bet on her writings ending up into the hands of some Hollywood producer. Showing-offs.
He had to look at the bright side. Professional sport and film industry. Oh, the contacts that awaited him!The waiting service had to be top-notch.
Bride and groom moved from table to table, greeting their guests, until they got to their places at the head table. He welcomed them, and then, he had a quick meeting with the staff.
“Here we go. Remember. There are eleven veg menus. They go to tables nine, twelve and seventeen. Table seven: take into account the allergies of the Arryn kid. Table two: no alcohol should be served to Mr Baratheon.”
“Which Mr Baratheon, sir? Which one?” an idiot lad dared ask.
“Have you read the list? Do you know how to read? Table two. Here! Baratheon-Tyrell: 2. Baratheon: 3, two of them with tits. Can you recognize tits when you see them?”
“Excuse me, sir,” muttered the redneck. The old mummy must have been drunk to take him on.
“No excuses: you are busing tables from now on, and don’t get close to the main ones. I don’t want any mistakes, or else all of you will be sacked. Now, go. Move!”
They moved, and his scowl followed them, harsh, controlling. Then, the scowl disappeared and he moved himself to the table occupied by the AA member and company. There stood one of his focuses of interest for the evening: the eldest among the bridesmaids, Rhaenys Baratheon. She favoured her mother’s looks, although he had noticed that her stern expression and mannerisms mirrored her father’s, which was curious, taking into account that Stannis Baratheon was not her biological father.
Anyway, what mattered was that she was some kind of genius in the law field. It was always convenient to have acquaintances in that field. She had won the trial against Tywin Lannister’s crew of attorneys in the fight for the control of King’s Landing. “Yes, the same Lannister with whom we almost had business in the past. Rhaenys crushed him in court, and now King’s Landing belongs to Stannis Baratheon and his wife. Sales have increased twofold since then,” D would say before praising the woman for the tenth time in a row. The head waiter had been compiling data about the important people who would attend the wedding, and D had been a large source of information. D didn’t hide his admiration for the woman, and the mummy thought her to be a good match for him.
Pity D had fallen sick: he wouldn’t meet her tonight. He would never meet her, if the head waiter had a say in it.
“We’ll have crostini to accompany the salad,” the woman said. Commanded. His stomach churned—even her voice sounded uncompromising. Danger! No ally here. Better forget about it, a primitive part of him screamed.
The last bridesmaid, Shireen, smiled at him, as if trying to soothe her sister’s demeanour, and his stomach churned once again—for different reasons. In her pale pink dress, she had a halo of vulnerability. And the mar on her face only added appeal to her appearance. Was that a birthmark? Some kind of disease? Self-inflicted?
He must have been staring at her, for he was rewarded with a glare that mixed shyness and defiance. His thoughts ran wild.
“Certainly, madam,” he said, and left before getting too aroused. He saw one of the groomsmen, the Seaworth boy, touch her shoulder possessively, and anger fell upon the head waiter. That asshole’s hand would look better without fingers.
He breathed slow and went on faking. He had to focus on his goals and keep calm.
His goal sat like the Dowager Queen, pouting and making a fuss over her daughter, a little girl with grey-green eyes. Lysa Baelish, twice a widow, filthy rich, fond of fatou... fastuous ceremonies and parties, and a coquette—a hella good match. Oh, it might be difficult, but they had things in common already. Besides, he knew how to handle mature widows—his wife had also been a widow. He was a widower himself. He could use that to appeal to Lysa’s sympathy. This time, he had to be more careful or he would finish up without a dollar, like before. Well, in the end, being excluded from the will had been a stroke of luck, or else there would have been a trial, and if the heirs had started inquiries...
He frowned. No happy times, those ones. At least, Lysa had some attractive traits. Her tight dress promised miles of yummy, creamy skin. The things he could do to her.
“Even with the red hair,” he mumbled.
“It’s not red, it’s auburn. The hair of the bride and most of her relatives, I mean,” a kitchen assistant said.
Prissy cow. He felt like smacking her, just to find out if her blood was auburn.
“Whatever” he replied, but he added mentally the new term to his wordlist.
There had been a little argument with the kitchen staff prior to the reception, until the chef had understood that the head waiter was the one on top of the chain. He was not only the head of the waiting staff. He was the senior, the general manager, the owner of the business. No D, and no old crank—only him.
He deserved respect, and respect he would get.
All in all, things were running smoothly. He even let himself enjoy some naughty little pleasures. A pitiful waitress was scared of a certain professor whose face was burnt and, of course, she was held responsible for serving the table where he sat at. The pretty and shy waiter that blushed at everything was thrown into the wildness that was the place ruled by those crazy bitches, the Sand Snakes.
Tiny pleasures to bear the burden of the dull, perfect evening.
Courses were served. Time passed by. Desserts were served. Time came for speeches and lauds. Semblances of husband and wife. Memories of relatives and friends. The groomsmen tried to be funny—failed spectacularly. Shireen’s lovebird proved his tongue need cutting, too. Quentyn Martell, an ugly toad among the herd of sexy beasts that crammed his family, made it worse. Anyhow, people laughed, applauded and cheered up. Then, glorification of love, talk about matching marks. Kisses, sighs, tender looks all around.
A bit more of fluffiness, and the head waiter would be vomiting hairballs.
To add insult to injury, the newlyweds asked for silence and proclaimed that their baby would be a boy.
“His name will be Jon. We want to honour Coach Connington’s memory. He was sadly departed a year ago. Wherever his soul rests now, I am sure he is proud of you, darling,” Sansa Baratheon said. Her husband was unable to utter a single word. He kissed her hands; tears stained his face. Teary faces multiplied and a long standing ovation followed.
The head waiter fled. He was on the verge of guffawing.
“It’s time for the wedding cake,” he said to the staff.
The cake was cut, the dance got started. The bar opened. Now, he had to monitor the bartenders. Maybe alcohol would do a miracle.
The formal pieces of music gave way to the modern ones. He wandered around, grasping some fragments of conversation.
“Arya, why hasn’t Jaqen come?” the bride asked her sister, in a low voice. “I told you dad had finally got over the age difference.”
“It’s over.”
“Really? It won’t be because of him, will it?”
The bride nodded towards a young man built like a bull.
Arya Stark, a.k.a. Mercy, the ruthless star of controversial playwrights, blushed.
“Wow! This is priceless! Does Mya know? And do you have the...?” asked the bride. She made a gesture and moved her right wrist.
The juggler blushed even more and her sister giggled. Nothing to do here.
He walked towards the corner where the bull stayed. He was talking to a woman and a youngster. The three of them had the same mop of black hair. Robert Baratheon was also there, smiling awkwardly. He thought of giving him a glass of whiskey, just to have some fun.
He remembered the man’s divorce, three years ago. It was said that he had found his wife doing her own brother. Surprisingly, he had not killed them at once. Afterwards, a paternity test had revealed that none of the children were his. It was the biggest scandal that the state had known in ages. The eldest child had OD’ed; the head waiter did not remember what had happened to the others.
However, the man himself had not kept his cock useless, and the three fakers had been substituted by three children that had been sired by Robert out of wedlock, a daughter and two sons. The four of them seemed to be trying to make up for the lost time.
A father, illegitimate children, recognition at last.
The head waiter felt a stab of some uncomfortable feeling he could not quite apprehend, so he made for another place. He held on to feelings he could understand. Ambition. He had been taking steps to getting closer to the prospect of an engagement to the rich widow. Control. Lust. The provocative dance of the hottest bitch he had ever seen, Arianne Martell, and her puppy boy, Oakheart. Thoughts of a threesome assaulted him—the woman would dominate the puppy boy, and the head waiter would dominate them both. His groin stirred.
He rushed to the restroom and stayed there until he chilled out. That was neither the place nor the time for his appetites.
He left the restroom and almost jumped into another couple, the doe-eyed Tyrell and the eldest of the Stark boys. He hid, and hoped they were not there to make out—it would be vexing to have a new hard-on.
“I’m serious, Marg. I’ve missed you sorely, I want to make up”, Robb Stark said.
“Seriously? And what about your uncle’s girlfriend?” she fumed.
“I told you a hundred times it was a one-night stand before she met my uncle for the first time. Damn it, we weren’t even together by that time!”
“That is what you say.”
“And you? What about your heavy swan with the ridiculous name, Balon?” The Stark was right, there were too many dumb names those days: Balon, Aegon, Devan...
“Don’t be absurd, Robb. Are you jealous?”
He took her hands.
“Let’s stop pretending, Marg. You know we love each other, we have these feelings...”
“But we don’t have them.”
“Fucking matching marks!” the young man started. “This is real, what I feel for you, what you feel for me. We don’t need the hand of fate to decide for us. Your parents don’t have the marks, and they are fine.”
“It’s a little scary. It’s a leap of faith.”
“It will be worthwhile. I’m ready to fight for us. Are you?” He took a little box from his pocket, and a golden ring from the box. She gasped. “I want to marry you, Margaery Tyrell. I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me?”
“You... you are crazy! Yes, I will, you crazy idiot!”
They kissed, holding to each other for dear life. The head waiter left them, unnoticed.
That Robb had guts, and he agreed with him about the marks. A real man had to take the reins of his life, had to be in control. He believed in creating his own destiny.
The guests kept on drinking, dancing and having a good time. The newlyweds congratulated the head waiter for the work of the staff and said they would recommend their service to other people. Later, they said farewell and left for the honeymoon. Filthy-Rich-Lysa also left soon after—he had got from her the promise of a business call and a smile that looked lewd. All in all, the evening was a great success.
Suddenly, the turning point occurred.
He didn’t know how it started. The mood of the crowd changed without warning. Rumour had it that two unexpected guests had appeared out of nowhere. The expression of bliss on the faces shifted to one of worry, rage, confusion or curiosity, depending on whom you were looking at. The Martell Bunch got restless. Eddard Stark rushed towards the gate, tight-lipped. Rumour spread like fire and got to Robert Baratheon. The man made a face. Then he strode towards the gate, forgetting he was sober, shouting and acting like a mad drunkard. His children went after him; the Stark stood in his way.
“It’s not true, Robert, it’s been a misunderstanding.”
“The fuck it is! Get off me, Ned! Lyanna! Where is she? Where’s the son of a bitch?”
Oberyn Martell and his retinue of snakes joined the party. Quarrels began.
“Step aside! The Targaryen is mine!” Oberyn cried.
“Over my dead body!” Robert replied. He pushed the Martell and things got out of control. Oberyn punched the Baratheon and both started a fight over which one would beat the Targaryen bloody. Threats, insults and hits followed. People tried to separate them, while Eddard Stark kept saying that it had been a lie and nobody had arrived. Other people made drunk remarks and added fuel to the fire. At a certain distance, the mother of the groom spat more expletives that you would think possible in such an elegant woman. Stannis Baratheon stood frozen with a look of concern on his face. Rhaenys put a reassuring hand on his shoulder, while repeating that he was her true father.
The head waiter was feasting on the delightful havoc when he saw him.
He was laughing out loud, enjoying the show as much as the head waiter was. He had his head tilted back; his dark hair was dishevelled. His face was flushed with mirth and alcohol, drops of sweat ran along his Adam’s apple. His eyes glowed and his lean body shook with laughter.
A bolt of electricity ran through the head waiter’s spine. He eyed his right wrist as his heart thundered.
***
Bottoms up! He swallowed the whiskey and refilled the tumbler while making himself comfortable in the only armchair in his apartment. He was too excited to feel the exhaustion that tried to creep over his limbs. Not yet. Things should be done before he went to bed.
He turned off the cell phone. He had already listened to the voice messages. There was some bad news—D was going to survive. Well, it didn’t really matter. Eventually, gullible D would meet his end. The old leech had phoned, too—a call-back wouldn’t be necessary when news about the success of the reception got to him. He would have to keep his promise and give him his share of the business.
However, he was done with business for tonight. At heart, he was a man of passions, and passion was overwhelming him. He took a look at the paring knife and the rest of the stuff as his insides craved for the man. To think that he had nearly finished the evening without noticing him! Too many people; too much work to do.
Anyway, he had found him and talked to him for a while. At close range, he was even more appealing. He looked like a faceted gem: cocky, insecure, defiant, vulnerable. He knew that, he could smell it: doms never missed their subs-to-be. Not that he considered him to be another inconsequential pet. He would be the only one. He was the one.The head waiter had almost taken him there and then, and dragged him to his apartment, but he had contented himself with a phone number.
He emptied the tumbler and put it aside, for he didn’t want to be numb. Humming happily, he took the paring knife and looked at the flesh in his right wrist. The matching marks had not appeared, despite having felt the electricity that irradiated both his body and his one’s. Well, it had to be like that. After all, he did believe in creating things. After all, he was a craftsman. He would make love marks of their own. He had found his soulmate; no fucking destiny was going to make him think otherwise.
He cut, drew blood and hissed. Then he cut again. Time, patience and lack of disinfectant would be necessary for the scars to appear and last. It would be worth the effort. He worked in the shape. It would look even more awesome in his lover’s wrist. The design was simple: blood drops around a single letter. He didn’t like the name of his only one, an awful name with one of those stupid endings. He had thought of a better name for him, one that was funny and would suit him after being trained. Besides, the first letter of the name was the same as his. Thus, he would always remember both his and his master’s name. People had to remember their names.
He must be mine. He is mine.
He stared at the beautiful, bloody, capital R.
“Mine,” he said, and closed his eyes.He would dream of love and hope.

But madness and obsession don’t know of love, and hope will be flayed.

Fin 

lunes, 24 de agosto de 2015

Love Matching Marks 1 (An ASoIaF fanfic)



1. Ned
 
Ned Stark was devastated. The car accident which had taken away both his father and brother's lives had brought up another collateral damage: his dear sister Lyanna had suffered from a miscarriage due to the shock at knowing the bad news. Thus, as she stayed in hospital fighting for her life, the only Starks left to attend the funeral ceremony and banquet were his brother Benjen and Ned himself.
The brothers tried to comfort each other and stay tall in front of the people who were arriving to give the condolences. Ned was lost in thought and grievance, missing Robert's support at his side—his best friend was also Lyanna's fiancé and had left for the hospital. So, Ned was left alone there with Benjen, a lot of persons whose faces didn't really recognize nor care of and his pain and misery. If only I had been there with them, maybe I wouldn't have passed out and I could have saved them from the explosion...The fire. He couldn't allow him to think much about it, how it might have felt to burn alive. He could only allow him to trust the voices that said that they might have fainted before the fire started. Might. He couldn't let him think that no one could really tell if it had been a must.
“My condolences,” a sweet voice full of grief said. “I can understand your pain. At least, some of your pain. I loved him. We were dating.” Then, the voice broke and something about it made Ned return to reality.
“Who...?” he started asking, but his question was interrupted by the vision of the woman in front of him. Long, auburn hair, clear blue eyes full of tears, an expression of deep pain on her beautiful face. He knew her face. He had seen it in photographs before, Brandon's southern girlfriend.
“Excuse me, you don't even know me. We haven't had the chance to meet before. My name is Catelyn Tully. Brandon and I have been dating for some months. Well, we had...”
“That's fine, there's no need to apologize. We knew, Ms Tully. He wanted to introduce you to the family next Christmas. He talked about you a lot and we were looking forward to meet you.”
Catelyn Tully smiled a little and held his hand in a reassuring way. And then, it happened.
Both Ned and Catelyn's right wrists started glowing and a sign appeared on each of them. The signs had the same blue-gray colour and an identical design. A mirror image. The love matching marks that made their appearance when someone met his or her soulmate.
They looked at their hands in astonishment, finding the situation inappropriate, finding it disrespectful.
But love and hope don't know of right timing, and life must go on.

2. Lyanna 
 
Lyanna Stark lied down in bed, still in hospital, finding neither relief nor relaxation. She felt like she was rowing through treacherous waters; one mistake and she would drown in pain. The moment she had known about her father and brother's accident, the dreadful punctures in her belly had started and then blood had begun spilling down her thighs. And she had been sure what it would mean—the baby would die. Maybe he was never supposed to be born, a child of sin.
Sadly, Lyanna remembered how shocked her family had looked like when she had first told them about her pregnancy. They could barely believe that young, brilliant, talented Lyanna, who was attending her first year at university with an athletic scholarship, could have made such a big mistake. His boyfriend, Robert, had been shocked, too, but his surprise had changed into cheerfulness very quickly. He would do the right thing, he would sooth her family, they would get married, they would have a little Baratheon, they would be happy together forever and ever... And Lyanna, tired and hesitant for the first time in her life, had smiled with a smile that didn't reach her eyes and had let him do and decide.
He hadn't even noticed that their sexual intercourses had always been safe.

***
She had met him at the Harrenhal athletics competition several months ago.
The competition had been held in another campus, out-of-town. For some reason, neither Robert nor her family had accompanied her.
Lyanna had won three medals and, when she had seen the man who was meant to give them to her, she had thought him to be the most attractive man she had ever known. He had silver hair and fascinating purple eyes. He was tall and his muscles were well-defined. He was graceful and elegant and his facial expression was almost regal. And his voice had sounded like music when he had congratulated her.
“Congratulations, Ms Stark. You have been the champion and the Queen of the Tracks today,” he had said in a friendly manner.
Then, he had put the medals on her and Lyanna had felt a sudden heat in her right wrist. She had looked at it and had understood the meaning of that glimmering grey and purple mark. A twin one was shining in the handsome man's wrist. Lyanna's heart had leaped.
That night, there had been a dinner to celebrate the end of the competition and, after that, there had been a party. That night, Lyanna had learnt the man's name, Rhaegar, had learnt that, despite his youth (he was in his twenties), he was a family man. She had learnt that he was the heir of an important company as well as a lecturer on high-performance sports at the same university she was attending and that he loved music. And later that night, she had also learnt the taste of his lips and his skin and she had known she would fall.
***
They had been keeping a secret relationship since then, though none of them had really finished their former relationships. Lyanna had tried to split up with Robert in several occasions, but she was fond of him even if he wasn't the most faithful boyfriend himself. Besides, she cared about what her family would say about it, and she wasn't sure of Rhaegar doing the same. She was, in short, too young to sort it out. And then, she had got pregnant and everything seemed to turn into a downward spiral.
And now, tragedy had struck her life.

***
Someone's voice interrupted her stream of thought. She recognized the voice and faked she was asleep. A gentle hand caressed her face as words were poured down on her.
“I'm sorry, my love, I'm so sorry. Your father, your brother... the baby. I should have come before, but my family, too...” the voice shivered. “It was my father, the driver of the other car. He is dead, too. He had been suffering from a mental health disease for months, he was under treatment. He shouldn't have driven after taking those pills. I cannot find the words to express my regret.”
Lyanna opened her sore eyes and stared at Rhaegar's sad expression.
He was yours, not Robert's.”
Rhaegar nodded.
“He shouldn't have paid for his father's sins,” he said.
“No, he shouldn't. Neither should you,” she replied.
They kissed.
This is wrong, this is a mistake.
But love and hope don't know of common sense, and their sins will keep on.

3. Elia
 
Elia, née Martell, a Targaryen nevermore, sipped her cocktail and laughed at someone else's joke. She felt relaxed and happy - the kind of feelings that she had nearly forgotten under the burden of the past hard years. She was at a nice club, surrounded by friendly people. Her brother Oberyn was dancing on the floor with his beloved Ellaria. Elia could see an amorous look in their eyes even from where she stayed. They had the love matching marks that bounded them. It had come as a surprise to the whole Martell family that Oberyn had finally found his soul mate; it had taken him dozens of girls and four indiscretions to finally find her. Elia felt glad for them; Oberyn was her dearest brother and she wanted him to achieve happiness.
It was because of Oberyn that Elia and her children had finally returned to the town she had been living in when still married. Oberyn had business there and he was going to spend at least a year and a half in his new job post. Elia had decided to move with him and sell her remaining shares in her erstwhile spouse's former company to its new owners, Robert Baratheon and his father-in-law Tywin Lannister. The dealt had been closed two days ago and now she felt like she was completely freed from the Targaryens. At last.
To think about her ex-husband made Elia frowned.
He had left her and their children Rhaenys and Aegon overnight five years ago. She found a farewell note in which he apologized for that, but where he also stated that he had fallen madly in love with some undergrad and had decided to elope with her. At least, he had had the decency of leaving behind some bank accounts and savings, as well as the shares in King's Landing Company.
Nonetheless, he would never be able to pay back the months of anguish that followed his departure, the searching about who the heck that bitch was (Lyanna Stark was her name) and where he might have gone to. He could never repay her children's tears and questions, her own despair, the years of depression that might have broken her if not for her family's aid and support. He could never repay her desperate phoning his mother, who had also moved with his siblings somewhere overseas, in a pathetic attempt to know about his current address. He would never compensate for having forgotten about her children.
Anyway, the years of desperation were over. She had got divorced and recovered her maiden name. She had taken care of her children and, currently, the only thing she really wanted was to not know about Targaryens ever more.
We never had the love marks but our marriage was a happy one, at least at the beginning. Love with a little l was enough for me. I presume it wasn't enough for him.
But the night was young and full of joy, and Elia put those thoughts aside.

***
Somebody complimented her. She smiled lovingly -she found herself beautiful that night, indeed. She was wearing a silky red dress that suited her perfectly and a sun-shaped necklace as for only ornament. In fact, though she had just abandoned her twenties, she considered herself far prettier than before. Prettier and healthier. She had been suffering from bad health for years. Fortunately, doctors had given her the right treatment for the pernicious anemia and now she felt stronger than ever, able to take the reins of her life again.
Her glass was empty and she left her friends to get another cocktail. While the bartender was shaking the drink, someone greeted her.
"Pleased to meet you once again, it seems like fate wants us meeting," someone said.
Elia turned and took a look at a drunken Robert Baratheon. People said that he had been a very handsome man before, but he had grown fatter and rougher. She couldn't find him appealing by any sorts.
"Mr.Baratheon..." she started.
"Just call me Robert! Mrs Targaryen, isn't it? That Rhaegar's ex-wife, aren't you?"
His breath stank of alcohol and she grimaced.
"Ms Martell now, and don't mention him, if you please."
Robert laughed a sour laughter.
"Martell! Of course! Excuse me, madam. Who could ever want to be reminded of such a bastard? He stole my precious fiancée Lyanna from me, you know. Of course you know.  That asshole! How could he do that to my sweet Lyanna?"
She being a bitch must have helped it for sure. However, she didn't answer because it was clear that Robert's wounds hadn't healed as hers had.
Robert stared at her body with a lustful look and went on speaking.
"Wouldn't it be funny if we had our own kind of revenge? I mean, you and I could have a little fun together."
"Aren't you a married man, Robert?" Elia replied intently.
"Fuck my wife! I bet she's being as unfaithful as I am. That stupid cow! If it wasn't for her father's wealth... But let's forget about her."
 He put an arm around Elia and put her closer to him.
"I don't think that's a good idea," she warned.
"C'mon! It'd be a shame to get this chance wasted!"
Elia was considering the fact that he would grope her and she would have to slap him when another man's hand took Robert away from her.
"That's enough, Robert. You're drunk and I don't think the lady is pleased with your behaviour."
Both Robert and Elia stared at the man's serious face. His face reminded Elia of Robert's, somehow. The man was not really handsome, as well, with his dark hair growing thin, his cold blue eyes and his stern expression, but something about him threw shivers up Elia's spine.
Interesting, she thought.
"C'mon, Stannis! Don't be such a spoilsport. The lady and I were just having a good time."
"I don't think so," Elia replied.
Robert looked at her in disbelief and finally surrendered.
"Ok, I understand. Sorry for the inconvenience, madam. I'll go get myself something to drink." With these words, Robert left. The other man sighed.
"Could you please excuse my brother? He turns sour and reckless when he is in his cups."
Robert's brother. So, this Stannis might be younger than he looked like.
"There's no need to apologize, Mr Baratheon. My name's Elia, by the way."
They shook hands and there they were: dark and blue designs flashing on their wrists, the ones Elia had never known before. Both looked at them in confusion and Elia found herself amused by the horrified expression that appeared on Stannis' face. Suddenly, she felt like teasing him.
"That wasn't necessary," she said.
"Beg your pardon?"
"That charade, it wasn't necessary. If you wanted to approach me, there was no need to make your brother act like a fool so you could appear like a knight in shining armour."
"Excuse me?"
"Oh, please, stop pretending," she laughed. "I know that I'm looking irresistible tonight and that you were ogling me.  However, it has been surprising; you didn't look like you were into older women, Stannis."
"What? No, I weren't... I am not..."
"Please, you don't have to be so shy," she almost purred. "You know, experience comes with age. Besides, we can't deny the love marks."
Stannis Baratheon ground his teeth and Elia hid a wicked grin.
"Excuse me, madam, but I don't believe in such a foolish thing. I just can't believe."
Elia noticed the fear and the awkwardness and she finally decided to be merciful.
"My apologies, I was only joking. Of course we are not silly teenagers. Don't bother, I'll survive," said she, blinking an eye.
"Well, I'm relieved of hearing that. Now, if you excuse me, I must go now, Ms Martell."
Stannis stared at her with his freezing blue eyes one more time and then he left in a hurry.
Elia took her new cocktail and smiled to herself. That was an interesting man, indeed. With a sigh, she came back to her friends, wondering how such a cold gaze had been able to make her feel so warm inside.
But love and hope don't know of coldness, and the icicle will melt.


4. Renly
 
Renly Baratheon sat down on the bench for a little rest. He was tired because he had been training in the basketball yard for over an hour. However, exercise was the best way of being tired, for it eased his mind. It had been a troublesome fortnight and he wasn't sure if everything had finally been sorted out.
It was the coming prom which could be blamed for his unrest. It seemed like every girl at school wanted to go to the prom ball with him. He could understand it; he knew he was a really good-looking boy, no doubt, and a charismatic one, but it didn't mean that he was an easy prey. He wanted to go to the celebration with someone special; and he just couldn't find any girl special. Besides, to make things worse, he had also had to deal with the love declaration of some silly girl called Margaery, who had been definitely after him until he had had to be serious about it. It seemed that everyone had become crazy -that Margaery was only in her first high school year!
With a sigh, he thought that maybe it was his eldest brother's reputation the reason for his current misery. Everyone said that he looked exactly like Robert once had, and his brother had always been a ladies' man. Ironically, Robert hadn't had much luck with his lovers. He was still longing for a girl who had left him several years ago and his current wife was...well, his current wife was simply annoying. Beautiful and stylish, she was, but vain, cold and arrogant, too and it was clear for everyone that they couldn't stand each other and that they were still together just for wealth fare and their children's sake. Anyway, people had assumed that he would be some sort of a new Robert and that he had to fulfil the role of a womanizing Baratheon. And Renly knew deep inside that he could never be a womanizer, no matter how hard he tried pretending.
His lack of interest towards girls hadn't been remarkable before, thanks to Stannis' similar disposition. Nevertheless, and against all odds, the dullest, most boring and less attractive guy in the family had become the luckiest one, as he had married a charming woman. Renly adored smart, witty Elia as much as he disliked Cersei. The most surprising thing was the fact that she had once been married to the man who had stolen (Robert's words) his eldest brother's long-missed girlfriend and she had already come into her new marriage with two children. In spite of that, Stannis and Elia had built quite a strong bound and they had recently had a child of their own, sweet Shireen. And they seemed to be happy together; god, Stannis even smiled from time to time!
Renly grinned. No doubt Elia had that kind of power over his brother, considering her brother's own power over Renly. His doubts about his preferences had started the first time he saw Oberyn Martell. Renly had never seen anyone so gorgeous and hot before and he felt like he could melt under his dark gaze. That had been the beginning of his doubts and Renly had started suspecting that no girl would ever make him feel that way.
His infatuation would go nowhere, he knew it for sure, but it had opened the doors to his, maybe, real self. Renly still had some doubts about it, nonetheless, and he also felt a little ashamed and worried about what his brothers would say if his preferences weren't finally straight. Thus, he had made up his mind and decided to choose a girl for the coming prom. He had chosen one of his friends, Asha Greyjoy, a tomboyish girl who, though younger than him, was bold and funny so he could have a good time at the ball at least.
Lost in thought, it took him a while to come back to reality and realized that someone was shouting at him.
"You! What do you think you're doing to my sister?"
Renly looked at the angry handsome boy in awe.
"What do you mean?"
"Don't dare playing the fool! You broke my little sister's heart and you're going to pay for this!"
And suddenly, the boy was on him, trying to beat him. Renly ducked and avoided the punch in the last moment.
"I don't know what the fuck you're talking about!"
"Of course you do! My sister, Margaery! She has been crying for days because of you!"
 Oh, fuck!
 "I didn't mean to hurt her. I just don't like her that way!"
But the boy didn't want to understand and tried to punch him once again. Renly caught his arms, enraged, and all of a sudden he felt his right hand burning. Both of them stopped to stare at the bright cyan and golden marks that had begun appearing on their wrists. Yes! I was right, I knew it!
"I knew it! I knew!" Renly said happily as he hugged the other boy, who was still frozen in place. But Renly didn't mind; the boy looked pretty with his shocked expression, his dishevelled brown curls and impressive honey eyes.
What would my brothers say?
But love and hope don't know of gender, and prejudice won't prevail.

To be continued...