Only Today

There have been times that I have seen the looks given to me when I carry Aoshi-sama's tea to him… The looks of the people that seem so much like family… Glances of pity, of sorrow...

But Ignore them… I have been, I suppose, for a very long time… Is it only today that I am pondering on the meaning behind their sympathetic expressions?

Yes… I suppose it is…

As I carry the familiar tray with the tea and small smacks on it towards the temple, my mind begins to continue its wonderings. Why would I need sympathy?

I'm probably the luckiest woman alive… I have my Aoshi-sama; even if he is not mine in any way except that he relies on me to bring him his tea every day.

The important thing to me, is that I am needed; perhaps wanted…

As I pass worshippers outside of the temple, I receive more of the same, sad expressions.

"That poor girl…" I hear one of the women say in a soft whisper…and I grip the tray I am carrying so hard that my knuckles turn white.

"I am anything but poor!" I declare hotly, my temper getting the best of me. "I have everything I've ever wanted; as long as I have my Aoshi-sama!"

"I…apologize…" the woman says, her eyes quickly filling with tears.

I shake my head dismissively, and make my way up the steps and into the temple; heading straight for the room where I know Aoshi-sama waits.

As I slide open the shoji, I see him wearing his robe…his eyelids opening slowly to reveal dull, sorrowful eyes.

But it is the same every day, isn't it? He is always in the exact same stop…his expression never changes…

It must be something of a ritual, now… as it has been happening for years.

I pour his tea for him; just the way he likes it; and set it in front of him… "Would you like something to eat, Aoshi-sama?" I ask softly, cocking my head to the side. And, of course, I receive no answer.

I do not think I can even remember the sound of his voice…It has been so long since he has spoken…

My eyes focus on his untouched food and drink, and I glance back up at his face, my eyes softening.

"I love you, Aoshi-sama," I tell him, my heart nearly bursting with emotion; almost as if I am seeking some sort of hopeful response…an answer, perhaps.

But I hear only the sound I hear every day…

Nothing.

And, for a brief moment, I question my daily life. Is there really any point in continuing this monotone living?

Living for someone else; someone whose silence acceptance means…

Everything.

I sigh… Yes, Aoshi-sama means everything to me. What he thinks, what he wants… It all matters. He is my life.

"Aoshi-sama…" I start slowly again, my hands fisted in my lap. I look into his unblinking eyes, trying to hold his gaze. "I love you, you know…"

My hand reaches out, almost again my will, to take his; to feel the warmth of his skin against mine…

But my hand brushes only air. I feel them, then. Warm, salty tears slowly making a trail down each side of my face.

And when I blink, I see that there is nothing there. Only my hand, reaching out to try to hold onto the person who means everything to me…

It is then, that I realize that he really is gone… And that, no matter how much I search this earth… I will never be able to find him again…

"Oh, Aoshi-sama…" I whisper to the silent room. "I…I'm so…lonely…"

Owari-


Author's Notes and Ramblings

Recently, I've been getting into writing sad things. Especially stories that depict a character in deep denial—in this case, it is Misao's inability to cope with the death of her beloved Lord Aoshi. I do feel that, after so many years of thinking and wanting his love and acceptance, she would most likely crumble at his death. Unless, of course, if she refused to believe it.

Thank you so very much for reading! It's been so long since I've written for the Rurouni Kenshin section… Recently, I've watched the anime, and it has sparked my interest in writing for it again. As I have a little bit of spare time at work, you may see short poetry works, and one-shots like this one, from me more often.

Also, to the "Tales of Symphonia" section… I have not abandoned Take Me Away yet! But it will be awhile until I can update it. Please, see my bio. smiles