Beyond Phantasia

Twilight Town had never looked so orange. Bathed in colors of apricot and peach, it could only remind the hungry of a ripened cluster of juicy fruits. The air swelled with warmth, triggering sea salt ice cream cravings. It was safe to say that Twilight Town was… wonderful.

But something would happen tonight.

Olette could feel it… she could feel it rattling in her bones. She did not know the source of the tremors slowly creeping their way through her body—past her skin, past her flesh, passing her bones and perhaps writhingly reaching the marrow. Her mind's only answer was comparable to crystal: something would happen tonight. Something terrible. Not to her, but to someone she cared about. It would happen to someone she cherished. Someone she adored. Someone she held dear. Someone she loved.

She prayed to the spiritual hallows above that it would not happen to him.

The brunette was instantly jolted into reality by a struggled sound and refrained curse word. Her clouded eyes met a pair of gorgeous blue orbs that pierced her own with an intense combination of friendliness and fierceness. And she remembered—she was accompanying him to the Twilight Town train station.

That was when it hit her—and it hit her mighty hard. The train station…! Immediately, Olette's gaze flew to the towering building that led to the golden train that spewed smoke like an addict and chugged gas like an alcoholic. She had never really felt any distaste toward this lengthy mechanical vehicle of transportation, but now she was having second thoughts. How safe was this train, really? Would Roxas be truly, completely all right riding by himself to the other side of town? Would he survive?

Olette's thoughts seemed to be a train all on its own, fueled by her crazed thoughts and wild fantasies and thrumming heart, roaring down the railroad track to a faraway destination dubbed insanity. Feeling in such a way was not healthy. It was not normal. It was bad, and something bad was going to happen. Something terrible. Something unforgettable, unforgivable.

And so, when they had arrived to the station, Olette could not help but start trembling uncontrollably. Roxas had not noticed at first, for he was paying for a ticket and, sadly, a clump of fresh tickle-me-pink bubble gum had attached itself to the sole of his sneaker. He lifted his foot disdainfully in an attempt to shake the sticky gunk off.

"Gross. I hate bubble gum," Roxas muttered to himself. Then he glanced at his lady friend, realizing at once that she was quavering like a newly bathed puppy in wintertime. A look of concern washed over his face—concern for her—and he asked in a caring tone if she was feeling okay.

And for some reason, Olette said she was just plain peachy.

Although, when it was time for Roxas to board the train for his trip to visit his diseased aunt, Olette could not help but collapse to her knees in heart-wrenching tears, grabbing one of Roxas' strong hands in both her fragile ones. She looked up at him pleadingly, barely able to speak through her choking sobs, barely able to keep her eyes open, barely able to fill her lungs with the air that she desperately needed…

"Please… Roxas! Don't go, don't—something bad—the train—isn't safe—you might—" Olette shut her eyes, shaking her head, her tears streaming down her cheeks and crashing against the cracked pavement. Her heart was pounding dangerously against her rib cage, disturbing the rest of her skeleton, disturbing herself in general. "Y-You might not—you could die—"

Glaring at the staring passersby whom dared to look disgustingly at one of his closest friends, Roxas bent down in front of Olette, quickly gathering her in his arms. He tried to calm her down as he gently ran a hand up and down her slender back, whispering to her comfortingly, saying that nothing bad was going to happen and that she shouldn't worry about him in the least. When Olette's sobs finally quieted, her eyes opened to look into the eyes of the boy she cared so much about. She held her breath as Roxas softly cradled the quivering tip of her shapely chin and swiftly kissed her.

Roxas helped her up; smiling the smile that Olette had fallen in love with, and said meekly, "Don't worry… I'll be back in no time."

Olette hugged her arms to her midsection as she watched Roxas board the train… as she watched as the sliding doors breezed to a close… as she watched Roxas gaze at her through the glassy window… as she watched as the train began to slowly inch out of the station… as she watched the train travel loudly and nimbly across the tracks and shaking the ground all around—

—somewhere, a bolt went loose.

—somewhere, a metal hinge pried free.

—somewhere, a wobbly chunk of wood fell off.

Somewhere, a brunette screamed her lungs out, because she had seen what she had been waiting for all day. Because she had seen something that she knew was going to happen—her eyes widened after a blinding flash assaulted her. She heard a death-dripping combustion, she heard thousands of soaring rubble collide with the ground. Overcome with shock, she could not find her voice as the train tumbled heavily off the train track, flames emitting from its large contour—the track itself ready to disintegrate and crumble into hundreds… thousands… millions… billions… trillions… an endless amount of rock and steel and death.

And blackness overtook Olette, much too overwhelmed with the catastrophe—everything was spinning. Everything had gone wrong… everything, everything

Olette had thought something would happen. Somehow knowing that it would not happen to her, but to someone she cared about. It would happen to someone she cherished. Someone she adored. Someone she held dear. Someone she loved.

It had certainly happened.

To him.

Even after her pleading with the celestial heavens above.

"Gross. I hate bubble gum."

Olette spun around to face Roxas.

"What?" she gasped, unable to control herself, feeling as though her organs were being forced into a freezer. She inhaled sharply as her eyelids began to brim with tears of disbelief. What was happening?

Roxas glanced at Olette, before handing an elderly woman a small sack of munny and receiving his ticket. "I said, I hate bubble gum. Are you okay, Olette…?"

Almost automatically, Olette replied, "I'm just peachy."

Roxas lifted an eyebrow before shrugging a shoulder. He picked up his black and white backpack, slinging it over his back. "Well, if you say so. Thanks for walking me here—see you soon." And he smiled a smile that lasted a second, before turning around and walking towards the entrance of the train.

The doors slid open.

Roxas stepped inside.

The doors slid closed.

And Olette remembered.

"ROXAS!"