He walks slowly to the front of the room, smelling wood polish and not looking at the faces he passes. Their expressions are uniform, all pity, an emotion he has no need for.
Pity mixed with curiosity, an emotion he is not sure how to deal with.
Or rather, he knows but does not want to. Yet he must. They were his friends too, and they deserve the truth.
"Phoenix Wright was….many things. He was my friend. He was your friend. He was once my attorney. He was an attorney to many of you. He saved my life, as he saved many of yours. He was also something more. He was my….my love."
Now he meets their eyes. The expressions are easier to deal with, less uniform—there is happiness, knowing, even a little hatred. The hatred is sharper now; once, he could deal with it, when he had him by his side. Now, each stare is a blow to his heart. But he continues. They deserve the truth.
They whisper, they think the speech is finished. It is not.
"Phoenix Wright was one other thing." His voice rings clear, emotionless, hard, flat. They are silent. This is the knowledge they came to obtain.
"He was….an unstable man." He continues before they can turn their heads towards their neighbor and begin discussing this new revelation. "For most of his life, Phoenix Wright suffered from hallucinations caused by an abnormality in his brain. He could not be cured—the doctors could never figure out what was causing the hallucinations. However, they were able to figure out that he first started having them as a college student. They were also able to discover, through Phoenix himself, that the hallucinations appeared to him in the form of a young girl, a girl he named 'Dahlia Hawthorne'."
Gasps now, intakes of breath, general shock. They had heard that name, many of them, during The Trial. But they were quiet, for they had a feeling he was going to talk about The Trial next.
"Initially, the hallucinations seemed quite harmless, save for the fact that he was convinced this 'Dahlia' existed. The doctors were made aware of Phoenix's problem when a fellow student reported to the school counselor at Ivy University that Phoenix had told her at length about his imaginary girlfriend, 'Dahlia Hawthorne'. They monitored his condition, took some tests in the guise of a check-up, but were unable to identify any problems with his brain. They decided that his hallucinations of 'Dahlia' were harmless enough, and they would ignore them. This was….a decision they regretted."
He was sure several doctors in the group were hanging their heads—they had a right too. He blamed them, at least in part.
"Now we come to the part of the story you all are familiar with. Phoenix Wright, now living almost entirely in a fantasy world with 'Dahlia' inside his own mind, perceived that a fellow student, Doug Swallow, was jealous of his girlfriend. He…." here his voice broke. "He killed him." Despite what happened, he had never been able to consider his Phoenix a murderer.
"Mia Fey managed to win Phoenix a not guilty verdict by pleading insanity. He did not go to jail—instead, he spent several years in a mental institution. He improved rapidly, and it seemed that 'Dahlia Hawthorne' no longer appeared—he spoke of her only in the past tense. The staff at the institution were concerned about one thing, however: Phoenix Wright was convinced that 'Dahlia' had been accused of Doug Swallow's murder and sent to jail.
His condition improved rapidly, and he was released. He began to study under Mia Fey, whom he worshipped like an idol, because he believed she had tried her hardest to free 'Dahlia' from the guilty verdict she had ultimately 'received.' Mia taught him, and he became a defense attorney." He smiled at Mia—she had always been a good friend to Phoenix. She managed a smile in return, though there were tears in his eyes.
"For years, Phoenix seemed completely cured, believing 'Dahlia' was in jail. Unfortunately, the hallucinations were triggered again when Phoenix defended a client, Iris Fey, who was physically similar to 'Dahlia Hawthorne'. Iris Fey had murdered Elise Deauxnim, and was eventually found guilty and sent to jail. However, Phoenix clearly believed—and attempted to claim during the trial—that spirit medium Iris was Dahlia's sister, and had been 'possessed' at the time of the murder. At my urging, he returned to the doctors—for reasons he did not understand—and they suggested re-institutionalizing him. However…." he turned away from Phoenix's friends, unable to face the accusation in their eyes, "….I loved him, and could not fathom living without him, and refused to allow him to return."
They blamed him for this, he knew, but what they didn't know was that he blamed himself as well. Blamed himself and all of them, the doctors and Iris and Doug Swallow and even Mia, for all the good she had done him, she had also served a reminder of 'Dahlia' for Phoenix.
"Again, he seemed cured, and we relaxed—sure that the reoccurrence of the hallucinations had been triggered by Iris Fey, and now that she was in jail, Phoenix would be fine. I…at one point, I almost believed that. Eventually, Phoenix and I began dating. We…we moved in together, and then married. We…we were together for three short years, happily married for one of them. I…" he was crying now and did not care, "I….I loved….love Phoenix Wright. He was a blessing to me, and the greatest thing to ever happen in my life. I thought…I thought for sure the dark times were over, for both of us….until I came home to find Phoenix sitting in the living room talking to Dahlia Hawthorne."
He almost couldn't go on—but he needed to finish the story. For their sake. For his sake. For Phoenix's sake.
"Terrified, I ran to get the phone and call the doctors, the mental institute, someone. But Phoenix, completely within his fantasy world with 'Dahlia,' accused me of pulling a knife out and hurting her. He ran for the door, apparently chasing after her. I…I ran….I ran after him….tried to explain….that I hadn't hurt her….that she wasn't real….that he was…that she was…."
Mia was there now, her arms around him, and somehow, he found himself able to go on, his voice calm and cold and clinical as though he were telling the story of someone he had never met.
"I was unable to stop Phoenix, and in chasing after 'Dahlia,' he fell down a steep embankment into a cold, rocky river. He….he died instantly."
To his surprise, there was silence. He breathed many times, then spoke the final words that needed to be said.
"Though she never set a single foot on this earth or breathed a single breath, I, Miles Edgeworth, find Dahlia Hawthorne guilty of the murder of my love, Phoenix Wright."