His dark eyes have always been watching Ayu and they wouldn’t deny it. His gaze has been Following her like a dangerous arrow throughout the day. Without doubt, no matter which place Ayu escapes to isolate herself from seemingly everything, someone is staring at her obviously. She can feel it greatly, it’s just that uncomfortable silence and that feeling as if someone knows exactly why she isolates herself in the forest sometimes.
But why would Ayu with a loving husband and two children simply want to be alone some days? Well, it’s hard to explain. Ayu doesn’t know either. There is this terrible headache getting worse whenever she begins to panic for no reason. Her thoughts race through her mind, each of them in a big marathon, trying to catch her attention. At some days, Ayu definitely overthinks too much. But those thoughts just enter her mind without her permission. Thoughts about her husband, whose bright smile she has not overcome. It’s just that, even though Jinxi is a loving husband, his odd behaviour she gets to see at times give her goosebumps. This also, is without her permission.
But one thing Ayu hates most about him is that he doesn’t even care to avert his gaze whenever she tells him that it creeps her out. Whether it is the moment she notices or the moment she falls asleep in his arms, Jinxi’s cold, mysterious eyes look at his wife more often than necessary. Is it because he loves her so much? The way his non blinking eyes stare at her emotionlessly, leaving her standing nervously in front of him. The way his chest rises and falls calmly, Ayu hardly baring those strange moments of silence. And it is not unusual for them to randomly stand in front of each other, watching each other without talking. In fact, it is rather unusual when they do speak a few words with each other. Maybe it’s because Jinxi loves silence.
To Ayu, silence is beautiful, and has a unique voice on its own. But the silence shared with Jinxi speaks with a much darker tone. One that can not be easily forgotten even when one of them finally utters a word. Strange is the uncomfortableness Jinxi causes to her by simply staring at her. And how many times has this already happened? The moment she stands in front of their wood house. Her headache getting so intense, it would be unbearable. The familiar feeling of uncomfortableness would not leave her alone even for a second. And then? Usually, he would stand right behind her, as almost always. But still, everytime Ayu gets goosebumps when turning around.
The wind blowing through their hair in that strange moment. Ayu sometimes would wonder if he could sense, let alone smell her fear for she would sweat like a waterfall. And always, it sends shivers down her spine the way his eyes only blink once in a while when they stare at her like that. Sometimes his expression seems so cold. It’s like he is an animal waiting to attack its victim with its bare eyes. Or is it only in Ayu’s imagination? But always, Ayu feels the same. The air around them seems to vanish, and suddenly it becomes hard to breathe. Something in her chest tightens, her heart beats hardly when she looks into his gazing eyes. And when his lips curve into a big smile, the strange moment between them lets her heartbeat increase terribly. Her stomach feeling sick, as if something horrible would be about to happen, when only, his piercing eyes make her feel like that.
Often times, Jinxi notices how much anxious his wife feels in his presence. Sometimes Ayu is left wondering if her fear is written on her forehead. Then Jinxi wears that bright smile on his face, which doesn’t really help. Obviously, when Jinxi smiles, Ayu gets creeped out even more. She has been asking her self every time. Why. What is it that makes her husband so mysterious and strange to her? It really is frightening to live with someone who is loving and cold at the same time. See, Jinxi can be that loving gentleman, who embraces you tightly with lots of kisses. But at the same time, his cold eyes sometimes show exactly how he can be, cold and unkind. Ayu wondered once if he is too sensitive. But it does rather seem like he doesn’t even bother hiding his cold emotions. And when Ayu got to know Jinxi more each day, she realized again that Jinxi is not an ordinary man. Even though, he is well known to be the kindest and most helpful person in this small village, whenever a smile hovers his face unnecessarily often, Ayu begins to believe her doubts. And no matter how much she denies to have them, her mind tries to distract her with every possible, bad thought about Jinxi.
Ayu, in her desperate thoughts, sometimes feels the need to remember every moments of the past shared with Jinxi. At the beginning of their marriage, she wouldn’t have thought to actually be a woman wondering why Jinxi’s facial expressions seem quite disturbing to her. And even though she doesn’t really remember how she met Jinxi, it seems like they have always been married without any time date. Without the first meeting between them or any proposal from Jinxi. She remembers so vaguely, almost like it never happened.
And whenever she goes up to him with a playful face and asks innocently: “Why is it that I never remember your proposal to me?”
A bright smile would hover his face and reveal his white teeth. He would knit his brows slightly but Ayu would still notice. A look of, “I don’t really remember, too,” would fit his expression. And even though his smile would remain, Jinxi’s eyes would snap cold for a moments notice, as if he was not content with the questions Ayu keeps puzzling with. Why do they not remember? Or is it Ayu only? But Ayu has never been the type of person that remembers much. She even forgets what she ate or did the day before.
Perhaps Ayu knows more than she can remember sometimes. Or at least, something inside her tells her that she has forgotten something important. A feeling she can’t quite identify, but it feels terrible. A twisting in her stomach, signifying that there is certainly something wrong. Maybe it’s just the desperate wish that her past would somewhat be a different one. Unfortunately, throughout the years, there has been a change in Ayu. She certainly is not the Ayu she used to be. And if there is no explanation for that, it would be appropriate to blame it on Jinxi. By no means, never has Jinxi done something to Ayu to make her the way she is today. Perhaps, it is Ayu’s fault that all day, she thinks about him in a way that frightens her slowly.
Ayu’s past can neither be described as wonderful nor as terrible. Everything just happened as it was destined and Ayu was somehow a silent watcher. At some days, she would let her joyful feelings take over. She would laugh so much that even Jinxi’s cold eyes would soften at some point. She would fall into his arms and talk nonsense or play with Jinxi’s long, braided hair. Yes, she would even draw circles under Jinxi’s neck across his shoulders until her finger felt numb. Really, Ayu used to talk a lot without wanting to. She just felt the need to talk about something, anything, as long as Jinxi’s face shined a little. After a little while, as Ayu somehow felt like he didn’t enjoy it when she talked sensesly, it seemed like Jinxi’s eyes turned cold only because of that. Perhaps Ayu not only felt a little hurt, but she started loving the silence, too.
And as Jinxi noticed soon enough, that Ayu changed a little, it was clear that to him that it happened because of him.
“You don’t have to shy away from my gaze.I don’t want you to change,” Jinxi would say with such a calm tone, that made Ayu’s skin tingle. Ayu wondered once again, how the hell Jinxi could notice so much and she not. Ayu didn’t even notice her change in the first place. It just happened. Or maybe, she just forgot it. As always.
“But how did I change?” Ayu would utter in total insecurity. She would feel his gaze piercing through her chest into her heart. And there she would feel it once again. A little heartbreak felt so slightly but Ayu, as sensitive as she was, would feel it without doubt.
She just hates it to be so insecure. The moment she looks into Jinxi’s calm eyes, there is something inside her, trying to steal away the peace of her heart. An inner voice, yelling at her, trying to take control of the insecure Ayu.
That was the moment Jinxi turned away from her and walked out of the door of their room. Leaving her behind with one question.
Did she really change for someone, whose heavy silence and bare eyes made her feel like something is wrong with her?
Of course, Ayu knows who she was in the past. And perhaps, Ayu knows who exactly she is now. But who was she before she met Jinxi?
She cannot remember. They have been married for so long. Often times, she wishes to be set free from the uncomfortableness caused by Jinxi’s cold gaze. But sometimes she takes machosistic delight from the pain of feeling powerless and trapped near the presence of Jinxi. After all, he is the one to make her laugh often times. Obviously, there is no doubt in Ayu’s overwhelming love for Jinxi.
No matter how much he frightens her, as long as Jinxi’s cold eyes and smile soften a little, it seems as if nothing was ever wrong with him. Perhaps, the feeling of being used to feel frightened would never let her go. As there were quiet many days where she did not feel the slightest bit of worry or fear. But again, it’s only temporary and as soon as Ayu somehow believed that her unexplainable fear was finally a part of her past, it came back. Always. And more intense than ever.