Alright, here's the final chapter. It makes me so sad! After rewriting this, I had a hard time deleting the other one, but I decided that while that one wasn't bad, this one was better. Well, this is the end, unless like I said in the other chapter I rewrite the rest of this story, which is pretty doubtful but there's still a chance. Can't believe how much I actually like this story now! (mostly for this chapter and the chapter before, but still)
Well, I hope you've enjoyed the story so far, and this chapter as well. Thanks so much to those who have read this story, I really appreciate it! ...That didn't sound like it made sense...But who cares! I'm so proud of myself! First-ever non-forced story that has more than one chapter and is complete! Thanks again to all the readers!
There was nothing. Absolute nothingness. Just like the instant when I died the first time. But this was different. This was infinite nothingness. It was like a world in which nothing but my own consciousness existed. I might have found it intriguing if it wasn't so frightening.
Is this how the rest of my afterlife will be? The thought terrified me. Being alone in a world of nothing, with only my own consciousness, was more than I could bear. I wanted to see Jack again, though I didn't want him to have to die and then be trapped within this void like I was.
It was his voice. Jack's voice. Calling out to me.
Why was I hearing Jack's voice? Was he there with me?
No, he couldn't be in that nothingness like I was. Perhaps it was just my imagination, or the torment of this empty world. Would I be tortured for the rest of eternity by hearing Jack's voice calling my name, sounding so close and yet never there?
I felt myself violently shaken, and then colour swarmed my vision. It was all a blur, but I could make out a vast patch of blue, tall gray rectangles, and a figure in white...
An angel...? Am...Am I in heaven?
"Carly!" That was Jack's voice...He hadn't died too, had he?
Another violent shake and the visions cleared. I was surrounded by tall gray buildings beneath a sunny, clear blue sky, and held by none other than Jack.
"J-Jack," I croaked, my voice sounding hoarse and weak. Jack seemed to have heard me like I had yelled at him.
"Carly! You're alright!" His voice was overflowing with relief.
My eyes shifted from building to building as I tried to recognize one of them. "Where...?" My voice was so weak I couldn't finish my question, but Jack knew what I was trying to ask and answered without hesitation.
"We're in New Domino City, near the Arcadia Movement."
Arcadia...? But that...that was where I died! I looked around at each building in turn, carefully scrutinizing each one, then came across a building with a shattered window. The window I fell from...
"Why...here...?" Again, I couldn't finish my question, but Jack still knew what I was trying to say.
"I don't know," he replied. "I found you here a few minutes ago, unconscious and barely breathing."
So I was brought back to where I died...I guess this means I'm still alive. But I didn't feel the happiness or relief I had expected. Instead, I was plagued by guilt.
All those people I hurt...
"Do you remember anything?"
I hadn't forgotten. Not a single thing. I remembered every last detail of my time as a Dark Signer. It filled me to the brim with sadness, regret, and overwhelming guilt at everything I had done.
But looking into his eyes, eyes that were begging me to forget, I couldn't tell him.
He sighed in relief, and his grip on me subconsciously relaxed. "Oh, thank goodness."
His relief didn't bring me any happiness. Instead, it added to my load of guilt. I had lied to Jack. But it would have caused him worry if he knew I hadn't forgotten. I had already hurt Jack enough. I didn't want to hurt him more.
Although he would be hurt if he ever found out I had lied, I was willing to take the risk. I would do everything I could to make sure he never knew. He had already worried enough for my sake. I couldn't let him worry about the guilt I would carry for the rest of my life.
I would handle that burden alone.
Jack helped me into a standing position; I leaned against him heavily as I hadn't regained my strength. We began to walk away, but I couldn't resist one last glance back at the Arcadia Movement, and the window I had fallen from. The place where everything had began. I could never forget, but even if I had the choice, I wouldn't really want to.
Because within the bad memories, there were good ones, too.
"I want to save the person I truly love—you!"
"I love you, Jack."