Raise Chapter 11
I took a deep breath before raising a pale hand to knock on the door. I looked down at my shoes to avoid looking into her eyes when she would open the door.
A faint, "Come in," told me it was safe to walk in my sister's bedroom.
She was sitting down in front of her vanity mirror, brushing her pale hair. She didn't look at me as I walked in. She kept her eyes fixed on her reflection as she brushed her perfectly strait hair. She started doing things compulsively a lot, ever since she found out Rufus died three days ago.
She would clean the table for half an hour when it would be perfectly spotless in five minutes. She would vacuum the same spot twenty times before she was satisfied. She would spend twenty minutes making her bad. She would spend an hour taking a shower.
I hated myself for causing her this pain. She cried all night and stayed in bed the next day, refusing to leave her room. I could hear her crying when I tried to offer her food or try to get her to come out.
I sat by her door for hours, trying to get her to come out and eat but she wouldn't reply. The only sound coming from her room was the sound of her sobs and occasionally the movement of things.
She didn't come out until I started crying, apologizing like it was all my fault...even though it is. She came out then, hugging me, and saying there was no way I could prevent fate.
"It's time," I said quietly.
She put her brush down, touching the sides of her pale face. She flattened her hair with her hands before standing up. She pressed her hands on her dress, trying to make it impossibly straighter.
"You look perfect, stop fussing," I said, smiling halfheartedly.
She pulled her lips into a little smile; it looked as if it hurt her to do so. After attempting to straighten her dress again, we left her room, heading for the backyard where Rufus' funeral will be held.
Naminé grabbed the urn containing what was left of Rufus ashes. There weren't that many people, having that Rufus doesn't have many friends or relatives and we're basically what's left of out family.
I took my seat in the front row as Naminé sat the urn down on the table before standing up at the podium. She took a deep breath, looking around at all the sad faces in the small crowd.
As she started her speech I looked around our small garden; you couldn't have picked a more beautiful day for a funeral…
"…his heart was so full of love; there aren't enough people in the world to give it to…"
I looked over at the small patch of flowers Naminé had planted around a small stone bench. She always loved to draw people sitting there…
"…he was a great inspiration to all of us. He cared for Roxas like a loving father when he had no one else to turn to…"
The sun glinted on our slightly overgrown grass. I always liked it that way…It hasn't been cut in weeks since Rufus had been so preoccupied and caught up in his own mind.
"H-He," Naminé stuttered before breaking down.
Everyone gasped as Naminé backed away from the podium, crying her heart out. I quickly ran over to her, wrapping an arm around her shoulders. Naminé buried her face in my chest, sobbing uncontrollably.
"R-Roxas, I'm so s-sorry. I-I don't kn-know what c-came over m-me!" Naminé blubbered, wiping the tears off her cheeks, taking deep calming breaths.
"It's okay Nami. I'll finish the speech for you," I said before I could stop myself.
"Oh, Roxas! That would mean so much to me and Rufus!" Naminé said, flinging her arms around my neck.
"Come on Nami. Get up or you'll ruin your dress," I said, grabbing her hands as I stood up.
"Why, yes…Of course," Naminé said, getting up and brushing herself off.
She hurried over to her seat, smiling encouragingly at me. Wanting to beat myself for suggesting this, I walked over to the podium. I cleared my throat, looking around at the small gathering of Rufus' family and friends.
"Well, I wasn't expecting to speak today," I began, fighting the urge to run away, "so please forgive me for this ill prepared speech." I cleared my throat rather loudly, looking at Naminé.
Her porcelain face was shiny with tears; her pale blond hair framed her face perfectly. Looking at her made it easier to begin all these tremendous lies that were about to spill out of my mouth…made it bearable but didn't take the sharp pain away.
"Rufus was like an angel sent to us from heaven. Naminé and I didn't have anything and he took us in. He loved me more than I can say and…I wish I could talk to him one last time, let him back in our home so he can take care of again."
My throat felt tight, it was getting harder to breath as I went on. It felt as if someone stuck a big glob of paste in my throat, sealing it together, ceasing my ability to speak. I swallowed again, trying to get air back in my passageways. The cool air had little effect but gave me enough space to breath and speak.
"Every night, he would come in my room to tell me how much he loved me," I said quietly but loud enough so that everyone can hear me. At least that part wasn't a lie. Raping me was his way of loving me no matter how much I hated it. "I wish I could tell him how much that meant to me, how much it helped."
God damn it…I wish Axel was here…or Sora…or even Zexion. Just someone who understood where I was coming from! Everyone looked at me like I was the sweetest thing in the world and with sympathy…like my heart was broken by his death.
I closed my eyes, taking a deep breath before continuing. I wanted to scream out to them that he raped me…that he wasn't the perfect therapist everyone thought he was. That he's the reason I hacked my wrist up…
"One thing that I will always remember about him is that day he visited me at the hospital…it was late and everyone had gone home. He came to tell me he wouldn't tolerate my problem…he was a little harsh when he told me I was being selfish but that's what I needed. I needed someone to help me and Rufus always helped me. He was our angel…our sweet little angel," I finished, my throat so tight that it felt as if my insides were going to twist up and kill me.
Everyone nodded in understand, some smiling, some crying. I tore my eyes away from the small gathering of people to the fence dividing our backyard from the neighbors. Someone with startling scarlet hair was leaning against the white fence, his arms folded across his muscular chest, dressed in a black suit, with that infamous smirk plastered on his perfect face.
I lay down on my back with my left arm stretched out and my right hand resting on my chest. I changed out of my suit when everyone left, now dressed in sweats and a T-shirt. Axel was lying beside me, examining my hacked up wrist carefully.
I turned my head away from the ceiling, looking at his face as he examined me. His vivid green eyes met mine. We stared at each other for a moment before he spoke.
"What are you going to do now?" he asked quietly, his breath fanning out around my face.
"I dunno…I got a full scholarship to Twilight Town University. I guess I'll just pack up my shit, get a job, and leave this crappy city."
Axel dropped his gaze back down to my wrist. His face looked impassive, closed, as he spoke. "So what? You're just gonna drop everything and leave?" he asked, his voice closed and distant.
"Not exactly…but I can't live in Hollows Bastion anymore. Too much has happened here…my parents died here, I was raped in this house…in this bed…We committed murder here. I can't stay here…I need to leave."
Axel sat up, his face closed and impassive. "Well, I have to go home." He grabbed his jacket and put it on quickly before walking away. I wasn't going to go after him…I refuse to.
"What do you expect from me?" I asked without meaning to. It was as if someone else took control of me…like I was in the back of my mind as someone else spoke from my body.
Axel turned around, glaring at me. "I expected more."
A scornful laugh escaped my mouth…a noise I never made before. "What? Did you expect me to run to you with open arms, crying like a baby? That's not how I work Axel, you should know that. I'm not as weak as I look…but I'm not that strong to where I can just run into a relationship after what I went through with Rufus."
Axel clicked his tongue impatiently. "I just expected after all that we went through together our relationship would be strong enough to survive anything…After what happened with Sora, the accident, and the fire," he said, his voice accusatory.
I glared at him…he still blames me for everything. "At least I can keep a promise," I spat, causing him to go rigid.
"What?" He asked, looking confused.
"Huh?" I asked, gaining control of my mouth again.
"Did you say something?" Axel asked, looking really confused.
"Didn't you?" I asked after a moment.
Axel shook his head. "Not that I can remember," he murmured.
"Oh…okay," I said, confused about what had just passed.
Axel turned to leave again…I sudden panic flowed through me, controlling me. For a second the scene changed, I was watching him leave into a stormy night. I shot up, wrapping my arm around his wrist and tugging.
Axel turned around quickly...too quickly. I wasn't expecting it. I ran into his chest and lost my balance. He quickly wrapped an arm around my waist, catching me before I could fall. My breath caught in my throat as I opened my eyes to see that Axel's lips were mere centimeters away. I looked up slowly at Axel through my eyelashes. The warm hand currently resting on my lower back was making it hard to think…hard to concentrate.
I cleared my throat and stepped away from him. "Thanks," I muttered, looking down at his feet. Axel took a step back, getting ready to leave. "Don't leave me…not again." Again, the words flowed from my mouth as if they were someone else's but no one else would be able to detect the difference.
Axel quickly wrapped his arms around me, pulling me against his chest. I automatically buried my face in his chest, inhaling his scent. I could feel the point of his chin resting on my head before I felt his sharp nose buried in my hair…inhaling my scent. It was as if this was routine for us…embracing like long lost lovers.
"I won't leave you again," Axel whispered into my hair.
"Promise?" I whispered, the childish question slipping out of my mouth before I could help myself.
"Promise," He whispered.
I felt moisture build up in my eyes. I quickly blinked away the pointless tears, pulling out the embrace. "You need clothes," I muttered.
"That I do," Axel smiled, taking my hand in his and leading me away.
I never understood it when Sora would tell me he felt butterflies in his stomach. I never understood how anyone could feel like butterflies were fluttering around in their stomach until this amazing person held my hand. My breath quickened as my heart beat sped up, hammering in my chest. I couldn't find words to describe what might be going on inside my stomach…the word butterflies instantly filled my head to describe the fluttering in my stomach…but no…butterfly wings weren't that strong. It was more like humming birds…hundreds of baby humming birds fluttering around in my stomach. At that moment, I had no idea where Axel was taking me but I didn't care…All I knew is that I wanted to be where he was…I just had to be with him and everything will be okay.
We stared into each others eyes, lying on our sides. I don't know how long we've been like this but it doesn't matter. It wasn't as if I was looking at him…but his soul. That's what I was searching for and I could see it…glowing beautifully behind his green orbs. I knew that he wasn't looking at me either…but at my soul.
I knew I was smiling like a fool but I couldn't stop even if I wanted to. I couldn't help but act like a fool around him…I was his beautiful little fool. A soft giggle escaped my lips at the thought.
My eyes widened as pink smoke left my mouth, ghosting around his face. The eyes that stared at me through the pink smoke were different; they weren't the bright green eyes of Axel…but the steely blue eyes of a monster…of Rufus.
Before I could even do so much as gasp, a hand cold as death grasped my wrist, burning the cuts there. Another cold hand rested on my warm cheek, cupping it in a loving manner. The smoke disappeared, revealing the sharp pale face of Rufus. A cold smile twisted his features, revealing his perfect teeth.
"Roxas, I was touched by your eulogy. Did I really mean that much to you?" He whispered, pulling me against his freezing chest. I shuddered, trying to break away from his grasp.
"Y-You're dead!" I said, pushing away from him.
"Oh, you silly Roxas…Did you really think you could get away from me that easily?" Rufus asked before laughing.
His cold laughter rang through the room, echoing loudly. It filled my ears, swarming around in my head. I finally pushed away from him, tumbling onto the floor. He was still laughing at me, staring at me from the bed.
I backed up into the corner, shielding my eyes and screaming for all I was worth. His laughter still rang loudly in my ears as I screamed for someone to help me.
Hands began grabbing at me, trying to pry my hands away from my face. I screamed louder, kicking at whoever was touching me. Whoever it was had really warm hands…it couldn't be Rufus.
"Roxas! Roxas! Calm down! It's me!" Someone was shouting.
"What's wrong with him?" Someone shouted.
"I dunno! I think he had a nightmare!"
"Roxas! Roxas sweety! It's me, Naminé! Every things okay! Calm down honey!"
The screaming stopped. I stopped screaming but I kept my eyes covered as his laughter rang still rang through the room…or was it all in my head? I seem to be the only one freaking out right now.
"Roxas, stop shaking." Calming hands rested on my shoulders.
It was only then that I realized I was shaking uncontrollably in a fetal position. I stopped shaking and sat up, slowly uncovering my eyes. I quickly wiped the tears off my cheeks with my fist like a small child, trying to control myself.
"What's the matter honey?" Naminé asked.
Her hair was wet and she was dressed in a bath robe. It looked as if she heard me screaming and hurried over to see what was wrong. Her blue eyes were wide and worried as they searched my face for any damage.
"Just a nightmare," I said, smiling reassuringly.
"Do you want to talk about it?" She whispered, running her fingers through my hair. I could feel her wedding ring as she ran her fingers through my hair.
"No," I said flatly, getting up.
Axel stood up too, wrapping an arm around me. "Must have been that movie I made him watch. I'm sorry Naminé," he lied easily.
Naminé nodded in understanding though she didn't look entirely convinced. "Don't watch scary movies so late Rox," she said before getting up and leaving.
"What did you really dream about?" Axel asked as I climbed back in bed.
"I don't want to talk about it," I muttered, pulling the sheets over my head.
Axel pulled the covers back as he lay down beside me. "You don't have to be so strong."
"Yes I do…or else I'd kill myself again," I muttered.
Axel nodded in understanding though I never killed myself…or else I wouldn't be here right now…right?