"Hey, Axel," Xion's fingers traced over the A in his name. Her voice shook, tears streaking her pale face. Her finger moved over the X, then E, and L. "It's been another year, you know. Eleven years this day. I don't know how we've made it this far, and I don't know how much longer we're going to be able to keep going on without you." I watched her bite down on her lip, drawing small drops of blood in the process of trying to hold back her tears. Her fingers press harder onto the stone, hands shaking so badly that I'm afraid she's not going to be able to make them stop.
I move her hand away from the stone so she doesn't leave claw marks in the memorial. There are other names around his, so I don't want her damaging the precious monument. I have no tears to shed, but it's not like I'm not sad about this. I didn't ask to lose one of my best friends at such a young age. I remember the day he died clearly, so clearly, it's almost scary :
We were only seven at the time, Xion and I. Axel was fifteen, much older than us, and it must have been embarrassing to say that his two best friends hadn't even reached double digits. It was great for Xion and I, though. He was smarter and knew a lot of things that we didn't know, some we probably shouldn't have known at that age.
I remember, he bragged about going to New York. Said we couldn't come with him, and Xion had started to cry.
"Hey, don't worry kiddo," he smiled and bent down to ruffle her raven colored hair, still as short as it was now, "Reno said that New York is too dangerous for you to go to without your parents, and besides, he's just taking me there for a project."
I was always jealous of his; his older brother always took him anywhere, if he said it had to do with school. Apparently, he had lied again and had said that he needed to do a story about New York. That was the only reason why he was going.
"When will you be back?" I asked, and he had turned to me, smiling again.
"Hm…probably Wednesday. Think, Roxas, if today's Monday, how many days will I be gone?" He always teased me about how stupid I was when it came to math. Well, not really stupid, but I wasn't getting more than a C on my report card for sure.
"Two," I muttered, and he nodded.
"That's right, two days, that's it," he pressed a finger to his forehead, "Got it memorized?"
"Yes, I got it," I smiled. His catchphrase was always funny, in some way. Sure, we had heard it a dozen times, but the way he said it each time made both Xion and I laugh.
"Alright, good." He waved his hand, "Now, I gotta go. Reno just told me to come in and tell you two midgets where I was going. I'll see you then! Oh, and I'll take pictures for you at the World Trade Center! Bye!"
That had been the last time we ever saw Axel alive. The next day, Xion and I had been watching the tv, when my mother had come in, and flipped the station. I had glared at her, but I felt my face soften when I saw the tears rolling down her face. I looked back at the screen and saw a building falling in on itself, smoke and fire everywhere. I remembered this place, the World Trade Center. That was when I looked at Xion, who's face was hidden in her hands, trying not to watch the scene. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a airplane crash into the other large tower that was next to the one that was burning.
"Axel, Axel," Xion muttered from her palms, the name almost like a chant. As if she were trying to bring him back. But I had knew that Axel had been in there. And my hands were shaking, my eyes trying to force tears to slip out, but I wouldn't let them until I was alone. I hated crying in front of Xion. The world was under attack, is what I thought when I was that age.
I blinked, trying to force away the thoughts of my friend's death. Xion's fingers gripped tight in mine, she knew too that we had both watched our friend die, whether we really saw him there or not. I could only imagine him inside the tower with his brother, happy, until he saw that plane. I could see the color drain away from his body, and then the plane making impact.
I could only hope, for his sake, he had died instantly. The last thing I wanted was to think of Axel in pain as the buildings hit over his head, breaking into his skull.
"Thanks," I placed my fingers over his name, concealing it from view, "Thanks, Axel. For being a great friend."
"Yeah…" Xion let out, rubbing her fingers over the A again. "I miss you. A lot. I know Roxas does to. I wish….I wish you could have grown up. I mean…look at us, we're already older than you ever got to be…." her voice choked up, and I knew it was time for her to stop. I reached for the Forget Me Nots that she held in her other hand and placed them on the monument so they wouldn't fall or slip off.
"I think we need to leave…" I muttered gently, placing my hand on Xion's back. She nodded, and we both turned back toward the parking lot. No matter what happened, I would always remember him. I would always remember what a good friend he was.
Short, I know. Leave a nice little review and tell me what you think? :D