It was nearing midnight... but where was she? Every night since she we met Jill always stayed up and met me here at the Goddess Pond, but it was 10 minutes past and there wasn't any sign of her. I mused as I gazed upon the crystalline waters, and thought of the face that often crept in the recesses of my mind.

She was just like any other girl, yet she wasn't like any other girl.

Jill. The spunky, brown-haired beauty who worked diligently on Moon Ranch to make a living. The girl who barely scraped a living yet made every penny somehow count. It made me, the Phantom Thief, pale in comparison. She didn't quite fit in around Forget-Me-Not Valley for some reason. Maybe it was the fact that she worked, then immediately went to bed so that she could stay up until 3 in the morning with me?

I remember the first time I ever laid eyes on that beautiful maiden. I was returning from a job at Romana's mansion when I encountered her along the road. We spoke for just a moment before another girl, Romana's granddaughter, I believe, came rushing out in a hurry with her face livid. I managed to carefully smooth-talk my way out of it, but that face stuck with me. Especially her eyes, the same color as the violets that bloomed everywhere this time of year, were striking. I dreamed of them that night.

Ever since then she came to visit me, no matter the weather. It was snowing so hard one night that you could barely see but she still found me, though I insisted she go home because I swear she was turning blue from the cold. Jill was always so concerned about me, especially the fact that she believed I would one day get caught in the act of stealing. "Don't worry," I told her. "I can handle myself." This was the truth, as my "Maiden Chick Beam" (1) helped in my efforts.

(1) (Is there anyone besides me who thinks that is a little strange? I walk into the Bar on my game and he freezes me in place with his trademark "Maiden Chick Beam" and he's free to take whatever he wants. 0.0)

Despite this she constantly fretted over me. It was like an over-protective mother keeping her young son from the schoolyard bullies, even if she embarrassed him in the process. I didn't actually mind; I liked the thought that she cared about me enough to be concerned.

She didn't mind that I flirted with the other girls. Jill knew it was only a ploy to ensure my escape if I was discovered while taking items from their homes. "I don't even mind if you flirt with them for romantic reasons," she said with a smile. "We're friends, Skye, don't even forget that."

That tore into me so deeply that it took my breath away.

Because she was the only person to whom my "lines" truly meant anything.

"Skye!" I suddenly heard her voice call. It was like angels ringing their sweet bells from heaven and one that I practically worshiped. Jill came running up to me, her brown ponytail bobbing enthusiastically, and she was carrying a covered dish in her hand. "Sorry I'm late..." she apologized quickly. "I spent hours trying to do this right, I think it's actually edible, but I'm not entirely convinced." The scent of curry rose from the dish, my favorite food in the entire world. That didn't matter to me right now, I was lost in her eyes again. That always happened at least once whenever we met.

"Yoohoo, Skye? You okay?" Jill said, her tone changing as she grew worried.

"Yes, I'm fine. You look beautiful tonight," I complimented, inviting her to sit with me on the ground.

A pale pink blush spread across her face as she sat down and opened the dish, revealing the curry. She pulled a fork from her rucksack and handed it to me, then grinned widely and began to dig in. I took a bite and savored the spicy flavor before swallowing. We went on like normal, talking about everything from her ranch to my recent jobs.

Jill suddenly got very quiet. "Skye, have you ever thought that maybe there's a life beyond thieving?"

The question threw me. Nobody had ever asked me anything like that. "No," I answered.

"You're stealing the possessions of others and then selling them for your own profit, don't you think that's wrong?" Jill questioned intently. "Maybe something you take is one of importance, maybe it could mean the world to that's just wrong, Skye!"

She was getting angry at my nonchalant tone, that much was obvious. I had never once questioned my lifestyle. It was who I was and would always be: the Phantom Thief, Skye. That was exactly what I told her, and she was silent for a very long time as she stared across the aquamarine water, lost in his depths. I was beating myself up inside, but she couldn't change who I was.

"I'm sorry," Jill finally whispered. "It wasn't right for me to think of that. That's like asking me to give up my farm work. It'd leave an empty hole inside of me." She looked up at me, smiling, and I knew I was forgiven.

Jill picked up a poetry book I had been reading and brought with me and she read to herself for a little while. She asked me questions every now and then about what she was reading: who the author was, what he meant by this, and also for my opinion. "Hey, Skye, this one's called 'Phantom!'" She cried.

"All look and likeness caught from earth,
All accident of kin and birth,
Had pass'd away. There was no trace
Of aught on that illumined face,
Upraised beneath the rifted stone,
But of one spirit all her own;--
She, she herself, and only she,
Shone through her body visibly.

-Samuel Taylor Coleridge."

She murmured to herself, "Interesting."

Jill looked up at me with stars in her eyes. It was the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen, and I think it must've showed on my face. "Skye, that really seems to fit you," she said incredulously.

"You really do look nice tonight," I said out of nowhere. "I mean it." It was like some unseen force was guiding our bodies closer together and before I knew it she was inches away from me and getting even closer.

"Skye..." she whispered.

And it was there, aided by the phantoms watching over us and guiding our every move, we kissed.

Short, sweet, to the point, and the only story I got out this summer. -sigh- I would've done more, but school starts Tuesday and I was really happy with the results that I got with "Phantom" so I thought I might as well put it up. Obviously the poem used is "Phantom," as written by Samuel Taylor Coleridge in the 19th Century.

I hope everyone had a great Summer, and let's make this year a good one!