The millennium puzzle is a cold reminder of Atem’s absence. The puzzle once seemed buzzing with life, filling Yugi’s head with Atem’s reassuring presence. Now, it was as good as dead and that thought was a knife to Yugi’s heart.
Somewhere in the first few weeks of Atem’s departure, Yugi couldn’t adjust to the oppressive silence in his head and the ever-present hurt lingering over him like a phantom. And quickly, the mourning manifested into outrage.
How could Atem leave him like that? Weren’t they close? Did he even think about Yugi at all in his decision to leave?
The thoughts burn like wildfire, clouding his rationale in its smoke. Any reason failed to stop him from throwing the puzzle as far from him as he could. The puzzle didn’t go far; it bounced off his bedroom wall and shattered into pieces on his floor.
Good. Yugi left the pieces on his floor to get lost. Serves them right.
But then, months passed. The hurt soothed over thanks to the love and patience of his friends. It never completely left Yugi, but now, it was joined with a warm content.
Not to mention regret. Yugi kicked himself for breaking the millennium puzzle, one of his own reminders of Atem’s time with him. He quickly scrambled to pick up the pieces, but they seemed to have vanished from his room.
It took months of accidental discoveries, finding little pieces of gold in what should’ve been obvious spots. It felt like a penance, how slowly the pile of pieces on his desk grew. A painful reminder of the mistake he made that wouldn’t let up.
He twisted the pieces into place based off muscle memory. He had done this a thousand times before, one more wouldn’t kill him.
That is until he needs to slide the eye of Horus into place only to find it missing. Yugi blinked. How fitting.
His eyes stung. Seemed this was what he deserved.
The tears started to fall as the guilt washed over him. How could he do this to someone he cared for so much? Someone who had waited thousands of years for their time to rest. How selfish it was of him to expect Atem to stay after everything.
It’s when he finally calmed down that he noticed the eye of Horus staring up at him from the middle of his desk. Yugi whipped his eyes, frowning. He could have sworn that wasn’t there a minute ago.
But when he picked it up, it felt the same as the other cool pieces of gold. He quickly slid the piece into place. Yugi stared at the face of the now complete puzzle.
For a second, Yugi thought of Atem standing before him, the two of them hanging out like in the old days. Yugi quickly shook the thought from his head.
“I wish that you’re happy wherever you are, Atem.” Yugi said. He pressed his head to the puzzle’s cool surface. “I love you.”