Hmm... this is my first attempt at writing Neku in the first person, so sorry if this is below standards; it's more practice or to see if I'm able to more than anything. I call it an experiment...

It has been a year to the day since Shiki went away, and the amount of time we have spent apart has not helped in the slightest.

There was all the typical romance stuff after the Game. Her confessing her love, me reciprocating, all that crap that felt so amazing at the time but now has only confirmed my beliefs that making friends only leads to hurt. Those beliefs vanished after we'd come back to life - temporarily. And then about eight months later, Shiki, who was pretty much my girlfriend by that point, came to me with the news that she was moving to Australia. Australia.

Of course it goes without saying that as she moved away, our relationship or whatever you want to call it ended too. I talk to her via emails. Occasionally. We don't have a lot to say to each other and she's got a new boyfriend now. Like that doesn't make me feel unbelievably bitter... She keeps bringing it up, like she's rubbing my nose in the fact that someone else has her now and she's no longer mine. But I know Shiki wouldn't do that. She wouldn't. It has to be unintentional. Right? Well that's what I tell myself anyway.

She gave me Mr. Mew just before she left. "Neku, I know it won't be much help, but I want you to have... Piggy," she said with a giggle that seemed to tear through my like a knife. A giggle that once would have made me so happy but this time only made the situation harder. It was at the airport and all I wanted to do was scoop her up and take her home. She belonged here. In Shibuya. With me and Rhyme and Beat and the Scramble and Molco and all the bustling crowds and the-

She belonged with me. How could she leave after all we'd been through together?

Of course, she couldn't help it. Her parents were moving, so she was going too. I would have taken her in if it meant she could just stay. She was the only one who kept my life bright. She kept me from sinking back into pessimism... she kept me happy. Actually happy. Imagine that.


Now I remember the truth.

Remember that, Neku? You said it yourself - making friends only leads to hurt further down the line. Have you forgotten already? Did you let Shiki trick you into believing that it was false? You fool.

Of course I was a fool. I knew from experience! And yet I cast it to one side, realised it wasn't true. Thought it wasn't true, at least.

And then it happened and my former belief was proved right again! Stupid me, not seeing it sooner...

Me, Beat and Rhyme have little in common now that we are not together in the Game. I still see them occasionally, we're on good terms and they're about as close to 'friends' as I have now, but Shiki was the glue that kept us close and without her there we've drifted apart.

I sit on my bed and glance over at where I've propped Mr. Mew up. He's the last thing I have to remind me of Shiki. Maybe she just left him here when she came over last... and she'll come back tomorrow and collect him and she'll laugh about it...

It's a nice thought, though I'd prefer not lying to myself.

I gently fiddle with the cloth of Mr. Mew's ear until it becomes too much to bear.

It is so symbolic of her.

Does she ever think of me? Sure she sends me emails now and then, but does she really think about me? Her emails are so generic, like she could be speaking to anyone... she probably sends the same email to me, Eri, Beat and Rhyme, Ai, Mina... They don't seem personalised at all. Not to mention the fact that the length of time between her emails is getting bigger and bigger. I wonder if, eventually, she'll just stop bothering and forget all about us, about me.

I let go of the soft material and draw my legs up to my chest, resting my head against one knee and shutting my eyes.

It feels like there's moisture in my eyes.

But there isn't. You're imagining things.


I'm not crying.

Being alone is what I'm used to, after all, so there's no reason for me to cry.

And that is why I am not crying.

Why would you think I was?

Review, dammit, or I'll go all Miserable Neku on you and sulk in a corner all year. :P