Does Love Last Forever?

by Killiko Jun
killiko_jun@yahoo.com

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Sitting here, I've grown attached to the view outside our house, as quaint as it is. You used
to tell me you loved the wilderness, yet you cherished the fruits of human civilisation as
well. Remember when we used to have conversations about... everything and nothing?
You'd always start off by saying "I think that's pathetic" or "Why would you want to
think about something as trivial as that?" or some other seriously-toned inquiry. I'd
always tell you my perspective of things, the lighter side of laughter and gaiety and
question, "Well, what makes you think the way you think?"

And you'd just gaze at me with that stunningly handsome gaze. Then, your face will
break with one of those rare smiles that I still cherish, even today. We'd both laugh
and continue about our days, relishing in each other company, each other's prescence.

I wrap a wisp of pure white hair behind the crook of my ear and my eyes begin to
tear again. You always said that my eyes were beautiful, like an endless sea of
spring grass green, but then you'd flatter me even more by saying that my soul
was what you loved the most.

The endless dedication and love that would burn in your eyes always made me choke back a
sob. My vision blurred, and for one blissful moment, I felt you near me, an amber-eyed
angel wrapping his great wings around me, embracing my thin, frail form.

My sad eyes glance down at my chiseled, once dainty, fingers and I sigh. I rub the
gold and diamond band that encircled my ring finger and close my eyes, rocking abck
and forth in my chair.

Oh, how has it been lonely ever since you have left me. My magic had improved since
our card capturing days, and even after that, we had to battle more evil and magical phenomena.
I had learnt a faint sixth-sense where I could feel and sometimes communicate with
souls and spirits passing by. My brother Touya had a far more stronger ability, but
he never consciously used it until his old age.

"Touya?" I spoke to the sky, "are you still watching me like Syaoran and Daddy and
Tomoyo? Are you still complaining about me being a squirt?"

I chuckle. Ha, the wind won't answer my question. I must really be getting old.

"Who am I fooling? I'm 86 years old and doing nothing but watch the skies,"
a farmiliar lonely feeling gnaws at my stomach, "when will I pass on and finally
get my peace?"

Slowly, I got out of my chair after a few moments of silence. I reach for a book,
a weathering, dusty thing, and smile as a tingle of magic tickled my fingertips.
My magic hadn't been dimming one bit. I tenderly stroked the Clow cards that
nestled themselves within the book. Those adventures in the past were both
thrilling and dangerous, but it brought out truths out of people and...

"Made me realize what my destiny truly was," I mutter to myself.

This room was filled with memories of my life, our life. It still has the smell of
your body, the scent of your clothes. It held our loving feelings and painful
doubts. It was, in essence, our souls combined as one.

A tree branch gently tapped the window of our balcony, its wide, green leaves
like the wings of many birds. Sunlight streamed in, casting its warmth on my
dry skin and filling me with an indescribable happiness. I swell and revel
in the light and sat myself on my chair again, remembering the way you'd
kiss me and whisper passionate nothings.

Do you know how lonely it is to be the last of everyone I know to pass on? Our
daughters and sons have left and started their own families with unhidden
happiness. They write to me now and then, and visit during holidays, but
what of the other days of the year? I have but our memories and belongings
as company and my sixth sense cannot reach the dead.

Daddy was the first to pass, dying soundly and quietly in his sleep just
when our third child was born. He had lived to be a grandfather, which was
so much a joy for him because I "looked as happy as Nadeshiko was"
when she had me. I still remembered when you held me in your arms
and wept with me too, unashamedly.

Then, Tomoyo. Oh, how was this to be? She was to live as old as I, but no,
Fate decided otherwise. It should have been me that died from the
truck that sprawled her across the pavement like a twisted, porcelain
doll. She had insisted in the hospital room that she just wanted to see
your favourite Cardcaptor safe and it was best friends should do. She
gasped as her heart clenched and died with a smile on her pale face.

What best friends should do? What gave her the right to throw away her
life when she had just as much potential as mine? Why did she have to be...
so selfless and caring about me? What did she ever see in me?

Soon after, Touya followed, albeit much later. He passed away as similarly
as daddy did, but the teasing, lively glint in his eye stayed to the very
end. He held my hand between his calloused and tired ones and spoke
so softly, I had to kneel close to hear his words. He said that I was always
to be his little monster, his little sister and that he'd always be watching
me from above. His spirit even had enoush energy to have one short glaring
contest with you before giving you one of the most understanding and trustful
smiles.

Gingerly, I wipe the tip of my nose as a single trail of tears drop from my
eye, curving the side of my cheek and falling onto the Clow book. Your
death was the hardest one to handle, you know? To live day by day not even
knowing how you died or from what. Not being able to be by your side
and sharing a few more precious happy moments.

If only your family did not hate me so much. I never did anything to
demote them, to patronize them, yet they treat me as a rat in their house,
a rag meant to throw away. They never told me of what came to you until
years later. Two goddamn years it took for them to inform me that you were dead!

The anger in me builds up, feelings I had tried to stow away. I never wanted
to hate anyone, because I always believed that everyone had a bit of good
in them... but your family, no, your clan...

My hands reach out to the dusty green curtains draped around the window.
This was no time for resentment. I forgave them, or at least tried to, a long
time ago. All that is left is my lonliness and longing for you.

Our clock chimes three o'clock and I smile. Now was the time for our daily
walks. You do still love those moments don't you? Amongst the
threshold of the lively forest and towards the crystal blue lake? I'd cook
your favourite dim sum and we'd feed each other grapes and other delightful
fruits...

You never seemed to notice, but you were an amazing romantic. Of course,
every time I told you so, you'd blush horribly red and remind me that you weren't
any different from our childhood.

I step into the hallway and down the stairs, its creaking sounding hollow in
our house. I made sure that a kettle of tea was warm on the stove and
slipped into my sandals. Worn as they are, they fit perfectly under
my feet.

I breathe in the air and greet the sparrows and chikadees who greet me back.
I laugh and wave to them cheerily. My gaze lingers towards the distance
and I always seemed amazed at the beauty of nature. She never appears
to surprise you though, you call her one of your close friends.

It took an hour or so to make it to the lake. I was too immersed in my conversation
with you, or myself as our daughter would say. She never understood why
I would sometimes babble into the air, and even when I explained, she didn't
believe it. I knew that she didn't want to hurt my feelings, so she joined
in our little chats sometimes. Sigh, she was such an impish creature.

My feet stop, having arrived at our destination. What a glory it is to take in.
Even as the world changes around us, this lake, our feelings remain the
same. Finding a dry place to sit in the sun, I fall back and nestle myself
in the field of wildflowers.

People question whether or not love lasts forever. Many say that it is romantic
rubbish, a stupidly hopeful illusion. I say to those cynicals that love does
last forever, maybe even beyond. There is no limit when it comes to love.
Love is endless, for without its warm and assuring embrace, how will we
fare?

I halt in my musings... Does love last forever? When I die, will you be there
to walk me to Heaven's gates? Will you still be the same man I loved?

Will I finally be at peace?

I close my eyes, my body sagging with fatigue and depression. Things
were all too complicated and I'm not sure if I can go on with my life. I'm an
old woman now, I've done all that my life could accomplish. We both
have raised a family, watched them grow and endured many hardships together.
We witnessed the changes within our world, both the successes and defeats.

You died alone and left me in an empty house.

Something in my heart clenches painfully, making me writhe in the wildflowers.
Tears spill out of my eyes as I stare at the endless cerulean skies. The pain
whips like fire and chokes the air out of my lungs.

A cool blanket covers me as the pain stops and I swear that the clouds part,
making way for the sunlight baring down.

And there you are, your face lit with a smile and surrounded with a halo of light.
You look just like the time I first met you, young and proud. Your hand
reaches for mine and I realize that I was young once more. A pair of wings
encircle me and we share a loving embrace. As our lips part, I smile...

"Does love last forever?"

You chuckle and gaze with unbridled love, "Yes, it does..."

~FIN~

Hi! This is my second short CCS fanfic and it took more out of me than
I intended. I'm only so-so satisfied with it, what do you think?

Well, this sprouted from a remark one of my friends made, and one
I've thought about alot myself. Does love last forever or is it simply
a romantic device employed ever since Shakespeare wrote "Romeo
and Juliet"?

I sort of vented my feelings out on it, and it turned out bittersweet I suppose.
Like I said, I'm only so-so satisfied with it, mainly because it wasn't as
introspective as I wished and the ending is really REALLY stupid.
Originally, I wanted Syaoran to return to Sakura since she never
really did figure out what happened to him. He was to walk to their
house in his traditional Li clan robes and Sakura would think of
him as a ghost and yadda yadda yadda...

So, whaddya think of it? I've only watched the english series and
I don't think it sucks that much. I've seen better, true, but you've got
to see both sides of the story.

Bah, if you want to debate over this, comment, suggest or say something
about my fanfic, feel free to e-mail me at killiko_jun@yahoo.com

I've got some ideas on crossovers, so stay tuned! ^_^