You don't understand, nobody understands.

Neku fling his headset back to his head- his gaze indifferent and blank as he stared on the throngs of people, same people, same road, and same day. It was very funny, just a few months ago- he gets reality shoved down his throat, and the world really felt like it was ending. But now seeing the people continuing their usual routine- preoccupied with their own lives and jobs, he knew the world would go on as it is, with or without him.

How much can a month, a week, a day change his life? Back then he would scoff at it having changed so much, yet he now believes that it can change everything.

It took a simple month to make him accept humanity, and another month to reject it again.

His body brushes through lots of people as he walked across the scramble crossing- the men and women who are simply actors and actresses fulfilling their own roles, laughing and giggling even though they didn't mean it- getting angry and cry and be forgiven, for being weak, insecure and selfish. They were trapped in the same delusion he was in- yet worse than him, they thought it was real. As he did before.

Too caught up in their own subjective reality- we began to lose touch of what is important, that's where noise came from, the discordant dissonance in our hearts- and the conflict between our values and the world, Joshua once said.


He dreamed of Joshua. Once- on a Christmas night. Joshua was smiling- his face oddly gentle and charming, though Neku would never admit it to the man himself. Neku had once got the splash of reality- everything moving away from him and all of it disappearing. But after that- he met Joshua in the dream.

Guess that just proved how much he misses Joshua.

Once upon a time- a prince came, riding a horse. A glistening white horse.

Joshua never stop to look at him, yet he was smiling.

That cold and wintery day, Neku was crying. And Joshua was smiling- the smile of a god who looks at his creation- his partner with pain.

But the horse was nothing but a stolen horse- and the prince was not a prince. He only paraded as one.

"Hey, Neku?" Joshua said, slipping his warm fingers to Neku's cold cheek. "You know the world would end with you, right?" In that dream, Neku felt very cold- his fingers getting frostbites and his body numb with the chill of the season, yet he did not care. He did not care- Joshua was with him, and that was the only thing that matters.

"I know." Neku smiled- his blue eyes glittering bitterly. "i know, Josh."

"Do you want to play the game, again?" Joshua said softly, his tone a bit mocking- yet his eyes did not speak of anything but gentleness. "Do you want me to kill you again?"

"I- I want-" Neku stopped, hesitating. What is it that he wants? Does he want to return to those days where he was still alone- does he want to return to those days where he's oblivious to everything- those days where he would walk hand-in-hand with Shiki? What is it he really wants? Joshua kissed Neku's fingers- as if to give them more warmth. Neku felt a tingling sensation when Joshua touches him, it was not disgust- the feeling was altogether pleasant, yet he knew he had felt it once. But he could never remember when.

"What are you doing, Josh?" Neku asks did not withdraw his hand.

"Comforting my proxy." Joshua simply said- he was stating the obvious. "Do you miss me, Neku?"

Neku had expected himself to lash out at Joshua when he entertains the idea of meeting him again- but this was the simple truth he was saying, any lies at this point would have been unforgivable. His voice came out in a hoarse croak.

"So much that i can die."

Joshua's eyes widened for a fraction of second, caught by surprise, yet he spoke suddenly- his voice oddly terse and harsh, his hands yanking Neku to the floor. "I don't want you to die, Neku dear. After all I've done, after all the arrangements, Shibuya was saved. And you were saved. You and your friends. I watch you everyday. You and that girl was very much in love." Joshua paused, "I-I'm happy, for you, i guess."

"I need you, Josh- you're the one i love." Neku admitted- there were no longer any hesitation in his voice- in that moment he felt enlightened. "I don't love her."

"Neku, my darling. You don't love me as I love you. More than anything, more than anyone. Before I would laugh when i see humans love each other- whispering meaningless sweet nothings on each others ear- that was very foolish. I would laugh at them for sacrificing themselves for something so worthless, yet now i understand. If for you, there was nothing i wouldn't do. You are my life- if you die, i would die too. I realize that now- with your life threading in such a precarious moment. I love you, Neku. I love you for existing, i love you for being here, i love you for being alive." Joshua spoke, his lips smashing Neku's his tongue threading on Neku's cold lip, forcing its way inside its cavities. Without him realizing it, Neku felt warm tears washing down his face, Joshua and him, they belong to each other.

"I'm in love with a ghost." Neku gasped, his sobs breaking through each broken kiss. "You know what Shiki told me- she said i was abnormal, because i couldn't love her. Because no matter what i do, my thoughts would simply return to you, that no matter how i try, i can't forget you. You, my teacher, the one who grants me everything and robbed me of everything. I love you, Josh."

"And i, i would watch the only man i love- kissing another girl and held hands with her, with a smile on his face. Neku, and i am even more pathetic than you." Joshua laughed, and they laughed together amidst their sobs.

A sweaty hand yanked his headset open- his blue eyes flashed in surprise when he saw Beat- fuming with anger and fear and guilt. "Phones, it's a misunderstanding!"

"What is?" Neku looked at him panting, his body and shirt wet with sweat. This was the man who had kissed his girlfriend, once.

"Shiki- i forced her to kiss me. You shouldn't break up with her. She loves you." Beat shouted, his eyes clenching in pain. "She loves you more than anyone."

"No." Neku said, as if there was only one relevant point. "Not more than someone." There was another lonely god who wanted him, who loved him as selflessly as possible, the love that was so selfless that it was also viciously egoistic- the love that doesn't consider another's feelings for him. Neku is in love with a god.

"Phones- please. She's breaking without you. She can't stand it." Beat begged, his eyes pure with pain. "I love her, but she loves you. The guilt it breaking her to pieces, don't you care, phones? Ain't she your partner? Ain't she your girlfriend?"

When i broke to pieces, do you even care? Do you even bat your eyelash to care for me? She's breaking, was i not too, right now?

"You don't get it, Phones." Beat punched a nearby wall, Neku wonders if it hurts- whether it would leave a bruise. Yet he knew that he no longer cares. "you don't get how much she loves you- she cries every time she met you, because you looked at her, but you ain't looking at her. For God's sake, Phones!"

"Can i help it, Beat?" Neku felt his voice horribly different, it didn't sound tense, it was indifferent. "You love her. You would love her better than me- I'm abnormal, I'm sick, I'm in love with a ghost. Go and comfort her yourself."

A blinding pain knock him down- his cheek stinging with hot pain searing over it. Beat punched him- he was crying too.

"Fuck you, Phones. She's at the hospital now!"

And Neku's world seem to be shades of black and white.

"Shiki, she.":