It was something I had been fighting all along, spreading through my body like a disease, taking me over piece by piece. I tried to fight it, but I wasn't strong enough.
My heart wasn't strong enough…
One Hundred and Thirty Four Lilies – Lenalee's POV
It was the sunniest day of the year. I was sure of it. The sun gleamed down, a gentle warmth spreading through the air. I stood outside, looking over the large land, waiting. When were the others going to get here?
I felt a hand slip into mine from my side and turned quickly to see who had joined me. Allen stood, grinning his usual calm, sweet grin. I smiled back, unable to resist the urge.
"Is it wrong for me to feel so peaceful on such a day?" I asked him softly, a thoughtful tone in my voice.
Allen stared at the ground as we began walking, thinking over his response carefully. "I would think so…but…I feel the same way. I almost feel…"
"…Happy," I finished for him with a shaky laugh. "Me, too."
It was silent for a moment, other than the musical chirping of the birds. It was the first day of spring, though it hadn't been such a lovely day last year. No, that had been a dark, dismal day, and it had rained so hard…in so many ways.
"It's been a whole year, huh?" Allen asked, as if he had been reading my thoughts. "I don't know what to think of that. It kind of makes you lonely, huh?"
"Silly Allen," I laughed. "You said you were happy a second ago."
"You said that."
"No, I didn't!"
I rolled my eyes, wondering how we could be bickering so childishly on such a day. Exactly a year ago we had experienced the terrible incident of that final battle, and yet we stood here, teasing each other and enjoying the great weather. Was that wrong?
We laughed gently to ourselves, probably thinking the same things about our casual behavior. Allen's face became a little more serious as we walked over the large, green hill to our destination.
"It's all right not to cry," he told me. "It's all right to smile and to laugh, even today. All those people who died did so just so we and so many others could move on. They died so we could move on with our lives, working our hardest, doing our best, and paving the path for the next generation, so that the exorcists can live on. They don't want to be remembered by that final, tragic battle. They want to be remembered for the good times in life, the times when we laughed together and played together and talked together, because all of those are just as important. Think of that when you see the memorial."
I smiled to myself. Allen always knew just what to say, even during times like these.
He stopped walking, pulling me to a halt. I took a deep breath, glancing at the ground, almost afraid to look up. I hadn't seen the memorial yet, because it hadn't been completed last year, and everyone had said it would be best if we saw it for the very first time on the anniversary. At last, I looked up, and gasped at its beauty.
For all one hundred and thirty four heroes who had died on that day was a lily, planted into the lush, green grass, all lined up together in a large, perfect garden. I had never seen anything so beautiful before. These lilies represented my friends, my loved ones, who had died for us and our cause on that day. Each one was a friend, someone I had loved.
At last I felt tears building up in my eyes. I wasn't sure if it was tears of loss for the deaths of my friends, or tears of happiness. Each lily sent a thousand memories into my mind, a thousand happy, amazing memories, and all the feelings of love I felt for my friends welled up inside of me, warming every inch of my body more than the sun ever could. I was happy because I had been blessed enough to share part of my life with these people.
I leaned my head against Allen's shoulder, and he rested his head on mine, and we stared at the flowers, silently crying, with gentle smiles on our faces. The breeze brushed against us, ruffling our hair in the wind, and the flowers swayed back and forth, as if they were dancing for us.
Suddenly, there was a hard push on my back, sending me forward a few steps. I narrowly caught my balance before spinning around to see who our newcomer was.
"I'm a few minutes late and Allen's already making a pass at my girlfriend!" Lavi teased, punching Allen playfully in the shoulder.
Allen smirked back at him. "You're late."
"I was sleeping in."
"I don't know how you could sleep in today," Allen argued. "I could hardly sleep at all, I was so anxious!"
Lavi laughed before turning to me and flashing that irresistible smile that I had fallen in love with so, so long ago. I returned it as he slipped his arm around my shoulder, turning us to face the flowers.
"That's breathtaking, huh?" he murmured so only I could hear.
I nodded in agreement. "I don't think I've seen anything so beautiful."
Yes, it was the most beautiful thing, those one hundred and thirty four lilies. One of the best parts was that it hadn't been one hundred and thirty five, like it had come so close to becoming. Instead of a flower, swaying gently in the breeze before me, Lavi was standing next to me, holding me closely. That was another reason why I smiled today. This day reminded me of how Lavi had almost died, but had fought for his life, just when I had lost hope in him. This was a day representing not only death, but also survival.
I titled my head so I could look up at him, taking in his wavy red hair, his green eye, and his crooked smile. He caught my gaze, still beaming, and leaned down to plant a soft, quick kiss on my lips.
"Wow," Allen said again, still staring at the flowers. "It's just…so beautiful."
"Yes," I agreed, my eyes interlocked with Lavi's. "Yes, it certainly is."
Author's notes: Thanks so much for reading my story! I hope you were happy with the ending and that you enjoyed reading it! I hope you'll drop me a review and let me know what you thought!