Matthew lay silently in bed, staring up at the ceiling.
It had been a week since Mark had left. A week. Matthew shook
his head. A strange tension had come over him since his brother had
left... sleep had been harder and harder as time passed. It was 2:30
AM now. Matthew couldn't close his eyes... he could barely lie still.
It felt as though he should be running, or working, or trying for something.
It felt as though he should be going to his brother. But his brother
didn't need him, so Matthew stayed where he was and tried to distract himself
by thinking about his dreams. In the past few days, when sleep had
finally come to him, he'd had dreams, more vivid than usual, and more intense
each time. As a child, he had always dreamed of his brother, and
staying with his brother no matter what. Time had replaced the dreams,
though, with a new dream of a girl that was calling to him. A girl
that spoke in a language he didn't recognize with a voice he couldn't ignore.
Before the dreams had vanished, leaving nothing but a vague sensation of
longing, but now the details were slowly filling in again. He could
see her face, almost, thin and haunted and beautiful. She also had
lonely eyes, and her voice sounded near tears. The dreams stirred
strong feelings in him, restlessness that was intensified by his brother's
absence. But the restlessness was just a vague ambition, an idea
that something somewhere needed to be done. He couldn't figure out
what was missing. Or, rather, what was missing aside from his brother.
Matthew's eyes wandered the room, to land on his phone. His brother
would be asleep right now, and would be very irritated if Matthew called
him. More than that, Mark probably had classes in the morning.
Mark needed his sleep. Matthew could do without sleep, Matthew wasn't
doing anything anyway. Vegetables didn't sleep. Couch potatoes
and bored, worthless teenagers didn't need rest from their daily nothing.
So Matthew had to let Mark sleep, even if he couldn't. Mark was probably
very happy to be alone for once in his life. Mark was successful.
Mark was beautiful and handsome and knew what to do. He didn't need
a brother. He didn't need anything.
Matthew rolled over on his stomach. He didn't feel sad, exactly... he just felt empty. He didn't want to die because he was unhappy, but he didn't care if he lived. Just staying here in bed until he died of starvation didn't sound too bad. Matthew shook his head sharply, his mind made up. He would call his brother tomorrow. Even if it was an irritation to Mark.... Matthew needed to talk to him too much. Thoughts of death hadn't come to him before this, and Matthew swore quietly that he wouldn't let himself die of this. A whispering voice asked what was special about living. Matthew sat up and let out a soft whimpering noise. You don't want to die! he told himself firmly. You don't want to die!
Slipping out of bed, Matthew trudged over to his computer and sat down in front of it. He needed something else to think about, maybe a game of Solitaire would bore him enough to make him sleepy. He drew an arm across his eyes, then turned the computer on. Maybe his brother had e-mailed him. The thought cheered him up enough that he smiled slightly. He had to hold on. After all, his brother would probably feel very guilty if something happened to him...
The cheerful, laughing voice brought a wide smile to Yui's face. "Miaka!"
Miaka pushed through the crowd to reach her friend, almost tripping and falling. Yui quickly reached out to catch her.
"Silly!" Yui scolded with a laugh. "What are you doing out here?"
"I needed new clothes." Miaka admitted with a blush, gesturing down to her growing stomach. Yui smiled and put her arms around her friend.
"Come on! We'll go shopping together then. Just like in high school." Yui said. "How has it been? I mean, is everything still going okay? What does Taka think? Is..."
"Yui-chan!" Miaka laughed at all the questions. "Everything's just fine according to the doctor. Taka's very happy, but he won't stop fussing over me. I swear he stays up all night asking me if I think it'll be a girl or a boy. It was all I could do to sneak out so I could go shopping by myself without him practically carrying me the whole way! I think he's scared I'm going to have a clutz attack and hurt myself."
"You almost did!" Yui pointed out. "Come on, I'll make sure you don't trip any more, okay?"
"All right, Yui-chan!" Miaka smiled happily. "So.... when are you and Tetsuya going to...?"
"Start a family?" Yui didn't mean to snap, but Miaka's smile froze in confusion. "I.... I'm sorry, Miaka. I just... I'm not ready for that yet."
Miaka nodded, her smile fading into a look of concern. "Yui-chan.... are you okay?"
"What do you mean?" Yui let out a forced laugh. "I'm fine, Miaka."
"You don't look like you've been sleeping right. And Onii-san said that Tetsuya's been worried about you too. What's going on?" Miaka asked worriedly.
"I'm okay." Yui sighed. Miaka frowned, and put her arm around Yui, pulling her close.
"I know what it is." Miaka said softly in her friend's ear. "I... I feel that way sometimes too, even now. But we can't fix the mistakes we made... the mistakes we both made. All we can do is be as happy as we can, for their sake. For all of them."
Yui stared at the concrete silently, thinking about Miaka's words. She shook her head slowly, then suddenly pulled free of Miaka and ran, tears filling her eyes.
"Yui-chan!" Miaka called after her. "Yui-chan, wait!"
You can't understand, Miaka. Yui thought. You can't understand. I'm sorry. But nobody can really understand. He was just trying to.... I made him... it was because of me that he...
A loud screeching noise caught Yui's attention. She looked up just in time to see the car, before pain and then darkness hit her. The last thing she heard was Miaka's panicked scream.
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