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Catch Me, I'm Falling

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My heart falls apart in my hands. I sit here, staring down at it - every crimson part of me leaking endlessly from within. The memories float softly down over me, coating me like feathers from a forgiving sky. Tears track down my cheeks, little rivers that I wish would run dry. Maybe if they did, I'd be who I once was. Maybe if a time could come where I'm not the me I am today, then everything would be okay again.

I turn away from the entrance to the building, my fingers following the path of each stone, moving along the contours as if they are the lines of my life. If only I had someone to run to, someone to protect me in a world that's falling apart all around me. If only I had something besides me.

My fingertips leave the cool stone behind and my heart shrivels and dies with the last connection to something I never had. An invisible line used to stretch between you and me... used to. Today has changed everything. Or maybe I should say that today, I changed everything.

I was an idiot. I believed in something that wasn't real - something that could never have been real. And then it all fell apart and I just stood there, dying as the flames of hatred enveloped me. If only I were dead, maybe it wouldn't hurt like this. I would be carried away on the wind and bound into eternity, headed in another direction. But the only direction I'm headed is home... alone.

I bow my head, allowing the wind to cover my face with each dyed lock of my hair. How could I have been so stupid? How could I have believed in something that could only be a fairytale? Maybe it could be a reality for someone else. But for me, it is nothing but a scar I'll now forever carry on my heart.

A gentle rain begins to fall, each droplet mixing with the tears that still fall so freely. I lift my face to it and accept. I accept that I exist, that I'll never do anything but exist... but, that I do. The soft pop of each streetlight turning off around me greets my ears. A planned blackout - something I had seen coming and the reason I had chosen this night. One by one the orbs of light fade away and I'm left standing in the darkness with nothing but loneliness for comfort.

I lean across the small table and smile at Ryuto, my heart pounding in my chest as I take his hand in my own. His skin is so soft, like the silken petals on a fake rose. My thumb lightly circles the top of his hand as he looks up at me. There's a curious look in his eyes and it sets my mind at ease. He's giving me hope, feeding me everything I need to be able to do this.

"Ryu... there's something I've been meaning to tell you. Something I've kept inside for so long." I look deep into his eyes until he looks away. A deep frown creases his brow and tugs heavily on his lips. He shudders slightly and pulls his hand away. I watch his reaction, perhaps more confused than he is.

He shakes his head as he places his hand in his lap and clears his throat. "Maybe you don't want to do this."

I bite at my lower lip, unsure for a moment but then certain again the next. His eyes meet mine once more and I plunge forward, not allowing myself the luxury of pause. "No, I need to." I smile, but it's not quite as bright as it was a moment ago. "I know you've always backed me up in my choice of lifestyle. You've defended me when no one else would even dare." I reach out for his other hand and he just yanks it away. "I... I've fallen for you." I frown at where his hand was a second ago, wondering what could have possibly possessed me to go ahead and say what I have when his reaction is obvious.

He stands up and shakes his head. When I meet his eyes, he looks angry. There's a fire burning so deep in them that I can't even breathe just from looking. The look tears my heart out and his actions rip it into pieces.

"I don't share your feelings and I never will. I hate that you're not like me. I can't even understand you. Why would you think that just because I defend you from attack that I'd even approve of the way you live your life?" He turns away: his shoulders stiffen and there's an air about him that tells me I shouldn't say a word. But I do. I have to.

"I-"

"Don't." He turns and pins me with a look worthy of a killer. I can feel my heart collapsing, my lungs crushing every last breath from my body. My insides crumble and I'm left half-standing as he leaves the room.

For almost an hour I remain in almost the same spot. My mind recalls and warps everything that transpired, shaping it into something less tolerable that what actually happened. Inside my head, he hates me - all of me. Inside the walls I've built, I'm left to stand alone for all eternity. Inside my heart, I cannot understand how he could rip me apart and leave me bleeding like this.

After a while, I know I have to leave. I know I have to get home if nothing more. I can barely walk. It's as if he's taken my strength right out the door with him.

I stumble into a wall in the pitch black and end up sliding down it to sit on the ground. I remain there, knowing it is my place and that someone or something wants me here, just like this. Everything is dictated. But if that's so, then why is life so beautiful for others and so bleak for me?

I start to shiver, the cold seeping into me as the rain comes down heavier.

The sound of a lighter draws my attention upward and I gasp. Saki's standing over me, watching me. There's a knowing look in his eyes and a gentleness I've never seen before on his face. He lights his cigarette and the fire from his lighter flickers away. He holds his hand out to me.

I take his hand and allow him to pull me up. He slips an arm around my waist as he takes a drag from the perfumed stick.
"Rough night." I nod, something within telling me that he knows more than he says. He lets it be at that, simply guiding me through the darkness. Each step I take with his quiet presence beside me seems to heal me a little. It at least makes the pain inside tolerable again.

We step out onto the main street and he gestures at the masses of people just standing around. "This is a time for reflection, Hisa. Don't let it go to waste." He lets go of me and slips away into the crowd, only stopping for a moment to turn his head and give me one of his knowing smiles.

I can feel everything changing - it's like the tide is going out, taking all of my transgressions with it. For the first time in my life, someone walking away from me doesn't hurt. I manage the smallest of smiles as the lights begin to turn back on all over the city. I can count on one thing in this life. I can count on him always being there to guide me.

The End