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"Hey Matt," I turned my head and whispered to the seat next to me, "We're almost there. Jesus Christ, that was a long flight."
Without pausing for any sort of reply, I stretched my arms above my head and did my best to work the kinks out of my stiff muscles in the limited space of the airplane seat. The woman on the other side of me gave me a disgruntled look as my arm brushed against her slightly. I shot her a look of my own and then resumed speaking to Matt.
"The things I do for you, Matty boy. I mean, they've got plenty of perfectly good places to see the ocean in Japan. But no, Matt, you just had to come back to Los Angeles and see the ocean here. I guess I don't have anything better to do really, since the Kira case is over and all, but still-"
I was cut off mid-sentence by the captain's voice echoing through the cabin of the plane, informing us that we would be landing in Los Angeles in a matter of minutes. I was about to turn to Matt and continue my very thorough complaint about having been guilted into returning to LA, when I noticed the lady next to me giving me another look.
What the hell was her problem? She had an incredulous look on her face and was staring me down like I two heads or something.
"I wonder," I said very loudly, "If all people on flights are rude, or just the people I end up sitting next to?"
As I ended my sentence, I purposefully turned my iciest glare on the woman. Matt always said that the devil himself would be frightened by that gaze. This woman may not have been the devil, but she was annoying the hell out of me. Without meeting my gaze directly, she gave a small huff of indignation and turned to face the front.
I pushed the incident with the woman to the back of my mind as the plane landed and made its way up to the gate. When the captain had officially announced we could de-board the plane, I sprang out of my seat and gave a small groan of discomfort.
"Damn airplane seats." I muttered under my breath, as I reached into the overhead compartments for my bag. We hadn't brought much luggage. Just a small duffel bag for me, and Matt's backpack, which was in his seat. It was a good thing actually, that we had packed so lightly. I decided we were going to go straight to the beach after getting out of the airport. Dammit, I promised Matt a trip to the beach and I'll be damned if we weren't going to do it right!
Once we had made our way through customs and navigated our way out of the crowded airport, I hailed a cab. I was unsure of what beach to direct the driver to. The time I had spent in LA previously had been during the time of the Kira case. I never exactly had time for a casual trip to the beach, and my knowledge of the city was mostly limited to my mafia connections. I finally just asked him to take us somewhere secluded.
The driver started the car and I rested my head on the window of the cab, and watched the street lights streaking by. I was glad it was night time when our flight arrived. The waterfront would probably be less crowded. As the car picked up speed, I let my mind wander back to the conversation that had prompted this trip.
"Mello? Do you…have any regrets?"
"What do you mean Matt?"
"You know…anything you wished you could have done? I mean, and I'm sorry to put this so bluntly, but you do realize we're both probably going to die doing this. Can you honestly tell me, knowing that tomorrow will most likely be your last day, that there's nothing you wished you had done in your life?"
"Jesus Christ, Matt. How many times do I have to say it? It's a flawless plan. You'll distract Takada's bodyguards and I'll have plenty of time to get away with her. Then once they realize I've taken off with the bitch, they'll leave you alone and come after me, but I'll be long gone. We're not gonna die."
"Just answer the question Mello."
"Fine. But you're going to feel really stupid tomorrow when we're having a victory celebration and you did all this stressing out for nothing. And to answer your question, no. I don't have any regrets. What's the point of regret? Life is life. You can't change the past, so why bother?"
"I've always wanted to go to the beach."
"The beach. Not during the day, when it's crowded and there's tourists and shit running around, making noise. But at night. I've always wanted to go to the beach at night, and just sit there and stare at the ocean. It's beautiful. Or at least… I imagine it would be."
"We live in LA Matt. Why don't you just go down there one night?"
"The case Mello. The Kira case. I don't want to be somewhere as beautiful as the ocean at night, just to be thinking about something like mass murder. I just wanted to be able to go after this was all over. But now… tomorrow…"
"You're ridiculous Matt, you know that right? We're not gonna die, and we're gonna take down Kira. Then I'll take you to the fucking beach."
It seemed like no time at all before the driver had deposited us and our luggage at the waterfront. I paid him and quickly traversed the sand all the way down to the edge of the water. The driver had done exactly as I asked, and brought us up to a completely secluded beach. I couldn't see another soul in sight.
I smiled slightly to myself. Matt was right, the ocean at night was beautiful. There were no clouds and the moon shone brightly onto the waves, making the whole ocean seem to glimmer and shine. I was standing close enough to the edge that the water lapped at my feet with every wave.
I tore my eyes away from the beautiful sight and knelt in the sand. I reached for Matt's backpack, pulling it closer to me, and slowly undid the zipper. It was empty except for a small box.
Empty, like the beach. Empty, like the seat next to me on the plane and the space next to me in the cab.
Empty, just like my heart.
A small breeze ruffled my hair, and I smiled slightly. I knew it was time. The ocean, the moon, the breeze. It felt right.
I looked down at the box in my hands. I carefully removed the lid and holding tightly onto it with one hand, I used the other to scoop out a handful of ash. As I did so, I felt a solitary tear streak down my face and drip into the box. How appropriate.
Without the extra handful of ash, the box was even lighter. I found it odd, so incredibly odd, that a human being could be reduced to so little. Odder even, that how something as small as a bullet could stop a person like him. How someone as vibrant and alive as he had been could become this mere pile of dust I held in my shaking hands.
I lifted my hand and slowly let all that was left of my Matt sift through my fingers and dance away on the breeze. I repeated this motion until the box was empty and then I watched as the waves carried away the dust.
I stared out across the waves and felt more tears course their way down my cheeks as I whispered, "I told you Matt. I told you I would take you to the beach."
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