Now it's Nick's turn on the train! I don't own Phoenix Wright and blah blah blah.
The calendar says seven years.
Not that I've been counting.
My heart is punching against my chest like a drum, my eyes are flickering around the small train nervously, and my thoughts are in tangles. The train jolts me up and down, upsetting my roiling stomach further. My fingers convulse around the chilly object clutched in my fist as I take a calming breath.
It's been seven years, and I'm still afraid of her.
Of course, it's silly to be afraid of her--of her stretching grin, of her childish stature, of her teasing jokes, and yet…
I sit terrified.
I still don't know what pushed me to get on this train today, this train that is visiting Maya's home town, but some strange force has been driving me lately, dictating my thoughts and dreams and actions.
This train is suffocating me. I sit back in my gummy seat, squirming uncomfortably. I'm only able to think of Maya, to think of my past, and it's killing me. I rest my forehead on the headrest in front of me and close my eyes.
It was easy, the first few years, to throw my thoughts of Maya Fey away. It was easy to erase her image from my mind, it was surprisingly effortless to pretend she had never existed; to pretend that I'd never been a lawyer and I'd never cared for anyone but myself. I had Trucy to look after, and she occupied my every waking thought. Fatherhood exhausted me, both mentally and physically, and that cheerful, dark haired girl I used to know began to fade away. I was happy to be busy, to separate my old life from my new one.
And then Trucy grew up.
She began to ask questions, questions about the dusty law books tucked away in back of our bookcases, questions about that strange blue suit crumpled in the corner of my closet. What did you do, Daddy, before you got me? Were you always a piano player? Why don't we ever talk about when you were a kid?
And then, my breaking point two years ago, when she found that glowing green charm I tried to lose…when she sat down for breakfast with it cradled in her palms…Look at this pretty charm I found in an old box, Daddy!
I must have hurt her feelings when I ripped it from her hands, when I told her not to mess with other people's belongings, when my voice broke and I turned from her shocked face. I went to my room and shoved the Magatama into my drawer, fingers quivering as I covered it with old socks and rags, hiding it, hoping to forget that I'd seen it.
Since that day, I haven't been able to get her out of my head.
Maya Fey is haunting me.
Thoughts of her, thoughts of who she is now, they dry my mouth and tear at my chest. I suppose she's Master of Kurain, with unparallel channeling skills and a high place in the government. It's odd to think of that small girl as a powerful political figure, to think of her as a mother and a teacher. I'm sure that she's both. I turn my head and look out my window, into the empty fields surrounding this train, and see her with her children, on a picnic blanket, basking in the afternoon sun, living her life without me…content, fulfilled. Laughing that infectious laugh, with her husband's hand in hers. I hope he knows how to protect her…I hope he takes care of her…
Because I couldn't. I failed her.
I shake my head and rub my thumb against the smooth Magatama in my fist, clenching my eyes.
Why am I visiting her at Kurain Village? Why am I doing this? This isn't going to help anything. She'll turn me away. She'll lock the door in my face, like I did to her seven years ago, and this time...this time, I'll be the one on the other side, pounding the door and crying. Maya probably hates me, and I deserve it. I ignored her every phone call, her every letter, her every attempt at contacting me. One by one the ties to my old life were severed, and I thought I was satisfied. But my past will not leave me be, and here I am, tired and defeated, searching for a remedy to my guilt. Through Maya, I want forgiveness for what I've done.
Will she forgive me, though? Does anyone have that much goodness in them to forgive someone like me?
The train is beginning to slow, and the cottages dotting the grassy pastures are beginning to increase in number. My stomach lurches terribly as I see children outside staring at the train, their mouths gaping, their tiny acolyte outfits so familiar, so agonizing.
It's been so long since...since I've seen this place...
We pull into the wooden station, and I feel as if I'm going to collapse. The Magatama's sharp end bites into my palm as I make a fist and stand. A thousand memories are bursting before my eyes as I pace down the isle of the train, following the small group of tourists before me. My knuckles ache, but I grip the Magatama tighter, holding onto the only lifeline I possess, the only remnant I have left of Maya Fey.
I repeat her name, tasting it, but my tongue stumbles over the unfamiliar word. I pause, my feet halting. The doors are...they're just so close.
This is finally it. I...I don't know if I'm ready yet...I...
I don't know if I can face her yet...
I gather a deep breath, about to take the first step off the train, when suddenly I feel a stiff push from behind. I am weightless. I crash against the hard floor of the train, my elbow smacking into the ground, causing my hand to splay with pain. The Magatama flies from my fingers and clinks out of sight. As I gape with shock, clutching my throbbing elbow, someone from behind steps over me. "Move it, gramps," the young teenage boy grunts as he hops off the train. I am alone now, my face burning with embarrassment and frantic worry. Where did that Magatama go?! I scurry around on my stomach, scouring the dirty floor for the charm, reaching under chairs, my heart thumping with panic. I can't show up without the Magatama...she'll never...if she knows I lost it...I can't b-believe this is happening...
And then the doors chime.
I take a desperate last look under a seat, my heart sinking horribly. I rise slowly, my hands numb, my head floating as I step off the train.
It begins to chug away, and I watch it leave in silence, my mouth dry and my eyes blinking in disbelief.
After so many years of trying to lose it...it disappears when I need it the most.
I hang my head and trudge down the dirt streets, my hands stuffed in the pocket of my dirty sweatshirt, children rushing past me on their way home. The sun is setting now.
I wonder what she'll say when I tell her what has become of her most treasured possession.
I come upon the Fey Manor, my stomach clenching with worry as I tilt my head to take it in. With a heavy sigh, I lower my eyes and walk through the doors.
And, shockingly, I feel relief flood through me. Even though I'm terrified of what Maya will say...I know the waiting's over. Whether she rejects me or welcomes me with open arms, at least I will get my answer tonight.
I've finally come back for you, Maya.