AN: I decided to take a break from my other story to write this one. You know how it goes, right? You get an idea and you want to get it down in writing before you lose it…Anyways, don't think I'm neglecting the other one! I'll get there. Eventually. Until then, I hope you enjoy this one.

Disclaimer: I don't own Sonic. End of story.

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Finding the Strength to Let Go

Amy sighed as she focused her attention on the picture frame that sat on her night stand. She closed her eyes and allowed her memory to take over her thoughts. She could remember it all as if it were yesterday. Every sight. Every sound. Every touch. He had actually smiled for that photo. And his smile had been just as big as hers.

The last time she remembered being that happy was over half a year back. Back then they were stuck in the human world struggling to get back to their own home. When they finally had gotten the word that they'd be able to return she was overcome with excitement and relief. It wasn't that she disliked the human world. She actually enjoyed it as long as he was there with her. But she had longed to be home and live in a place that was more peaceful and quiet. She wanted to sleep in her own bed and wear her old clothes. But mostly she wanted to be able to stare at her most treasured photograph once again.

If she had known back then that the photograph was the only way she would be able to see him after returning home she would have gladly given it up. But it was too late now.

The first week had been devastating to her. Not knowing what went wrong or if something bad had happened drove her insane. Every night she found herself staring up at the sky, waiting for his return, until her body was so fatigued that it forced sleep on her. Then, after that long week, she had decided. She wouldn't give up on him. She wouldn't lose hope. She would wait.

And she did wait. For more than 5 long and painful months there wasn't a single day that went by that she wouldn't wake up believing that the day had finally come for him to return. She'd get dressed and make her way out to visit Knuckles. She knew that if he came back the master emerald would react. And so she'd gather up every ounce of hope she had to check each morning.

At first her persistence had bothered Knuckles. He would give his response in an irritated manner and tell her to leave him alone but eventually his anger faded to sympathy. Soon, their conversations became short and to the point.

"Is there any sign of him coming home today?" She'd ask.

"No."

And then she would turn and walk away. It had become a regular routine that she had gotten used to. That didn't make the answer any less disappointing to hear, though. That two-letter word ate at her heart and slowly drained her strong belief in him. But her resolve to wait was still there. She wouldn't give up.

But in the past month her determination had been slipping away rapidly. The last six months had been such torture on her that she was a completely different person now. She hated to go out unless it was to check in with Knuckles. There were just too many places and too many people that would remind her of him. And that would just make it that much harder to believe.

She knew others had moved on. She could tell whenever she did manage to get out. The looks of pity that they all gave her said it all. They were no longer waiting and they all felt bad that she still was. But they never said anything. They never mentioned his name. She preferred it like that, really. If she knew what they were thinking her resolve would crumble. She wouldn't allow that.

But something inside of her had snapped this morning. She couldn't take it anymore. So she went to Knuckles, just like every day before. But today she had asked him the question she dreaded the most. She already knew what his answer would be but she thought it might be easier to come to terms with if she heard it from someone rather than trying to force herself to accept it.

"Knuckles, do you think he'll ever come back?"

His hesitation had said it all. She could tell it had caught him off guard and that he found his response to be rather awkward to confess, especially to her, but she knew Knuckles was not one to sugar coat anything.

And then he said it. "No." That same two-letter word that always disappointed her.

At first she was crushed by Knuckles' answer even though she had expected it. But it wasn't so much for her sake but for his. How could his friend abandon him like that? How could Knuckles just give up so easily? How could he be so cold? But before she could accuse him of being so heartless realization began to hit her. Maybe he was right.

She didn't want to agree, but she knew that with each passing day whatever slim chance of him coming back was drifting away. Was she the only one still living in the past? Was she the only one who needed to just let go and move on?

"Do you think I'm being ridiculous by still hoping?"

He had looked at her briefly with those same pitiful eyes that everyone always gave her. She found it a bit surprising, too, since he was usually very cold and distant. And then he turned his back to her and began to walk away, stopping after only a few steps.

"Do what you gotta do," was his response. And then he left as the harshness of reality came crashing down on her.

Part of her had tried so hard to convince her to stay strong and not lose hope, if not for her own sake but for his, but in her mind she knew she couldn't take it anymore. She had hit rock bottom. She wondered how she had been able to handle it for so long with out breaking. It had changed her. She wasn't that same carefree, fun-loving girl that she used to be. And when she thought about all of these things she made up her mind on one final decision.

It was time to let go.

So here she was, her favorite photograph now in her hands, doing something she never believed she could do.

"I'm so sorry, Sonic." She said as she traced her fingers along his figure in the frame. "I just can't do this anymore. It's time for me to move on and live my life."

She placed the frame into a box filled with things that reminded her of him and then proceeded to seal it up. She sat and stared at the box for a brief moment, and then, allowing one more tear to fall down her face in his memory she picked it up.

"I'll always love you." She whispered. She took one deep breath and then placed the box in the far corner underneath her bed vowing to never open it again.