Title: Past, Present, Future
Author: Sorceress Fantasia
Warnings: Duo POV, slight angst
Disclaimer: I used to have the ownership papers for the whole GW, but the dog next door somehow grew a strange fetish for paper and gobbled it up. I'm currently trying to catch him so I can send him to the operating table and get the papers back, if they're not yet digested. So no, I don't own the GW gang now.
Note: I've noticed that the Trojan war is more of a legend than history, but just take it as a bit of artistic license? And personally, I pretty much like history, even though I haven't taken it as a subject in school for years since I prefer other humanities. So erm, I'm not trying to offend history buffs here.
Thanx to Lily Kalanoa for beta-ing!
Did I offend someone?
Because whoever registered me for history classes in this school has obviously got some serious grudge against me, not to mention a good idea for anger management. Either that, or he is seriously in need of a dictionary to understand what 'hate' actually means.
The guys all know I hate history, though they've no idea of the reason. It was during one of those 'bonding' sessions Quatre tried to get us into, when we talked about the little things that we liked and disliked that this little secret about me came out. It was meant to be an offhand, casual remark, but all of them suddenly looked at me wide-eyed and confused. I never did explain though, and they didn't ask either. It was just that; we mentioned things, but we don't talk about them.
So why would they register me for the damn subject?
...Must be Heero's doing. I swear he just loves to torture me. And maybe he's hoping that I'll get so frustrated at him I'll yell my answer at him. He's a curious puppy who's also irritating as hell; that's what he is.
He doesn't understand. He doesn't understand how I feel when I read history books and learn about things that happened ages ago, things that wrought a change big enough in our world, our society to rank it a place in the books. They say that we learn from our mistakes when we study history, so that we don't make the same mistakes again. They also say that it lets you understand your world better, of how things came to be the way you know it.
I beg to differ.
If it were that easy to learn from our mistakes, why do people still wage wars, even when they know the consequences? Understanding the world better? It doesn't fix my gundam, it doesn't put food on my table, it doesn't help me win my battles. So why do some people place so much importance on a subject that doesn't do anything for them?
Or maybe it helps them pass their time and rouse their interest? Maybe they learn it for that reason.
I wouldn't know, wouldn't understand, since I've never had the chance to learn things for the sake of passing time or that it stirs my interest. Other street kids would tell you the same thing. If something didn't give you food or money in return, it wasn't worth doing, no matter what.
People have told me that it's the simple things in life that makes us happy and satisfied. Maybe that's true. You don't necessarily need to have the biggest diamond ring on your finger to know that you're married to the one you love. You don't need to have the grandest mansion in the neighborhood to be sheltered from the elements and who knows what is lurking in the streets at night. For some people, happiness is knowing you're in love and being loved back, having a roof over your head and food on the table. After all, the happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything. They just make the best out of what they have.
So even as a street brat, I was happy. Contented, rather, because I had what I really needed: the small things in life. Like myself, for instance. The fact that I never sold myself, never sold my soul to the streets of L2 was one of the things I prided myself on. Other than that, food could be stolen and water drank from leaking pipes. There could have been more, but I was contented with what I had.
Sure, there were the big things in life that I completely missed out: parents, family, a house to go home to... But it was fine; I had substitutes for all those: Father Maxwell and Sister Helen, Solo and the rest of the kids, the Maxwell Church and later the numerous safe houses. While they weren't an exact fit for the big things like the textbook demands, it was enough for me.
I don't need things that big.
Because big... doesn't always mean good.
Only revolutionary big things are written into history books, no matter what event it is.
Like the big and never ending famines of Africa, the floods of China, the earthquakes, the fires... Like worldwide stock market crashes, financial crises. Like wars.
Like the one we have raging on right now, outside the rose-tinged windows of society on earth and the safe heaven of homes parents try to create for their children.
Every time I read a history book, my mind leads me down somewhere I don't want to be. The future. Or rather, the future that could have been, had people not done things they way they did.
It's like the Trojans. Legends state that the Trojans and the Greeks had gone to war for the sake of Helen, the most beautiful woman alive, and neither seemed willing to give in to the other. The city of Troy stood tall despite being under siege for over a decade, yet it fell quite completely when the Greeks tricked them into taking a wooden horse, along with the thousands of soldiers hidden within, into the city walls.
If they had listened to the prophetess Cassandra 1, if they had investigated what was actually inside the wooden horse, if they had been more careful, if they hadn't taken the wooden horse into their city... Troy might never have fallen.
Was it not the same for the assassination of Heero Yuy? Had they been more cautious of the security that day, had been more alert, had been quicker to call for help, who knows how today would be like?
No war, perhaps? Less fighting, maybe?
It's times like these that I think of how things could have been, how many of the things that we know have happened could have been prevented or made better... how many of those events could have turned out differently had the people done something, just one small thing, in another way.
I fear that, one day, when our time becomes a page in a history book, when the magnificence of the gundams are but mere printed pictures and our names forgotten, the people will point to what we did, what we tried doing, and say, "If only they had done it differently..."
Maybe all of us, all five of us, have thought of life this way before. That's why they didn't ask for a reason back then, for why I didn't like history. Maybe that's the reason for the wide eyes... surprised by how another person has had the same thoughts before.
Wufei suggested once, when I was alone with him, that we may be more alike than we cared to admit. Perhaps he was right.
I don't like the past. It doesn't give me anything but the bitter agony of knowing the way my life has come to be. Yet at the same time, I fear the future for it is bleak and hazy, and I cannot see past the war. Worse, I can see myself painted as a mass murderer in history books. Or maybe the gundams would be completely wiped out of existence by the new government, and we are all but forgotten shadows who did more harm than good.
That's why I want the present to last. I want to live for the moment. Don't ask me about yesterday, because I don't want to remember it. Don't ask me about tomorrow, because I don't want to think about it.
Just let me live in today.
1: Cassandra was princess of Troy, the daughter of King Priam and Queen Hecuba in Greek mythology. The god Apollo fell in love with her and gave her the power to foretell the future. But she rejected him and Apollo punished her by ordering that no one should ever believe her prophecies.