Forever Sixteen – by BandGeek99

This is really out of character for me. I'm writing one of these! Holy crap…

Anyway, the main purpose of this was to expand my horizons. I know I write a lot of comical romance, but I wanted to be sure that I could write angst and sadness, too. That's why, during Standardized Testing, I wrote this. Gomen if it sucks… I really want honest critique on this. That's why I'm posting it.

So… um… this is awkward… yeah. Read and review, please give me your honest opinions and ways that YOU think I could make this better. I don't know what possessed me to write something like this, but… yeah.

I don't own Digimon. If I did, there wouldn't be any Sorato.

Two years and three months. March of our junior year. Two years and three months. The time of my torture.

Matt was supposed to be my best friend. Hell, he had the spirit of friendship in his goddam heart! And yet… he betrayed me.

And Sora… Well, what can I say? I loved her. Deep down, in the bottom of my heart, I knew I'd never find a girl I'd love as much. My feelings must have been a nuisance to her, but she had to know. I had to tell her.

I pulled on my coat and sneakers and shoved my iPod into my ears and turned the volume all the way up. "Northern Downpour" was playing, and the melody matched my mood: quiet and melancholy. I scribbled out a quick note for my sister when she came home and left the building.

The day was grim and dark with heavy clouds that threatened to open on the city at any second. People hurried past, trying to reach their destinations before the storm hit.

I turned up my collar and slowly made the trek towards Sora's building.

The clouds broke and water poured onto the streets, soaking and flattening my hair. I didn't care. Hell, I barely even noticed it; I was too wrapped up in my thoughts.

I reached the front of Sora's building way sooner than I really wanted to, but there was not turning back now. My fingers warily reached forward and pressed the buzzer, almost as if they were part of another person.


"Hey, Sor, it's Tai."

"Oh! Come on up!"

I trudged up four flights of stairs to the apartment.

Sora unlocked the door and let me in. I sidled past her and she took my jacket and hung it off the back of a chair. "What's up?" she asked, looking curious at my expression.

I shut off my iPod. "Sora…" I raised my russet eyes to meet her scarlet ones.

She nodded for me to continue. A strand of hair fell in front of her eyes and she brushed it away.

"I know you're probably not going to like what I'm about to say," I started, uneasy, "but… I don't think you should go out with Matt anymore.

She looked at me as if I had four heads. "What?"

"I don't think you should go out with Matt!" I repeated, this time with more confidence.

"And why would that be?!"

"Because… because I love you!"

Her jaw dropped to the bowels of the earth.

I flushed and took her expression as rejection. "I'll just go now," I said as I gathered my things.

"No, Tai, wait-"

"Bye, Sora." I left the apartment, ignoring her cries for me to stop.

Sora followed me all the way to the sidewalk before she actually got a hold of my jacket, yanking me back. "TAICHI KAMIYA!! LISTEN TO ME!"

I spun around to face her.

Her crimson hair was plastered to her head, wet from the rain, and her mascara was running down her cheeks. Since when had she worn mascara around the house? Her Superman tee shirt was steadily growing wetter in the downpour. "Why didn't you tell me sooner?!" she demanded.

I shrugged. "You seemed happy with Matt. I don't want to get in the way."

She smiled at me like I'd just said something incredibly dumb. "You idiot. I only went out with him because he asked, and, well, you… didn't. I didn't think you liked me back."


She giggled and kissed me gently on the lips before gazing up at me with her ruby orbs and singing a few bars of a song by Beck. "I think I'm in love, but it makes me kinda nervous to say so."

I grinned and drew her into a tight embrace and we stayed like hat until Sora started to shiver. It was then I realized that she wasn't wearing a jacket, shoes, or socks.

"Go inside," I told her, "and warm up. I'll see you tomorrow, okay?"

She nodded and kissed me again and I felt my heart soar high in the air, like an eagle. "Bye."

I watched her go inside and turned to cross the street.

I sobbed into my pillow. He couldn't be dead, he just couldn't! He wasn't supposed to be dead! He was going to marry me, and then become a famous soccer player!

My mother sat next to me, tears running down her cheeks as well. "It's okay, sweetie," she kept saying, but I could tell that it was more for herself than for me.

I wailed louder and pulled an old stuffed animal close. "No, Tai… You can't be dead!"

A discarded newspaper laid on the floor, open to the obituary. There was a picture of him at Christmas; we were at my place, and he had a Santa Clause hat stuffed over his head. Kari and I were next to him, and he had a big goofy grin on his face. The little bit next to it read,

Taichi Kamiya – March 17th, 1989 – March 16th, 2006

Yesterday, Taichi "Tai" Kamiya, 16, was hit by a drunk driver. He died at 10:52 PM at Tokyo General Hospital. Taichi was the captain of the soccer team at Odaiba Public High School. He enjoyed soccer and being with his friends. He is survived by his parents and sister.

There was more information about memorial services and such, but I didn't bother reading. It just threw the fact that he was gone in my face even more. The biggest thing that bugged me, though, was… he would have been seventeen today.

It was a little bit scary, seeing him hooked up with wires and tubes to all kinds of equipment, like he was some kind of fragile doll. I'd known he was only human, but he never seemed that way… He was always invincible to me.

"I love you," he'd whispered. "I always will. You know that, right?"

I'd nodded, not trusting myself to speak for fear that I'd have a breakdown.

"I'll be watching you, so- so be good, okay?" His voice broke.

I almost knocked the wind out of him, I hugged him so tight. "I wish it didn't have to be like this," I'd said, tears breaking down the floodgates and finding their way into the open. "I don't want you to die."

"I know." Tai's beautiful eyes seemed so… scared. "Neither do I. But it's going to be okay."

I clung tighter to him. "No, it won't be okay! I don't want to live if you can't live with me!"

"You have to."

I cried a monsoon. "Don't go, don't die! Best friends don't die!"

He held me close and I could hear him sing a song that I hadn't heard since I was eight – it was the love theme from the Titanic movie. His voice was hoarse and quiet, but I could tell that he was fighting back the urge to cry.

"Every night in my dreams
I see you, I feel you
That is how I know you go on.
Far across the distance
And spaces between us
You, I know, will always go on.
Near, far, wherever you are
I believe that my heart will go on.
Once more you open the door
And you're here in my heart
And my heart will go on and on."

I bawled harder and harder as he gently stroked my head. I could tell he was crying, too, by the uneven pattern of his breathing. The machinery tying him to me was beeping softly in the background.

It was just the two of us in the room, supervised by an orderly who was pretending that we weren't having a moment, but it felt like we were the only two people in the entire city, even the entire world.

"I love you," I told him in between crying jags.

Tai hugged my tighter, if that was possible, and whispered, "I love you more than you could imagine. You know that."

I sniffled.

"I want you to be happy without me, okay? Cuz, you know, I'll always be with you."

I nodded and we shared one last kiss – one more passionate than all the romance novels and movies in the world put together. And that may sound cheesy, but it's true. We were the only real things in the world. When I fell asleep, he was smiling at me. His face was handsome, his eyes flickering with content, and not quite seventeen. To me, he'd be forever sixteen.