Kukai: 20 ; Yaya: 18

To Love You - - - - - - x

To me, love is an important emotion, one that needs to be treasured and savored. It should be witnessed as a miracle, I don't care how others view it as dopamine being released into the brain making one feel passionate about the significant other. No, love is much more than that, it takes a soul to love someone and to let them go when the time came for it. To truly love someone is to love their flaws and their perfections, whether it grates on your nerves every morning or it makes you want to scream, you deal with it because you love them and it's those little things that make up the whole of them. But, the thing about love is, it hurts a lot when you lose it. It feels like someone has driven a knife into your heart and slowly wrenching it, and because it's a mental thing, the pain can't be stopped by anesthetics or painkillers. Only time can tell what will happen to you, whether you pick yourself up or let yourself be trampled on by others who will also walk the same path when it comes to this thing called 'love'. I know he would've wanted to me to move forward with my life, even if he wasn't there to soothe my pain, he knows I'm strong enough to deal. I've always believed in him, with every fiber of of my soul I trusted him, every word that fell out of those lips that I use to day dream about, I stayed true to my words and I knew he would too.

It's been two years since he graduated from high school, two long years since he went away to college on a soccer scholarship, two years since I've last seen him in his graduating suit. He was so handsome when he walked up that podium to receive his diploma that I had flashbacks of his elementary and middle school graduations. Yes, I went to all his ceremonies and he came to all mine... Exception to this one that is, the one that's going to take place tomorrow at the school gym, I know in his condition he won't be able to make it. I'm finally graduating from high school too, it's been lonely after Tadase and the others left me for the bigger world, but like they all promised, they wrote and called very often to keep me updated on college life. It sounded fun, but the one voice that I wanted to hear most of all was his voice. The voice that would make all the nightmares go away at night, the boy that I've loved since I was a mere school child, my best friend and my first love.

I don't know when or how, but eventually when I started to grow up a little I started realizing how important he was. At first I didn't understand the pain that would shoot through my heart when he was getting ready to graduate to middle school, it wasn't suppose to be a big deal, but all the same it hurt. It confused me even more when I couldn't stop crying when he told me that he was leaving for high school. It devastated me till no end, but I couldn't bring myself to tell him because I didn't want to cause him trouble. I've been known as a crybaby since a while back and even now I can't stop myself from shedding a few tears now and then. He had always been the one to make me smile every time I'm down, he would just flash me that irresistible smile of his with those gorgeous emerald eyes and I would just melt in his arms. He was everything to me, and I knew that I had always loved him from the start, I was just too young to piece it all together. Yet, by the time I figured that out, I wasn't the naive little child I was back then. I was 15 going onto high school already, and I had worked very hard to get into the school that everyone else had applied to. I was finally back with everyone else.

The first thing he did was look at me from head to toe then tease me like he would usually do before the normal routine took over. Everything was so normal, so perfect, it was a fairy tale that I didn't want to end. A year went by fast, and the next thing I knew he was leaving me again, but this time I didn't cry, I just gently let him go because I loved him. He deserved everything that is possible out there, to be able to reach for his dreams and his goals. He's a kind soul with a charming smile, every girl wanted him but he never bites, he helped the young and the elderly and still made time for me. He's more than deserving of everything, he himself was a miracle to me and letting go was the only gift I could give him when he left for a final time.

I didn't tell him I loved him, nor did I change myself for him to notice me. If I wanted him to love me back, I wanted him to love me for me, not some person I'm pretending to be. But, deep down, I also feared rejection. I didn't think my heart could take the hit of such pain that I refused myself to him, you can say I was a coward when it comes to my feelings. Yet, my emotions never changed for him, till this day I still love him whether he knows it or not.

x x x

I guess I was stupid, I'm not afraid to admit that I am. I'd probably taken a ball too many to the head at soccer practice, but I was a real fool not to notice the beautiful things before me. I had always put school, soccer, family and friends before everything else that came into my life and nothing else. I knew there were tons of girls out that would to die to go out with me, but I just never seemed interested in any of them. It never occured to me that I was looking for someone else that would make my insides jitter like crazy, someone that would make me feel alive from a mere touch. Someone I could laugh with, I wanted someone that could catch up to me, because so far, most of the girls are just too damn slow. She was right there, the perfect gal and I had walked out on her before I could say anything.

She had mahogany colored hair that almost looked red in the sun and it was always in pigatils tied up with large red ribbons, I remembered that I loved playing with her by pulling it out and watching her hair fall around her adorable face. She was like this beautiful doll that always sat next to me in the Guardian meetings, being able to watch her was a treat. Her tantrums, her wails, her screams, they were all so strangely delectable to my ears that I found myself purposefully teasing her to catch her attention. The way she pouted had this over powering effect on anyone that saw it and the next thing they know she gets what she wants, but it had a strange side effect to me. Every time she glanced at me or gave me that pout, I literally have to physically hold myself down so I wouldn't end up attacking her. She made it so easy and at most times it got really hard to resist her cuteness, I had to push her away. I just continued to be me.

I went to every single one of her graduating ceremonies and watched her walk up to get that slip of paper that tells you that you're finally done with school. The way she looked that day, all smiles and a proud hand shake had me hugging her after it was all done. The good thing about being her best friend was that I was able to do things like tease her, hug her all I want, and no one would think it's weird and I loved it, no one would suspect a thing. I wish I would be able to go tomorrow to see her finally move out to the world, I want to tell her about my own experiences in college, but most of all I want to be able to see her smile and give her a big hug telling her how proud I am of her. But I can't, not when I'm stuck in this white room with a single window on the left that watched over the mountains. She was the only girl that I loved watching when she laughed or smiled, the way her soft body would fit into my arms just right, or the way she would let my name slip through her tender lips, those lips that I so badly wanted to kiss when I first saw her walking through that high school gate.

It pains me when I see her cry, those large brown eyes welling up with tears and at most times it's because of me that she shed her tears. I hated myself for it, I had hurt her so much when I told her I was leaving for another school far away, the way she looked at me... It was like someone took a gun and shot me with it. I never understood love, maybe because I never really sat down with it to have a good chat with it or it was because there was just so many other things on my mind. There was the Guardian business and there was soccer, juggling those two didn't exactly give me time to look for a love life, plus I was only a 13, what did I know? Somehow, Fate had brought me and her together under the same team and I had unexpectedly fallen for her early on in our days without realizing it. Making her smile and protecting her was was my utmost priority, even still I was oblivious to it until I truly walked away without turning back.

I shouldn't have doubted myself then, underestimated the power of love. It strikes at the most unexpected times. Even at that age, any person can fall in love and I did, with one of the most wonderful girls I've ever met in my life. Too bad mines slipping away. There's so many things left unsaid... Please God, just let me see her one more time before I go, to tell the girl whom I've loved for the last 8 years of my life that I love her.

x x x

When I had gotten the call, my heart shattered to a million pieces. He had gotten sick, some sort of disease that rendered his body almost useless. The sickness had struck him so suddenly that he had to be pulled out of school, because of his condition he had to stop what he loved: soccer. He came back to Japan and I went to him immediately, we all did, we're all friends after all. Amu couldn't stop crying on Ikuto's shoulder and Tadase couldn't say anything for a week, me... I was worse off than everyone else. I had to isolate myself to cope with the news, Rima and Nagihiko came over on a daily basis trying to coax me out. Only when they said that he wanted to see me that I ran out without a second thought to see him. He looked the same with those shining green orbs dancing with mischief and that silly grin of his, but he was pale compared to the usual tan colored skin I was use to holding. I thought he was going to be okay, I came to see him everyday after school with Pepe flying behind me. I would tell him stories about school and the others, we were all trying to cope, hoping for the best. I knew from his looks that he wasn't getting better, he was getting worse everyday, up to a point where we couldn't visit anymore. It was hard, but we had to endure it, for his sake, I was going to fight for the both of us.

I sighed brushing back the bangs that had fallen across my eyes, I had a my backpack in hand facing the white doors. Pepe gave me an encouraging look before I opened the doors to see a thin, pale boy sitting up against the pillows. He was staring out the window with a smile on his lips, that stupid grin that he's so famous for when he turned around and saw me. I waved happily and placed my bag down on one of the chairs before pulling another one to sit by him. Daichi flew over from the other side, he was bright as ever. He never stopped believing, even when he was sick.

"Yaya..." he muttered my name, his hand softly caressed my cheek and I smiled at him. My warm hands found his and I sighed.

"Yeah, Kukai-kun?" I whispered light enough for him to hear, Pepe and Daichi had floated out to leave the two some time to talk.

"There's not much time left. There are things that I need to tell you." I saw him wince in pain and my stomach knotted themselves together in fear. I tried to laugh it off, that was a silly thing to say, of course he had time, he has to.

"Don't say that, Kukai-kun. Yaya will take care of you, alright? I promise you that you'll get well and together we'll get ice cream like we use to." I heard my own voice waver under the pressure of the lump that was forcing its way up my throat. He was wrong! He was definitely wrong! Kukai will live! He will! My mind was screaming, wishing, pleading to God to let him live. "Kukai-kun will live! He will live and grow old with Yaya!" I said with a pout, I tried to keep the tears at bay, but it was already too late. I burst out crying, my heart felt like it was taking another hit, he couldn't possibly be saying that he was going to leave me again was he? This time it was permanent. He laughed when I felt him reach for me, his arms even at this stage felt strong and sturdy around me, he pulled me into a warm embrace and kissed the top of my head as I wailed into this shirt.

"Please, don't cry anymore... I'm sorry I made you cry again." he muttered into my hair and I tried to punch him, but my fists felt weak with all the crying racking my body. "Yaya?" he whispered my name.

"Y... Y...Yes?" I hiccuped through his shirt, it was already soaked in the front. It was then that my heart stopped, time froze in its place in the next few seconds.

"I love... you." he finished, I felt wet trickles fall onto my cheeks, I wiped it with the tip of my finger. They weren't mine. "I've always had... For the past 8 years of my life, I've loved only you Yaya Yuiki." It was like all my wishes had been answered in one single day, but I was too late to answer because what came after it had me shaking my head.

Pepe came in screaming that Daichi suddenly went back into his egg and disappeared, and machines started to beep and buzz around me. A frenzy of doctors and nurses came scrambling in and I pushed myself back against the wall. The tears were back again and I couldn't control the shaking that agonized my body the whole time I watched them put a mask over Kukai asking him to breath. I lost track of time, it felt like hours after when finally, one by one the nurses left with a somber look on their face. They all disappeared until only the doctor was left, he turned around and looked at me with the most pitiful expression, I didn't need his sympathy. He apologized and stepped outside leaving me with Kukai alone. I staggered forward and saw his pale face reflect the once alive and happy Kukai that I had known and loved. I cried, and I cried again, letting out all the sadness that I had bared inside myself out, damn it. Even at Death, he had beaten me to it, that's so like him. After the tears, I dried them off with the hem of my sleeve as I watched the frozen Kukai sleep eternally with that soft smile on his lips. I bent down and grazed my lips against his, it was still warm. What was odd was that he smelled like fresh grass and boy shampoo like he had been out. The smell that I had associated myself with as his personal scent that I came to adore, it only made me smile. It was okay, it was finally okay.

"Me too, Kukai-kun... I love you too."

He teased me, he poked fun at me and he sometimes even embarrassed me, but I still loved him for it. It made him that much more interesting to be with, his fun personality brought out the best in everyone. I loved every aspect of him, and I will always remember it. That's what love is, to cherish the moments you're able to spend together with that one person you love the most and learning to let go. It may hurt and it may sting a lot, the pain will remain there some time, but after awhile it will heal even if it leaves a scar. I was okay with it, because in the end he said he loved me, I had to set him free from the internal pain that I couldn't save him from. Knowing that he loves me was enough for me to finally release my grasp on him, I wanted him to be happy. That day, I knew I had given him the best gift I could ever offer.