This place, it had once been a happy one, or at least held happy memories. It had been a long time since she’d been there at all, having no reason to bring up the feelings now attached to the place in light of the disappearance. Staring at the water, she just stood there in the moonlight, simply feeling empty, and alone.He’d been everything. He had been the one person that she would have done anything for, been anything for.
“My place is beside you, Sae. Just tell me where, and when, and I’ll be there.”
Those had been the last words he’d ever said to her. And they’d gone home after talking the night he had said that, laid down and fell asleep, wrapped in one another’s arms as every other night before it for as long as she could remember, and the next morning, she had found him gone. He’d never returned. His words had been lies. What else could they have been?
And like the young girl who had once felt a sorrow so deep that she could no longer find the works to express it, she stopped talking that day. It wasn’t a conscious thing, but the silence would overcome her, mind, body and soul.
A rustling in the grass behind her, and then heavy footsteps caused her to stiffen, and she turned, slowly, knowing she was not alone, suddenly. Her eyes blinked in disbelief. Standing there, at the edge of that clearing, furthest away from the water where she stood, she beheld that familiar form in his blue armor, only now it was marred, bent and blood stained. Open mouthed, her eyes drank it all in. His face was even a little cut up, bruised and traces of blood could be seen on his cheeks, his hair messy. It was like seeing a ghost, but the broken, beaten down ghost of somebody that looked like themselves, but was not. He couldn’t be here. Why now, of all nights? When she had stayed far away from this place, the lake itself bringing back memories that were too difficult to now bear.
But she wasn’t the only one staring, mouth dropped open in shock and disbelief. He just stood there, staring, as if frozen and unable to move for the longest of times, the silence hanging heavy between them until he would visibly slump, his eyes casting down to his booted feet in the grass, he spoke then, mumbling only just loudly enough for her to hear.
“I’ll go if you want … can’t imagine you want to see me after…”his words trailed off, but the emotion in his voice had been thick. Shame, guilt, sadness, and still he did not look up her her.
She watched him carefully, and listened, but the fact that he wouldn’t or couldn’t even face her suddenly filled her with anger, washing away all of the relief she’d felt previously. NO, he wouldn’t go, she hadn’t wanted that in the first place, and she wouldn’t watch him leave her all over again without a word, without knowing why. Why he’d left her in the first place. Why he had abandoned her as he’d said he never would, and why he was back now, looking the way he did, a broken looking shell of his former self.
She glanced at the ground herself then, thinking that if he even dared walk away, she would … she’d throw something at him, or something. It wasn’t as if she could yell at him, was it? Would she instead run after him and try to cling to him, begging for an explanation with just a silent plea in her eyes. She didn’t even know. She moved forward a few steps and stared at him, a sad look in her eyes, and if he actually looked up at her, she would just shake her head, No. Don’t go. Not again. Not ever.
A nod of his head. That was all he could manage? He’d looked at her, but still hadn’t said another word, and her mouth opened to shout at him, or try to but nothing came out of her own mouth. Ugh. She stamped her foot on the ground out of frustration, a childish gesture maybe, but what else could she do? Closing the distance between them, Sae’lyn moved forwards and shoved him, before grabbing onto his front or trying to, and failing that she balled her small hands into fists, striking at his chest, not caring that they were striking hard, cold armor. She hit out at him over and over until her knuckles hurt and she began to feel exhausted, not physical exhaustion, but mental. She wasn’t sure what she felt now. Sadness, relief again … hope?
“How can you love a monster?” He finally whispered, having stood there taking every blow she’d thrown at him, his arms now wrapping around her small frame, and she cried, weeks, no, months worth of pent up grief coming out all at once, and she buried her face in his neck when she began to really sob hard. He was here. He was really here. His arms around her, his scent even intoxicatingly real and familiar as she clung to him, her face buried in the crook of his neck. The tears subsided eventually, and she looked up at him, raising a hand to his dirty, slightly wounded cheek, staring into his eyes, her brows furrowed. What had happened to him? She couldn’t say the words, but he could see it in her own eyes, surely. She loved him. She always had, and she always would.
“I know, “his voice still heavy with guilt, and sadness, “I know that you love me, Sae. I know that more than anything else. I just don’t understand how … I don’t even deserve to be called a person. I am no better than any other monster that plagues this world. Memories flood my mind and the first thing I do is run away from the only person I have in this world and start killing again. I don’t deserve you … and you deserve far better than something like me.”
He finally let her go, and the absence of his arms was missed, sorely. He looked down at her and smiled though, a small one, but it was still there. And then he winced, in pain, as he moved away from her slowly to move over to the grassy bank nearby, very carefully and slowly lowering himself to the ground, leaning back against it. He patted the ground next to him and looked up at her.
“Please … join me? I can’t stand up too much longer and I don’t want to be away from you.”
She gave him a small smile in return, although it was quickly replaced by one of concern. He was in pain, he looked exhausted and she did move to sit right beside him, taking care not to hurt him again, or lean against him heavily. He moved to wrap an arm around her, pulling her close and his eyes closed. How long since he’d slept last?
“I’ll tell you everything. Anything you want to know … when I wake up. You won’t like it, but … I’ll tell you. I love you, Sae. That will never change. I’m only afraid that some day you’ll see what I really am and you will both fear and hate me.”
She vowed not to sleep that night. She wouldn’t. She would sit with him, and watch him sleep, until he woke and she would hear everything, as he’d said. He’d always been very closed about his past, but evidently that was about to change. She could and would wait one more night, as long as her eyes never left him.
If you ever avert your eyes from the ones you love, if you don’t reach out to them and hold them while they are there, and tell them every single day how and why they mean what they do to you, they could simply just disappear. She’d learned that twice already. And she wouldn’t allow that to happen again. Maybe he was a monster, as he said, maybe there were terrible things that she had yet to learn, but she knew something else. Monsters were often not born, but made. She didn’t yet know what had made him, and why, but there was no second thought involved. She had seen a side of him that was different, what he could be, what he was capable of, and she refused to believe that he was simply the one thing he claimed to be now.
She would take care of him now, as she had done once before, and everything would be okay again, until it wasn’t. And when it wasn’t, she would take care of him all over again. She had promised him that, and nothing else mattered.