My Fantasy is Just a Mirror
Two cognized eyes opened themselves against their lethargy, slowly breathing life into a lifeless form.
He gradually came to, unsure what was real and what wasn’t. He wasn’t sure of anything. Returning from such strong emotions…
Only then did he realize he had been dreaming.
—Or, rather, had been in some type of dreamlike state.
Everything had been so vivid. Everything had felt so real. To call that just a dream… It didn’t feel right.
All of those emotions, all of those experiences—were all things he had felt before, lived through before.
So now, lying half awake on a comfortable surface, bundled tightly in cool beddings, his subconscious eyes slowly coursed around the room.
That figure, a disillusioned boy nineteen years of age, thoughtlessly sat up against the force of his lethargy.
After a period of time had passed, his mind picked up where it left off before the inevitable collapse of his Abyss. His inner voice showed a semblance of concern, having escaped from his own torpor.
I need fresh air…
A collage of thoughts seemed to follow in tandem, ranging from intrusive to ambiguously intrusive.
You have to remember.
How can you keep going if you don’t?
If you don’t remember, you’re making her hurt alone.
If you don’t remember for her, who will?
If you don’t remember…
That’s right… In that dreamlike state, he had forced himself to forget about everything, the world, and life itself.
But deep down he knew—he wasn’t allowed to do that.
His hand pulled at the prussian-blue hair at the back of his head, stretching his arm against the pull at his scalp. That sudden pull had even cracked his neck, and feeling the rush of pliability it had added to it, his mind awoke itself against the languor, and following blindly the first thought he had after kindling his consciousness, he rolled himself out of bed, catching himself on two socked feet.
He took a couple haphazard steps away from his bed, until his previously attentive mind collapsed into a blurry and dizzy haziness…
That girl fluttered in and out of his mind…
Wilting and rotten flowers fluttered in and out as well…
Followed by flashes of his own smile…
A field of chalky ash…
And a red ribbon that seemingly connected the two silhouettes.
Hearing a loud thud, he forced himself out of those thoughts as his half-asleep mind screamed at him.
Where was he again?
He groaned against the sudden force, putting extra pressure against his slipping feet to support his falling body, as well as his falling mind.
Careful, Cobalt… Think. Think. Think. Don’t faint again. Don’t lose consciousness. Keep thinking, thinking, thinking…
The previously self-referred “it” Cobalt Aspire maintained control of his slipping feet, prostrating himself up against the wall, slowly, regaining his vision.
He may have almost collapsed, falling unconsciously into the wall, but in terms of his ongoing war with hypotension, he got lucky enough to win this battle.
The room was dark and nearly soundless, save the continuous humming of appliances.
Seeking the sole source of light in his room, he turned around to face a digital clock he kept facing the wall. 22:35. A walk this late would be pointless, but nevertheless, he pushed onwards. Shuffling his feet awkwardly to avoid stumbling again, he kicked a few pieces of trash before his hand reached out for the doorknob.
His footsteps slowed, and reaching for the door he took a deep breath before shoving his racing mind as far down as he could, enjoying the split second of silence that granted him before he opened the door.
Maybe he was just being dramatic.
Maybe he was just forcing himself to give up hope.
Maybe it was the only way to feel genuine after what happened.
Or maybe Bismuth would laugh at him.
With that name escaping his thoughts, he winced while opening the door. His face showed genuine pain as he exited his room for the first time in several days. The lights on the floor were surprisingly bright, beaming parallel to the nearly endless claustrophobic unpigmented halls, which churlishly screamed at him the undeniable message that he wasn’t welcome within them.
His eyes were sunken in and drowsy, peering hopelessly into the one simple exercise he had tasked himself with. His mind had told him “I need fresh air…”, but he knew well that that was a wish wasted on these halls.
In other words, no matter where his autonomous feet took him, there was no where left to turn that would deliver to him that wish.
Blindly seeking the next best thing, his feet moved one after another, catching themselves on the metal flooring as he went. They drug and nearly clung to the floor in resistance. But still, he moved them.
It was impossible not to feel like herded cattle. The walls around him were a constant prison - one which inexorably confined him within them.
So what now? Was he just herding himself? Without anyone else to make him feel like he was stuck in hell, was he now the one keeping himself contained?
All these constant questions made his head throb.
Truthfully, that was why he’d rather be in that Abyss.
That Abyss made him forget all about the questions he doesn’t have answers to.
Now, absent of that comforting dark presence around his shoulders, he just felt defeated and pathetic. Walking these mundane hueless halls at 10:30 at night… Was this how he was supposed to overcome himself? Was this how he was supposed to feel okay again? A trivial nighttime stroll in the place that took everything from him? How was he ever supposed to—
His socked foot dragged against the floor and stopped on a dime. Maybe it was his feet that processed it first, but as his eyes felt the weight of the image they held, they too stopped all contact with his brain, opening wide against seeing a familiar silhouette he saw turning the corner.
A far, far too familiar shape.
He had no idea how to process it at first. The beating of his heart blew through his own ears, and every part of his shaking body had an entirely different reaction to that sensation…
Heating, trembling, fearing…
Those words could come the closest to describing his body’s detrimental reactions, which ignited all parts of himself into an otherworldly warmness - an unwelcomed flame.
But as his ears affirmed what his eyes had seen, what his feet had stopped for, and what his heart beated for, it all clicked into his mind.
Hearing those quiet subtle footsteps approach him from the other side, and seeing those multiple pigments come into view, all he could think was…
The pain of seeing something you’ve lost. Hearing something you’ve lost. Feeling the weight of your own powerlessness face to face with what you’ve caused.
She seemed so close, but Cobalt knew…
That it was far, far too late to go back.
She was already too far.
No matter how fast he ran, or how hard he yelled, his words would never reach her again.
Those sentiments he wished to share echoed tormentingly through his clouded mind, having no where else to go.
Even his own feet could no longer support his body, and as that all slipped away from him, so did he, barely catching himself against the wall.
Was that all it was?
This felt like more than that.
It hurt so much more.
As if the scene plaguing him had been selected personally.
And feeling that torment, his thoughts had no where left to go.
Even his feet trembled under the weight of those thoughts.
Every part of him pathetically shook in place.
All the doubt… All the hatred…
Slowly, yet racing, sporadic, and almost deranged, the words repeated.
Why… Why… Why…?!
Were the words he wanted to scream to her.
But seeing the two eyes in front of him—
No—rather, forcing himself away from them.
All of those pigments and hues were gone.
All of the colors were melted away from her irises.
Not even cognition in her pupils could be recognized…
Not a thought - not an action.
He was slipping. He was falling. Just like in that dream, he couldn’t hold his feet on solid ground.
He blinked, but the image remained.
He winced away, forcing his eyelids shut, but the monochrome of lifeless eyes were already burned into them…
The world was spiraling away from him now. However, passing right before the slipping boy, the girl felt nothing.
No smile, nor frown.
No look of tension in her eyes nor brows…
Nothing which could possibly mirror the strained and extremely painful expression Cobalt wore.
Why… Why… Whywhywhywhy-?!
His throat was clammed up.
And the words he wished to scream couldn’t even form themselves on his quaking tongue.
Feeling a wave of darkness settle around him, the passing party disappeared from his peripherals…
However, the colorless hues that accompanied her, couldn’t leave his sight so easily…
Was this the Abyss he loved…?
No… This overwhelming pain shared no love for him.
After all the propping himself up he had done. After all the confidence he had falsely tried to instill in himself just to do a simple chore like this. After all of that preparation and hope… He completely failed to even utter a coherent thought.
He was a failure, in absolutely every single way…
From her eyes, which distanced themselves from him. Her eyes which saw right past him as if he wasn’t even there. Those eyes… Once more beautiful than even her hair. Once more beautiful than the entire world. Once sparkling with every single color imaginable, reflecting his own dumb smile into them like a mirror. He had seen himself in those eyes. But more than that - he had seen his entire world within them…
And those eyes… Now dripping like a wet canvas sullied in grey. Two opaque marbles whose cloudy expressions reflected their own despair. Did those eyes wish to be kept alive? Or did those eyes not have a choice anymore? Those eyes…
* * * * * * * *
Her hair shined in every single color of the rainbow. It was remarkable—truly. In seeing these locks in his past, spiraling from blue to violet to pink to gold in a beautiful display of twisting pigtails which fell past her shoulders, it was the purest showcase imaginable of beauty and innocence. He could still remember them blowing in the wind. He could still remember the field. Her beautiful white dress. The cloudless sky. Her smile.
Catching his own, she smiled to him, putting a hand against her summer hat to keep it from blowing away. She beamed before tilting her head towards him, moving her lips.
No matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t understand her. Her lips moved, but what they said was…
He felt the stings of reality lash out at him, digging into his back and beckoning him to return. Return to the world whose doomed path was caused by none other than himself. But he fought against it.
Fought against the world that he was born into.
Fought against assimilation and subjugation.
Fought against his past, present, and future.
Fought against the memories he never got to have.
And against the memories he’ll never get to have after what he’s done.
I know you feel it too, Bismuth.
This world… This awful, awful world that kept us caged in like rats.
I know you want to break free.
I know you want to love this world.
I know you don’t want to fight this war.
And I know you never want to be alone again…
I know all of that… But why…
『Let’s… Run away together… Okay?』
* * * * * * * *
The stings of an inescapable truth had brought him to his knees. He couldn’t let her see him cry, and he had almost failed at that, too…
If those eyes had noticed him… Those eyes which saw past him as if his distanced and shaky silhouette just simply faded into the black and white canvas behind him… If they had seen his own eyes now…
He wished that they could.
He wished that they could recognize him now.
And for her own dried lips to finally expose him for the coward and fraud he was.
Was all he could think.
Those wet terrified eyes which streamed themselves with tears had just as much coherence to the ones which had walked right past him.
He didn’t know who to hate.
He didn’t know who to fear.
He didn’t know who to blame.
Who could be blamed for imposing that suffering onto the two…?
And as he writhed on the floor of that filthy place which he despised…
Wishing for nothing, nothing else in the entire world, than to be able to leave…
Wishing with everything he had, to be anywhere—Anywhere else… Anywhere else… Anywhere else...
He realized the answer, to all of his questions.
『That would be me..』