still in a phase of why-has-life-dumped-this-on-me-of-all-law-abiding-citizens.
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G A Z I N G
She's always gazing, at somewhere or another. Cerulean blue eyes staring blankly ahead, staring at something, focusing until she can't quite focus anymore. Her sister notices, and every single time she catches the gazing she pokes her in the shoulder and tells her to stop.
She looks up into the sunset sky, tinged with orange and violet and a hint of dark midnight blue. With sketchpad clutched to her chest and a small smile curving up her pale lips she walks, not really bothering to see where she's going.
She stumbles, and her sketchpad tumbles to the pavement, the white pages and the leaded lines splayed out for all the world to see. She looks up and freezes when she sees who it is.
Stormy blue eyes look down stoically at her, and pouting lips are set in a frown as he runs a hand though tousled blonde hair. "Geez. Watch where you're going, klutz," he spits out, as if the very sentence tasted bitter on his lips.
Naminé bows her head in muttered apology as the boy, Roxas, brushes past her, the fabric of his blue jeans feeling rough against her upper arm. She bites her lip, gathers her sketchpad, and picks herself up.
She gazes up once more into the sky, and she sighs.
She has three obsessions in her pale, colorless life, and those are Roxas, sketching, and gazing, in that order.
So far, only two had boded her well. Kairi tells her that her works are amazing, but Naminé doesn't think so. The lines and curves and smudged patches of lead are just outlets for her own frustrations, and they aren't good. In fact, she's ashamed of them. That's why she carries around her sketchpad; she's grown paranoid of people leafing through it and finding her faults and faded dreams etched into the white paper.
Gazing; that's where she finds her inspiration.
Inspiration; that's where you find Roxas.
She gazes at him from afar, and every single time her heart twists around itself and stops beating, skips beating, even if only for a fraction of a second. In her eyes, he's perfect, and in her heart, he's her obsession.
Gazing can only take you so far, Kairi insists, with cinnamon-haired Sora nodding in agreement.
She refuses and shakes her head, walking away from them. She's content with all of this, and that's not about to change. So what if Roxas didn't even know her name, or if he treated her like she was the scum of the earth. As long as she can gaze upon his angelic features, it's okay.
But then, if that's true, then anything and everything would always be okay.
And that is never true.
On arriving home she walks slowly up to her room, hollowly answering her mother's afternoon greeting. She finds her ebony-black dress shimmering on her pale white bed, beckoning to her. Kairi bounces into the room, her hair already in a shower cap with the smell of strawberry conditioner wafting out. There's the annual formal dance tonight, and the crimson-tressed girl is understandably excited.
All Naminé wants to do is crawl under her bed's covers and sleep, gazing at the blank white ceiling and dreaming of the day when she'll be able to finally stop dreaming and she can do something with her pathetic excuse for a life.
However, she is pushed along by Kairi's sheer energy, and time flies; the afternoon flies, and all she can hear is her sister's animated chatter about Sora asking her to the dance earlier. As she feels the dab of eyeshadow go onto her eyelids, she sighs, and gazes into the dark underside that is her closed eyes, wondering how it would feel like if somebody asked her to the dance.
But then again, nobody did, and no one will, so why bother?
They step into perfect sparkling sandals as their mother hollers up the stairs, informing them that there's somebody waiting for them down below.
Kairi takes a deep breath and prances majestically down the stairs, flipping her hair over her shoulder and giggling. Naminé takes a similar deep breath and walks down dejectedly, black heels clacking rhythm into the hardwood stairs. She stares through half-lidded eyes as her sister hugs Sora, and as the boy hands her a bouquet of bloodred roses. Sighing wistfully, she walks to the kitchen for a last glass of water before they leave, and she freezes once again.
Roxas is there, leaning over the sink, watching the water spiral downwards into the steel drain.
She takes her time gazing, taking in his features. His tuxedo perfectly black, his hair perfectly spiky, and his features perfectly illuminated by the swinging light fixture. He's perfect.
He suddenly notices her standing there, and he frowns, before spinning on his heels and walking out of the tiled room, not even sparing her a second glance. After all, she's just another girl to him. Why should she be so different?
"Naminé!" her sister calls from the living room, and she stumbles out. Roxas is no longer there, and Sora explains that Roxas is his cousin and that the golden-haired boy is driving.
The drive to the hotel is uneventful, and all she does, and really, all she can do, is stare out the window and gaze at the scenery passing by.
Sora opens the door for Kairi and she is half-hopeful that Roxas will open the door for her, but all hope is crushed when the boy picks up a bouquet of white roses from the back seat and goes inside the hotel without even looking back at her. Naminé. Still sitting in the car and waiting for her hypothetical Prince Charming to open the door.
She walks, and walks, gazing at the pavement as her heels click and clack and make rhythmic noise in general.
Sora and Kairi have gone ahead, and so had Roxas, for she overheard earlier in the car that Roxas was supposed to meet his date at the dance itself. Amidst the quiet and irritatingly repetitive elevator music, she finds the pieces of her broken heart on the floor, one-sided love dancing among the shards.
She walks and walks until she reaches the hotel ballroom, and she is overwhelmed by the sheer number of people. People who are now gazing at her as she ghosts silently past them, eager to get away from all the attention and all the hateful stares.
She finds refuge in the ballroom's balcony, which is mercifully free of the expected people who she supposes are supposed to exchange fluids in the darkness. There she stands, gazing out into the city's twinkling skyline. She waits and waits and bites her lip for the blessed moment when the dance formally ends. She wants to escape.
She stares up into the stars in the sky, wondering why nobody had asked her to dance yet. Maybe because she's now wearing black and the balcony where she is standing on is shrouded in the night's darkness. Or maybe she has made too much of a wallflower of herself for anyone besides Sora and Kairi to know she actually exists.
She turns back to gaze at the dance floor, and there her gaze lands on him. Roxas. Laughing and dancing with another girl in his arms, cutting their own path through the dancing and swirling of fabric. White roses are in the girl's arms, matching the white of her dress.
Naminé berates herself for hoping, and she decides right then and there that hoping is overrated.
She's glad that her heart's already broken, for it cannot be broken anymore. She slips through the crowd, between the chatter and the champagne and the crystal on the punch table, between the flashes of color and the displays of affection. She knows when she's not wanted, and she knows when she doesn't want to be somewhere.
She walks, and walks, heels clacking on the marble floor. In the elevator she gazes blankly at her own pitiful black-garbed figure, with her eyes dull and her heart empty. She steps down, feeling the receptionists' and the peoples' and the guards' gazes on her back as she trots to the main entrance. She hails a cab home, and is grateful when the pine-scented vehicle starts moving.
She gazes one last time back at the hotel, and she makes out two figures on the balcony, one with short spiky hair silhouetted in the light from the dance. She's sure it's him, and she's also sure that the other figure is the brunette he was dancing with earlier.
As much as she tries, her tears won't come, because right now, all she feels is numbness.
Ah, she thinks, one-sided love never had a happy ending, didn't it?
She gazes up at the streetlamps as they hurtle by, and she gazes heavenwards at the stars in the sky. A shooting star trails its fiery path across the darkness, and she whispers a wish.
She pauses, as a realization hits her.
Everytime a star falls, a shooting star is born. A wish is then made, but then at the cost of the star's life. So everytime someone wishes, everytime a wish, a dream comes true, something else falls.
Maybe, just maybe, Roxas made a wish, and Naminé was the first to fall.
The cab jolts violently, and she is thrown forward as the glass from her window shatters and showers her with sparkling fragments. She blinks, and raises her hands in front of her as another jolt rocks the car's steel frame. Her pale hands are covered and sticky with blood. Her blood.
Something. A car. A truck. A van. She's not really sure, but something had hit the taxi and had sent it spinning into the highway's steel railing. Another jolt. Something else hits the back, throwing her violently forward, crushing her to the front seat and ripping the roof open.
She struggles to get out and she succeeds, and she is glad to know that the cab had the accident in her home's general vicinity, near the park. Nobody hears the crash, for the park is extensive, and covers a few square miles in length. How ironic. Only two more blocks and the accident would not have happened; she would have been able to sneak back into the house and back into the comfort of her pale white room. Instead, all she manages to do is stumble back into their front gate, something bleeding and her hands crimson.
She collapses on the pavement, heels leaving tracks and trails on the white concrete, all energy used up from the exertion of walking and half-stumbling back to her home. She manages to prop herself up against the fence and laughs quietly, voice too feeble to do anything else. Her knees go up to her chest and she hugs herself, trying to keep warm in spite of the coldness she was feeling inside. Her ribs creak brokenly and blood trails down in ribbons and puddles onto the pavement.
She gazes upwards into the meteor shower, smiling faintly, wondering how many stars would die tonight.
And then her tears fall, remembering the dancing and the yellow lights and the tuxedoes and the swishing of satin and fabric on the smooth marble floor.
Through her teary reverie the sound of brakes screeching and a car door slamming broke through, and she snapped her head up just in time to see a sleek blach car pull up just across the street. She realizes blankly that the car is the one where she had rode in earlier, and she pulls herself to her feet, desperate to get away.
She only manages to totter a few half-steps when her legs give way and she falls towards the pavement. Cerulean-blue eyes blink in surprise when arms reach out and catch her before she falls. She winces as the palms dig into her ribcage, making her chest burn with the sensation of white-hot daggers.
"I'm sorry," a voice whispers, and Naminé shakes her head, trying to clear it and trying to break out of her hallucination. For she knows she's just lying on the concrete, lying and bleeding and dying with no one to listen, sitting with her back to the fence and her gaze to the stars.
"I'm sorry, Naminé," the voice repeats, and it is as she feared; Roxas himself is holding her in his arms, with his own sleeves stained with her thick blood.
"N-no," she manages to choke out, but she falters and falls to her knees, and the boy kneels down on the pavement and dials 911. The call is finished in record time and she closes her eyes, breath unsteady and thoughts whirling.
"I...I...You slipped out of the dance. I only noticed when the people started whispering, and then I looked to the balcony and I saw you weren't there. Olette spotted you getting into a taxi, so I followed you. I lost you somewhere along the highway, so I decided to drive over to your home and check if you were here. I saw the horrible accident and then I saw you and then..." he trails off, and she opens her eyes to see him biting his lips and his eyes shimmering.
She looks away, altogether nervous and ashamed. "There's nothing to see here. Thank you for calling an ambulance, but you don't belong here. You have a dance to go to. I'm fine," she insists, but the thin ribbon of blood over her lips says otherwise.
His eyes darken, and his eyebrows furrow.
"You've always been cold to me, Roxas," she says, breath hitching as his grip loosens. Just as she thought. Kairi had probably sent him, unwilling, to check up on her. "You don't have to follow what my sister tells you to; you don't have to lie."
Roxas bows his head as his grip loosens even more, until she realizes he's doing it to avoid any more injury that she might get. Her head is on his lap and his face hovers over hers. "Listen to me, Naminé. I...I would've asked you be my date for the dance, but I was too afraid. Instead, I got the band to dedicate a song to you, and I hoped that you would be the one who's dancing with me. I would've given you the roses, but I chickened out and told Olette, my sister, to pass it along to you. I would've asked you to dance, but I got tongue-tied and waited for too long. Instead, I told everyone to stay away from you because I wanted to be your first dance. I would've asked you out long ago, but I was too afraid. Instead, all I could do was hate you and myself for it. I was too afraid, but I'm not allowing that to ruin anything now."
Every sentence has a rising intonation, and the volume increases with every phrase. The pain in her chest intensifies with every pained breath she takes. The ribbon of blood had grown into a steady stream. Her eyesight dims and the pain numbs slowly, mercifully, for she knows she has broken bones and broken tissue and broken only-God-knows-what-else.
"Don't close your eyes," he whispers brokenly, pleadingly, his warm tears dripping onto her cold pale face. "Don't let go just yet. I haven't...I'm not ready...Not when I had just found you and --- "
Her broken heart pieces itself together with the glue that was Roxas' confession, and she smiles. He may be late, but he wasn't too late. Blood bubbles up at the back of her throat as she struggles to make her voice work one last time. She succeeds, and her hand twitches in a pathetic attempt to take his.
"Roxas..." she murmurs, before she falls into the black --- the black of the night, the black of her dress, the ebony-black of unconsciousness.
She dies gazing up into the falling stars, knowing that when her star died, Roxas' wish had come true.
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that was depressing.
please? pretty please?
flames are accepted.