Loss. Loss. Loss. It was the one thing that followed me everywhere. The only constant I had ever known.
When I was three, my dad left for the Iraq War. A year later he was reported dead. It was the only time I did not cry after losing someone.
In the following five years my mother started dying. She coughed and coughed and two weeks before Aura turned eighteen she stopped forever. I was nine and I did not sleep for longer than five hours in one go since then.
I got older and when I turned sixteen Aura took me to her work place, the Space Center, where I met her colleague and my future mentor Metis Cykes and her lovely daughter Athena.
As I became a prosecutor at the age of twenty, I met the young police officer Robert “Bobby” Fullbright. He was ecstatic to work with me and made me feel welcome in a work space, where everybody was questioning my worth and usefulness. A place where the law and justice were about to break after the disbarment of a defence legend.
I thought I could help. I could catch the Phantom on my own, restore the reputation of the prosecutor office.
The Phantom did not let me.
At the age of twenty-one I lost my mentor, my freedom and innocence, my credibility, my profession and passion and the love of my sister and Athena.
At least that was what I believed back then. Yet I was given a chance to at least unite one last time with my work as a prosecutor. I was twenty-eight and I was a dead man walking. I had no hope left for salvation. Secretly, I might have longed for it, but I had no strength left to wish for it any longer.
I did not count on the grieving hater of my sister, the desperate rage of Justice and the loving courage of Athena. And I did not take to account that Phoenix Wright’s bottomless faith in his clients and the unshakable will to peruse to truth of Miles Edgeworth would work in my favour.
Neither did I think that Fulbright, the man who had continued to come and talk with me, had been dead for more than two years. I did not understand how I had not noticed it, how I had been tricked, how he could had been dragged into this.
Three years, even a bit more, had passed since they freed me. I got used to the freedom and the separation from my sister. I got better. People knew more about me, I opened up…
But still… Fulbright was not leaving me. I reached the point, where I could see that Metis death was not my fault, but why, why had I not noticed sooner that I was no longer talking with the real Fulbright? What had I missed?
It hurt. It hurt so much. So much I still have not talked about the man with anyone. Anybody else, but him.
It was a Wednesday evening and I was about to finish my paperwork for the day. A weird feeling, as if something was poking my lungs, had haunted me for the last half hour and I felt somewhat nauseous.
The brainless routine while filling in papers did not distract me from it. In fact, it made it even worse, as my thoughts started to wander, and I heard his voice chanting his fucking maxim.
In justice we trust!
In justice we trust!
In justice we trust!
“Fuck! Stop it!”, I shouted and interrupted the voice in my head.
Tiredly a threw my pencil on the desk and stood up. Aimlessly I stood up and wandered over to the tall bookshelf, filled with books Klav had given me in order to make the place look homelier.
I felt like he failed but took one out and opened it at a random page. State law. Great. The words did not stick. My eyes flew over the pages and left me clueless.
… could be interpreted as …
What? When did I say that? It must have been over a decade ago. It was to him. But why? What reason could I possibly have had to –
The book was lying on the floor now. I moved away from the shelf, felt my hand gripping the skin on my skull. Did I start hyperventilating?
… Don’t worry! I’m not …
I almost fell down. I gripped helplessly something to hold on. Probably it was one of the shelves. How could my voice only sound so young? Why did I remember this conversation only now? I had forgotten about it. It had no importance, I wanted myself to believe.
Yeah. Funny isn’t it? …
It hit me straight in the face. My stomach ached horribly. I dropped down on my knees hitting my right hand on something.
My limbs suddenly became heavy, so heavy. Everything was numb. I – I felt like I watched myself cowered on the floor from the other side of my office.
That should have made me panic. At least I thought I should panic. Yet I did nothing like that. I saw myself crying, no weeping loudly. Unable to move, to stand up or to do anything other than that.
Was I disassociating? Great. That would be a first. Maybe it was a reaction due to the shock? The realization that there actually had been a way for me, and exclusively me, to figure out so much sooner that the Phantom and not Fulbright was standing in front of me?
Terran could be alive. My sister would be free, and Athena would not be traumatized. Dear god, why was I so oblivious?
I felt so devoid from emotion and started to drift away even further. Taka was in the room and screeched at me. My poor girl tried to pull me out of my turmoil, but it was an impossible task.
My crying continued, and I tried to remember if I had ever cried this loudly. No memory from such a thing crossed my mind.
A knock. Apparently, it did not startle me. I kept on sobbing, no reaction whatsoever.
The door was opened. Nahyuta came in. They had wanted to ask something but stopped as soon as they saw the scene in front of them.
“Simon?”, they said panicking and kneeled before me. With one hand they tried to keep Taka away from them and with the other they carefully touched my knee.
No reaction whatsoever. I did not even feel it.
“Simon? What happened? What is going on?”, they went on asking.
It had no use. They kept saying my name. After some time, I did not know how much later, steps followed. Someone entered. They were probably alarmed by Nahyuta’s cries and wanted to check onto the situation.
Von Karma and Klavier.
“What-? Nahyuta Sahdmadhi, what am I looking at right now?”, von Karma said furiously, while gripping her stuffy cravat thingy.
“I don’t know!”, Nahyuta answered teary. “I already found him like this! He- he doesn’t respond at all! He is like this for several minutes now!”
“Why didn’t you get someone in that case?! What fool-”
“Bright”, I completed breathlessly.
All three stared at me. I even I stared at me. I was surprised that I was even able to say a thing.
“Holy mother! Simon! Please, tell us what is going on! Or at least try to do so!”, Nahyuta now said.
They had let go of my knee and were crying now. I lifted my head a bit. Their eyes were so strikingly green, unique in their colour. Not like Fool Bright’s.
Thank god not like Fool Bright’s.
I had slipped back into my body, but everything was still so heavy and numb. I tried to lift my hand a bit, to reach for Yuta, to tell them they should not worry.
My body failed me. They saw it. It made Nahyuta stop crying, because now they must have realized that I was trying. That I was actually responding to their pleas.
They and Franziska started talking about moving me over to the couch, Nahyuta breaking of then and when to tell me I was doing good, as I slowly stopped sobbing. Until Klavier shrieked and pointed at my right hand.
“He’s bleeding! Oh god, his hand is full of blood!”, he exclaimed and jumped over to me. Decidedly he grabbed my hand and looked at it highly concentrated.
I did not even realize that I had been hurt. Must have happened when I fell down.
“Okay it’s not too deep, some of the blood has already dried and we still need to clean it. Please, Frau von Karma, do us the favour and get the first aid kit. We’ll try to seat him on the couch, while you’re at it.”
Von Karma did not contradict and was gone. Immediately Klav and Nahyuta tried to help me stand up. I tried to help them support my weight, but it was not much help. They were struggling to carry me but finally managed to get me on the couch in my office.
I now sat there and saw Taka hopping towards me. I had regained some control over my senses and knew I was the only one in the room, who would care for the poor, helpless animal. So, I cleared my throat and murmured, as it was the only thing I managed to do: “Window. Taka… wants… out…”
It took a moment before either of them understood what I wanted from them, so I had to repeat myself several times. Finally, Nahyuta got it and went to the window to let my beautiful bird out. At least on of us should be able to enjoy their freedom, I mused.
Von Karma came back and handed Klavier the kit. He opened it and laid it next to me on the couch. Nahyuta volunteered to fix my hand up and was assisted by the rock star.
They started with cleaning the wound and warned me carefully that it would probably hurt. I nodded absently but I felt no sting, as the cloth with the disinfectant on it touched my skin.
My lack of reaction might have bothered Nahyuta, but they did not let it show as they went on nursing me. Silence lurked in the air. It let me slide back to my thoughts on Fulbright. To the talk we had about eleven years ago. It had only been a stupid chat, not more than the exchange of unimportant stories. To think that this once so playful and light conversation would bring me such great turmoil. It was ironic.
“Do you know what happened, Simon? Can you tell us?”, Klavier asked me and handed me a glass of water.
I took it with my left and took a sip. Only now I started to realize how dry my mouth was and noticed the dried tears on my cheeks. A tissue was given to me and got to clean my nose. I started to feel like myself again, still somewhat off.
I took a deep breath, looked up and said with a weirdly peaceful smile: “I guess, I was disassociating due to shock.”
Von Karma and Nahyuta looked worried, while I saw anger arise in Klavier’s eyes. I did it. I actually used up Klavier’s apparently endless patience. He was done with my shit.
“Himmel, Simon! What the fuck fucked you up so badly? Stop this whole thing and follow your own fucking advice for once in your life! You might not believe it but it’s actually work- “, he started lamenting heatedly but was dragged back by Nahyuta and von Karma.
They pulled him outside of the room. I straightened up and folded my hands in my lap. Deep breath. I would not talk with him. Not here.
My strength had returned to an extend that it was possible for me to stand up and walk on my own again. Softly, I rose and snuck to the door. I heard them talking by the left side of the door. I know where they stood talking, they did not see me exit. I went in the opposite direction and took the stairs to leave the prosecutor's office.