Why is it when someone dies,

It always makes us wish to cry?

Shouldn't we be glad they can fly,

And soar along the cloudless skies?

Is it because they're forever gone,

And it makes you feel all alone

When really it's a brand new dawn…

Why do I cry?

The lone figure continued humming the sad tune he remembered hearing his mother sing when he was little. This place always made him sad, but he visited it often. He knew the tears he shed here meant the world to her. Looking out across the water sparkling in the late day sun made him remember happier times…

"Whoa! How did you find this place? It's beautiful!"

"I got lucky, I guess."

"Wow…it's magnificent…"

"Yeah, but it pales in comparison to you."

"Stop! You're making me blush!"

"Hehe…let's never forget this moment, okay?"

"Yeah!"

"And let's always be together, okay? Together forever?"

"Yeah…together forever!"

Together forever…yeah, that had been what their promise was. They never deviated from it, not even once.

The figure lay down on the ground, lost in thought. Everything came so simply when he was young. But it wouldn't last.

That day…would always hold a place of indecision in his memory. Was it a good day, or was it a bad one? Honestly, it was both, which is why it was so confusing. Should it be cherished, of thrown away?

To this day, he didn't know what to make of it. He yawned, his yellow rings glowing faintly in the light of the late day. He didn't care, really. He loved his memories, each and every one of them. Especially the ones with her. They were all he had left, after all.

Rolling onto his back to watch the orange sky grow dark, Shadow began to hum again.

----------

I still remember the day we met,

And back then I could've never bet

That things would have gotten the way they get.

But frankly, I'm glad they did.

I woke up at the crack of dawn, like always. Careful not to disturb my sleeping sister, I crept out of bed and into the kitchen. Isabel, surprisingly, was already there. She looked like she hadn't had any sleep at all, but that wasn't surprising. After all, it was the anniversary of the day Cici and Blaze left. It had been a whole year. Isabel had been sad and teary-eyed for the longest time after they disappeared. Much like she was now.

"Oh…hello, Shadow." She sniffed, taking a sip of her coffee. Isabel had matured a lot since that day. She still looked the same physically, of course. She had grown a bit, perhaps, but she still had the same tan skin and long black hair tied back with a ribbon so it wouldn't get in her warm, kind face. No, it was deeper than that, on an emotional level. She was still as fun and caring as ever, but now you could see the pain in her face, weighing down on her heart every day.

I hated my mother for it.

She just up and leaves one day for no reason, leaving the ones she loves behind, including her own children! I could understand why Isabel missed then, but I could care less if they ever returned.

"Ah, I see you're both up." Isabel observed, taking another sip of her coffee. I turned around. I hadn't noticed Rose standing in the doorway, but now I recognized the sweet scent that followed her. She had grown a lot in the past year. She now stood roughly 3 feet tall, with soft, light brown fur covering her body except for her green ears, paws, and leaf-shaped tail. As a Leafeon, the air around her was cleaner and sweeter-smelling, and she often had a flower with which she shares her namesake tucked behind one ear. Her kind brown eyes reflected her personality and maturity. She was a lot like Isabel, in a way.

But that's not to say that I haven't changed, though. I had grown about 2 feet, and was only a couple inches shorter than my sister. I took pride in my long ears and tail, and Isabel often said that my rings were quite handsome (even though on a full moon they glow so brightly that sleep is scarce). My fur had stayed black in my evolution, as expected. All accounted for, I'd say I was quite an appealing Umbreon. If only Cici could see us now.

She'd wish she would've never left.

Isabel sat up. "Are you two ready to go?" Go? Go where? Rose nodded, heading to the door while Isabel got her coat. She must've noticed my look, because she smiled. "We're going to Dad's house, remember?"

Oh, yeah.

I smiled and headed out the door, where there was already a taxi waiting for us outside. We piled in, and a few minutes later, we were off.

----------

An hour later we arrived at Sam's house in the city, and I couldn't be any happier to get out of that car. Isabel told me that I inherited Cici's anxiety. I had trouble sitting still for longer then 10 minutes.

So, you can imagine my relief when we pulled into the driveway.

Sam had intentions of moving, but was unable to when Blaze left. Without a seeing-eye dog, he was forced to quit his job. He was still doing well, but several times he had been to the brink of needing to sell his house and come live with us. He persevered, though.

"Isabel! Little ones!" I shouted as we came up to the front door. Isabel hugged her father.

"Hi, Dad." she said. Sam led us inside, to the kitchen. Everything looked vaguely familiar. I remembered only a little about living here; Isabel and Cici moved away when Rose and I were still young and we hadn't visited the city since then. Sam and Isabel began chatting, catching up, but I quickly lost interest. I stood up and began to look around. Rose shot me a look.

"I'm just looking around." I said innocently. She rolled her eyes, but looked back up at Sam, who was scratching her head. I shrugged and wandered out a door leading out of the kitchen. Something felt oddly familiar about this room.

Oh, that's right. This was our old room. The one Lucia got taken from. I smiled sadly, looking around the squarish room. It looked a lot bigger back then. I noticed the window the Houndours had crashed through. It looks like not a lot of time had been spent fixing it up. There was a board roughly nailed over it. Only a small hole was still visible. I took one last look around and turned to leave.

A loud THUMP outside made me turn back around. Something moved outside the window. Curious, I looked outside. There was someone there. The figure noticed me and ran off. Something was up.

I had to find out. I squeezed through the hole in the window, landing hard on the ground outside. I got up just to see the figure ducking behind a tree. I had no idea that there was still a forest in the city. Well, we were on the outskirts, so I guess that makes sense. I followed the figure through the trees, ducking around plants until we reached a large clearing.

A lake? When did that get there? I scanned the lake, trying to find the figure. Hmm…there! Down by the shore, I saw the figure. I stalked up behind him. I was about to surprise him, when I saw what he was doing. The figure was…crying?

He…no, wait. I noticed it was a girl. She was staring down into the water, her black shoulders shaking gently. She was a delicate figure, really, her long ears drooping slightly. She had jet black fur, and it didn't take me long to realize that she was an Umbreon, too. I lost all desire to interrogate her. I just sat there quietly, watching her. She sat there sobbing for a few moments, and when she finally stopped she looked up and saw me. There were tears in her eyes. She didn't run, though. She just looked…well, guilty, actually. I noticed something by her feet. She pushed it towards me.

It took me a moment to identify it, but I realized it was the picture that Sam kept in the side room. Why did the Umbreon have it? She must've taken it, but why?

I opened my mouth to say something, but she shook her head. "Sorry…" I thought I heard her mumble before she turned and ran off. I didn't chase after her. I just sat there, paralyzed. What just happened? The sound of Isabel calling my name dragged me back to my senses. I turned around, and saw Isabel standing on the back porch. I looked back one last time at where the Umbreon disappeared to, then headed back to Sam's house.