April 2005

Disclaimer: It all belongs to GL, I just write for fun.

Regrets

I never thought I'd see the day when I would be unwilling to travel to the next life. Me, afraid of submerging myself in the Force. Why, you ask? Because of my best friend, and the woman I love. Tahiri Veila. I am dead, of that there is little question. I died protecting the people I love most, sacrificing myself so they could live. I hate myself for it. I didn't want to die; I was just beginning to live. I have seen so much in my young life, done so much, and yet, I haven't done nearly enough. I will never know what it's like to tell Tahiri I love her, to ask her to marry me. I will never know what her response would have been. Yet, a part of me knows, a part of me has always known. She loves me. She always has.

I am the Force. I am the life that connects every creature, every organic, in the galaxy, any yet I want none of it. I have become what I always sought to be, and if I could, I would go back in an instant. I left behind a family who will mourn me, a brother who never knew how much I respected him. Most of all I left her behind. It always comes back to her. Not my family. Not my sister or mother, nor my aunt Mara. Always Tahiri. She will mourn me, I can feel her mourning me even though I am with her in an insubstantial way. I feel her emotions rip through me as if I were fabric for her to tear. I regret causing her pain. I gave my life to help save them, to save her, and she can't forgive me for leaving her. I know she never will.

I watch her, I watch over her like a silent shadow, and yet she never sees me. Her pain is something I feel clear to my heart. What's left of it. She is my heart, my soul. If she lives, I will never die, but I hated to cause her this pain. She doesn't deserve this. She doesn't deserve to be mourning me at her age. She should be free to enjoy her life, her future, and yet I sense she can only focus on the past. Not a night goes by where she doesn't dream of me. I've watched her dreams. Mostly they're nightmares and she sees me die. Over and over again in many different ways. I want nothing more than to hold her close, to hug her and promise her I'll never leave her again. I can't. Nothing hurts more than the simple truth that I am a part of the Force and can do nothing to comfort her. Any words I could say would belittle her feelings. I've stood beside her as she stares out into space, silent tears streaming down her cheeks, and I can do nothing. I have hurt her, and hurt her deeply. My choice has left her feeling alone, without friends. Jaina has tried to talk to her, briefly, but I think she did more harm than good. I wish Jacen was here. If he hadn't been captured, maybe he could have helped Tahiri through this. He'd better come back, my girl needs his support, not to mention he has a promise to keep.

I watch her even now, curled up on her bed, her bare feet poking out from under her night clothes. I always loved her habit of walking bare foot, she was so carefree, so pure. And it was my death that tainted that. The Vong hurt her, I rescued her, and then they destroyed her faith in me. I saved her, I saved them all, and she wishes I hadn't. She sits now, curled up protectively, her eyes tightly shut. I can see her memories. I can feel her pain. So much pain. She simply wants to die, to make it all stop. I can't allow that. Carefully, I bend the Force to my will. I am the Force, I can shape it with my thoughts, my feelings, but I can't use it to touch people. Carefully, I shaped my body with my thoughts. The way I had been resonated in my mind and I forced myself to take that shape. I was dressed in my Jedi robes again, surrounded by a faint blue aura, standing at the foot of her bed. I hadn't done this before, I have only been dead for little over two weeks, but watching her, I don't know why I haven't done this. Folding my hands in front of me, I silently watch her, waiting for her to register my presence.

I know the instant she does. She stiffens, lifting her head carefully. I can see the tears glittering in her eyes, the streaks on her cheeks. She's been crying again, alone in her room. Her eyes widen as she sees me, her sharp intake of breath loud in her room. "Anakin?"

I smile. "Hello Tahiri."

She swallows hard. "You're d-dead."

"I'm sorry you're hurting."

She wipes her eyes with one hand, her knees still tucked close to her chest. "It's your fault. You shouldn't have..."

I shake my head. "Don't, Tahiri. What I did, I did because I had to. You know that. How could I let anyone else sacrifice themselves when I knew that was my calling?"

She grabs her pillow and makes to throw it at me. "You left me alone, Anakin!"

"You are never alone. I'm always here with you."

Her hand snaps forward and I don't move as the pillow passes through me. "You're not real, you're not even here."

"I am always here, Tahiri. I'll never leave you."

"You already left me, Dummy."

I approach her, going so far as to sit on the edge of the bed near her feet. "If I've already left, then how am I here? I am the Force, Tahiri. I became it when I made my last stand against the Vong. I'm sorry for the pain I've caused you. I've been with you since my body died, but you couldn't see me."

"Why are you here now?"

I have to fight the urge to stroke her face. I won't feel her and she won't feel my touch. "I can't bear it anymore. Watching you hurt... it's killing me."

Her smile is wan. "Welcome to the club."

"I never wanted to leave you, please believe that."

"Why should I?"

"Because I love you."

She sniffed back her tears. "Then why did you do it? Why did you leave me to face my life without you? Why, Anakin?"

"Because I love you. I couldn't let the Vong get our companions. I couldn't let them get to you again. I had to protect you."

Her tears started to fall again, tearing at my heart. "And you couldn't find a way to get rid of them and come back to me?"

"I'm here now."

"It's not enough." Her soft words made me flinch. I deserved that. This was a mistake, talking to her when we could never have anything more.

"I'll leave if you want me too. I didn't come here with the intention of hurting you again."

"I know." She was trying to smile, trying to be brave with me and I can't say it's making me feel any better. I should have let her grieve, to get past this. "I don't want you to leave again, Anakin. I feel so lost without you."

"I know, and I'm sorry. I can't hold this shape for long, I just wanted to tell you I'm still here, watching over you."

Her hand began to flex, started to reach out towards me but I can't let her touch me. I have to move and so, I get to my feet. "Goodbye, Tahiri."

She pushes herself off the bed, coming to stand in front of me. Her tears are steadily running down her cheeks. "You owe me a kiss, Jedi."

"I can't."

"Believe that you can, I won't let you leave until you do. You owe me a kiss and I intend to collect it."

I have to smile. Even now, knowing I'm dead and gone, she intends to collect on a promise I made. I can't refuse her. I lean down, focusing my mind, my entire being on this moment. More than anything I want to kiss her once more. Slowly, my lips settle over hers and I can begin to feel hers. Salty from her tears, I can taste her! I feel her sob, the catch in her breathing, as I kiss her. It's a bittersweet kiss, one that holds all of my regrets and hopes. I can feel my spiritual form beginning to fade, felt my focus start to fray. I was beginning to vanish once again in the Force. "I'll find a way back to you." I had to promise her that, how could I not? "I love you."

I heard her sob and then saw her collapse as I disappeared back into the main stream of the Force.

Fin