For Rae. Warning = A bit depressing. My mood kind of inspired it. So I apologize for the gloominess of it. But I hope you enjoy it.

With Age
by Belldandy

Life is a fragile precious gift that God gives us. It is, perhaps the most precious of them all. We know it but as humans it is our nature to take such things for granted. Just like it is in our nature to fear what we don't understand, want what we can't have and to love what calls to our souls.

Once he was so full of zest, bouncing around the court with so much energy that it left even me breathless. Once when we were both young and full of the belief that our lives equaled forever and forever was what we had. But like all good things, life too must come to an end and carries a heavy price.

Once he was young. Young and talented, had a body that was strong, stronger than even mine. His strength of will could have rivaled even that of a king. It would have, I am sure put any man's to shame.

A long time ago he stole my heart with his shy quiet smiles, soft gentle voice that knew how to chide me for my rough abrasiveness as well as encourage me to be strong and to keep fighting for what I want. Because if I wanted it bad enough, all I had to do was reach for it and keep on reaching until I held it or the stars in my hands.

Back then his eyes used to speak for him. Soft amber doe-eyed looks that could melt the toughest of resolves as well as awaken the quickening deep inside my body that clawed at my senses the first time I realized that I'd fallen in love with my silver-haired kouhai. The kouhai, who stood by me, helped me and was my strength when I seemed to have lost mine.

But that was then and this is now. Now life has taken its toll, left him old and broken, weak enough that even lifting his hand taxes his body awfully.

And sitting here now, watching him sleep as I've done since the first time I told him I love you, I have to wonder. As I'm sure most anyone would do in this situation. I have to wonder if the choices I made were the right ones. If choosing him, loving him, holding him close to my heart was the right thing to do.

Because I know, I know he's leaving me. The promise he made so long ago will be broken. It'll be the first promise he's ever broken. But still, he'll leave me, just as surely as the sun will rise on the morrow. He'll leave me.

Was it the right thing to do? Has the life I lived. No! The life we lived been the right choice?

He's leaving me. I can see it. I can see it in every hesitant rattling breath he takes, making his chest heave with exertion. I see it in the dullness of his eyes, the ghostly whiteness of his hair, the pale sickly tone of his skin.

He's leaving me…

Someday soon he'll be gone. He'll be gone and so will my heart and my soul.

But still.

But still knowing this I find myself leaning forward, nose brushed over the curve of his ear in a gesture that used to bring a soft almost girlish giggle to his lips, a merry sound that once brought goose bumps to the fore on my skin. A caress that once did all that and more, but now it only earns me a whispery "Ryou?"

It hadn't been my intention to disturb him. I know he needs his rest. His body has to have it or he'll leave me sooner. I'm selfish. I know it even if he doesn't. Although you'd think our time together would have taught him that. Only he, like always, insists on seeing the best in me. Almost like there's nothing bad to be seen, at least not in his eyes.

Only now he's awake. Now I have the chance to say what I should have said before age took its toll, ravaging his body until it's only a mockery of the proud beautiful boy he was back then.

I'd always put it off you see. Told myself I can tell him tomorrow. Only now, tomorrow may never come. But can I say it after holding it in for so long? How hard can it be? How hard can it be to say five simple little words? Could saying it be as hard as cutting my hair, facing my flaws, or as hard as seeing the look of disappointment in their eyes?




"I'm glad it was you."

The End

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