[Shattered] Refrain 07

Track Seven – Reeve Tuesti – Breakaway

“What’s this?”

Flipping another page in the magazine he was reading and idly watching the television at the same time, Reeve was a master of multitasking. He raised a brow as he looked over the top of the magazine to see Reno looking quizzically at something he had pulled down from the top shelf of the closet. Something dark grey and covered in tape, something that looked vaguely familiar.

Aquamarine eyes turned his direction as he wiggled the notebook-like object towards his lover. “You ever see this before, yo?” he questioned before returning his attention to the unidentified item. He began to flip it open, eyes scanning the pages. “It’s like a book or something.”

Immediately, now that the cover was easily read, recognition dawned on Reeve. He felt a slow burn of embarrassment settle in his cheeks at the reminder of his teenage angst and set down the magazine, rising quickly to his feet and crossing the room.

“It’s mine,” he explained hastily, drawing what used to be his journal from Reno’s slack grip as his lover started grinning madly.

“Yours, huh?” he asked, snatching it back. “I wanna read it.”

Reeve sighed. “Reno, it’s stupid. Don’t read it.”

A bright red eyebrow rose as the Turk stepped away from him, already turning to the first page and completely ignoring his lover’s protests. He began to read aloud, much to Reeve’s chagrin, twisting his body every time the other man tried to make a grab for the journal. It vaguely resembled a grade school game of Keepaway, not that Reno cared. He was quite amused by the older man’s blushing, even if it was nothing to be embarrassed about.

May 8th, 1977. I feel a little adolescent and foolish to be writing in a journal, but I must do something because if I do not, I will be driven into madness… Damn Reeve, even as a kid you sounded sophisticated.” He grinned, even as he allowed his lover to reach over his shoulders and snatch the journal from his hands.

“I was fourteen then,” the executive mumbled, snapping the book shut. He turned away from Reno and headed back to the couch, though he didn’t relinquish hold of his memories. “I needed an outlet, and since I was only allowed to study, it was the best I could come up with,” he explained, plopping down on the couch. His fingers traced the masking tape over the binding. It had fallen apart so many times, mostly because he kept rolling it up and shoving it behind his headboard, where no one would find it.

Reno plunked down beside him, still grinning foolishly. “You’re embarrassed, aren’t you?” he teased, reaching for the journal, only to laugh when Reeve held it out away from him.

“No, I just… it wasn’t meant to be read, Reno.”

“You never talk about your family or your childhood or anything, even though you’ve listened to my rants about the slums, yo. Can I help it that I just wanna know my boyfriend a little?” He laid his head on Reeve’s shoulder, looking up at him imploringly.

The executive sighed after a moment, turning his attention back to the journal that had been his only companion for a good part of his life, up until the moment he had managed to breakaway from his family and attend a school far away from home. Once there, he had changed his major, much to their vexation, and had tried to build his own life, apart from their expectations. He had even worked a menial job to help cover the cost of tuition so that they couldn’t complain and knew he was serious.

“I don’t even know where you were born,” Reno added for good measure, recognizing that he was slowly wearing Reeve down. The executive never could say no to him for long, and it was a tactic he applied consistently. “I won’t laugh; I promise, yo.”

With yet another sigh, Reeve relinquished hold of the journal, handing it over to his lover. Reno took it with a grin, already flipping back to the first page where he had began reading earlier. “Anything I should know before I start reading?” he asked, unable to keep from winking at the older man.

Reeve groaned, covering half of his face with one hand. “It was written over twenty years ago. I don’t really remember.”

The Turk shrugged and then settled back down into the couch. “May 8th, 1977. I feel a little adolescent and foolish to be writing in a journal, but I must do something because if I do not, I will–”

“Reno, must you read it aloud?”

“Yeah, that way if I have any questions I can just throw them in there. Now, where was I… oh, right.” Reno cleared his throat.

…if I do not, I will be driven into madness. This town, this room, this family, it feels like a suffocating cage, and no matter how much I wish to, I cannot escape from it. Every minute of every day is planned, and I am sure that if they could, they would tell me when I should go to the bathroom. From birth and even to the person I should marry, my life has been set out for me; nevermind the fact that none of it is appealing to me. I love my family; honestly, I do. They are not bad people. It’s just that I do not want to be what they want me to be. But it is not as if I have much of a choice. I do think this might be the first conscious choice I have ever made for myself–“

 

Reno frowned, tilting his head to the side. “That one just ends, the last letter even kind of trails off,” he commented.

“That is because my mother sent Ienzo to make sure that I did not need any help with my studies,” Reeve explained quietly. “I had to hide it in a hurry.”

“Tell me about them.”

The executive nodded, taking a deep breath as he sat back into the couch. “Both of my parents are doctors, though they retired a couple of years ago. They expected me to follow in their footsteps and go into the medical field. I have a sister, Reis; she is ten years younger than me. I feel somewhat responsible since once they realized I wasn’t going to follow their plans anymore they left it up to Reis to pick up the slack. She’s an intern with a respectable physician in Costa del Sol.”

Reno raised a brow. “Doctors, huh? You’re family must have been rich.”

“Yes. I grew up in Costa del Sol, surrounded by other equally rich and pretentious families. Back then, it was a bit smaller than it is now, but the feel is much the same. I didn’t like it much.” He waved a hand back towards the journal. “Go ahead.”

The Turk returned his attention back to the item in his hands and cleared his throat. “June 15th, 1977. Quite a jump there. I wonder what it is like for other people. How their lives are different from mine. I attend school year-round. I spend my time locked up in my room and engaged in studies. I take classes in etiquette and attend formal dinners. I am dressed like a doll, and my clothes are always ironed. I’m forced to stand up straight with my hair trimmed neatly. I have not once played a game in my life, nothing quite so trivial and useless as fun. I have been trained to take my place as the Tuesti heir from the moment I was born, so I can’t help but wonder what it is like for other people.

 

It sounds foolish, but I have wished at times that I was someone else, dreaming of living someone else’s life. Not that I have it difficult; I am just unhappy. And it is even worse to know that this is all I have to look forward to. I was staring out the window earlier, and I couldn’t help but think if I had been someone else, what could I have been? Would I have been happy? Is it even possible for me to be happy now or even in the future? I have to find some way to get out of this cage.”

 

“August 12th, 1977. It was ridiculous for me to even think for one moment that Mother or Father would understand. I tried to tell them how much I hate everything they put me through, but it was as if I was speaking to a wall. It was the same when I spoke to my friends; they could not understand what I meant, and I ended up pretending it was a joke.

 

My life is one cruel joke.

 

I am trying to find some measure of happiness in this life, but I am stifled. I don’t feel like I belong, and I am lost, entirely off kilter. Something is wrong. I want to get away from this place and make my own way, find out who Reeve really is apart from the money and the Tuesti’s. I want to live with my own expectations, rather than those that have been given to me. I just wish I knew how.”

 

“March 27th, 1978. I watch Reis, and I can see that she is already within Mother’s clutches. Dolled up every day, tea parties with other daughters of high society, even her voice is already picking up that cultured tone. And she is only five years old. Our parents have us trapped in their dreams for us. We can’t have any of our own. But I have already made my decision. The moment a chance is offered to me, I will find a way to spread my wings, metaphorically speaking, and learn to fly. I will do whatever it takes to breakaway out of this life and into my own.

 

Perhaps even architecture. I admit that I am fascinated by history. And when I read about all those ancient structures, I feel this burn to design my own, greater and grander than anything ever built before. I want to build something that everyone can enjoy, to improve the lives of others, to make it easier for everyone. I’ll take this risk, this chance, if it means I’ll finally be free.”

 

“September 8th, 1979. The chance has come. I graduated from secondary school a year earlier than my classmates, and I am using it to my full advantage. I am going to the Academy next, to presumably study medicine. But once I am there, I will make my move and take that chance. I do not care what happens, but if I don’t take this opportunity, then I doom myself to a life of misery. There is something better out there for me, and I am not a coward afraid to try something new.

 

I will find it. I will live an unstructured life, doing things I was never allowed to do before. Stand outside in the warm breeze just for the hell of it. Sleep under a palm tree. Swim in the ocean. Ride a fast train to nowhere. Maybe one day I’ll even travel in an airship. I will design a building with a hundred floors, revolving doors that glint in the sunlight. It doesn’t really matter so long as I do something. I will live for once. I don’t know where this is going to take me, and somehow, I no longer care anymore. I can’t find it in me to play this charade. We’ll fight; maybe I’ll even be disowned, but somehow, that doesn’t sound like too bad of a result. I have to take this risk, this chance. I’m breaking away from everything I have known and making my own destiny. I think it’s the best decision I have ever been allowed to make.”

 

Reno closed the journal with a snap, strangely quiet as he mused over the words. It gave him great insight to his lover, all these things that he had never known about the older man. They were more alike than most people thought, even if they had been raised on opposite ends of the spectrum.

“You skipped a bit,” Reeve commented.

The Turk nodded. “I can always read it later.”

The executive was silent for a moment. “I’ll bet you think that I am quite the spoiled brat.”

Reno tilted his head. “Why would I?”

“Because I had everything, and yet, I complained about it.” One hand came up of his own accord, brushing briefly along the tattoos that streaked across Reno’s cheekbones. “I am sure most people would have been happy to take my place.”

“I wouldn’t,” Reno explained with a shake of his head. “That sounds like hell. I may have had to fight for my life every day, but damn… at least I had a life.” He grinned then. “I was even building up this gang of my own before Tseng caught me. I might have even taken over Don Corneo’s if I had been left there long enough. I had goals, man.”

Reeve chuckled, his mind instantly picturing Reno as head of the slums, ordering free alcohol for everyone and running it ruthlessly. It was actually quite amusing.

“Just because your cage was gold and mine rusty iron doesn’t detract from the fact that it was a cage,” Reno added more seriously.

The executive smiled. “Who are you, and what have you done with my Reno?” he teased, the unfortunate memories cropped up from reading the journal fading away, along with the melancholy. “That was very shrewd.”

“I have my moments, yo.”

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