Ageless

What does it mean to be ageless? Neverending youth? Immortality? I want neither, really. This rune, this curse that sustains the torment which is my life, I can't rid myself of it. I probably never will, unless I find another willing to take on this enormous burden. I must trudge on in this Hell, watching those I love and admire grow old and eventaully die, while I...I still retain this damn body, so young and able. I want to age; I want to know what it's like to be with someone and grow old with that person. But I never will.

Gremio asks me daily if I'm okay with this. He seems to want to take the heavy load of the Soul Eater from my shoulders, to carry it in my stead. I refuse, however; I don't want him to know the pain that I know. He's too good for that. He deserves better. I try to make him go, to make him find someone he can care for. He won't leave me like this, he says. He insists he can't let me be alone like this. I'm sure he must realize that I'm lonely enough as it is. His going or staying won't make a bit of difference now.

Yesterday, Kasumi came to see me again. I can't stand to see her look at me as she does, full of sadness and regret. And yet, I can't make myself send her away. It pains me to watch her age before my eyes, like all the others. That's why I left in the first place. Kasumi often asks me if I'll return to Gregminster and be the president as it was planned from the start. Each time I give the same silent response. I think she can read it in my eyes that I don't want to go back there. Too many memories surface each time I even look in that general direction. I wish I could tell her how I feel, with words. I open my mouth, but nothing comes out. I see how it tortures her to see me like this, but it can't be helped. Her visits always end with her reminding me of how important I am, and how much I mean to everyone. Does she think I don't hear that everyday from Gremio? I motion for her to go, and she does, somewhat hesitantly.

I've heard word lately of a war between Jowston and Highland. I can't help but remember how hard we all fought those few years ago, to rid ourselves of Windy. I catch bits of news every now and then, excited whispers of a young boy gathering people to fight with him. I laugh internally, bitterly, as I recall that young boy on the tongues of every person being myself. Destined to liberate my homeworld, I thought sardonically. Destined to gather people both young and old to fight for my cause. How I pity this boy. I know what he must be thinking, for I'm sure it's the same as what I felt when I was 'commander' of the so-called Liberation Army. Just a few more battles and I'll be done, I kept telling myself. Just stick it out for a little while longer. Cleo and Pahn liked to encourage me as well, with those exact same words. Little did they realize that, for me, the battle would never end. They weren't afflicted with the Soul Eater.

As dusk approaches, Gremio taps my shoulder, reminding me of the chilly nights here. I wave him off, telling him with my eyes that I'll be along shortly. Even he truly can't understand what I'm going through. He, like all the others, just label me as a hero. But that's not what I am. I am, and always will be, simply ageless.