Disclaimer: Not mine. The end. The excerpted text is from The Daodejing by Lao Tzu translated by Brian Browne Walker.

Comments are always welcome.

The Tao According to Yugi

By Nicole Silverwolf

"Tao is beyond words
and beyond understanding
words may be used to speak of it,
But they cannot contain it."
-Daodejing by Lao Tzu

It is late and rain is splashing against the glass of the skylight over the desk. But other than that soft patter, it is quiet and still. The wall is hard, and the bed underneath long ago went warm with body heat that might have, at one point, been mine. I did not think that spirits could generate warmth. But then again, up until recently I did not think I could touch and manipulate the "real" world either. And we are still exploring the limits of that boundary.

Because though I can interact with Yugi and some of his favorite objects (like the cards in his deck and tattered much loved books) I cannot open the physical door to his bedroom.

If the puzzle is responsible for theses boundaries, I am perhaps most grateful that it allows me Yugi.

He crawled into my lap hours earlier, homework done and comfortable pajamas just put on. Yugi rarely does it; most nights he is up late, reading a book or strategizing with cards or puzzles. But there are some nights, like this one, where he just wants to sit with me, most often in this loose embrace. Sometimes he is simply tired, and others a bit melancholy and still others when he is upset about something.

I do not often push him to talk about it. Sometimes...

Sometimes everyone does not want to talk about things. I never stop him when he does wish to, but I rarely push unless it seems like something serious.

Usually a conversation concerns his friends, everything from Anzu's dancing to Jounouchi's battles against self-doubt, to Ryou and his other half. His concern for them is the stuff of great legends and it is no wonder that others call him one of the most self-less people they know.

But there are times when he opens up a little more.

He fears for his grandfather. The man is such an essential and vital part of his life that the signs of frailty and age that sometimes appear frighten him. It has brought to him a reality that is harsh and difficult for any person to face, let alone one who is only fifteen.

Once and only once did he mention that he did not remember his father. That was all he ever said on the matter, and never brought it up again.

And the one time conversation drifted to what might happen when I regain my memory, he ended up near tears and spent the rest of the night arms clutched around my stomach.

I do not know what it was tonight, and that does not really bother me. I know he would tell me if he needed to.

Holding a human body is different from any type of warmth in this world. Yugi is only slightly shorter than I am, no more than a head or so. But his body is smaller and as he fell asleep he curled into an even smaller and more settled position as each of his muscles slackened without the tension of wakefulness.

We fit together, though I am unsure as to whether it is by accident or by design.

Perhaps a little of both.

His head is resting on my shoulder, arms haphazardly draped over his stomach and side. A warmth only slightly similar to banked coals rolls down my arm that supports his back and is wrapped under one arm and across his chest. It flows through my legs, and barely touches my other arm, free to gently more the hair that has been causing his nose to twitch for the last two minutes.

I have never wanted to have a family, and I cannot remember whether I had children in my ancient long lost past. If Yugi is my descendant like one of our theories suggests, I suppose I must have. But I do not remember or know it so it is like it does not exist to me. Times like this though, when Yugi trusts me so completely, the night is still and I can feel his chest move as he breathes and the blood moving under his skin; I wish for a child.

Do I consider myself something of a parent to Yugi? Maybe, but our relationship is much more complicated and faceted than the role of parent or friend or aibou can define.

Yugi shifts a little, turning inward towards me, never wakening and I have to smile. There are not many words to describe what he is to me and I do not truly know what those words could ever be. If I have to leave someday, and it seems like a real possibility at times, this will be the thing I miss the most. Though Yugi thinks that he has taken so much from me, I have defined myself through him and all that makes him truly remarkable. If I am taken from him, will I cease to have definition?

Cease to exist?

It is a fear I keep to locked inside my mind, very far away from Yugi. It is something I need to keep to myself; perhaps in the way that Yugi needs to not always tell me what's wrong.

A book I had been reading lays open on the bed, forgotten when Yugi came to sit with me. The words inside, a portion of a Daoist text called the Daodejing by someone named Lao Tzu, has given me the closest sense of what Yugi means to me.

"When people find one thing beautiful,
another consequently becomes ugly.
When one man is held up as good,
another is judged deficient.

Similarly, being and non being balance each other;
difficult and easy define each other;
long and short illustrate each other;
high and low rest upon one another;
voice and song meld into harmony;
what is to come follows upon what has been.

The wise person acts without effort
and teaches by quiet example.
He accepts things as they come,
creates without possessing,
nourishes without demanding,
accomplishes without taking credit.

Because he constantly forgets himself,
he is never forgotten."

I think that Yugi fears I would forget him when I go.

I curl him a little closer and slide my fingers into one of his hands.

I won't forget aibou.

I won't.


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