He Loves Me Not

He Loves Me Not

All he could think about was his bright cerulean eyes and deep chocolate brown hair. And that was when the petals came.

published on September 3016 reads 13 readers 0 not completed

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It started as a small, light sensation in his chest, like butterflies fluttering about and tickling his lungs with their delicate little wings and slowly evolved into a deep stinging pain. The pain could be compared to vines of ivy tangling themselves around his lungs. It felt like his chest was becoming constricted, burning with each breath, like being strangled from the inside out. Each day , each hour, it grew tighter. And all he could do was pretend he was alright. After all, it was more than likely just anxiety. That snakelike anxiety that coils around in your chest and waits for the perfect moment to jump up and strike. Love anxiety. Terrible thing.
Though the ailment made itself apparent one Friday afternoon.
He was watching the uniformed man silently as he shouted commands at the other uniformed figures and paced up and down the side of their formation. It lulled him into a dreamlike state, watching the sergeant bark commands at the band.
The dreamlike state was shattered as the sergeant shot him a glance.
Straight in the eyes.
It was like he'd been blinded. He looked at him. Straight in the eye.
He stiffened his posture as sergeant approached him.
Oh god, he was coming over.
He strode rigidly, putting one foot in front of the other and swinging his arms at his side.
The anxiety worsened and his heart pounded fiercely against his chest. He could feel the anxiety snake constricting once again. Around his heart. He felt his breathing shorten, like he was breathing in chemicals. His lungs cried out in agony.
Is this what love really feels like?
He brought a gloved hand to his mouth.
No.
Nonononono.
Don't break formation.
Don't do it.
Stay silent. Impress him. Don't move. Don't move--
He coughed heavily.
He felt something smooth and plump fill his palm. Plump like succulent leaves, or like the tender meat of a peach.
He pulled his hand away.
Pollen dusted his white glove. In the centre of his hand was a bright white flower, which he immediately recognised as a daisy.
Where did it come from though?
He bit his lip.
Sergeant stared at him.
"A flower. Where did you get that? Put it down." His voice was stern and thick and deep. Calm and melodic. Made him feel fuzzy again.
He fell to his knees.
The strong smell of freshly cut football field grass filled his nose. He was dizzy. Tired. Just overall felt bad.
He heaved.
More flower petals spilled past his lips. He was now becoming nervous. Flower petals. Strange. After instinctively wiping his mouth on the back of his hand, he glanced up to see Sergeant standing there, concern etched onto his pale face.
"Drum Major, sir, are you alright?"
He did not respond. He couldn't. He was too panicked to say anything about it. Scared-- No, horrified. All he could do is stare up sheepishly and slowly rub the flower petals between his shaking fingers.
"Drum Major." He repeated, though this time louder. Though it was barely audible, a strange time laced his stern voice.
Panic.
He knelt down beside the drum major and looked into his hazel-coloured eyes.
"Flowers? You just....? Flowers...?"
The drum major nodded hesitantly. He had never felt so awful about everything. It was a mix of pain and fear and embarrassment and anxiety. And of course painful love. He clapped his hands over his mouth again.
Sergeant was very confused. He'd seen sickness. But flower petals was something completely new to him. It was supernatural. Had that man been eating flowers or something? Why would a man eat daisies. It made absolutely no sense. No sense whatsoever.  
He'd taken the man back to his home, a small first floor apartment just a few minutes from the field. The man seemed lifeless. He had a strange flowery scent, like perfume. His eyes were closed and occasionally he would cough on a tender flower petal of exhale a cloud of pollen trough his parted lips. It was as if flowers were growing from somewhere inside him.
Oh no.
He remembered it.
He'd heard of it on social media. Hanahaki Disease, a supernatural occurrence in which a person falls into a one sided attraction with another person. The attraction causes the host to sprout within their lungs. Then they cough up and vomit flowers. If the illness is not treated, it is certainly fatal, for the flowers restrict breathing and cause the host to slowly and painfully perish.
Sergeant stared over in doubt.
He knew there was only one natural cure for the Hanahaki; The person upon whom the host loved had to like them in return.
But finding out who it was would be very difficult. He knew that Drum Major would never tell him who it was. All he could do was try to provide comfort to him and try to help him through his pain in his final days before he would be swallowed within death's comforting arms.
The thought of a dear friend such as the drum major perishing left him in a panic. But it was unavoidable. He could try anything. But the Hanahaki was almost always a terminal illness.
He was going, going, gone. And there was not a thing he could do about it.
He stayed by his side through the night.
Nothing had changed. Even after the redhead had fallen into slumber, he continued to breathe uneasily, the clouds of golden dust continuing to rise from his parted lips.
He awoke the next day, thank goodness.
But nothing had changed. He continued to breathe the white petals and puffs of pollen as the foliage within his body continued to take over. It was clearly worse than yesterday. More petals he hacked up into his hands. Sometimes the overflowed, falling through the spaces between his fingers and fluttering to the floor.
It brought fear to Sergeant's eyes every time he saw the flowers spilling out on his mouth.
He fell asleep that night. This time a heavy sleep. Too heavy. His face was relaxed and emotionless, and he lay completely still. It was like the only difference between his sleeping and his dead form was the unsteady rise and fall of his chest. It was constant and steady....Never changing...But at the same time, he was knocking on death's door...
He slept through the day, only awakening to let more petals fall.
Then he slept once more. Always sleeping...
...Always sleeping...
How long had it been now? Two days? It felt like forever. Sergeant refused to move. He didn't sleep. Didn't eat or drink. He sat there, clutching Drum Major's nearest hand and watching helplessly as the man drifted towards his death, drowning in a sea of white daisy petals.
Now they just came up whenever.
Because now, he was always sleeping...
He'd lost track of time. He could no longer tell if he was even alive anymore. Everything was beginning to become dull. The air was now heavy with the weight of the pollen from the flowers in his lungs. Sergeant didn't want to do it anymore. He felt trapped--Lost--Alone. He wanted everything to be okay. He wanted drum major to be okay. By now Sergeant felt as if he'd been asleep as long as he was. With the drum major in this state, it felt like he was no longer living his life. He just was... He was so ready to wake up.
But he couldn't.
Because he was always sleeping.
He tried to reach out to him.  But he was lost and couldn't be found. He placed one hand over his own heart and felt its steady beat, and he put the other over the drum major's. His heartbeat was strangled. It beat like an untamed beast trying to get out of a net. Trying so hard, but fruitlessly, with no avail.
He was lost. He couldn't find him. Nowhere.
Because drum major was always sleeping.
And so Sergeant slept too.
His body remained awake, but his spirit was comatose. He never spoke. Never acted. Never responded to anything. But he thought...
He was sleeping.
Subconsciously, he reached for one of the daisies that the drum major had earlier jacked up. He felt it's white petals in his hand, and admired how beautifully the petals contrasted with the bright orange centre.
He pulled them off, one by one.
"He loves me."
"He loves me not."
"He loves me."
"He loves me not."
He repeated over an over in his mind as petals drifted to the floor and settled among themselves.
"He loves me ."
"He loves me not."
"He loves me."
"He loves me not....."
He awoke.
He was able to gaze upon the drum major again. Though this time in a different light. He looked upon the petal in his hand. Then back at drum major's freckled face.
"He loves me."
"He loves me."
He loves me."
"I love him."
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