By Jia Zhang

You stare at the bathroom door, its skin a sickening pale shade of white. The tiles beneath you are cold, and you shiver lightly as you lean against the wall. You hug your arms around yourself as the wind hisses beyond the window. You're cold, but you're much too tired to move to close the window. You glance over at your side, the white mess of tissues that piled upon the two toned floor. You were crying, you briefly remember—as you tend to do a lot when it concerns him. It's been hours now, since you cried, since you heard the door slam shut, since you felt so absolutely numb. You have been sitting here for hours, your thoughts drifting away in a sea of infamy, succumbing to your own inner negativity.

You've come to a few conclusions, but you haven't made a decision yet. You know you have to.

You sigh, and crouch down on your knees, picking up the large pile of tissue paper, and throwing them in the trash. It was happening more frequently now—the fights, the arguments, the tears. Before, he would always stay, but more recently, he's been leaving. You don't know why, but even that you've drawn a few conclusions on.

You get up from the black and white tiled floor—and you turn, seeing yourself in the reflection of the mirror. You've aged, you suddenly realize. You're not that scrawny flower child from your days of youth. No more innocent features, no more strawberry pink hair, no more wide violet eyes, full of naivety and hope. You've lost those things, you figure—when it occurred, you don't even know. It happened sometime along the line. And it just happened—there was no more strawberry hair, you wash it out till it was black. No more violet eyes, they were now full of wisdom and age, tainted to a dark amethyst. There were lines of time on your face—time has begun to swallow you whole.

You stare at yourself now. The current you—this person you barely recognize staring back at you. Eyes that are blotchy and red, swollen from crying. There's no smile on your face, and it hurts to even try. Your hair is longer now, and the dark bangs falls loosely over your eyes. You're suddenly scared of yourself.

Who is this person? Who are you?

You don't recognize that person.

It's been so long since that time—you've lost all you've gained.

You lift your hand and touch the image in the mirror. You feel like crying again, but you've already made an ocean, and there are no more tears left for you to shed. You've had enough of crying, and begging, and pleading, and dreaming of something that is so obviously just a delusional fantasy. You let out a breath as you turn to open the tap, running the hot water till it was nearly burning.

You take off your clothes—the shirt, the pants, the underwear—till you are bare in your skin. You stare at yourself; this body was no longer young. It had seen the tides of time, and you find yourself unable to retreat into that old age of dreams and fantasy. But you have grown tired of those times. You wanted reality. You received it. It was more bitter than any poison, more cruel than any laughter, and more painful than any whip. It was a dawning—an evolution of a realization.

This was no dream, there was no knight in shining armour, and you were never a princess.

You had held on for so long, gripping onto him with all your might, afraid that if you let go you'd fall into pieces. That was how it always was. He had never held you; you had held him. He never reached for you; you had reached for him. He had never loved you; you had adored all of him. It was a puzzling situation of duality—a rather confounding state of affairs.

You step in the shower, feeling the hot water burn against your skin, washing away everything. You run your hands through your hair, wet, and hot, and your face tingles with that excruciating heat.

You let your mind wander.

You think about all that's happened.

How things have changed. How the both of you had changed. It was regular now—the arguments—sometimes over the most trivial of things. You'd argue and cry—and you hate his yelling, and he hates your tears. One day, you remember, it got so bad that he left. He slammed the door and disappeared into the night sky. You waited, and you waited. You wondered where he was, what he was doing, because though you were hurt, though you were angry, at least his presence was welcoming. You love him. You couldn't help it.

He did not return till the early morning.

He said nothing of it.

You asked nothing of it.

It happened again—the crying, the yelling, the slamming of the door and the disappearance of his shoes.

You started to wonder.

Sometimes, when he came back the next day, or that morning, he would seem completely different as to when he left. His heart would seem at peace, almost. Sometimes, when you did the laundry, you'd smell of this wonderful fragrance upon his shirts. It was not his. It was not yours. You asked no question, but your mind began to draw conclusions.

You remember once when you were walking on the streets, shopping. You saw him in a café, laughing with who must have been his editor. It happened again when he was with your boss. It happened again with his sister. It was never with you—you who made him angry; whom he would lock himself in his study because of. He never smiled like that anymore, not for you anyways. He seemed to dread seeing your face.

What is the point of holding on?

You want know.

The love isn't there anymore. He doesn't look at you like that anymore, not that he ever did to begin with. He was rarely gentle or kind. He was critical, and you were never good enough. Just second rate, at best. It has been so long, though, this continuous pattern of being together. You'd fight, and make up, and fall into that long hull, and start the process all over again. You no longer remember when you last kissed, when you last held each other, the last time you smiled at him, the last time you made love to him.

And you no longer remember what if felt like to love him.

You don't remember, and you don't know anymore.

You don't know if you still love him and why you hold on, or is it that your hoping holding on will lead you back onto that yellow brick road you were once on before. Was it just easier to hold on? Or would it be easier to just let go?

You don't know. But you don't want to let go yet.

The water has gone cold now. You've been in the shower for hours again. He is still not back. Your skin is pink and red all over, and you feel like you're burning. You step out of the shower, and you grab the towel, wrapping yourself with it. You shiver slightly from the haunting wind. You dry yourself off, and go to the bedroom to put on some clean clothes.

You think you will make dinner for one tonight.

You forgot to close the window.

You gaze out at the city lights, as they sparkled with some mysterious beauty. The cigarette has been sitting in your hand, burning to a bud. It's beginning to scald. You drop it on the floor, and crush it with your feet, and you light another, only to take one deep breath and place it between your fingers again. There are many buds around you.

You've been roaming around for hours. The night was dark, with only the city moving. You had been wandering around in the park for such a long time. You had left him again—left him crying, left him alone, left him hurt and broken. You hate to see him cry, but you didn't used to leave. You'd just shut yourself in your room, typing nothing at all and listen to his sobs. It went on for years. Then one day, you just left. You didn't want to hear him anymore.

You hate to hear him cry—it wretches at your heart. But all you ever do is make him cry. And you feel guilty, but you can't seem to change. You've been this monster for so long that you've completely forgotten how to be human. But you knew that already, when he first entered into your life—you knew that it was dangerous for him to be so close to you. You were a curse, you hurt people, and you didn't why. But you were selfish, you fell in love with him, and you wanted him for yourself. So you let yourself be greedy, and held him close to you.

You remember sensei at this moment.

He's always haunting you.

You don't want him to end up like sensei. You don't want him to disappear. But it hurts to see him sometimes. It wasn't like before, when you were younger, when you'd make love for hours, till you both sore and warm, when the two of you would spend hours together, just holding one another.

You run a hand across your face and through your hair. Your face is rough, you think, prickly because you hadn't shaved for two days. There are lines you can feel, and your hair is not as lively and full as it used to be. You've aged. You're no longer that young man women used to swoon over. They still do, of course, but it wasn't nearly the same. You are older, tired from everything life had put you through since such a young age. You wonder why you never gave up.

You remember that he never let you.

He was never the type to give up, always strong, and confident, but so dependant on your words of criticism. He adored you, and you knew it. You loved it, and you took advantage of it. But he never seemed to mind. He loved you so much, and showed it like he did every other emotion. You barely showed him anything.

The years went on, and he began to change. His hair turned black, no longer that bright strawberry pink. His violet eyes—those beautiful violet eyes, always so pure and wide with innocence, that you loved so much—where now dull, and lifeless with age. He was no longer that boy you had met so long ago. But now, he was a man. You never thought him to be beautiful in the normal sense of beauty. He had too many angles and he was too round in some features. But you loved him; you loved his innocence, his light, his purity. And you crushed it every day, till there was barely anything left of him. But yet, you still love him even now.

That was the day you left, when you realized what you kept doing, what you hated seeing, what you couldn't change.

You wandered around for hours that night. You went to a bar, and you met a woman. She was someone you had dated before. You talked, she laughed. The two of you went to her apartment. You had sex. You felt nothing. You didn't know why you did it. You left that morning, and went home.

You said nothing, and he didn't ask.

The fights between you and him began to grow more frequently. Sometimes, there was this frightening silence in the apartment afterwards that you just had to go out. You began to do it more often, and you started to fall into an old habit.

You began to sleep with women; you didn't care who they were. Most of them you knew before from previous one night stands. There was no love involved. You felt nothing for them, and they felt nothing for you. But it gave you an odd sort of peace, and it hurt less to remember his crying face.

You knew you shouldn't be doing it, and you knew it was pointless.

But you were beginning to feel like this relationship was pointless. It hurt being together—there was no longer that love that you had shared before. He did not smile at you like he used to. He did not hold you like he used to. He barely touched you if he could. He did not seem like he loved you anymore.

Yet, he never left.

And you didn't want him to.

But you wondered why he still held on.

You almost did it again this night, just have sex with some random stranger—a person you did not give a damn about. You knew you should go home, but you wandered around till you were there—at the place the two of you first met, that spot in the park. You would never forget it as long as you live. That moment had changed your life forever, and you never want to change it.

You can still remember what he tasted like, what he smelled like, what he felt like.

You don't want to lose that.

You would give anything to keep that.

But you weren't sure if he loved you anymore, and that hurt, more than you could ever have imagined. You weren't sure of anything anymore, so you drift each day in and out of reality. It was so different from when you lost sensei, because then it was gone forever, and you had regrets to forget. This was different. He was still here, still right there before you, and all you had to do was reach out and grab a hold of him.

You don't know why you keep pushing him away.

What are you afraid of?

You're so close to that happiness.

Why can't you change? Why do you keep that repetition?

And you're tired—tired of fighting, of arguing, of struggling, of seeing him cry night after night, and you just can't seem to stop the tears because you were the one who caused them in the first place. And you pray every night that when you wake up, he will still be there beside you, because you don't remember what life was like before he came into your life, because you don't want to feel alone anymore. You've drawn some conclusions through you're walks in the dark, and you know you have to make a decision soon.

You need to make something happen.

The cigarette burns at your fingertips. You throw the bud onto the ground and walk away from that marvelous view towards the city. You walk down to the street, and you begin the long trek home.

You hope he made dinner.

Your fingertips burn.

You've gotten to this point of no turning back. You're confused, and you don't know what you're fighting for anymore. You don't know if there is the same love anymore. But you hold on anyways, for that dream of something beautiful you once, long ago, had held so ever softly in your palms. You don't know what tomorrow brings—more heartache, or joy. So all you can do is go forward into tomorrow with all the faith you possess, and hope that it is only the intermezzo, and not the end to your symphony.


Author's Note:

Okay, this fic was basically written for the fact that I got really pissed off at a lot of very cliché Gravi fics I've been reading lately. So sue me; I am very critical of fics.

This does not end on a happy note, or a sad one. The first POV is Shuichi, and the second is Yuki. The last paragraph is for both of them. Basically, after the strain of being together for years, both Shuichi and Yuki are feeling lost and confused. One doesn't know if he is still in love, and the other doesn't know what to do to change the current situation. So all they can do is move forward, hoping to stay together. That was the message I was trying to give. Relationships are not easy, so we have to work at them, because no matter how painful it is, love is worth the fight.

I hope you get the point, and wasn't too confused.

Thanks for reading, and please, do review.

Jia Zhang

© September, 2005 by Jia Zhang. All rights reserved.