The La-Iin Series
“An Agonized Heart”
“We’re going now!” Dosa-Mina called.
“See you!” San-Kyung called.
“Have fun, you two!” Del-Kyuus called. Salsh-Era waved as the two boys ran out the door, slamming it behind them. After that, he sighed.
“Del-Kyuus, tell me I’m not the only one who worries about San-Kyung a lot.”
“You’re not alone, of course! I’m worried about him all the time too. For so many reasons. I wish he would try and make more friends than just Dosa-Mina, for instance. But I guess we should count ourselves lucky that he made a friend in the first place!”
“Yeah…still, that’s not what I meant.”
“I know, I know. I worry about how atypical he can act for a teenager as well. I mean, his attitude’s fine and all, but teenagers usually care more about their relationships with other people…I guess that one sort of crosses over with me wanting him to make more friends.”
“No, not that. I meant–”
“How violent he can be? The fact that his goal in life is just making the world dystopia?”
Salsh-Era nodded. “I mean, I came to terms with him being evil a long time ago. He’s pretty much been that way since he was a little boy. In fact, if anything, he was worse when he was younger, and I’m grateful to Dosa-Mina for mellowing him out some. Still….it does concern me. It’s called evil for a reason. And I wish he had something else he wanted to do with his life. He’s a very talented boy. He could do anything he wanted if he tried.”
“But he doesn’t want positive attention. He wants it negative.”
“Exactly! When people think about evil people, they think they come from evil families, or neutral families who just don’t care about their kid’s morality. But some evil people come from normal people like you and me, and not everyone’s going to like it…the thing is, I’d love to discourage him, but he has enough hatred in his heart already. I don’t want him to hate me too…”
“I understand. And maybe it’s selfish of me, but I wish he was neutral at least, or with something else he wanted to do. I always hope that maybe it’s a really long phase and that when he grows up, he’ll calm down a bit. I love San-Kyung. I want him to do what would make him happy, but….I also don’t want to hear the story of how he got murdered because he attacked people, or how he died in some horrible way….but it’s so hard! I can never find the right way to breach the subject with him! I worry that if I do that, like you said, he might grow to hate me. Maybe he’ll cut me out of his life or something, or call me a traitor. And I feel like I did something wrong when I raised him. But in my heart, I know I’m good. I thought I had tried to raise him like that, and yet here we are!”
“Yeah. It’s like, what do we do? I just want him to have a back-up plan just in case. And I doubt I’ll be able to be a granddad like I wanted….but honestly, that’s the least of my concerns. I’d take San-Kyung being the last Molshei from my part of the family over him having one goal in life…”
“The two things I want most is for him to be happy and safe. You know, thinking back on it, the day he was born neither of us had any idea how he would end up. We wondered how he’d feel about being Aesthetically Normal, or what sorts of things he’d like. But I guess when you have a certain place on the morality scale, you just assume your child will share it with you….”
“….this conversation is going in circles. I just wish there was something we could do for him….”
“Maybe there is? The Dslellullars might be able to provide some insight. He does go by Dosa-Mina’s house a lot after all. He may be out with their son but Orlin-Aesth and Elai-Riya might be home by now. I know they have sort of erratic schedules, but…maybe we could ask their take on this.”
“I feel like a bad parent relying on someone else’s parents to give us advice…and it’s not like they’ve been parents for much longer either. In fact, we have a month and so’s time over them….but you have a point, Kyuusie. We can ask their take on it.”
“Then I hope they’re home!”
Salsh-Era and Del-Kyuus wandered around the house aimlessly for an hour waiting for the Dslellullars to arrive. Occasionally they would say something to each other, but for the most part their time was spent pacing and busying themselves.
At a knock on the door, Salsh-Era levitated over and opened it.
“Hello!” Elai-Riya said.
“You look awfully energetic today!” Orlin-Aesth said.
“Trust me, I don’t feel energetic in the slightest…come in, you two. If it’s alright, Del-Kyuus said she’d like to have the discussion first and try to hold off on dinner until our sons get back.”
“That’s alright. I can wait. Even if I’m painfully hungry.”
“Boy, I sure hope Dosa-Mina doesn’t take too long….” Orlin-Aesth grumbled as he walked over to the table. Del-Kyuus was sitting in a chair, her head bowed, and she looked up when Orlin-Aesth pulled back his chair.
“Hello, Dslellullars,” she said. “I’m sorry to call you out for something so random, but it’s been on both my and Salsh-Era’s minds nearly all day. We’re just worried about how San-Kyung acts.”
“That’s a bit strange, to me. Whenever San-Kyung comes over he’s always so polite….although he had a little bit of a lapse of that on Dosa-Mina’s birthday when somebody–” She glared at Orlin-Aesth. “decided to make an unnecessary comment.”
“Hey, you’ve said similar things before too! What, because you don’t say it in front of him it’s okay!?”
“That’s strange to me too. San-Kyung is polite around you?”
“Yes! He almost seems like a model boy, wearing fancy clothes and being so polite. Even if his hair is a little messy. He makes his friendship with Dosa-Mina look like the serious one and the silly one.”
“I wish I could see some of that!” Salsh-Era chuckled. “Still, has he ever talked about more personal things in front of you two? Like what he wants to do in life or things he likes and such?”
“Not really. He mostly talks about Dosa-Mina. I’d say the most personal he ever got in that field was admitting that he finds him embarrassing sometimes.”
“Well, Dosa-Mina is pretty amorous…” Orlin-Aesth admitted.
“We’ve noticed. Even so, we think Dosa-Mina is good for San-Kyung. We’re worried about him now, but without him I think we’d be even more worried.”
“Dosa-Mina’s a good boy. Even if he doesn’t take many things seriously. Still, we get worried about him too sometimes. He has nightmares a lot.”
“Does he?” Del-Kyuus asked.
“Yes. Some nights he starts screaming and then wakes up. He’s always freaked out and more than just normally…he seems terrified. But he always acts like it’s nothing and refuses to tell us about it. We don’t know what’s wrong…maybe this is out of place, but a few times he’s even called for San-Kyung. That’s not to say that your son caused the nightmares, of course!”
“I wonder….” Salsh-Era sighed. “I mean, do we really know what they’re doing when they go out together? I mean, they could be window shopping, or just taking walks, or going to see things…or maybe, just maybe, San-Kyung is wreaking havoc somewhere. And I want to trust that he wouldn’t do something that he knows would hurt Dosa-Mina. He’s told us before that he’s very important to him. Still, neither me nor Kyuusie….”
Orlin-Aesth and Elai-Riya stared at him with quizzical looks. Salsh-Era was sure that if he was Aesthetically Normal, his face would be bright red. “I mean, Del-Kyuus….understand the height of his ambition. We don’t know what lengths he’s willing to go to. In fact, when it comes to him being evil, we don’t know much at all. He talks with us about it, yes, but not in a detailed way. And he could always lie about how he feels….”
“Well, I don’t know what to say, Salsh-Era,” Elai-Riya said. “I wish I could give you two advice on talking to him, but we have similar problems with Dosa-Mina as I said earlier. He’s open about what he wants to be open about. But he never talks about his nightmares and there are a few things that, when we ask about them, he dodges the subject. Such as him being in his true form…it may be selfish of us, but we’ve always wanted to see him embrace his true species more. He’s always walking around masquerading as a Normal, and while I could sort of understand when he was little, I have no idea why he still does it. I might think it had just stuck but the way he avoids it tells me it might be something else…”
“I wish I could give you advice too, hearing this. I guess our sons have some pretty big similarities. Although that could explain how they became friends….I wonder if they ever talk about these sorts of things with each other.”
“If that’s the case I’d almost be tempted to bug Dosa-Mina….but I could never do that. It would be such a violation of his privacy…” Orlin-Aesth sighed.
“You know what, Salsh-Era, Del-Kyuus? Having this conversation has made me think that maybe we need to be more proactive in asking him about it, and you two need to be too. They are our only sons, and at least in our case, he’ll probably be our only. I don’t really like the idea of having a baby close to sixteen years after my first one…”
“I agree,” Orlin-Aesth said.
“That’s probably the same in our case too. We’re okay with just San-Kyung, but we’d also be worried about how he’d think of a younger brother or sister…to this day I wonder if he still would have loved us the same if we were adoptive parents who he didn’t remember in his earliest memories. But I agree, Elai-Riya. Maybe that’s what we should do. Try to find out more about our sons. They’re going through some of the most developmental years in their lives. That was good advice. Thank you.”
“Really, she just suggested doing what we should have been doing…” Orlin-Aesth chuckled. “But I say it’s worth a shot. Let’s all spend as much time as we can with our sons and learn as much as we can about them. After all, parents should know about their kids!”
“Yup!” Del-Kyuus said with a smile. “Oh, it’s getting late and the boys still aren’t back. Maybe I should make dinner anyway….”
“I think so!”
The door opened. “I’m home,” San-Kyung called. Dosa-Mina walked in behind him. “Dosa-Mina’s parents were out, so–” He stared at the table.
“Mom? Dad? What are you doing here?” Dosa-Mina asked.
“Oh, we came here to talk to the Molsheis! You two are just in time. Del-Kyuus said she was about to make dinner.”
“That’s good,” San-Kyung said.
“I’m not sure I have much of an appetite….” Dosa-Mina said.
“You’ll find your appetite, Dosa-Mina. You always do! Come and sit with me! We can talk to pass the time!”
“Okay! Come on, San-Kyung!” He grabbed his hand and ran for the table. All four of the parents gave each other a secret smile as the two boys sat down.
“Dosa-Mina? Are you sure you don’t know why your parents are here?”
“Nope. Not at all.”
“I wonder….because I’ve got a few ideas and I don’t like any of them.”
“What are they?”
“Kyuusie! Can we get some leftovers to give the Dslellullars?”
“DON’T CALL MOM KYUUSIE!” San-Kyung yelled. Dosa-Mina laughed.
“Don’t laugh! That nickname he gives her is horrible!”
“You can be so petty sometimes, San-Kyung.”