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“Hey,” he whispered, smiling slightly. She didn’t respond, she never did.  He knew she couldn’t.  It just made him feel better to pretend she could.  

“I’ve missed you.  I’m not sure if other people have though.”  The girl was, once again, silent.

It killed Armin inside to look upon her in this state.  She hasn’t changed since that day-she couldn’t possibly have.  She was trapped in her own crystalline prison.  She was like a pearl in some indestructible shell.  Every day, Armin would stand in front of his crystal, hoping he could catch sight of a crack or even a small dent.  He hoped he could find a sign that Annie was going to be alright and that the crystal wasn’t indestructible, that they would find some way to break her out, or that she could find some way to break free on her own volition.  

Armin wondered if she could hear him.  He hoped she could.  Perhaps after hearing Armin’s one-way conversations, she could find the heart to come out of her crystalline trap.  If she could hear him though, she never showed it.  The crystal around her remained unchanged.  Armin wondered if Annie could. undo the cage she trapped herself in.  He wondered if she had the ability to escape, or perhaps they would have to break the crystal from the outside.  Armin hoped that wasn’t the case as it could mean killing Annie in the process.  

“How have you been?”  Armin took a deep breath before continuing.  “Can you hear me, Annie?  Do you know what’s going on?”

Armin paused to give her a chance to answer.  He knew she couldn’t though.  

“You know, it’s weird.  I’m supposed to be the smart one and yet I’m here waiting on you.  I don’t know if you even will come out.  I don’t even know if you’re alive in there.”  It was a possibility that Armin pondered.  What if Annie was dead?  What if she was just being preserved in the crystal?  It wasn’t possible for her to have gone so long without food or water.  Armin had concluded that she was either dead or asleep, in a coma.  Even so, he still continued to visit her whenever he could.  

“I have an expedition soon,” he continued.  Armin paused, hoping Annie would react to that.  She didn’t.  “Anyways, I’m sure everyone’s looking for me.  I don’t want to leave though.”  

Armin’s voice cracked.  He usually waited until he was in his own room to shed tears over Annie.  This time, something in him broke.  

“You know, we didn’t talk much when you were still here,” Armin continued.  “I felt like I knew you well enough though.  Now, I’m not so sure.  I don’t know if you’re alright, Annie.  I don’t know why you did this.  I don’t know why you betrayed humanity!  You took down so many of humanity’s strongest soliders.  There’s so much I can’t understand.  Most of all though…”

Armin trailed off, stopping to catch his breath and wipe the tears away.  

“Most of all, I don’t know why I come here.  I don’t know why I still love you,” he finished.