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Never ever again

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Chizuru quickly turned the brass door knob as she glanced back to see if anyone was following her, she gently forced opened the door and stepped on the first step. She hurried closed behind the door and rushed down the dark stairway. Toshi, she whispered when she reached the bottom, she glanced around as she held a flashlight in her left hand and a small tote in the other. Toshi, she spoke again, when she heard rustling noise at the right end of the floor, she immediately pointed the light to the direction. A little grin formed on her lips while she raced to the place; there a thirty-ish man who was tied behind his back with a thick rope. His face covered in bruises, taped over his mouth, and blood stains on his white dress shirt.

The man seemed relieved to see her, his eyes was glued on her as she untied the complicated knot. Though, the light was extremely dim, he could picture her beauty - her sparkling eyes, her gentle lips, and her flawless complexion. His mind scrambled for an answer for his beating and for the appearance of Chizuru, why was she here?

As Chizuru pulled the last strand, his hands instantly became free. He quickly untangled himself from the web of strings and quickly ripped the tape which had covered his mouth; a painful ouch was voiced.

Chizuru, he spoke lightly, is that you? Yes, she whispered, but this is not a place to talk, she reached for his hand, follow me.

The anxiousness that burnt within him had began to boil as they blindly slid through several piled box. The more they continued, the more he felt that he was trapped within a maze. To his surprise, Chizuru knew each and every turn as they continued their route to freedom. Now questions upon questions scrambled in his mind, what did she had to be with his kidnapper? Without a watch to time their escape, he wondered how long had they raced through life's journey. He only realized safety was near when a dim light from a street lamp had shined through the darkness.

As they caught their breath, he observed the woman that stood before his eyes. This was a mature of Chizuru, but still as beautiful and youthful as he had always pictured her. Today, she was dressed in a silk, white sleeveless dress and her head combed neatly in a French twist. His lips formed a grin as his heart sped like a go-kart leading the race, he felt the same as he did when he realized his love for her. His tension and restlessness were eased when Chizuru closed the gap between them.

She glanced at the bruised covered man, her right hand slowly touching his face. Toshi, you should be safe now, just follow this road back into town. Leave this place and don't ever come back! Her voice was firm and commanding, Hijikata knew how serious she was. He reached for her hand as she quickly retract it. Chizuru, I will leave, if you will... It was just too painful to bear, he already knew her actions had supplied the answer, but he wished and prayed that her words would differ. The next milliseconds seemed like eternity for him, but never once left his eyes off of hers.

Her heart ached as she turned her back to him, knowing her words would be demolish any hope left. I truly wish I could, but life now is not like years ago... I'm...

WHY, he was confused with her words, he loved her more than life; he wasn't going to let her go again. I love you, we have a life to start, you're coming with me...! His voice was trembling as he continued to plead.

Letting out a long sigh, Chizuru slowly spoke, Toshi..., I don't know how to say this..., I'm married now...!

Those words stabbed through Hijikata's heart like sharp blades on unprotected flesh, his only reaction was to grab her right arm and swing her around. They were face to face as Chizuru's eyes teared up, I'm sorry..so..so. sorry...

Chizuru, why? You vanished without a trace...and then come back, telling me that you're married...WHY?, he stared into her eyes in search for a response. He had never imagine life without her, however, the only word that came out was WHY?

She bit her lips as she looked away while sobbing, Toshi, don't ask... She closed her eyes, Please don't ask any more...

Seeing her in tears was agonizing for Hijikata, he instantly embracing her. Don't tell me, it's HIM!

She wanted to let go, but she felt warm, comfortable, and security in his arms. Toshi, promise me that you'll leave and forget about me. I'll be fine here...

No, I'm taking you with me! Chizuru, you cannot stay in his insane world...!

Toshi, I need to... Everyone depends on it..., she explained while weeping. Though her heart expressly wanted to stay with him, she had dreamed of this moment many times, however, she knew her departure would cause extensive damage.

They released each other while he gently wiped dry her face, Chizuru..., Hijikata whispered into her ear. His heart ached knowing how much she had sacrificed. This was the woman he loved, he felt so helpless that he was unable to protect her from HIM. Why Kami-sama so cruel? Wait, there was still time for him...to take her away from this insane universal... Toshi, his thoughts were interrupted when Chizuru softly spoke.

Being in his arms once again felt so right...she wishes that the external world would fade, letting all of her worries and responsibilities to disappear. Even if it was for a mere second, it would be worth it, just to be with Toshi again. As the street lamp flickered slightly, reality had resurfaced, she knew it was time to go. Knowing this would be their last, she embraced once more tightly. Just forget about me..., her voice trembled as she held back her tear, ...our dreams, our time together...there is an enormous world out there. My debt to you will have to be repaid in our next life... With that, she quickly released him and ran into the dark.

Hijikata wanted to race after her and take her out of this horrible world. Something inside him had pulled him back, he just stood there in sorrow as he watched his love disappear. From that moment, he realized they were never ever going to see each other again.