They made a statue of us
And it put it on a mountaintop
Now tourists come and stare at us
Blow bubbles with their gum
Take photographs have fun, have fun
I know why you're confused.
Who wouldn't? I mean, getting a call at some ungodly hour in the evening from someone who wants to 'talk' is enough to scare anybody.
I know you're nervous - don't deny it. Your knee is bouncing like it always does when you're nervous. Don't think I don't know you that well, because I do.
I've been thinking about this a lot lately, and I think it's time.
I thought it would be the best time to talk about her.
I know, I know - the mention of someone else makes you apprehensive and that's totally understandable, but before you get jealous or angry or whatnot I want you to listen to me first. It's important that you do, because I know she would want you to listen.
This is our story, and she wanted me to tell it to you - yes, you.
She was one of those kids: shy, introverted, bookish and always kept to herself. She was always seen wandering the hallways with her books clutched tightly to her chest and her eyes pointed towards the floor as if she didn't know how to make eye contact. She almost always wore the same outfit every day: dirty sneakers, raggedy jeans and a plain white t-shirt that should've been fitting. People called her many things: loser, nerd, outcast, freak...
She had these eyes you could never forget. They were the colour of ice, the colour of the sky on a cold winter's day but they certainly didn't give you that sort of feeling. Her stare had this certain warmth, this certain spark that gave you the impression that she was the kind of person who viewed life as something to enjoy rather than to endure. Her skin was like porcelain: pale, flawless and smooth. Her hair was a wispy platinum blonde that swept over her shoulder and was soft to the touch.
Sometimes I'd catch myself staring at her from the opposite end of the cafeteria during lunch. She always choose the table by the window, and every once in awhile she'd lazily lean into her palm and gaze outside with eyes that longed to escape the stuffy room she was confined in. The other students sitting in surrounding tables would whisper conspicuously and giggle amongst themselves; I always knew when they were talking about her. It wasn't very hard to point them out.
I never had the guts to talk to her for some reason. I've known her since freshman year and I had her in a few of my classes but I just couldn't bring myself to strike up a conversation. I didn't know what it was, but I definitely felt bad. Whenever I saw her she was by herself, and it killed me to see someone so perfect-looking on her own like that. She didn't deserve to be so lonely.
I finally got around to it in my junior year, although I think it was by accident.
"Hey," Axel smacked me across the back of my head, "What the heck are you doing, man?"
"He's starin' again," Demyx snickered, "What else would he be doing?"
I rolled my eyes. "Shut up."
"Honestly, Roxas," Axel leaned on the back legs of his chair and crossed his hands behind his head, "I don't know how you're so worked up over, er, that." He gave her a quick glance and chuckled. "Everyone knows she's...not normal."
"How would they know?" I retorted, "No one's ever given the chance to actually talk to her. They're only making stupid assumptions."
"I don't blame 'em," Larxene smirked, "I mean, look at her: she wears the same damn outfit every day, she doesn't bother to interact with anyone and it looks like she's never heard of a comb...or at least something that would add colour to her face. She looks like a freakin' zombie." When Demyx and Axel snorted with laughter she joined in, and it only made me more frustrated.
I stood up so quickly I almost knocked over my tray. "You're all idiots." I shot them a glare before making my way over to the table by the corner. I had no idea what I was doing; I guess my anger got the best of me.
Before I knew it, however, I was sitting across from her. She glanced up from her food - which she hardly touched, by the way - and her large eyes widened even more. "U-um," She bit her bottom lip and her eyes returned to her tray, "H...Hello…"
She was even prettier from up close. "Hi." I ruffled my hair, wracking my brains for something to say. "I...I saw you sitting by yourself and I thought you could use some company."
"I've always been sitting by myself," She replied quietly, "Ever…e-ever since freshman year. Y-you...you never bothered to sit with me then…"
I could feel my friends' eyes on me, and my temperature began to rise. "I-I know," I frowned, "I should've just come up to you on the very first day but-"
"You didn't want your friends to see?" She suggested; her tone was a little bitter, and it made me even more nervous.
"No, it's nothing like that," I shook my head hastily, "I mean...they're sorta looking at us now, aren't they?"
She turned to look at them; all three jerked in shock and pretended they were never staring in the first place. She returned her attention to me, giggling slightly. That was the first time I ever heard her laugh, and I loved it. "Y-yeah, I guess they are."
I smiled ruefully. "I'm sorry I never had the guts to talk to you when there were earlier possibilities. I...I couldn't bring myself to do it. I'm stupid like that."
She shrugged her miniscule shoulders. "It's okay. I guess...I guess as long as we're talking now it doesn't really matter, does it?" She smiled, and my stomach flip-flopped.
I held out my hand. "I'm Roxas."
She laughed again. "But we already know each other."
I grinned. "We know of each other, but we don't actually know. Now that we're talking, however, we can actually know each other...if that makes any sense." I rubbed the back of my head with my other hand. "That sounded a lot cooler in my head."
She giggled again, shaking her head at my stupidity. She stared at my hand for a few seconds before exhaling slowly and finally grasping it. Her touch was warm and hesitant, but she was shaking my hand nonetheless and I felt like I had accomplished something grand.
She knew about the things I had done and the people I hung out with. She knew I wasn't always in class and I didn't get the highest marks. She knew I could've been a better student if I actually cared about school. She knew all of these things, but she didn't care to bring them up. She made sure they didn't get in the way of our friendship, and I liked it that way. I didn't feel like I had to prove anything to her, like I had to go out of my way just to secure our friendship. I was pretty sure she knew I was a good person on the inside. She trusted me, for some reason.
Her father, unfortunately, didn't same her views - at least in the beginning.
"Er, hello," I stuttered nervously as I walked through her front door for the first time; I stuck out my hand and put on a smile, "It's nice to meet you, uh-"
Her father glared at me, and I immediately retracted my hand. "Don't you pretend to be so polite, boy," He spat, "I know exactly what you and your hooligan friends do around here."
"Daddy," Naminé scorned; she wrapped her bony fingers around my wrist and pulled me away, "Stop that. You're making assumptions when you haven't even given him a chance to show you he isn't as bad as everyone thinks he is."
Her father merely grunted and shuffled away to another room. I sighed uncomfortably and rumpled my hair. "Y'know, maybe I should just go-"
Her grip around my wrist tightened and she shook her head frantically. "Roxas, don't let him intimidate you. I'm pretty sure he'll see past all of those things, just like I have."
I chuckled ruefully. "But we've only been hanging out for...not even two weeks, I think. How would you know I'm not as bad as everyone thinks I am?"
She smiled. "I just know." When she eyed my baffled expression she giggled and shook her head again. "C'mon." She pulled me into the living room, and I complied.
I never really understood what she meant by that.
My other friends didn't take too kindly to my new friendship with Naminé.
"Where were you yesterday?" Axel was leaning against the gritty brick wall with a half-done cigarette poking out from the corner of his mouth, "We thought you were gonna come."
"I was," I tousled my hair and lowered to the floor in a sort of crouching position with my back against the wall and my hands folded together on top of my knees, "But my plans from earlier ran a little longer than expected."
Larxene, who was leaning against the wall beside Axel, scoffed and shook her head. "Oh, I get it now - you were busy." The both of them laughed in unison; Larxene absently flicked a strand of hair behind her ear, "I never thought you had the guts to do it, Roxas."
"We didn't do anything like that," I growled, though my face was pink with embarrassment, "We didn't do anything like that. I would never force her into anything she doesn't want to do."
Axel rolled his eyes. "She's softening you up, Roxas. We're worried she's taking you away from us. You're never around anymore, and when you actually are you're no fun at all. What happened to you, man?"
"She did," I glared up at him, "And I don't mean that in a bad way."
Larxene laughed sinisterly. "Oh, so you think she's going to redeem you or something? Just because you found some innocent, seemingly perfect girl you think all the crap you've done before is gonna somehow magically disappear?"
I stared at the ground, unable to find an answer. They just didn't understand how Naminé made me feel. It was true I haven't been hanging out with them as often as I used to, but I was becoming a better person without them around. I was going to school and doing my assignments. My grades were improving. My teachers were actually starting to like me. Even her father was beginning to warm up to me.
Axel threw his hands up in the air. "I was right all this time - the Roxas I know is long gone."
After another few seconds I finally managed to come up with an answer, even though it wasn't a very good one. "No...don't say that. You guys...you guys are still my friends. You all mean a lot to me still."
My redheaded friend scoffed. "But not as much as her, right?"
I fell silent again.
High school kids can be very cruel.
Naminé had been sick for a few days, but she called me the night before and told me she was well enough to come back today. I decided to wake up early so I could make her favourite bento for lunch.
I waited for her by her locker like I usually did, but after fifteen minutes I figured she wasn't coming. Worried, I frantically searched the school for her. I looked in all of the empty classrooms, the cafeteria, the stairwells...but I couldn't find her anywhere. I was so sure she was going to come today…
I was wandering around the third floor when the door to the girls' bathroom swung open. When I spotted Naminé shuffling out, tattered jeans and loose t-shirt and all, I immediately made my way towards her.
"Nami," I sighed in relief, "I was looking-" When I noticed her rubbing her eyes and sniffling, my expression changed drastically. "-what happened?" I gently placed the bento box on the floor and hesitantly reached upwards to cradle her face in my hands. She let me touch her, thankfully, and I gently wiped her tears away.
What is it about seeing someone you care about cry? Knowing that someone had hurt her...it was like having a hole punctured in the centre of my chest. With every tear that cascaded down her pale, perfect face my heart clenched together.
She didn't want to answer. Instead she shook her head and tried to pull away from me. I resisted, however, and pulled her closer; I threw my arms around her tiny body and stroked her hair as she sobbed into my shoulder. The aching in my chest grew worse as she continued to cry, and I cursed myself for not being able to think up of a way to make her pain subside. I just wanted to hear her laugh, see her smile...anything to show she wasn't sad or in pain.
"C'mon," I whispered into her ear, "I'll take you home." I raised one arm to her shoulders and briefly bent over to pick up the bento box.
I felt her press herself against my side. "Thank you." She whispered weakly as I led her down the stairs.
As we walked through the foyer I spotted Larxene and Axel propped up against the wall, as usual. They smirked at me as I walked past them, and I shot them a glare before returning my attention to the girl cuddled up against me. "No problem." I whispered back before holding the door open for her.
Needless to say, I didn't find the need to stay friends with them anymore.
After seven months of being friends I decided it was time.
"Roxas," Naminé giggled, "Where are we going?"
"It's just a little farther, Nami," I assured her as I glanced over my shoulder to give her a smile, "C'mon." I pulled on her hand, leading her through the dark field, and she giggled again.
"It's so dark."
"I know. It's supposed to be." I finally stopped. "We're here." I gestured to the tree and sat down, leaning my back against the trunk. I pulled her down with me, easing her in between my legs, entwining our fingers and placing them on her lap. I could practically hear her blushing.
"I can't see a thing." She muttered stubbornly; her hair brushed against my neck as she craned her head upwards to look at me.
"That's because you're looking the wrong way," I grinned; I jerked my head upwards, "Look, Naminé."
When she finally obliged she let out a small gasp, and I smiled against the back of her shoulder. "Wow..."
I looked up and awed at the countless stars twinkling against the dark sky. I pressed my cheek against hers and sighed contently. This felt so perfect. "Just wait a bit; something else is coming."
"What's coming?" She looked up, and when she saw the hundreds of lights streaking across the sky she gasped again. "Oh! I didn't know there was going to be a meteor shower tonight."
I wondered if she could feel my pulse thumping erratically against her back. I shifted around uncomfortably and cleared my throat in a vain attempt to ease my anxiousness. "Meteor showers happen all the time, actually - it's just that most of them are too little to be seen. Noticeable ones happen every sixty years, or something."
"So pretty." She whispered as she nestled against me. She wrapped our arms around herself, and I breathed her in. I inhaled the scent of her skin, her clothes, her hair. I closed my eyes against her neck and listened to her heartbeat and the slow rhythm of her even breathing. My fingers twitched against hers.
It was time.
I lifted my head off her shoulder, and she turned to look at me. "Roxas?" Her voice was nothing above a murmur. Her eyes, so bright and blue even under the stars, stared worriedly into mine.
I hushed her softly and leaned in to touch her forehead with mine. Her warm breath skirted across my face and I smiled for her. "You're...perfect. Everything you are, everything you do...it amazes me. Leaves me speechless."
She laughed quietly and shook her head. "What are you talking about?"
My heart thumped painfully against my ribcage as I leaned in again to gently press my lips against hers. She gasped and stiffened for a split second before giving in and melting into the embrace. My hands moved to her hair. I could feel her tiny fists grasping my collar. She tasted so sweet.
I don't remember how much time had passed, but I do remember opening my eyes to find her against me, breathing heavily with a smile on her angel's face. I gently rubbed the skin behind her ears with my thumbs, and I nudged the tip of her nose with my own. I smiled back when she let out a stifled giggle. "I love you." I whispered.
She gaped at me, just like I had expected her to. I swallowed nervously, both dreading and anticipating her response. She peered up at me beneath her dark eyelashes and smiled. "I love you too, Roxas." And she leaned in to kiss me.
When we broke apart she moved back to her previous position with her back against me, and I joined our hands again. "Maybe in another sixty years we'll be back here again." I chuckled.
She laughed too, but it was too quiet to be genuine. "Yeah. Maybe."
Naminé was sick again.
I figured that was why she was so thin and pale, and I think she told me once she had a weak immune system.
That was also probably why her father resented me so much at first, despite the other obvious things about me that he didn't like.
"Ugh," My girlfriend of four months muttered in disgust as she slowly rolled around in her bed, "It's so nice outside too."
I shrugged and reached for her, patting my hand against her cheek and rubbing the skin under her eye with my thumb. "Well, it's not like it's not going to be nice tomorrow - it's summer, Nami. It's always gonna be nice." I pressed the back of my hand against her forehead. "You're cooling down, at least. Maybe you'll be well enough to come out tomorrow."
She threw her hands up in the air. "I think I'm just getting restless with staying in bed for so long."
I gestured towards the sketchbook sitting on her nightstand. "Well, why don't you draw something to keep yourself occupied until you're feeling better?"
She shrugged her skinny shoulders; at that moment I felt compelled to kiss her for looking so cute, but she never allowed me to kiss her - like, kiss kissing - when she was sick. "But I've been doing that for two days straight."
I chuckled and shook my head. "Well, there really isn't much else you can do. Sometimes you just have to make the best of what you have."
She sighed. "I know." After a few moments she looked up, and I met eyes with her. Naminé opened her arms to me, and I crawled into her embrace. She ducked under my chin and I buried my face in her hair, closing my eyes and resting my cheek against her.
It was the little moments like those that defined us.
"Roxas?" She mumbled against my collarbone.
"Can you get my sketchbook? I want to show you something." She sounded a little nervous.
I leaned out of her arms a little so I could reach for her sketchbook. She gently took it from me and flipped through a few pages.
She was an amazing artist, capable of replicating anything and even making things look better than they appeared. She mindlessly searched her sketchbook for whatever she was looking for, quickly passing through various landscapes around town, people from school and random objects; she even had a few portraits of me, but not very many because I apparently wasn't very good at sitting still.
She finally stopped. "Here." She pointed timidly to what she was looking for, and I leaned over her shoulder to see.
"Wow." It was an exact duplicate of our first meeting in the cafeteria, when I 'accidentally' wound up sitting at her table. "How did you do this?"
"I drew it when I got home that day," Naminé admitted quietly, "I...I didn't want to forget…" She flipped the page, and I gaped again when I noticed she had drawn yet another memory of us. "Every time I shared a memory with you I felt compelled to draw it. I...I wanted to preserve it somehow. Keep it forever."
I reached over her and flipped a few more memories; it was us sitting underneath the tree, admiring the meteor shower. "Did you know we were gonna end up…" I gestured to how we were currently in each other's arms, and she giggled.
"I didn't know, of course, but…" She flushed a dark red, "I...I wanted it to happen." She nuzzled her cheek against my neck. "I'm glad it did."
I chuckled and kissed her forehead. "So am I." I fiddled with her hair for a bit. "Isn't remembering enough - to preserve it, I mean. I thought 'keeping it forever' meant keeping special memories in your heart."
"Yes…" She nodded slowly, "But at the same time I wanted to have another way to remember...just in case."
I raised an eyebrow. "Just in case...what?"
She fell silent for a few seconds, but I didn't think much of it. She shrugged her shoulders and rolled around in my arms so that her back was against my chest. "I dunno...I guess...I guess I just wanted to show you how I remembered our special moments together."
I nodded against her hair. "Ah." I turned a few pages and smiled at our memories, our moments together. I noticed how there were a lot of blank pages left over; I hoped they would eventually be filled with more of our memories. "Well, I like the way your memory works, Naminé."
She laughed softly and shifted around so that her cheek was against my collarbone again. "I'm glad you do."
We were making our way towards our tree again. It was our one-year anniversary and I wanted to make it special.
"It looks so different during the day." Naminé commented with a light laugh as I pulled her through the field. The late spring air rushed through the long stalks of grass, skimming through her hair and rumpling her clothes. She looked nice when she was all mussed up like that.
"Which do you prefer?" I asked as I set the picnic basket by the base of the tree; she helped me smooth out the blanket.
She smiled and shrugged. "I guess it depends on my mood." She began twirling around with her arms spread out, giggling and skipping around like a child. "Ah, the weather is so wonderful today."
I shook my head and chuckled at her antics. "Why wouldn't it be? It's our anniversary, after all." I pulled out the food from the picnic basket. "Hey, let's get some food first - didn't you say you were hungry?" When she didn't answer me I rolled my eyes. "Nami, I asked you a question." When she still didn't answer I finally decided to look up. "Naminé-"
When I saw her lying on the ground in a crumpled heap my heart dropped to my stomach.
I didn't know what to feel.
I didn't know how to feel.
Everything else that happened that day was a slow, hazy blur. It was almost like trying to read a letter that had gotten caught in the rain, with the letters all smudged out and illegible.
I couldn't sort out my feelings properly as I sat by her bedside with my hands trembling on my lap. The beep, beep, beeping of the monitor above her head was almost like a time bomb, anticipating the moment when it finally explodes. Ceases to exist.
She came to a couple hours later. Her eyelashes, so dark in comparison to her overall generally fair appearance, quivered as she roused out of unconsciousness.
I never forgot what happened next.
The first thing she did when she was fully conscious was reach for me.
It was like she knew I was going to be by her side. It was eerie and touching at the same time.
She slowly reached for one of my arms and gripped my sleeve with what little strength she had. "R-Rox…" She was too tired, too sick to speak and it broke my heart.
"Shh," I hushed her, cautiously moving out of my chair and onto the bed; I brushed the hair from her eyes and tried to ignore the slow beeping of her heart monitor, "Don't speak if it's too hard. Just rest, okay?"
She rested against me and sighed against my neck. "I...I'm sorry f-for...for not telling you…" She sniffled and rubbed her nose. "I...I d-didn't know how…"
My eyes began to sting, but I fought to keep my emotions in check. Instead I hugged her a little tighter, craning my neck so I could kiss her cheek properly. "No, no, it's okay. It's okay." I hushed her as she began to cry, and a painful lump formed in my throat. "Now I know why your dad is so protective of you." I laughed a little sadly in a vain attempt to lighten the mood.
Thankfully she laughed a little too. "H-he knows...he knows you're...y-you're a good person, Roxas…" She sniffled again, "He...h-he trusts you."
I kissed her cheek again. "I know - he was just here a few minutes ago. He said he'd come back in the evening to check up on you." I coughed a little so the tears wouldn't fall. "How...how long have you…" I didn't want to finish the sentence.
"S-since I st-started high...high school," She wheezed, "B-but...I stopped...responding to t-treatments j-just over...over a year ago."
I squeezed her again. "There isn't...any other way for you to get better?" The possibility pushed me further and further over the edge, and I could feel my eyes glazing over.
When she shook her head, that was when the tears began to fall.
I couldn't understand how this was happening. Why her? Why Naminé? Someone so sweet, so thoughtful, so beautiful...out of all the people in the world why was the one closest to perfection being wasted away by a disease? How was someone so good living with something so evil?
"T-they...they thought I wasn't going to...t-to have much time left…" She spoke up; her small, trembling hand was clutching my shirt, "But y-you came along...and I...I l-lasted longer than...than they thought…" She sniffled, "You've been keeping...keeping me healthy, R-Roxas."
Hope flickered inside of me, and I kissed her again. "Then...then that means I just have to be with you as much as possible, right? If I'm with you, you'll...you'll stay. You won't…" A new rush of tears flooded over me and I clamped my eyes shut, pressing my cheek against her hair, "God, Naminé…"
She sobbed with me, shaking her head against my neck. "I-I'm sorry," She repeated over and over again, "I'm so...s-so sorry."
I stroked her hair as the tears continued to fall. My throat ached and my eyes burned, and I was pretty sure she could feel my shaky hands running through her soft platinum blonde tendrils. "I love you," I mumbled against her hair; she glanced up at me and I smiled for her as I wiped her tears away, "Did you know that?"
She laughed a watery laugh and nodded. "Y-yes, I did. I do." She pressed herself against me and let out another laugh/sob. "I love you too, Roxas."
"I'm going to be with you every day, okay?" I whispered to her, "I'm not going to leave you. You're not going to go through this alone." I squeezed her small body and and bent over to kiss her lips.
When we broke apart her taste lingered, like always. She sniffled and bumped her nose against mine. "Thank you," She whispered back, "Thank you."
She eventually regained enough strength to return home, but things were never the same. She couldn't go out as often, and the farthest we could go was her backyard. It wasn't like I wanted to take her somewhere too far, anyway; I was too scared, too afraid of what might happen if she collapsed again.
I was beginning to notice how her sickness was affecting her: she spoke in a very subdued voice, even softer than her usual tone. She grew tired very often and eventually needed to take naps during the day to keep her energy going. Her appetite shrunk considerably. Dark circles were beginning to grow underneath her eyes, and she grew even paler.
"I'll be back tomorrow," I whispered to her as I pulled the covers to her chin, "Sleep well." I bent over to peck her mouth.
"Goodnight, Roxas." Naminé half-yawned before nuzzling her head against the pillow. I smiled and crept out of her room.
"Roxas." I turned around and came face-to-face with her father. Nervousness surged through me, even though I knew I had earned his trust now.
"Uh, I was just leaving-"
"Let's talk downstairs." He led me into the kitchen. I had a hard time deciphering his emotions when I sat across from him; his face was pensive and he was nervously twiddling his thumbs. "I…" He began in an uncharacteristically quiet voice, "I don't know...h-how to thank you for everything you've done."
I shook my head in confusion. "I'm afraid I don't understand."
He glanced up at me, and I nearly gaped at the tears glazing his pained eyes. "Because of you I was...I-I was able to keep her longer. She...s-she wasn't supposed to last this long, but then you show up and she proves her doctors wrong. I don't know what it is, but you've got something that keeps her going." He coughed awkwardly into his fist. "T-thank you, Roxas. Thank you so much."
"I'm not leaving her," I said determinedly, "I'm going to be there every step of the way. I hope you know that."
"I-I know," He replied through his tears, and I felt my throat constrict painfully, "I...I want you to be there. Anything...anything to make her happy. Anything to make her stay longer."
For some reason I felt my eyes well up. Before I knew it the tears were streaking down my face. I buried my face in my hands and sobbed noisily. I cried about this before, but never in this way. I never felt such an urge let myself go the way I did in that kitchen, right across her father. I felt like all the pain rushing through me at that very moment, and I just couldn't contain it anymore.
I think that was when I came to the realization that my Naminé wasn't going to be here forever.
I felt a thick pair of arms around me, and I realized that it was her father who was embracing me. It was so unlike him to do such a thing since he was a stoic-looking guy who intimidated people upon first glance, but at that moment it felt fitting. I think it was because we both knew our lives weren't going to be the same once...it happened.
My arms wound around his torso and I sobbed against his collar, clinging to him for dear life. His grip was no less tighter than mine; we collapsed on the tiled floor on our knees, crying and holding each other. It might've looked strange to anybody else, but it was something we both needed.
We both knew we didn't have much time left.
After a month and a half Naminé had to go to the hospital again.
Her health was declining rapidly this time; she barely had the strength to walk, let alone eat on her own. Almost every time I went to visit her she was sleeping, or under some sort of drug.
I brushed the hair from her eyes and kissed her forehead. "How are you feeling?" I murmured into her ear. I tried not to notice how sickly thin she was and how the dark semi-circles under her eyes were now her most prominent feature.
"Better," Her voice was barely a whisper, "I...I'm…" She coughed into her arm, and my heart clenched together.
"Just rest, okay?" I brushed a thumb underneath her eye, "Sleep."
She closed her eyes and smiled before turning her head to kiss my palm. "Y...y'know...I never really asked you...why you weren't mad at me for...f-for not telling you."
I raised an eyebrow. "Telling me what?"
She laughed. "That I was sick, silly. I...I thought you'd be...angry...especially when you found out...on our anniversary."
I felt my eyes sting with impending tears, and I shook my head against her hair. "Why would I get mad? To be honest with you I...I really didn't know what to feel. When your dad told me I sorta just went numb. I was kind of wishing it was some sort of bad dream." I wrapped my arms around her and sighed. "Sometimes I wonder why you have this in the first place. You don't deserve it."
She shrugged. "Things just happen, Roxas, You...you can't expect an explanation for everything."
"Oh yeah?" I smirked, "Then answer this, Miss Philosophical: what do you think compelled us to be together?"
She giggled softly and cuddled closer against me. "T-that's easy - you...y-you wanted to prove your friends...wrong, so you came over to my table and...sat with me."
I rolled my eyes. "That's not what I meant."
She laughed again. "I know." I felt her fingers absently playing with my collar. "I...I think some things are...just meant to be the way they are. I mean...people have come up with great theories as to...as to why we're here, what our purpose is and so on and so forth but...that's all they ever are. Theories. They've...they've never really been proven. A lot of people just agreed with them because...they think the same way."
"So you're saying that some people are just over-thinking it?" I asked skeptically.
Naminé nodded. "Y-yes. I think it's better not having...having to explain yourself for everything. You can't...really question things like that because...because it's just too broad. Life is just life. There's...there's nothing more to it."
I chuckled. "Well, I know why we ended up together."
She blinked up at me. "Why?"
"Because…" I felt my eyes well up again and I swallowed hard before leaning in to press my forehead against hers, "Because the world wasn't ready for you to leave it just yet." I sniffled and shook my head against hers. "I don't know what I'm going to do when...when it happens."
"Well, I do." She grabbed my face in her hands and forced me to stare straight into her eyes. "I want...I want you to move on, Roxas. I want you to find...find someone else. Impact them like you've impacted me. Make sure they...they don't go through each day thinking they're not wanted. Make them feel… like the way you made me feel...and when the time is right, tell them our story. Tell them about you, about me. Tell them about us."
I choked on a sob. "Naminé-"
"Roxas, please," She was beginning to cry too, and it only made the hurt worse, "I want you to be happy."
I wanted to tell her how the only way for me to be happy was if she had miraculously gotten cured of her disease, but I wasn't in the mood for arguing. When I nodded wordlessly against her she smiled and wiped my tears away before getting rid of her own. She then reached towards her bedside table and grabbed her sketchbook. "Did...did you draw something new?" I asked weakly; I could feel more tears coming but I refused to let them out. I needed to be strong for her.
"I don't want you to open it just yet," She instructed as she handed it to me, "Open it...when you feel ready."
I shook my head as one of my hands absentmindedly ran across the worn orange cover. "How will I know when I'm ready?"
"You'll know, trust me." She leaned in towards me again, cupping my face with both of her hands. "You've given...given me so much to be thankful for. I...I love you, Roxas. I love you so much."
I kissed her after that. I didn't have any other way to express how much I loved her at that moment.
I wanted to show her that she was mine no matter where she went.
She left two weeks after that. She looked so peaceful - she could've been sleeping.
I thought I wouldn't be able to cope with it, but once it happened I felt an overwhelming sense of relief. I think it was because I knew now that she wasn't suffering, and that she was finally free of the pain that kept her prisoner for so long. She wasn't hurting anymore, and that's what mattered most.
She was right when she told me I'd know when I'd be ready. Almost a year after it happened I finally got around to looking at the sketchbook. It turns out that she managed to draw almost all of the memories we shared together, from our first encounter up to the last day we spent together before she had to go to the hospital for the last time. I should show it to you sometime - she really is an amazing artist.
I know she led me to you, because sometimes I can hear her voice in my head when something goes wrong. When we have a disagreement she'd be chastising me, telling me to pick up the phone and call you almost instantly after we fight. I can literally hear her lecturing, "Roxas, you and I both know it was your fault. Stop being so stubborn and just call!" Call me crazy, but most of the time I know she's telling the truth.
Don't think you are any less to me just because of what happened between me and Naminé. What we had was special, that's for sure, but at the same time I knew I had to move on. Naminé isn't here anymore - at least not physically - and I eventually had to come to terms with that. Plus, I know she wouldn't have wanted me to spend the rest of my life moping around. You helped me see that it's possible to love another, that it's possible to feel strongly for another person. I can't thank you enough for that.
But I just wanted you to know about this girl named Naminé, and how she was one of the most amazing people I had ever met. She wanted me to tell you our story, and so I did. I fulfilled her wish, and now I am ready to fully move on - with you.
You don't know how excited I am.
And I'm pretty sure that somewhere, Naminé is too.
We're living in a den of thieves
Rummaging for answers in the pages
We're living in a den of thieves
And it's contagious
A/N: Well, this turned out way longer than I expected...I hope you liked the overwhelming fluff/cheesiness I deliberately added for the sake of Rokunami Day XD
Roxas is basically retelling his and Naminé's story to his current significant other/fiancee/life partner/whoever. Who that person is, however, is entirely up to your interpretation =) Her disease is also up to your interpretation, though I did have leukemia in mind.
This longshot was inspired by Regina Spektor's Us and the book/novel A Walk To Remember by Nicholas Sparks.
Review, si vous plait =)
Oh, and Happy Rokunami Day!