This is dedicated to the late Jeffery Chin, who died a year ago due to an abnormal condition.
This is a sequel to the story "Remember". You might want to check it out before reading this one.
Normal words means events taken place currently
Italic words means Sapphire's thoughts.
Bold words means thoughts entering Sapphire's head.
Bold italics means thoughts from either Ruby or Professor Birch.
The blackness is terrifying. I can't open my eyes, and my arms are lying uselessly by my sides.
It's been forever since I've been here. I've been trying to grope through the strange fog in my mind. Memories dart from here to there, always out of my reach. When I turn to catch them, they fade away, like little ghosts that are always out of my reach.
I can't tune in to the outside world. It's all bleary and fuzzy. I can't open my eyes, but if I strain hard enough, I can hear snippets of conversations.
I tried many attempts to get my body to work. My fingers were held down by some invisible force, and I couldn't persuade my feet to move.
I was trapped in my own body.
"Sapphire, please come back to us," Professor Birch whispered quietly, his hand holding on to his immobile daughter's. "I'm not going to leave you. I'm going to keep talking to you until..." his voice broke, and he wept in the silent ward.
Taking a deep breath, Professor Birch continued talking, telling his daughter about her childhood, her friends, her achievements. Pausing for breath, he took a look at the heart monitor next to her. The beats were slow and steady, but they were getting even slower by the minute. His throat felt dry when he pieced his thoughts together.
"Sapphire... How long will you last?"
I was aware of a beeping sound above my head. It sounded like a drumbeat, and I couldn't make it stop, no matter how carefully I concentrated. I wish I could go back to the silent fog - it was less irritating.
"Sapphire, it's me, papa."
I was aware of the man that was currently next to me. He was talking about a childhood I never remembered, a boyfriend who meant nothing to me, and friends I barely cared about.
There was a short pause, and the sniffing continued, as if the man was trying to control himself.
I tried to clear my head of the creeping fog. Papa? There was clearly a mistake. He must have gotten the wrong bed. He wasn't my father.
Emotions whipped around in my heart, but there was nothing in my head where the picture of his face should be. I felt like I should know him, and I forced myself to keep listening. The more I strained to listen, the faster the beeping sound got. I wished it would shut up.
"Sapphire, I do hope you can hear me. The doctors aren't sure whether you can or not... But..."
He broke off, and I could feel his tears falling onto my hand.
"Are there any changes? Is she going to be–"
"No, there is no changes that I have noticed. However, the printouts shows that her heart rate went up dramatically just a few minutes ago."
"Do you think that the heart rate is a good sign?" Professor Birch asked hopefully.
The doctor looked down at his notes, shaking his head slowly.
"Rather the opposite, I'm afraid."
I could hear the beeping again, and a couple of pieces of the jigsaw clicked into place in my confused and foggy brain. I was in the hospital, and it didn't sound as if my prognosis was good.
I've heard the conversation between the man and the doctor. They had been working out medicinal details – my conditions and medical dysfunctions.
They can't have been talking about me. They must have gotten the wrong bed, I reasoned. There was nothing wrong with me. I just couldn't move and I couldn't think clearly. It must be a hideous mistake. The man who thought he was my father was thinking about switching off the support machines I was currently hooked up on.
I had to let them know that I could hear them, that I was here. I tried to move my fingers, my feet, trying to show them that I was still here, that I was still alive. But no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't get my body to move. I heard the shuffling of feet – the doctor's, I assumed.
There was a moment of silence, and the man made a strange sound, of misery so deep, so absolute that I felt my heart would break for him. He couldn't speak, but I could feel him rocking against my bed.
"Don't go, Sapphire. Don't go."
His voice came as a whisper, and a wave of pain stirred within my heart.
"How is she, Professor?"
Professor Birch shook his head and let his daughter's hand fall gently on the waffle coverlet.
"Her chances of survival were low, there's nothing the doctors can do" the professor said hoarsely to the younger man.
Ruby immediately dropped the doll he was holding, the broken smile on his face slipping away.
"There must be something we can do! We can't just leave her…"
He trailed off when Professor Birch burst into tears, and watched him leave the room to compose himself. Ruby followed him quietly after stealing a glance at the sleeping girl.
Pain surged through his heart and he gulped in fresh air to steady himself.
"I'd rather die of a broken heart than live a day without you."
There's another man in the room. He was another person who showed extreme concern.
He would hold my hand and talk for hours.
He sounded really gentle, and my heart would palpitate faster whenever he was around. It was a different feeling from the one I felt when the man who called himself Papa was around.
I longed to meet him, to see him face to face. I wanted to know why my head would spin and my heart would leap when he was around.
I wanted to know why I felt this way.
"Ruby, you're going to have to let her go sooner or later."
Ruby glanced back at the Petalburg Gym Leader, who was leaning back against the wall with his hands in his pockets.
"I'm glad to see that you're not willing to give up something without going down with a fight."
Ruby's hands clenched, and his jaws tightened. He didn't like where this conversation was going.
He felt a hand on his shoulder, and he resisted the urge to turn and look at his father. He didn't want to admit defeat, to accept that Norman was right.
It wouldn't be what she wanted anyway.
"But she's struggling. It's not just about you. You have to consider how she feels."
Ruby ignored his father. Seeing his son struggling with emotions, Norman shuffled away, and retreated back to a far corner of the room. Ruby barely noticed his father's actions, since he was too busy fighting the threatening tears spilling from his eyes.
His hand found hers, and he gently stroked the back of her hand, taking care not to press against the swelling bruises.
"Maybe letting go is the best option."
Ruby looked up at his father, the tears rolling down easily when he saw the sympathy in his father's eyes.
He turned his attention back to the sleeping girl, and he let his fingers run across her calloused ones gently. He traced the silver ring on her left ring finger, and his throat dried.
"But I can't let her go."
His name was Ruby.
Whenever his name was mentioned, I felt a vague stirring of emotions. If it wasn't a memory, at least it was something.
But even he was giving up. I was as good as dead. How could I let them know that I was still here?
How could I show them that I still existed, that I was alive and waiting to be saved?
I was paralyzed but conscious; people I didn't know were making decisions about whether I lived or died; and I had no proper memories at all.
Everyone had already given up on saving me, so what was the use in trying?
Ruby pressed the heels of his palm to his eyes, brushing away the stray tears that flowed down.
He did a quick scan of the room. All the dex holders had arrived, along with Sapphire's father, and Winona and Wallace. Most of the Hoenn gym leaders had attended too.
Yellow had collapsed from crying too much, and Red had to struggle with his own emotions while supporting his wife; Green had retreated to the window and was staring very intently outside. Sadly, he was also acting as a support to a very distraught Blue, who was howling against his chest; Gold was so mad and upset that he was punching the wall repeatedly, leaving a hole the size of his head on the pastel wall. Crystal had stop chastising her fiancé and was joining him in breaking the wall; Silver was pretending to look interested in the cards propped up against the table (but everyone could see the glint of tears in his eyes anyway); Emerald was trying to comfort Crystal; the Sinnoh trio were crying and comforting each other...
And there was himself, standing by the second Hoenn dex holder's side, holding her hand, never leaving her side.
It's time. I can feel the machines being switched off, and the oxygen mask being removed from my face. The tube in my throat is gone and I can breathe properly.
There's a hand on mine, giving me love and warmth. It's too small to be Papa's, so I guess its Ruby's. I try one, last attempt to acknowledge my presence, and use all the willpower I have to make my fingers move.
Nothing happened. It's like trying to push water uphill. No matter how hard I try, my efforts are still futile.
Deep inside my heart, unshed tears and stinging pain fills me. I don't know why I'm crying. I don't even know these people. I can't even let the tears fall from my eyes, let alone open my eyes.
People say goodbye to me. Nearly all of them are crying. Their tears fall gently on my face. Unfamiliar names spin around in my head – Emerald, Winona, Red, Green...
There's a silence in the room, broken occasionally by the quiet sniff and silent cry.
Everyone's just waiting for the final blow that would take me away.
With a nod at Prof Birch, Ruby leaned in closer to Sapphire, smoothing back her cameral hair and running his fingers through them.
Without the oxygen mask, he can see the rest of her face clearly. The scars and bruises that tarnished her beautiful, flawless face mock him, reminding him of the accident. He shut his eyes and allowed two hot tears to roll down.
He can hear the faint beeps coming from the heart monitor, and he knows that time is running out.
With one hand supporting the back of her head, he leaned in slowly, so afraid that he would break her. And in one final move, he closed the gap between their lips.
"Just give me one last kiss before fate tears us apart forever."
His lips are on mine. I can feel the warmth flowing through my body. My already weakened heart beats softly, and my mind swirls out of control. The emotion flooding through my mind is confusing, but it's soothing.
I can hear the beeps from the heart monitor. It's my heart, and I'm listening to my heart's last, futile efforts to survive. It's getting fainter and fainter, and the fog hiding in the corners is drawn out, creeping to the only bit of me that was still me.
His lips are leaving mine, and his hand tightens around my own hand. There's an image floating towards my mind, and I reach out for it.
It's a face, a face I knew I loved, and wanted. The red eyes sparkle, and just as quickly, the image disappeared.
The fog I've been fighting slowly seeps back in. The long tendrils began to wrap around me, and my concerns began to slip away.
I can still hear the faint beeps of my heart, and cries from the people around me. But I can't fight it anymore.
My hand falls limply to the side, and I can vaguely feel a cool brush of metal on my ring finger sliding off.
"It's a ring," my mind says sleepily, and there's a gentle tinkling sound as the ring makes contact with the concrete floor.
I hear the last, final beats my heart is making, and pain seeps through me.
"I love you, Sapphire."
There's an ache where my heart should be, as I hear his last words. I can feel his breath on my neck, and my heart jumps slightly.
I take in one last deep breath. The oxygen is sweet, and the sounds around me begin to fade.
My whole life was disappearing. Everything that made me who I was was being ripped from me. Thoughts whipped around me, and I felt like I was watching a video being played along the wall of a tunnel, and I was racing towards the black hole at the end.
The blackness advanced and all I could remember was that someone, somewhere had loved me. I couldn't fight the resistance anymore, and I let go.
The fog engulfs my mind, and everything slips away.
Her hand slides off the bed, and the ring he had given her falls gently to the ground.
The gentle clicking of metal against concrete resounds around the room.
Ruby felt his throat close off as he choked on his sobs. He could only stand and hold her hand, his namesake eyes never leaving the heart monitor.
The beeps slowly cease, and his eyes blur with tears. Quietly, he put his lips near her ear, savoring the last few seconds he had.
"I love you, Sapphire."
The beeps were getting slower and slower. His hand grips hers harder, trying to warm her cold palm with his warm hands.
"One day, we'll be together again."
The beeps falls slowly, and eventually come to a halt.
Her hand goes limp, and Ruby falls to his knees, his fingers absentmindedly brushing against the fallen ring on the floor.
"And when we meet again, we'll live happily ever after, just like in a fairytale."
I originally planned to publish another fanfic, to welcome myself back to . However, this came up, and well...
I decided to dedicate this to my mom's friend. He was a great guy, who had always never failed to cheer me up. He always brought cool gifts during Christmas and birthdays. He had a great job at this beachside restaurant; a loving family; and a really pretty fiancee.
He had fits (some kind of muscular spasm.). And one day, it was so bad, that it actually killed him.
I was devastated. I never got to say goodbye to him. But I think the only person besides his family who took his death badly was his fiancee. She cried buckets, and had insomnia, and also lost a lot of weight. And the worst thing was that they were getting married in a month's time. They had planned it so perfectly, from the wedding gown right to the invitations.
Even though its been a year since he passed on, I still want to dedicate this story to him and his fiancee. It hurts to love someone and lose them so quickly.
I like this story a lot. I've always wanted to write something like this. I hope it flows through smoothly, because I finished this in two days. Many people also asked me to do a sequel to the story, "Remember", and well, here it is. The paragraphing seems weird to me. Do let me know if you find it weird.
Please review, and many thanks to all who have reviewed, or read my stories.
Take note: I will be changing my username to TopazSunshine. I didn't really like the number at the end of SilverStars24. And also, there was another user going by the same name, so to avoid confusion, I will be changing my username. The change will take place on 1 November 2011, so be sure to take note.