August 4, 2002 –November 30, 2002
(Author Note: This is the last part which I hope concludes the six parts. *looks innocent*)
With a rush of unspoken dread, I feel a momentary numbness twist the pit of my stomach as if it, turning me inside out, would disembowel me in a heartbeat.
Why so suddenly do I hesitate again as I stand outside Kagome's open window? All around me lies the blue black veil of night, but it settles around my shoulders like a suffocating hood. There isn't even so much as a gentle finger-breath of warmth for the cold darkness robs me of all my determined conviction like a leech infested pool seeking a hot blooded host in which to suck dry all life-giving blood. I'm filled with trepidation for the very thing I came to do! The mere reason why I'm standing here by her window now beckons me to run instead and to hide like that parasitic flea Myoga, and I don't know what galls me more: The thought of running away, or having these thoughts that force me to confront her.
I don't want to do this and yet I can't let it go on. If the wound isn't properly treated the patient gets worse instead of better. If I don't bandage this bleeding hurt or sever the limb that's keeping me in pain, how can I ever hope to be at peace with myself… or is it that I don't want to get better? Can I actually like being torn in two? I choose not to answer that question, but instead clench my lips together. This isn't about me more than it is about what I've done to her… I can't let this go on for her sake. If I have any feelings for her, I will not let it drag on anymore.
I glance back over the way I've come, but the tree behind me lends a windswept shield of leaves which invade my line of sight so that I can only see glimmers of street lamps blinking forlornly in the distance. For one brief moment I wish for light, something bright and sympathetic to disquiet the lurching in my gut; it would be far better than standing here on her window ledge alone than in the condemning dark as I wonder just how much time I have before I make that irrevocable choice.
Not a choice, but a decision.
I was stupid thinking that I could come here without making that kind of decision after all. Foolish really if I thought I could bring her back with mere force? Force doesn't change people's wills nor can it bind their thoughts to your own. It can only subdue them and give a false sense of acquiescence, but I know that deep down it would not change the pain I've placed in her…. In my self as well. And yet…
WHAT AM I THINKING?!
That's exactly what goaded me to action. I was thinking to do just that. Gods!! Would I just physically pick her up and manhandled her all the way to the well and then jam a rock into it? I'd get osuwari 50 times before I could make it even an inch of the way. I must really be stupid because I, even now, am still contemplate performing parts of that plan. What the fuck am I thinking? What am I doing?
A cat cries and the occasional barking of a dog as it comes nears jars me back to my senses as I realize that all I am simply doing is nothing, but… procrastinating. I snort and inwardly curse as the overwhelming and depressing night again narrows down around me. And then…
I smell it.
… Kagome's smell.
Her smell is everywhere! It fills my nostrils as if I'm suddenly overcome with hay fever, but I don't have the symptoms of sneezing and red eyes that go along with it. No, my symptoms are different… they are much worst. Kagome's smell lingers like the proverbial dust that clings to ones shoes. It's all over the place. No amount of soap and water could remove this smell save perhaps a natural disaster of fire. The thought of water and Kagome's smell only makes me feel worse.
Water doesn't hide her scent, it just makes it that much more… pronounce. It's a sort of sweet cloying smell that when wet it pulls at my heighten senses making me feel like a man whose drank to much sake for the first time in his life. It teases my nostrils with such raw and yet fragile emotions combined in one that even now I have a bit of trouble breathing.
In that short time that we've been apart I can tell that she's taken a bath. I can tell by the quality of change in the air. If you ever smelled the annoying redwood or cedar when it's wet, it's like that… pungent and all scent consuming.
I shake my white haired head, trying desperately not to think on the smell and to bring my thoughts on those of her family instead. I can smell them too, but not like I can smell her. Damn it, I did it again. I have to push this sweet tantalizing odor out of my mind… it's distracting me. Quickly I try to pick out the weaker scents and yes… the scent of her little brother, her grandfather and even her mother tickle through the air like an annoying whine, but they do very little as quench that which I know is Kagome.
My fingers slid against the rough wood of the window frame as I set my feet inside. The sound of bare feet against her floor echoes dully as I make my landing. I have never thought how foolish it is for her to leave this window open until now and it makes me wonder why she is careless. Did she expect me to come for her? Was it one last hope or is it my foolish wishes taking control of my feeble will even now?
With deceiving calmness I trace quiet footsteps, taking the last leg of my journey, to where she lays unsuspecting asleep and for a moment I feel jarred out of time again as I am reminded again that her world is so much different than mine. It's another reminder in a flood of many. Her sheets are washed and clean and I can smell some exotic fruit which lingers with the freshness. Her bed, her very room, are so much different than the land, the very time, in which I live that my frozen thoughts lurk forward after a moment hesitation.
My thoughts surge back and forth between terror and trepidation which echoes the mismatched dancing steps of erratic heart beats. It is so easy to run away… so easy to turn and jump back down into the well and go running with my tail between my legs. YES! It is so easy to forget this tangled web that ensnares me to the quick with so simply the word… Kagome.
What about Kikyou?
Her name cuts my memory to the quick because my heart forgets not a sound made on that precious moment when I first met her. The moment our bright eyes met, the very second she looked with those sad dear eyes that dared to dream and wish to be normal… It is that moment that I can not forget and which haunts me even now. Her memory makes my heart stagger and I can feel the irregular heart taps thumping against my chest which threaten to swallow me whole. But does this feeling come from a beloved memory or from her dreaded existence now, a mere mockery of life and dirt that isn't truly Kikyou and yet…
That mockery of life, that puppet of ash, dirt and mud, still has her original memories and feelings. That demonic puppet which is Kikyou was endowed so well that I find it too easy to overlook the fact that her body is molded of just earth and clay. I can not forget that in all that I say and do, but although I do share a memory with Kikyou which stirs my soul, have I forgotten about the life I share with Kagome? That's the difference then. Past. Present. Dead. Alive. They are like night and day and yet the soul… isn't it the same?
And the answer I keep coming back to is one I desperately do not wish to open my ears to. It's that simple because even though I know they may have shared the same soul, I also realize that they do not share the same state of mind… Is it because they are different that I find it so hard to let go and choose one and only one?
Because if I choose one…
… if I made such a choice…
I must then forsake the other.
I swallow as if I'm suddenly struck dumb. Choosing one means that I loose regardless. Both parts of me belong to Kagome and Kikyou and if I am to pick one, then I am going to tear half of my already bleeding heart apart. Choosing one means that there is no way I can come back to the other… if I make a mistake… it will be irrevocable to correct.
How horribly selfish I've become, and yet… I can't stop wanting them both. I can't stop wanting to delay this choice because I just DON'T want to let go of either of them. "Kagome…" I whispered softly, knowing that in her fevered sleep she does not yet know I am here. "Kagome…"
My heart lurches as I wait between one moment of discovery and that terrible instant of that comes before that. In that instant of waiting… in that very moment of self-realized fear, the very question that had haunted me during the whole time I've been here, "What right do I have to Kagome?" floats in my very thoughts.
She is my future and yet it is a future I dare not grasp. If I can not take what would rightfully give me peace, do I even have any semblance of hope that I even belong in Kagome's life? …in her future… in mine… Kikyou is my past, I know that well enough and Kagome is my future, I know that too. And yet, the future after tonight is so uncertain that even now I bite at my lips as if to make my calling of her name something that had never happened.
Don't wake up, I seem to say as I trod back towards the window as silently as a cat. I am a hypocritical fool and a coward. I can see it now. I never wanted it to come to this and even now I wish for some way that time can stay her hand and give me the moment I first beheld her. I can't do this after all. For all that bravado that had pushed me forward, it fades when I stand in her presence.
In truth, what I feel now is the insurmountable flood of fear.
Yeah, me, the great Inuyasha! I'm terrified of this one girl. I'm terrified because she already said good bye to me once… if she said it again….
Something wet slides down my eyes and I rub it away with the self same annoyance which I used to keep anyone who tries to get close to me. How would Miroku handle this? I'd guess he'd joke about it and then use his hands on approach before getting thoroughly slapped for it. But the thing is... I am NOT Miroku... I am not anyone else but me…
I move towards her for what may be the last time and I lean in, my lips brushing her forehead softly, as my fingers run through her black hair. I whisper soft words meant for her ears alone before I slip back out the window to disappear into the blackness of the night outside.
Sometimes the best choice is just to simply let go…