By Musouka

Iíve never been the type thatís good with words.  Itís as if thereís something that short-circuits my thoughts as they travel down to my mouth.  So I usually opt to say nothing at all.  Iíve found from personal experience that people will usually just take your silence as so many things...use it to build you into something that youíre not.

Like a leaf caught in a stream, I let life take me where it wants, never protesting except perhaps internally.  Itís easier that way; to let the current mold you into whatever design it wants to.  Struggling brings me no-where.

And yet...

Throughout this whole ordeal, Iíve done nothing but struggle against the forces that have, up until this time, swept me away.

I wanted you to understand so badly, but it wasnít as if I could come out and say it.  Every time I tried, the words wouldnít come out right, and youíd be hurt.  You were always smiling though...I may be socially inept, but even I could see that my fumbling attempts hurt you.  They had the exact opposite effect Iíd hoped for.

I wanted so much to smile back at you, but there was never enough...time.  And everything became so muddled; we had no time to think.  You didnít have any spare moments to start piecing together that confusing emotional jigsaw puzzle I had left for you.  I didn't even know if you were interested.

Still...I prayed that somehow my thoughts would reach you.  That every misunderstanding we had would suddenly be erased, I hoped that somehow, you would just wake up...knowing.

No-one understands me like you do.  Youíre a mystery.  How do you do it?  How do you know when Iím feeling down, and just the right thing to cheer me up?  She has no idea.

From the start, you all have been pushing me toward her, as if weíre fated to be together.  Maybe we are, and I just havenít realized it yet.  After all, I did promise to be her knight.  Then again, I always have had a difficult time discerning where work and personal life separated.

You might find this amusing, but throughout the whole time she was with us...all I really wanted, was for her to go home.  That way I wouldnít have to take care of her anymore.  Hell, I can hardly take care of all you guys; I didnít need the princess along for the ride.

That sounds harsh, I know.  But can I really help what I think, deep inside?  Itís not as if she or you will ever hear it.

You know what I want to say to you right now?

I want to explain everything.

Before itís too late.  As if it wasnít already too late.

I can feel the wire of fateís snare bite cruelly into my neck as I walk along, tugging me in another direction.

Towards my duty.  The rest of my life.  What I owe to her.

Ghosts of memories from these past few weeks surround me, clutching me with an almost physical presence.

The tightening of my chest when I thought you might actually die back there in that hellhole.  I couldnít wait for Selphie and Quistis, every second counted.  Two seconds too late is only two seconds, but it might as well be an eternity.  My gunblade shining like the tooth of a dragon as I leapt between you and the guards.  And the look on your face when you saw me.

Like basking in the most radiant light possible.

And, I wanted to stay there forever.

I gave my ring to you.  Not Rinoa, you.  When you mentioned her name, I felt like you had slapped me in the face.  You didnít want it.  It was all for her...shoving her in my face, yet again.

I wanted you to want it.

Just like I wanted you with me up in space.  Dammit, it wasnít that I didnít trust you!  But thatís how it ended up.  There was no way to make you understand.

I feel better when youíre near me.

Like, perhaps, one day...I could learn how to smile.  Break through this mask smothering me.

Youíre busy.  Selphie is giggling as you stuff hotdog after hotdog into your mouth, videotaping your antics for Hyne-knows-what...

For one fleeting moment...

The very edges of my mouth curl up in a smile. A real smile, not the cardboard cutout I use for special occasions.

I watch you for a few more minutes, that little patch of sunlight Iíll never quite be able to catch.

Rinoaís waiting on the balcony, and I shouldnít keep my sorceress in suspense.

There is no line between my private life and work.

Itís so easy to smile for her.  She expects it.

And when our lips meet in our first kiss, itís like the flavor of divine Destiny.


I just never expected it to taste so bitter.

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