I took one last look at Darina before she was blocked out of my view by fluttering wings and skulls. "I love you." I whispered, half hoping she'd hear, but knowing she wouldn't. Back to the other side, back to Limbo, the one place I hoped Darina would never have to see. But who knew the future?
A dull ebbing pain made its self known as the bleakness of Limbo surrounded me. It was the place where my heart should have been. The pain was the pain I would have felt when I was still alive. It was the pain I got whenever I left Darina. No matter how much Hunter told Darina and me, I didn't believe that we didn't have emotions. If anything, being Beautiful Dead had amplified my emotions. Especially one. My love for Darina, it was ever strong and it was forever hers. In my head, the reason I had no heart was because Darina had it, it was hers along with my love.
Hunter stood next to me and his sharp tone brought me back out of my thoughts. "Get those thoughts out your head, boy. They're no good here."
Of course he would say that. There's nothing good in Limbo. Just trapped souls, hoping and praying that an overlord would choose them to take back to the far side, to become Beautiful Dead. But many didn't. Only a select few. Myself included, along with Arizona, Jonas and Summer. The other teenagers in Ellerton that had been killed in the past 12 months. Jonas' death had been resolved and he'd moved on, as had Arizona's and Summer's. Just my own death remained. It was going to be the hardest for Darina, and me too, as it meant we only had precious weeks, days together. Then we lost each other forever.
"Phoenix!" Hunter scolded. "I said lose the thoughts. Don't make me stop you from going back."
I wiped my mind of Darina, and focused on my death. It was shrouded in doubt. Who had killed me? It had been so quick, so pain free. But that didn't make it any less traumatic. I only remembered my dying words from the Event. "Tell Darina I'm sorry." I spoke them to my older brother Brandon as I lay bleeding to death in his arms. But other than those few words, my mind was a blank.
"What do you think Darina's doing? Can you tell is she's safe?" I silently questioned Hunter.
"I'm warning you…" Was his response.
I shut up, and began to look around Limbo. The throbbing pain in my chest grew stronger. Damn, I wanted more than anything to be alive. I wouldn't be here; I'd be with Darina, her in my arms as we lay down by the lake watching the sunset.
"It looks like there's gold in the sand."
"It's iron pyrite."
"I like my version better."
"I love your version."
The conversation ran through my head over and over. The way she'd laughed, the twinkling in her eyes as the sun caught them. How could Hunter expect me to stop thinking of Darina? She was in all I did. He shot me a warning look as my thoughts once more turned to Darina; I smiled apologetically and shrugged my shoulders. Hunter must know how I felt about her, how it hurt to leave her, how worried I became as soon as I enveloped in skulls and wings. But this time, I had more to worry about. Darina's best friend Logan had recently died. She had lost two of the most important people in her life, her best friend and her boyfriend. I hoped Zoe, Jordan and Lucas would look after her. Maybe my brother would too. He'd promised after all.
Lost in my thoughts, I absentmindedly began singing to myself, only quietly. It was my song that I related to Darina. The words could get my feelings across so easily. It was like it had been written for us.
"I will never let you fall; I'll stand up with you forever. I'll be there for you through it all, even if saving you sends me to heaven. 'Cause you're my, you're my, my, my true love, my whole heart."
Hunter tried to ignore my singing, but to no avail. He sighed.
Now it was my turn to sigh.
"I can't help it… She keeps me happy; I need that when I'm not with her."
Hunter's teeth gritted. It wasn't like me to ignore the overlord's commands, but Darina was a special case. She was helping us to spend more time with me. But she was still helping, Hunter needed to remember that.
"We can go back soon." Hunter commented.
I nodded, trying to hide the grin pulling at my lips. Hunter looked at me.
"One last time, boy. Then it's over."
I nodded again. Hunter always knew how to ruin a moment. This was the last time I would see Darina, until… I didn't want to think about it. Maybe, one day, we'd be together again, but I couldn't hope. Darina, after all, was only 17, she had her full life ahead of her, and she'd find love again. And then I would truly be forgotten. She promised I wouldn't, but who knows. I would hate to think that Darina never loved again, because she still loved me. What am I saying? Of course she would always love me… But I would be her first love, nothing more. And it ripped at my insides to remember that.
"Time to go." Hunter's voice came out cracked, tired almost.
"And see Darina, solve my death." I added mentally as skulls and wings surrounded us both.