|I Am Not Alone
Author: OveractiveImagination39 PM
Orihime Inoue hides behind a mask, concealing her true feelings about life after Hueco Mundo, and the emptiness in her heart at the loss of Ulquiorra. But in the dark of night she can no longer deny the pain or how she really feels about the Espada.Rated: Fiction K - English - Angst/Tragedy - Orihime I. & Ulquiorra - Words: 1,049 - Reviews: 7 - Favs: 14 - Follows: 3 - Published: 12-09-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7622029
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
All links to the music, video, and character analysis that inspired this one-shot can be found in my profile.
I do not own Bleach or any of its characters
I Am Not Alone
The days are the easy part. I put on the mask that I have learned to wear for the past year and a half. I act as if everything is okay when in reality I am dying on the inside. It is a trick I learned as a child. If you pretend everything is just fine, then all the pain goes away - at least for awhile. And no one is the wiser.
No one questions my unfaltering smile. No one wonders how I could put what happened on the dome behind me so easily. They seemed almost relieved that they don't have to deal with the emotions that exist below the surface, and I am glad to be able to spare them that uneasiness.
It is the least I can do for them. After all they risked their lives to save me. They could have left me behind, but they came for me. To let them see my sorrow would make their efforts seem in vain.
So I behave as if nothing has changed. I continue to act as if my heart belongs to Kurosaki. My actions are even bolder, more ridiculous than before, and yet he seems as oblivious as before Hueco Mundo. In fact it is growing increasingly harder to get him to notice me. His words are still kind, but he has grown distant. Yet I try not to let it affect me.
In fact I have become so good at this game that at times I honestly believe myself to still be in love with him. In the beginning it was all I had, this love for Kurosaki. It made what happened above the dome of Las Noches easier to bear. It made my doubts; my questions seem less the betrayal that I began to believe them to be.
And if I continue to cling to these feelings then there will be no room for anyone else to creep into that empty space that now exists within my heart. A false love is more preferable to no love – lost love.
But now, in the darkest part of the night, my mask shatters and I cannot hide from the truth. I lay in my bed feeling the emptiness consume me. The tears flow from my eyes, soaking my hair and the pillow beneath.
It is a silent sorrow. I dare not voice the pain for fear that once I do it will become so real that I will no longer be able to pretend that my life is perfect; that I am as happy as before.
So I lay there, the grief consuming me, and I allow myself to go back to that place, to that moment, when my world was torn apart. I see his hand reaching out for me, and mine returning the gesture in kind.
He had always made the point that he needed no one, yet in the end he sought my touch, and in that act he ripped apart the fabric of beliefs that I had clung to desperately for so long. He made me doubt my love for Kurosaki. He made me question where my heart truly did lie. In that moment I realized that I needed him to live. I needed him to push me and shape me the way no one else had been able to do before.
But then he was gone.
And I was left alone, with the doubts that he had sparked in my heart. The questions he created waiting for an answer. Only now it is I that am left to find those answers. I am the one learning to deal with my doubts, and failing miserably in the process.
"I hate you," I choke out softly into the empty night. "How could you do that to me?"
The tears come faster now and I cannot speak any more. I just let them flow, bathing myself in the pain, letting it wash through me in waves.
When I can speak again I mumble almost inaudibly, "You left me alone."
I see his green eyes look back at me in the dark. They rarely reflected emotion, but now I see the understanding that he gained in that final moment.
I should be happy for him. He gained a heart above that Dome in Las Noches, while I lost mine.
This time it is impossible to remain silent, and I gasp out loud as the pain pours from my wounded heart flooding the room with the agony that exists in my soul; the same agony that I hide behind that mask during the day.
If my friends could only glimpse this tortured existence they would never understand. They would question how I could feel such things for him, knowing what he was, and what he had done.
I wonder sometimes myself, but in the dark silence of my bedroom, where no one can see me, I understand.
He changed me.
He made me see things that I refused to see before.
He gave me strength and because of him I was able to believe in myself and my abilities.
But now he is gone, and I can't be sure if he even exists anymore.
Yet in my heart he continues to live on.
Stomping around in the hollow places within my soul.
Calling out to me.
Reminding me to never forget.
Driving me forward.
But I am not ready for that yet. In the morning I will pull out my mask once more. I will pretend for the benefit of my friends that everything is fine.
But now, in this moment I know differently.
"I love you, Ulquiorra," I whisper as I turn onto my side, curling my body into a tight ball, and try to disappear.
I cannot hide from that truth. As angry as I am at him for leaving me, I cannot deny it.
The heart binds us together. And in the end it was a man who lived for so long alone, and without a heart, that caused me to doubt my own.