August 17, 2003

(Author's Note: I've always enjoyed the angst-troubled moments in the Game, and I wanted to pick a moment and delve into the feelings of Claude when he was in Mars village. I give my thanks to Aile Anna for her undying patience in reading through my fics and finding the errors where I fail. Thank you.)

No need for me

By Yashira

"Claude may not need Dias, but I do."

***

The words cut at me like a knife, slamming quickly into my raw bleeding heart as if to sever the ties which hold it there, snuggled deep –once safely- within my body. How can she say a thing so easily as that?! Spoken in anger and yet tinted with candid anguish as if she's the only one who has ever known sadness, I find the whole thing so overwhelmingly unfair. What about me, Rena? Where do I fit in in all of this?

I feel a sickening sense of grief at those thoughts as if finding that I should not allow myself to think like this at all. Even now in my shattered, anxious mind, I can hear my father's stern, unyielding voice telling me to be strong and to act responsibly… and to put my petty, bruised feelings to the side. It may hurt me to the bone, tearing at deep buried feelings that should be best left alone, but I should let her do what she wants because she and Dias have known each other longer than she knows me. They grew up together and share a familiarity that I, as an outsider, could not – am not able to – partake.

But I can't! I can't stop my thoughts from wallowing back to despair and loneliness as Rena leaves me to go to him! Is it a weakness in myself that I cannot let go? This is an Undeveloped Planet and I should not interfere anymore than I have to, but my unruly, rebellious thoughts refuse to listen. All I can feel is the unholy heartache that crushes at my self-relying will, forcing me to lash out at people and things with words like, "We don't need him. He can go alone." The very words that had pushed her away, sent her chasing after an old friend instead of staying where she belongs… with me.

What am I that she can so easily overlook the fact that I need her too? What was I? Am I some sort of balancing support to her in times of her trouble, but then conveniently forgotten when someone better comes along? Someone like Dias?

Why are my feelings, so jumbled and confused like the rattle of a tossed tin can, thrown visibly in front of her walking feet? Can't she see them? Can't she feel herself kicking at that can and stomping all over my emotions in ways that won't ever heal? Sure, I can give you a face full of smiles if I have to, but then again, I've had a lot of practice covering up the emotional scars of my previous injuries. You CAN'T see them because I can't and won't let you see them! It's so very hard to let someone come close to me, but when I do that has to say something about them. I should have known though, because it's as if I court this pain. I let people come close and then WHAM! They inflict a new dizzying wound that's 10 times deeper than the one I had before. Sometimes, I can be so utterly stupid.

I'm not as strong as she thinks I am - I'm not - but I do what I can. I try my best because I don't feel right if I don't give it my all – worthless as it is – but that's all I know. If I show you the other half of me, you would NOT ever want to come near me. My feelings, kept in check and hidden within the bowels of my being, are safely out of sight. No one gets hurt and I can live each day, by pushing that pain away and pretending it doesn't exist. Although there are moments like this, sickening, numb moments that prevent me from holding down the hurt as much as I should – as much as I KNOW I should. I inflict pain sometimes as easily as I take it because I'm shoving people away before they can leave me. If they're going to go, they're going to go and there's nothing I can do about it. I will NOT fight to keep someone who wants to leave me, but I will also tell you that I would be a fool if it still didn't hurt like hell.

And my feelings, twisted out and bleeding on the ground in front of her, are gathered up slowly. I pull them back, one by one in order to wedge them into the hellish pit I call the deepest recesses of my soul. I can't leave them out where anyone else can see them, for even though she self-imposes a blindness to my pain, others do not. This pain is NOT for them to see! They did not cause it - only her actions did- so that while I am hurting and in need of a kindness which is denied, I'll not let anyone near me. I have to deal with this alone. That is my fate. In my own world I was an island in a sea of people who knew me, but who did not understand me. Now, I'm stranded on this foreign world, in a sea of pain, with people who don't know me nor understand me. I don't know which is worse except one truth becomes clear: All I have is myself - that's all I've ever had.

The remainders of my feelings come whistling back and I'm left with the self questioning doubt, the feelings of troubled dismay as I pull my face into that mask of aloof calmness and reserve, as if I'm used to hearing these words from Rena on a daily balance. I'm good. In seconds, no one knows how much it still hurts when she chose him over me. It's like having the carpet pulled from under your feet and suddenly you find that not only is the carpet gone, but the solid stone floor underneath as well… and, yet you haven't fallen or will fall. It is a jarring thing to find the familiar path gone and removed and to be replaced with uncertainty, but there's nothing I can do about it when my world is taken from me. There's nothing I can ever do except be myself. Is that enough?

****

"Is there no need for me?"