He bit his lower lip. He was anxious. He was not sure how to start what he was about to do but this was his only option to get things done. On his hand were the make-up pallet and the set of his sister. On the table were magazines opened to the leaves with articles concerning beauty tips. He had drowned his eyes reading a lot of beauty pages and searched on sites about how to do a make-up. His reflection was staring at him with much apprehension, worried of what might happen after. But this was not the ideal time to be chickened. He should start with this and the rest will just fall into its places according to his plans. With his bones shivering down his vertebrae and uncertain shaking hands, he grabbed tight of the innocent brush. A push of big blow of air came out of his chest. With deep faith to the tips he read and a doubt on his self, he began applying neutral shade of blush on caramel hues on the apples of his cheeks, set with translucent loose powder. He prettied his self-up by trying just a little bit of eye shadow on the inner corner of his eyes, then blending slightly onto the upper lid. He lavished his nude cherry lips with a light shade of rose hue lip tint that provided his lips a sheen and crystal shine finish. His self was staring at him.
‘Almost done,’ he thought. He bit his lower lip again – a habit that he couldn’t control.
He was staring in disbelief at himself. If mirror could lie, then, this was the time. But no, the mirror spilled all. With so much awe, he brushed the side of his palm on his face serenely, mouth slightly open, hanging. How pretty he was with make-up on. Well, as a man, it cannot be denied that he was good looking. But now, he’s so beautiful –like his sister. He pouted his lips and made a soft smooching ‘smack’ sound. He giggled.
“Now, to complete my feminine look,” it was so awkward. He was a pretty damsel with a masculine voice. Quite disturbing to hear… that it could make you arch your brows and smirk.
He grabbed the brunette wig of the same coiffure as his sister and put it like a crown on his head. His crowning glory. He was rapt looking at the still mirror. The glory of beauty. A lady that he was now! He was proud of what he had done, despite doubt. So much of pride and exuding confidence , he stood out of the chair like a beauty queen hailed victorious on a pageant, chin up, a little fidget on his female stellar uniform and a glare on his face, he said,
“I’m sorry. But I’ll be living your life.” He paused and smiled at his reflection. “Now, I am Emmery.”
The sun was high spreading its arms of sunbeams as if a king hugging and holding his kingdom. It was shedding its light to see how his people were doing. But, there was one who tried hard not to be seen. It was Uriel, a regular male student of the academy. He is an employed student and has to work hard to sustain his needs and his sister. His twin –Emmery, a stellar student. Though their parents have left them more than enough fortune to spend, he preferred not to touch it for he made a man’s vow when his mom and dad were on contest with death –their souls may be in peace, that he will take extra diligence of their sweet Emmery. And for him, he could keep his promise by working for their living, what they had inherit will all be saved for future needs. It’s almost three years since they were leaving together alone. They were happy. All sweats and drained body paid off every time he sees Emmery’s smile. He tried his best not to let his dear twin shed a tear but it shook his world when he saw Emmery crying helplessly on her bedside.
“What happened? Who did this to you?” Was all he could ask. Between sobs, Emmery could only answer, him.
And he found him. Uriel was hiding behind the bushes, one foot on a rock, body slightly bended forward. He peeked on the damped glass window of the band’s chamber. He was eyeing the man he was hunting. The man was Rigel –the base strings of ‘The Canon’. Like a lurking detective preparing to take the culprit down, he recalled his plans: disguise as Emmery and make that man pay the toll for hurting his sister.
“Boo!” a whisper came from behind him. Startled, he was caught off guard that his foot tripped on the rock and fell on his back pulling the intruder for support but she too lost her balance and fell atop him, nearly lips about to meet –just a breath away. That was sudden that it seemed for him, time froze. Eyes locked on each other. His heart was running dramatically, exaggerated. He bit his lower lip slowly moistening it as if waiting for the kiss. She burst into laughter.
“Hey! Don’t act as if you’re waiting to be kissed! Ha-ha! That would be nasty…,” she was still smirking as she put herself back on her foot. She buffed the dried leaves and thorns stuck away on her skirt and blouse.
He seemed to be a little knocked out by the fall that it took him another minute to stand. It took him another half minute to recover from the little shock of recognizing the girl in front of her. Misty. His twin’s bestfriend. He knew her because Emmery and Misty were often seen together and both used to hang out in their house. But these past weeks, he had not seen them going out together. He thought that maybe their friendship was going through a rough time. Seeing her again triggered his heart inside.
Misty was his secret crush. He loves how she laughs. Her blue tender eyes were enough to give him giggles. Another half minute passed for settling his heart from the uneasy feeling he felt. And it took another minute of silence… he could hear her silently giggling in laughter.
“W-what do you want?” he said controlling his baritone voice trying to imitate Emmery’s. That was all he could think of to ask. He shoved the sticking leaves off his black skirt.
“You mean, what are you doing? Are you…?” She left the words hanging as she looked at the band rehearsing from the window. “…On Rigel?” she continued putting her gaze back on him.
He tried escaping her scrutinizing eyes, yet he couldn’t look back. He could not tell her. What will he say anyway? Come the end of the world, no one should know about him cross-dressing, even Emmery. He pushed a heavy sigh for an answer to end the interrogation, in any ways, he didn’t want to lie to her, and thus, he chose to embrace silence.
It had been two days since he’d been cross dressing as Emmery but still he hadn’t got a chance to put his plan in phase two. He couldn’t do so because Misty was drooling around him – always. He was happy about it but he cannot let things be gone to waste just because of her. It had only been two days yet he was already quite comfortable with her presence even though he seldom talks for he might be caught and she always did all the talking, it gave his heart a feeling of settlement that sometimes it made him forget his real purpose of why he was there. Slaying time together with Misty made him ponder a lot of things he didn’t think would ever cross his mind, what he had lost for three years because he was so tied up with the responsibility he had to fulfill and a promise he had to keep. He was too focused to give her the bests of life yet he forgot that he had a life to live. How he missed the times that he had a lot of friends, the frolicking times without worries to muse and all he had was a carefree world. How much he had lost was the risk he took… now, a part of him was already gone. He was engaged by the loaded burden on his shoulder that he didn’t notice how empty he was inside. This gave him a nip on his heart.
The soft caress of falling plum leaves on his head roused him from his temporary shunning. The place was losing its vibrant hues and sepia was painting the surrounding, and the sun was glowing golden as it was taking a land on the horizon. It was autumn. He was standing in front of the window of The Canons’ practice room. They had just finished playing on stage for the Crimson Festival of the academy. The strands of his wig were touching his cheeks and his skirt swayed as the wind danced around. Rigel was inside the room playing his guitar. He was observing him but he could see no sign that he was capable of hurting his twin. The frequent stalking covertly knocked a familiarity he couldn’t figure out. A lot of times in the spun of two days did he caught Rigel looking at him, oftentimes secretly. No instance did he saw him with other girls although his look screams that he is a girl magnet. If he’s a girl, more likely, he’ll fall on his charms. Ridiculous to consider though, well, his sister did fell. He seemed so silent and it’s quite ironic for him that their music was loud, rocking all the students of the academy and yet he was so silent. It’ like, his guitar speaks for him.
Uriel saw him went out of the room and a girl approached him. Rigel was smiling at her – at Misty. She gave him a hug and planted kisses on his cheek. It hit him. Now, he knew why and what made her cry. Her bestfriend and Rigel have an affair. Stirring hatred and jealousy mixed that he clinched his fist tugging the seams of his skirt. A tear decked on his eyes. It was not because of pity he has for neither his sister nor the flight of revenge he planned but because he was hurt – badly. Rigel saw him giving him a meek smile. She laid her gaze on him too. She called him but he ran away leaving her voice in vague solemnity eaten by the rustling falling leaves and whispers of the dusk breeze. He found himself in the comfort room. There, he hid away from her presence… away from his gazes. Supposed to be, it should be Rigel who will shed these damn tears. It should be them who should suffer the hurtful feeling but even before he could have a chance to justify his plans, their fate twisted. He wanted to cry like any girls do when they’re hurt. He was about to, yet he heard voices.
“That’s too rude man.”
“Yeah I know. Moving out seems to be hard for me also. But I guess, that’s just for the best.”
He tried controlling his irking tear and glanced at the mirror to see the reflection of a man coming, head facing the entrance door as if talking to a world outside. It was Ulrich, his childhood friend who often be mistaken as his twin-owing it to their closeness and name relativities. He turned his head. Their eyes met. Ulrich’s face etched a look of indescribable confusion but felt a bit of comic upon the hit of recognition. Ulriel was surprised. He stared at Ulrich’s mystified reflection then stared at himself-in a girl’s disguise.
Sanity slapped him telling that he should not be there, but instead he should be in the female comfort room. In panic he moved himself towards Ulrich and uttered a shaky assurance.
“I k-know this is t-terrible. I will j-just explain this to you.” He bit his lips and went out. However, outside, he saw Misty and Rigel. He stopped face down in awkwardness and unconsciously bit his lip again. He knew he got nowhere to run anymore, he was caught.
“I’m sorry,” he heard himself say. He looked at them together as he pulled his wig then he continued,
“… I am not Emmery.”
“I am Uriel,” he told them his reasons hoping for their understanding. Rigel arched his brows every time he mentioned his name as the sole reason of his supposed-to-be-revenge.
“I never got a chance to put my plans into action… everything turned out not on the way I expected things will happen, I’m really sorry… but..” he paused. She pierced a sharp eye towards Misty.
“…s-she trusted you. In exchange, you betrayed her. You knew too well that she likes that stupid man beside you. How could you do that to Emmery?”
A wide smile sliced Misty’s face that lifted Uriel’s brows. As to what that smile means, he doesn’t have any idea. He looked at Rigel –impassive. Puzzled by their responses, he cannot utter a word or two; hence, his face showed great serious confusion that she tried her hardest to control her laughter.
“Since your first day of disguise, I knew it’s you Uriel. I know your reasons. I tried to go along your plans and Rigel too. In ways you are not aware of, you can make me laugh. You and Emmery are the only persons who can reach me and lighten up my day. I know Emmery. I always love Emmery and she understands too well the relationship Rigel and I shares…” She placed his hands over Rigel’s waist, like hugging him. Uriel’s expression got more perplexed. The action was too bold for him, to upfront that he wanted to pull Misty away from him. Once and for all, it was clearer to him now. That it was not about fighting for Emmery’s happiness this time –he wanted to fight for his own sake.
“H-hey! L-let go of him!” He stammered, yet she ignored him. Her smile got even wider that it reached her ears.
“Uriel, meet my brother, Rigel,-” Finally, it’s been revealed. Rigel held out his hand. He was stunned that he was not able to shake hands with him. For it was already long enough. He was holding out his hand as he scratched his head and shoved it back in his pocket.
“Can I go now?” Rigel said. “I’ll find Emmery. I’ve been waiting for days to see her again, I’ve got a lot of explanations to do,” without further much ado, he left both of them embraced by silence.
“Now, what?” She asked betraying the stillness. Tender sweet blue met the steel grey eyes. “Say it…”
“I L-like you…” For long he had disregarded his desires, he felt that saying those words meant freedom. Not that he was going to careless for his twin but he thought that the time has come for him to live his own life. Emmery will understand him for sure. Now that he knew how to live his life, he is going to live it to its fullest together with the girl he longed to be with.
Written by: Rose Ann Remotin. A connecting story for Chasing Hearts.