Journal of anime ramblings, fiction works and reflections
“Who’s gonna take care of you when I’m gone?” she asked softly.
Her hand pressed to his pale cheek, the flesh becoming flushed and warm from her blood, which coursed through him. He looked at her, his face shadowed by a moment’s confusion that retreated behind the realization that hardened his soft gaze.
“What do you mean?” he asked; rhetorical though it was, his voice was gruff – demanding an answer.
Her smile faltered, her fingers curled into her palm slowly then away from his face. She licked her lips and glanced away, hesitating before she looked back at him. “When I get old,” she said softly.
“But you won’t.” He leaned up on his elbow and stroked her cheek, the gentility returning to his voice and touch.
“No, I’ll change you. We’ll be immortal together.” He watched her face twist in confusion then reluctance to his answer.
“You don’t want that?” He moved his hand away from her.
“No.” She didn’t want to be immortal; trapped by laws that defied the flow of nature. She didn’t want to be cursed to watch her sister grow older, have a family and not be there to support her the way she wanted. Because she wanted that too – wanted to be apart of that mortal tradition.
“I want to get older. I want to have a family. I don’t want to live my life in the shadows.”
“But we won’t. We can travel the world together-”
“At night!” she interjected.
“And we can go anywhere. The world is ours,” he pressed on, his voice strong with emotion.
“To what end?”
His shoulders sagged from the exasperation of trying to persuade her. He couldn’t mistake the defiant light of her eyes, nor how her stubbornness caused her heart to throb faster.
“To be with me.”
Then her defiance lost its substance after his reply and she sighed, looking away from him. “Damn you,” she said softly, the words punctuated by her wry and airy laugh.
He saw the pain then, that made her lips quiver as the corners turned down in a deep frown – that dulled the vivacity of her blue-green eyes.
He got out of the bed, reached for his jeans and roughly pulled it up to his hips. He didn’t look at her as he dressed, though he felt the weight of her gaze that pressured him into sparing her a glance but he couldn’t.
“Where are you going?”
He said nothing as he buttoned his shirt then put his boots on. The pain he’d felt from those many years before he’d met her came back; crawling through the seams and cracks of the happiness she had given him. He felt again the onslaught of the perpetual loneliness that had haunted him before her.
He started towards the balcony but was stopped by her hands; wrapped tight around his waist. Her naked body was pressed to his and trembled from her silent crying.
“Don’t leave me, please. Not yet. I don’t want you to go.”
“To what end?” he answered, malice edging his voice, “you can’t grow old with me. I can’t stay. Let go of me.” His rough tone hurt her and she called his name but he rejected her, pushing away from her; causing her to stumble backwards.
She was only mortal but when he looked at her, she felt the barriers she’d so effortlessly removed before, come back. His gaze held a contained hostility and detachment. He was removed from her now. No longer her lover, but a stranger.
“Dante don’t do this. Please.”
His jaw ticked then, giving away the slight tremor of emotion that coursed through him. He turned away from her and was gone. Tears filmed her eyes and all energy left her as she sank to the floor and cried.
But he had never left her. He’d watched over her. Had watched her graduate college and meet the guy she later married. He watched her grow her children and become a widow. He watched her grow old and grew with her; never leaving her side though he watched from the shadows.
He came to her one night, as she rested, her breathing shallow. Her caregiver had already left the room. As he came closer, her closed lids fluttered and he soundlessly moved back into the thick shadows. Her eyes were clouded, the shimmering blue-green obscured by her blindness. But he watched her eyes move, as though she could see.
“You’re there aren’t you?” she said softly. “Dante?”
He clenched his jaw, pained to hear the weakness that old age brought to her voice.
He swallowed and came forward, taking the seat beside her bed. He reached for her wrinkled hand and tenderly held it, though he feared it would break.
“How are you?” she asked, turning her gaze in his direction.
Her lips trembled as the corners lifted into a smile. “I’m glad I get to see you again.” She lifted her frail hand to his face and he helped her, pressing it softly to his cheek.
“But you can’t,” he replied, his voice rough with emotion.
“I most certainly can. And you’re handsome. Devilishly handsome, as always.”
“Mari…” But he couldn’t say anymore as he lost control of his emotions and bent his head, crying.
“Dante?” She sat up and, gripping his shoulders that jerked violently with each sob, pulled him against her shoulder. But he didn’t hold her, not wanting to crush her with his strength.
“I’m sorry I left. I’m sorry.” He hated himself for shattering like this in her arms, for forgetting his pride and suffering her to his brokenness. He despised himself for leaving her. He should have stayed right there, by her side and never left. He wanted to go back and change what he’d said to her that night.
“Don’t cry Dante, please. You never left me. You were always there. I always felt you there. But you weren’t ready to face me yet. But you have now. You have and I’m glad.”
His despair evanesced as he pulled back to look into her weathered face. An ethereal beauty was still there; the youngness of her spirit still thrived beneath the wrinkles and sagging flesh. She was beautiful and he loved her.
“You’re happy?” he asked, his eyes searching her smiling face for consolation.
“Yes. You’ve come back to me. That’s all that matters.”
He brought her hand to his lips and kissed it. “Let me stay tonight. With you.”
She nodded and smiled, holding his hand as she lay back against the pillows. He stayed with her, watching her, watching him. Her eyelids, struggling against the weight of sleep, finally closed as she gave up to rest.
And he stayed with her until she took her last breath.
A/N: Well, this is one of the first entries I’ve ever written that made me cry – but I guess it was just the instrumental that made this all the more depressing to me. Have a goodnight or morning, wherever you are.