It would be a month tomorrow. A month had gone by and it still felt like yesterday to him. Yugi sat on his old bed, looking around his newly cleaned out room. Everything had to go; it was time to move on. He kept telling himself this, but it never sunk in. Even as he looked around his bare room, not a piece of furniture left save his bed, he simply could not accept what had happened.
Standing from him old bed, he walked to the window and opened it with little difficulty. He looked out from the top most part of the Game Shop, his grandpa's shop. His heart gave a painful jerk and his eyes felt heavy. Joey told him that the pain would go away, that eventually it would stop hurting, but it wasn't stopping.
It would be a month tomorrow. His grandpa, Solomon Muto, died of a heart attack a month ago tomorrow. That's what they told Yugi, the doctors that is, but he didn't trust them. Yugi knew his grandpa, and there was no way a heart attack was what ended his life. Solomon Muto was a fighter, a duelist, he had been through so many difficult times and he had always come out on top, to have the doctors say he died of a heart attack was an insult to his memory. His grandpa had been in great health! He had to have been after chasing Yugi and his friends around so often. And yet, that's what they said, and you can't argue with doctors.
Yugi shook his head sadly, as he shut the aging window for the last time, thinking of what would become of his grandpa's shop. After his death, the Game Shop was sold, to Duke Devlin no less, but he was glad someone he trusted would be its caretaker. So much had happened in this little shop, he'd grown up here after his parents passed. Yugi walked down the stairs to the living area and saw his grandpa's aged television set was still in place. There was no use trying to save it, it had broken soon after Pegasus's video message so long ago. His stomach twisted as he recalled how scared he'd been at the thought of losing his grandpa, and now he was dealing with that very feeling again.
It would be a month tomorrow. Everything he did to try and fight back the crushing waves of depression was useless. No matter that he was the Duelist Kingdom Champion; no matter that he was the King of Games; no matter that he had beaten every opponent he had ever faced; he was still miserable and alone. Absently, Yugi's hand clutched onto the fake Millennium puzzle he wore around his neck. It was just a necklace, a piece of artwork, a keepsake; the real thing had been lost to the sands of Egypt. Atem was gone as well, might as well be dead. He just didn't see how it was fair that his grandpa's life had to end, while people like Maximillion Pegasus who inhaled wine and alcohol daily were still alive.
He felt lost, completely confused and dazed. This wasn't something that he thought he would have to deal with for a long time. He was just seventeen, hadn't even graduated from high school yet, and the one constant in his life was ripped away from him. Thoughts of what could have been constantly plagued his mind; images of his grandpa cheering at his graduation, his grandpa helping him unpack his things at college, his grandpa in an aged suit sitting front row at his wedding. All the things he would never do again, from grocery shopping to helping Yugi save the world, made it feel like there was a large gaping hole in Yugi's chest.
It would be a month tomorrow. As if repeating the words to himself would make them more comprehendible, easier to process and accept. Yugi shut the door behind him as he exited the Game Shop, the way the door clicked shut had a certain finality to it. Looking back at the old shop put a lump in his throat. He turned his head away and noticed the weather for the first time. It was sunny and warm, a beautiful day by anyone's standards. Somehow it didn't feel right, the beauty of fall, it shouldn't be present when his world was shattering.
The sound of a car honking snapped Yugi from his reverie. The car came to a halt and Téa Gardner stepped out of the driver's side door. Silently, she approached Yugi and simply stood beside him. She didn't utter a word, because that's what he needed then, the silence. Yugi looked at her for the first time in what felt like days. His pulse quickened and he felt ashamed that he should feel so alive and in love while his grandpa could feel nothing. As if sensing his thoughts Téa took his hand and squeezed it ever so gently.
It would be a month tomorrow. The thought that never stopped flowing in and out of his brain emerged again. "I know," Téa said sympathetically. Had he said that out loud? He hadn't realized that, it should have bothered him but he didn't feel anything. "His birthday right," she spoke cautiously, "it would've been tomorrow." Yugi nodded mutely and fought back the tears that flowed so easily nowadays. "We should celebrate, not his death, but his life. I know it's sad Yug, to pass away on your birthday, but he had a good life and he loved you." He knew she was right, they should celebrate, grandpa would've wanted that.
His grandpa would've wanted a lot of things, and he knew he should honor all the things he still could. Squeezing Téa's hand he led her back to her car and helped her into the passenger's seat. He slowly walked around the car and opened the driver's door. With one last longing look, he burned the Game Shop into his memory; not how it was now, run down and old, but how it had been when his grandpa was alive. Yugi got into the car and began to drive away, the shop shrinking in the rearview mirror. The fact is that life moves on, even if you don't want it to. You have to move with it or you risk getting left behind. Though it's sad, and hard to deal with, people die… even those closest to you, even those you care about above all else.
It would be a month tomorrow.
[Written for my daddy. May he forever rest in peace.]