She didn’t need to read the cards written back from their families. Or visit their graves. Or stare at the only picture any of them had managed to take during that one night out at the bar where they were all laughing and drunk out of their minds. That shadow of remorse had clung to her since the very moment she had been notified they were gone.
Most times she’d let it be. Most times she was working or fighting her way through swarms of ghouls to pay much mind to her strained memories. To the few quiet moments she’d had with her boys. Friends, definitely. Lovers, maybe. But her boys.
The thing about memories is that you can try to push them down. Try to block them out with distractions. Delude yourself until you yourself believe the lies you’ve told. That’s the way Akira had always known. To hide what she felt until she too believed that she was as cold as everyone perceived. Perhaps she was. Cold with brief, fleeting moments of warmth to lighten the storm. Perhaps that was the case.
And staring out at the world beyond, drink in one hand, fixing her uniform with the other, she felt them with her. The memories of the boys she loved. Her boys.
Maybe one day she would see them again for more than a moment’s glance. Part of her hoped not. The thought of driving a blade through their skulls was one she’d rather not dwell upon. But maybe she would get to see them again. See her boys they way she remembered them.
A pleasant thought. But Akira knew better. They were still ghosts, anyways, as far anyone else knew.