Posted Aug 15 2012 - 02:04 PM
IC: Dorian (Ko-Wahi)
It wasn't supposed to end like this.
If you listen to popular culture, to plays, books, portraits, or old wives tales, men like me are supposed to receive the ultimate comeuppance, an eternity in a dimension meant for them and them alone. The torment, agony, and unrequited lust that I've inspired in so many hearts, minds, souls, is supposed to batter down on me forever in that dimension. That terrifies me. Yes, it leaves me afraid, shaking in my metaphorical boots - I say metaphorical because, despite the incredible cold, I trudged on wearily, my silk shirt torn slightly at the shoulder, my face dark and unreadable, my stride too quick to feel any sort of cold - and makes me wish, above all else, that I would never have to die. Psychologists call this stygiophobia. I call it natural.
Finally, I left the semblance of warmth that Ko-Koro offered behind me, and with it, the only semblance of warmth that I could not convince myself I deserved - Naara. I had left as my Timestamp rolled up, finally assured that this course of action was the right one, and climbed out the window into the cold snow. In about twelve hours, I would have hypothermia. In eighteen, I would be dead. But prolonged suffering was not what I had in mind. There would be an eternity of that to sate me; rather, I wanted something quick, painless, yet everlasting. So it was here that I found myself, in the saddest landscape Ko-Wahi had to offer, a cold, bleak, desolate land that was like a bathroom wall that I could scrawl my pain and sorrow on with the magic marker of my emotions.
My lust for deification, my quest to keep the Mark by any means necessary, had removed me from the people that had truly, honestly taken me in, like a child left at a doorstep; a flayed, beaten, twisted child like me did not deserve any of their honesty or beauty. I didn't deserve Naara, who had utterly given herself over to me like she had never done for anyone else before. Naara, with her soft, rare smiles that could tear into my heart and burrow there like a mole Rahi, with the way she held me as though I were a life preserver on a tossing sea, the way she kissed me like every time was her first time. I didn't deserve Nikarra - oh, God, poor Nikarra, who had probably spent every second around me looking over her shoulder, waiting for a bullet to the head or a dagger to the back. I hadn't inspired anything in her but fear and paranoia. Her recollections of her dreams came flooding over me at once and hit me like a Kane-Ra, or one of Anthyn's winged divebombs, and I screamed out in pain as I fell to my knees, pushing myself up barely with my hands and crying out until my musical, perfect voice died out in a sudden display of independence from my emotional storm.
I pulled the revolver out from its holster and studied that oh so cruel instrument of death; unlike Naara's guitar, or my voice, it was not a thing of beauty, but a thing of pure and unattainable hatred and ugliness, a testament to the Bearer that wielded it as a fashion statement and a taunt. It was me, flaunting my status as a musician of the most despicable breed to any deity that cast their eye towards me. On it, I played my song, baring myself for the audience of the empty snows, the cold winds, the souls floating in the breeze awaiting final damnation. Soon, I would join them, and whereas this thought once gave me chills, it was now the gnawing of winter, like a pit bull, that froze my bones, and it was the bitter concept of never seeing Naara again, never telling her those three simple words that were ever-present on my tongue since the first time I used it to kiss her - I love you, my God, Naara, I LOVE YOU - and never, ever telling her the truth about me. We could have had something. This, more than anything, broke my heart.
I leveled the revolver against my temple, pressing it into the notch where once Naara's kisses, Anthyn's fists, and the devil's whispers had all taken up residence, and I pulled the trigger. What I expected to feel, I wasn't sure. Perhaps a sudden pitch of black, a sudden choir of angels descending singing out "Ding Dong, The Wicked Witch is Dead," maybe even a vision of someone from my life. This last one, I was hoping for last; one last time to see Naara, one last time to tell her everything she deserved to hear and never had. Instead, what I received was a simple Click! and a brush of wind, which massaged the bruise on the side of my head softly and gave me a moment of comfort, which I promptly quelled. Nikarra must have unloaded the gun to avoid it going off in her lap. Attagirl; I'd always tried to teach her gun safety.
Oh, God, no. No, no, no, not her, anyone but her. I had to be dead because there was no way life would be cruel enough to send me a vision of this angel, this work of art, this pure, beautiful soul that I had always been honored to call my sister...and yet, there she was, shimmering and translucent in the paper-white canvas of Ko-Wahi. She crouched down slightly and pushed the gun away from me with a gentle smile, and I closed my eyes tightly to avoid staring at those deep blue eyes, that unassuming smile, those beautiful dimples that had rippled like tides as I pushed a pillow over her face and choked the life out of them forever, and as she forced them back open, I found that they were stinging and hot as the tears fell from my face.
"Please, don't speak," said my little sister, forever frozen in mid-adolescence and smiling like she had seen God herself as she stroked my cheek. "You don't have a lot worth saying right now, but...i came to get you back on track, big brother. You mean so much to the world. To me. You could do so much. And I'm here to help you start doing it."
Then stay. Please.
"I can't," she sighed quietly, tears coming to her own eyes now. "But someday, we'll see each other again. In the meantime, get out of the snow. You can be a lover now, not an enemy. You have it in you to do honest good. Please, I want you to try. If you never do anything else for me, despite however difficult it is, please, try. I know it won't be easy. Atonement is hard. But I have faith in you. You know why?"
Please, no, don't say it. Please, don't.
"Because you're my brother, Dorian. You're my hero. I love you more than anything in this world or in the next. And no matter what you've done, no matter what you do from here, I always will."
She smiled one last time, her lips brushed my cheek, and as soon as they did I started to scream and cry and beg, because she had disappeared into the snow as if she had never been, and I realized that despite what I'd always tried to hide from myself, despite my own denials, contrary to my own beliefs, I was still me. I had long convinced myself that I was anybody but myself, but as I lay there, roaring my agony to the empty orchestra to the heavens, the memories and the feelings that had made me who I was finally stirred. First awoken by Iris, they finally rose out of bed in full force and hit me, and even as my voice finally cracked and fell, my throat raw and freezer-burnt, still the tears fell, because I finally realized what this Timestamp had helped me find.
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