Title: First Love

Author: Frostmourne

Disclaimer: Vision of Escaflowne is not mine.

Author's Note: I remembered my fiction Heart of Sword – Before Dawn and thought that it was a bit too one-sided. I decided to make Hitomi's point of view regarding the entire scenario. This was originally a song-fic but since that's no longer allowed, I replaced the song lyrics. Tried to keep it close with the poem though. Bold text is for the poem I made in place of the song I originally used to write this. The italicized texts are flashbacks.

I'd like to dedicate this to all those who had given me reviews and e-mails and of course, those who are my Gaean Illusion Family. Thanks for everything!

It was not supposed to be that way.

Not so long ago, she thought – believed – that love would triumph over anything, that no matter the odds, everything would be alright. It had been true. Even when they had so many problems, they both managed to pull through, but now, they were standing at a dead end. She felt her hear splinter into so many pieces and distantly though how it would impossible to mend it back. She wanted so badly to keep him, hold on to him and never let go. Wasn't that supposed to be what love was all about – sticking together even during the worst of times?

Her eyes stung as she soaked in the warmth of his embrace. This boy, so beautiful in appearance and yet so fiercely ruthless in his actions, was the only boy who ever made her feel like she was the most important person in the world. He loved her so strongly, so passionately that it was a sharp contrast to what everybody knew of him. Wasn't he the same boy who took pleasure in causing other people's pain?

'He is,' she admitted to herself. 'But never to me. And I'll love him still even when everything between us changes…' And at the thought, the pain increased, her eyes giving way to tears she had successfully held back minutes before.

He pulled away slightly and fixed her with his intense bloodshot eyes; he'd been crying. She wasn't sure if he realized it. "If I try so very hard to change, would you still give me a chance?"

She thought of how ironic it was that he, who did not fear anything at all, could be scared at just her tears, could be so compliant when she was the one who asked. And the realization did nothing to ease her pain and so, in a broken voice, she whispered, "Yes."

Looking up to see what her answer had done to him, she saw him smile sadly as he said, "But we're bad for each other, aren't we?"

She couldn't take it and in her efforts to smother away another set of tears, she buried her face against his shoulder and nodded.

"Could you just promise me one thing before we end this?"

It would be over soon. "Anything."

"If you have someone again, make sure you'll be happy."

At the words, she tried so hard to keep still, to choke back all the tears that seemed to escape even when her eyes were closed so tightly. 'Please… please don't come out,' she pleaded with her tears so desperately. But those salty droplets of her emotions did not listen and continued to stubbornly push out of her shut eyes. Before long, she was trembling at the effort she was exerting to force back her sobs. She felt his arms, always so warm and protective, tighten around her.

"I love you, Hitomi."

And she cried then, harder and harder as each moment passed. Even when it was for his good, she could not help but question what was happening. She found herself thinking what she was doing there, asking him to let go of what they had; she loved this boy, with his silver hair and red eyes, with his pale skin and beautiful heart that no one could really see, with all his dreams, fears, flaws, and failures. He was far from perfect but she didn't just like him; she loved him with all that she had and it hurt because she knew that to hold on to him would mean destroying him.

Her emotions weighed her down so considerably.

So this was how it felt to have a broken heart; it hurt more than words could describe. She found them silly – those people who wrote all those love poems and stories that made heartbreak seem so fascinating despite how dark it was. But she found them brave, too. They found strength to try and define what was so painful to confront, so that others would know how it would feel and would expect it, so it didn't have to be so painful anymore if ever it happened. Was there ever such a thing at all though? It was still unbearable, too harsh…

"I love you so much, Dilandau, that it kills me to keep you only to make you self-destruct. I love you so much that I'd rather see you walk away than stay with me and hurt so much."

And she held him back tighter even for the last time, trying to memorize the feeling of being in his warm embrace, trying to memorize the unique smell of him under all the faint smell of cigarette smoke.

the chill of the early morning
grips my heart
as we hold each other for the last time

"Stay?" He asked with a bitter smile that dawn, when he had sneaked inside her house, carrying her to her bed and tucking her in gently; he had unknowingly woken her up.

She nodded.

His smile widened slightly and from the depths of his pain-ridden eyes, she saw amusement. "And what would your parents' reaction be if they saw me in here?"

No sound passed her lips and she continued to hold on to his shirt, willing him to stay with her before this last chance for a moment together escapes them forever. And he gave in, climbing on her bed and holding her tight – tighter than when they were still together in the most unexpected of relationships between opposites.

Secure and loved in his arms, she fell asleep, clutching on him, wishing that time would stop and leave them alone in each other's embrace forever. But it was never meant to be and when she woke up, the road ahead of her, she would tread without him.

She looked up from the notes she was trying to read as another set of whisper reached her ears.

The news of her breakup with Dilandau Albatou, the school's number one heartthrob and number one bully, was everywhere – even in the library.

Closing her eyes, she pictured him, looking irate at how nosy people seemed to find them too interesting to ever leave them alone even for just a while. She smiled slightly, yearning for him and yet knowing he would be alright by himself. When she opened her eyes, she saw most students in the library turning their gazes away from her. She sighed.

They would look at her for a long time, talk about her behind her back, and yet she would never say a word; she owed Dilandau that much.

I wonder, in the days to come
would we still cross paths?
would you still think of me?

"So are we going to the outing?"

She looked away from her food and searched the cafeteria for a familiar set of red eyes and saw him, guiltily looking away from her. Smiling at him, she turned back to her friend and shrugged. "Should we?"

Her friend gave a weak smile as if reading her thoughts. "Dilandau will be there, if that's what you're asking me."

And again she smiled as she was reminded of how he was still what he was to her, the same bad boy who wasn't really such a bad boy after all. She loved him still because she didn't just see him for what everyone saw, she looked at him for what he truly was inside. It was almost funny how opposite they were and yet how they suited each other just fine, despite their differences and what everyone else thought of them being together. But there really was no point thinking about it, was there? They weren't together anymore. There were many times, when he would just walk by her in the school corridor or when he'd call her at night – never saying anything and just waiting for her to say something – that she thought of how strange it was to be still in love with him.

She wanted to believe that they were soul mates, however absurd it sounded, because at random dawns, she could still feel him lingering outside her house, maintaining his distance and yet never quite letting her go.


She blushed and dared to look up at him, getting herself caught in his unbelievably red eyes.

His smirk deepened and he reached out to touch her cheek, so gently that she was startled at how different he was from what she'd heard of him all over their school. Was he simply flirting with her? Playing with her like he'd done with countless of girls not only from their school but from other schools as well?

"No," he said softly. "I'm not playing." And he looked deeply into her eyes and offered her a real smile, seemingly reading her mind. "I'd just like to know how it feels."

She swallowed nervously, having heard of how he had a habit of bedding and deflowering plenty of girls before dropping them without even as much as a second thought. "It feels?"

He leaned dangerously close and whispered against her ear. "I'd like to know… how it's like to touch the light."

Before she realized exactly the meaning of his words, he pulled away and again gave her a smirk she now felt was merely a mask. He winked at her before moving away, leaving her standing alone in that empty locker room so late in the afternoon.

It wasn't long before Amano came and asked her out. She had accepted, elated that her crush had finally noticed her, simple-looking as she was. But when they were out on their date, she found her thoughts straying to Dilandau, always wondering what he meant. Before long, she told Amano that she wanted to be just friends. She almost changed her mind when she saw how crestfallen he had looked. But when her eyes caught a set of unreadable red eyes looking on in their direction, everything felt right.

Is this infatuation? Or is this love?

She asked herself again and again, when she and Dilandau started to spend time together - time that many people raised their brow at, time that many people whispered about, and time that her parents questioned.

But the world didn't mean a thing. Because when she was with him, everything seemed to fade away. There were no promises, no pretenses, no opinions from other people; it was just the two of them and the warm, comforting feeling that seemed to engulf her from inside. And again she would ask - Is this infatuation? Or is this love?

I know I'll always love you
even if a new love comes along
you taught my heart its beat
the tune it plays will always sing of you
such a sad melody
until it learns something new

She placed her bag on top of her bed, her eyes fixed on the telephone. Biting her lower lip slightly, she approached the desk and wondered if there were messages left for her.

Then she sighed. Of course there were messages, she almost admonished herself. But she didn't want those messages sent to her by other people - boys who were trying to get close to her probably because they were curious about her; she previously dated Dilandau Albatou after all. But she didn't want any other guy. She only wanted one person...

Her finger, hovering above a button on the telephone, wanted so much to push it. Yet she hesitated and bit her lip even more. 'Did you remember me today?' She asked silently. 'Like how I always remember you?'


Immediately, she withdrew her hand away from the telephone and looked at the doorway of her room, finding her mother there with a letter held in her hand.

"Mom?" She asked, eyeing the letter.

Her mother smiled and went to hug her, announcing so happily that an acceptance letter from a prestigious university in the country had just arrived. The excited talk of her mother about how her father would be so happy, about what it would do for her future, about so many things were lost to her because she just realized what the acceptance letter meant.

And within her mother's proud embrace, her eyes went back to the telephone.

'Would you remember me still?' Her heart asked with longing as it ached more each moment. Without noticing it, her tears fell and her mother thought them her tears of joy. She didn't deny it because she was too busy wishing she would be numb from the pain. It was too soon to force her to forget him and what they had.

the train is leaving
I have to go soon
I carry our memories in my bag

It was still quite early, too early for most people to lay awake on their bed, finding themselves unable to go to sleep. And yet she found herself amongst those who were unaffected by how early it was to be up.

Many months before, it was never like this; sleep had never abandoned her during the questionable hours of early morning. But things changed and before she knew it, dawn had been keeping her company – not the uncontrollable dreams slumber offered.

She turned in bed, unable to keep staring at her darkened ceiling, waiting, feeling, hoping; a gentle smile formed on her lips and she left the confines of her bed and walked towards her window, feeling closer to the familiar feeling of someone – a person so beloved and important to her – being outside. But another feeling stopped her and before her bare feet could tread the lamp post-illuminated part of her room, she stopped, hesitating for a moment.

Why something felt so final at that instant, she could not grasp. And when she finally decided to walk on towards her window and open it, she felt her heart tighten.

He was there, walking away.

She followed his figure with her eyes and knew that it was finally, truthfully over. He was letting her go; there was nothing within him anymore.

He moved on and now, he was telling her silently that she should do the same – forget him and what they had. But wasn't doing that harder than just saying it? Love… It's hard to forget in itself, even harder when it's the first. But he wasn't just her first love; he was her first true love – and wasn't that the most important factor that made it hardest to forget?

I wonder, in the days to come
would my lips taste salt
as I think of you

Her eyes followed his form and she bit her lower lip in a nervous gesture. This was it, her last chance to talk to him. But did he want to talk to her? She wanted so badly to know.

After the last dawn when he had been by her house months ago, they never interacted anymore. He didn't look her way anymore, didn't call her at night. It had hurt but she reminded herself strongly that it was better that way. It was for his future, the reason they broke up. She should let him go. Her only consolation about his moving on was that he seemed to change for the better, and it was enough, because she loved him so that she would trade her heart for his new chance in life.

Nervously, she approached him, keeping her eyes on his smiling face as he accepted the congratulations his friends offered him. She hoped they wouldn't notice her until she was standing within a few feet from them because she didn't really know if her courage would hold up; she'd probably turn around and hurry on away from them.

When she was standing near him, his friends noticed her. Dilandau turned his attention to her, the smile on his face replaced by a look of slight panic. She nearly flinched at his reaction but then his friends said something about having to wash dishes at home before walking away that she nearly laughed. Graduation day and the delinquents of the school are going home to wash dishes? Wherever do they come up with such lame excuses?

"Hey, you…" His voice came, so soft like a breathy whisper.

Her attention was quickly brought back to Dilandau and she couldn't help but blush when she looked up at him, feeling a sense of deja vu come over her.

"I saw your brother," she said, saying the first thing that her mind could come up with.

He smiled, his red eyes alight with amusement, making him look so innocently boyish that she couldn't stop thinking about how much it suited him. "He did want so much to see me graduate."

"Um, yeah." And again she flushed, starting to bite her lower lip again. She was so nervous that she didn't know what to say that moment.

So silence settled on them and she was nearly squirming under his gaze by the time that he decided to talk.

"Congratulations," he said softly, smiling at her so shyly that she would have laughed if she wasn't so nervous. It almost felt like the time when they first went out.

"Same," she answered lamely. She opened her mouth to tell him that she'll always love him but was interrupted when she heard Dilandau's brother calling him.

"I need to go," he said, sounding disappointed but trying not to let it show. "I'll see you around?"

She panicked then because it was the last chance she'd ever get before she'd move away to another city, the last chance to tell him personally how she felt before she let him go to start a new life. So she did the only thing she could think of - she pulled his face down and pressed her lips on his, closing her eyes and not caring about what other people would think. She just wanted to memorize the indescribable feeling that only he invoked in her. When she pulled back, she barely caught his startled expression before she fled from him.

His expression remained in her mind for the years that came and by and by, she learned to accept that he no longer returned what she felt. When she started to go out with other guys during her college years, she'd look around, hoping to see him somewhere. She was willing to take that as a sign that they were meant to be. But each time, her hopes were dashed and she forced herself to deal with the feeling of stinging disappointment. And then, she met someone, someone who helped her move on, even when it wasn't completely moving on. She'd always love Dilandau in a special way. He seemed to understand, seemed to know how it felt to love and fail. Did he think that that was how life was? Or did he love her because he knew that to love was to accept everything?

They went out for a long time, learning to care more and more for each other. She was grateful to him because the pain slowly subsided and she felt that she could be happy again. So when he proposed, she knew that she could live her life with him, for he understood her and loved her for what she was. He loved her past and present and was willing to accept that she may never completely love him.

"I love you - that's all that matters," he had said to her on one occasion. They were studying together then and she got bored, starting to talk about her high school life and unknowingly mentioning moments with Dilandau in a wistful tone.

Her heart, although never whole for her to give away anymore, went to him then. And she remembered that day too well when he proposed, along with Dilandau asking her to be happy if she had someone again. So she let herself free; she had accepted a new person in her life for keeps. During one of their small talks about where to marry, she mentioned she wanted to do so in her home town and he agreed. But when she playfully asked if she could invite someone special to their wedding, she hadn't expected him to smile at her and say, "He'll always be welcome." She had stared at him then, startled.

When they came back to her home town, she couldn't talk to him about the guests she wanted to be there, because she felt guilty. She was marrying him but her wasn't his completely. There was a part of it still stuck in the past. He seemed to catch on her mood and was surprised when he told her she should invite all the people that mattered to her.

"I trust you," he had told her. And that was what she needed to hear.

So she did ask Dilandau to come, offering her friendship to him and yet not expecting him to come at all. His presence there made her smile and she did not stop herself from hugging him before the ceremony began. Dilandau had hugged her back and for a split second, her heart soared at the thought that he might still feel the same way for her. But she shook the thought away and hurried on for the wedding ceremony.

I clench a hand against my chest
this place is where you'll always belong
I wish it's the same for you
because the tune my heart plays will always be of you
such a sad melody
until it learns something new

During the ceremony, her briefly went to Dilandau, thinking about how he held her so tightly before the ceremony started.

And before she said her 'I do', she realized that he was saying goodbye to her, his 'light'. When he said he wanted to touch the light, he had known that she could help change him for the better and so chose her out of all the people there was around, out of all the girls who loved him so; he chose her as the special someone who'd really see that he wasn't nearly as ruthless as everyone perceived him to be, that he wasn't even a bit as heartless as he projected himself to be.

Her heart thumped so loudly that she was sure everyone could hear its beating. He never really did let her go that dawn he walked away. He was just giving her an even bigger space that she needed to really choose if she still wanted him back, if she was still willing to give her heart to him despite the fact that he could still break it even though he would never willingly do so. And that graduation day, when he had a panicked look when he first saw her, he only had that reaction because he wasn't sure that he could trust himself to not spill his heart out to her, to not beg her to forget a new start in life, and to not ask her to stay with him forever. And the startled expression was because he didn't know if she was saying goodbye forever, or if she was giving him a new chance.

But their chance had come and gone; it was time to move forward.

So she searched the crowd and when she saw him, their eyes locked for the briefest of time. 'I'll always love you,' she said in her heart and she gave him the smile she used to give him before. But she kept her smile so small, trying not to let the world know.

His eyes flickered with an emotion and she knew he understood. Even when his face remained impassive she saw the answer in his eyes, the answer that confirmed that they both knew the truth. And the truth made her eyes brighten because now, she was truly happy. He'll always keep a special place for her inside him.

I know I'll always love you
even if a new love comes along
you taught my heart its beat
the tune it plays will always sing of you
such a sad melody
until it learns something new

It was then that she realized with a wistful feeling that even when it was finally time to completely let go of what they had, it didn't matter at all. Because the love that they felt towards one another still remained as pure as the day it was first planted into their hearts. Every pain that love dealt them with made them wiser, stronger, braver… and it will always give them that special connection meant only for them, even when they weren't really meant to be in the long run.

And she had said 'I do' to someone else then. But even so, she knew so clearly that he will always be and remain so as her first true love…

it plays forever...