- Aug 24, 2012
Day 151: Assignment Part 3
Prologue: A Forgotten Memory
“Hm? What is it dear?”
“Do you think we’ll always be together?”
“What do you mean?”
Kairi looked down, as her feet dangled off one of the ledges surrounding the Central Square of Radient Garden. The sea-salt ice cream in her hand was slowly melting, as a small drop hung off one of the bottom corners. Her grandma looked down at her with a warm, compassionate smile; the crows foot on the side of her eyes tightening. “Is something on your mind, child?”
Kairi kept her eyes fixed on the ground. “You’re…you’re not going to be here forever…are you?” she said, lifting her head, letting the twinkle of light inside her big blue eyes face her grandma. The gentle, aged woman looked back out at the central square, watching the people walk across, going about their daily business. She smiled; as she thought of how to translate her years of wisdom into something the tiny princess-to-be could understand.
“You mustn’t fear the space that stands between two hearts, Kairi. Even if the distance is worlds apart. Even if it seems like you’ll never see that person ever again. Maybe someday…you’ll have to understand exactly what I mean…but for now…remember this, child. No matter how far away the light gets…your hearts voice will always reach it…”
Kairi slowly raised her head, pulling her weight upwards, supporting herself with both arms. It was the middle of the afternoon, and Kairi was alone, just getting up from lying awake on top her bed. Her red hair was drooping downward, covering her sunken head, before being picked up by her will to arise. She slowly turned, looking out at the morning light. She had had that dream again; the one about being in someone’s arms. Slowly climbing out from under the covers, she sat up on the left side of her bed.
“What am I…suppose to do?”
“Huh?” Wakka turned, noticing Selphie, walking towards him. They were both standing in the plaza. “What’s up?” he said.
“You haven’t seen Kairi around, have you?”
“No, I haven’t seen her all day.”
Selphie looked down at the ground, keeping her eyes low. Wakka watched in confusion. “What is it?” he asked.
Quickly, Selphie raised her head, looking back at Wakka with her eyebrows pressed low. She grabbed him by the arm, pulling him by force.
“Eey-woah! What’re you doing?!” he said, fidgeting.
“Just come on!” she said.
Kairi closed the door behind her, stepping outside into the fresh mid-day air. She reached into the pouch on the left of her waist, pulling out the small brown journal, and holding it out in front of her with both hands.
“I better give this to Selphie…” she said, looking down at it.
The oranges rays of the setting sun gently graced the cheeks of Xion’s face. She was standing on top the bell tower of Twilight Town, alone.
“What if…all this is because…I’m really just someone else? Or no one at all?” She lifted her head towards the sky, looking up at the purple shade that came from the opposite horizon.
“This Keyblade…it’s a sham. Worthless…”
“You were a mistake we never should have made.”
Xion turned, to see Roxas, looking back at her, smiling.
“Roxas?” she said, surprised by his unexpected arrival. He walked over, stopping next to her. “Don’t you have a mission?”
“Yeah. They sent me here today,” he said, looking over at her.
Xion looked back out at the landscape. “Really? Me too.”
“Ah—yeah. There we go,” Tidus was on the shore of the mainland, standing upright on his hands. Kairi was slowly making her way down the trail that lead to the shore. Stepping on to the sand, she took a look around, noticing Tidus.
“Hey Tidus. What are you…um…what are you doing?”
Tidus was grunting quietly to himself, as his arms were wobbling, supporting his weight from above. “Getting in shape—err. I’m—ah—I’m not letting Wakka get past me!” After saying that, he finally let his body fall back, planting his feet on the ground as he stood up straight.
“Ahh…so what are you up to?” he said, facing her.
“I’m just looking for Selphie…I need to give her the journal we’ve been using on the assignment.”
“Oh man I haven’t seen her all day—Wakka either.”
Kairi turned, looking out at the island, sitting alone in the open waters. “Do you think they might’ve gone out to the island?”
Even if Kairi wasn’t sure they were there, she wanted to go. She didn’t fully understand why, but it was as if something was calling her out there.
“Alright, I’m gonna go check,” Kairi said, walking over to one of the wooden boats.
“Okay. See ya later!” Tidus called out.
“Yeah, thanks.” She said, smiling back at him.
Selphie knocked her knuckle against the wood of the door again and again.
“Helloo!” she called out, before stopping, dropping her hand to her side. “I guess nobody’s home…” She was standing next to Wakka, in front of Kairi’s house.
“Maybe she’s with Tidus,” Wakka said.
“Do you know where he is?” Selphie asked, looking back at him.
“He told me he was gonna spend the day training near the shore.”
“Alright, let’s go!” Selphie said, quickly walking off without a moment’s hesitation.
The two continued on down the mainland’s trail, walking side by side.
“So why are you looking for Kairi?” Wakka asked.
Selphie kept silent, looking down at the ground with an uneasy look. “Haven’t you noticed?” she said, looking back out at the horizon. “Something’s been bothering her lately.”
Wakka listened closely, as his empathy awakened.
“Okay now—back to training,” Tidus said to himself.
“Huh?” Turning around, he noticed Selphie and Wakka walking towards him. “Oh, hey guys.”
“Have you seen Kairi?”
“She just left for the island. She was looking for you.” Selphie stopped, turning her head towards the island. Her eyes filled with compassion, as she watched the sun, peering through its trees. “Let’s just wait for her to come back. Besides, I have an idea.”
Kairi slowly made her way down the wooden dock on the shore of the island. Once she reached the end, she took a seat, letting her legs dangle off the edge. She stared out at the endless sea that lay before her, completely forgetting the reason why she even went there in the first place. The giant orb that hung above the heavy clouds was moving at a quicker pace, as the sky was giving way to its golden hour. She sat there, motionless, listening to the peaceful melody of waves easing in and out of the sandy shore. The salty breeze touched her face, running across her cheek, and through the strands of hair she carefully pulled behind her ear. She kept her eyes locked on the scenery, without the slightest bit emotion on her face. It was in that moment, that her heart was able to mirror the light of a memory resting deep within her, a memory that she could not imagine, nor perceive by any of her senses. One where we she was sitting on the very same dock, watching the very same sun making its descent into the horizon. After moments of silence, locked in that very same gaze, Kairi’s eyes began filling with the warm salt water of tears, barely contained by the bottom half of her eyelids. Once the amount was too great, one drop finally fell, running down the left side of her face, followed by another, and another. Her emotionless stare never changed. Her eyes kept locked in place, as the tears continued to stream down her face, off her chin, and finally seeping into her lap.
“Roxas, why are we doing all this? Working for the Organization?”
“What do you mean, why? So we can get hearts of our own, right?
“Why? What do we need hearts for?”
“I don’t know. But I figure once we have them, we’ll be in a better position to judge. Right?”
“Maybe. I just wish I knew what I was doing here. How I got here…”
Xion lowered her head, as the sea-salt ice cream she held in her hand slowly began to melt, a small drop hanging off a bottom corner.
“I started having the strangest dreams,” she said.
“I can never remember what they’re about. I just wake up feeling like…like something is really wrong.”
“Well, if it makes you feel any better, Xigbar said you and me were pretty special. “Exceptional,” he said.”
Xion turned, looking over at Roxas, as the drop fell, pummeling downward towards the ground beneath.
“…Special just means different.” She lowered her head again, showing a look of despair. “Because I’m a mistake.”
Roxas shook his head, looking back at her with empathy. “You’re not a mistake.”
Xion looked back out at the scenery without saying aword. She paused, before rising upto her feet. “Well, we may both be exceptional, Roxas. But I don’t think we’re the same.” She turned, stepping away from him. As she made her way around the corner of the clock’s structure, she could here him call out to her.
Even though it hurt her, she completely ignored him. She stretched out her hand, opening a corridor of darkness, and stepping through, taking one look back, second-guessing her sudden departure. The darkness swirled around her, then dissipated into thin air as she stepped onto the floor of her bedroom. She took a few steps forward, stopping in front of her only window, looking out at the empty black sky.
“Ahh—err,” Xion grabbed the side of her head, as the flashes of forgotten memories collided with her already weary mind.
“Sora, let’s take the raft and go! Just the two of us!”
“I know I can always come back here…right?”
“…Don’t ever change”
She placed her other hand on the wall in front of her, still pressing her eyelids tightly together. “Why…?” she said to herself uneasily.
Kairi didn’t move an inch, as the almost hypnotic stare kept aligned with the setting sun, now reaching it’s final descent into the endless sea. She watched closely, as the final bits of light squeezed through, giving way to twilight. Her lips formed into a smile, and her lower eyelids slowly rose, as the tears began to come down ever more than before. “It’s okay. Because…no matter how far away the light gets…my hearts voice will always reach it.” She had no idea where those words had come from, but they were said nonetheless, and they were truer than anything else in that moment. The sun was completely under the horizon, and the sky was now painted with the glow of orange and purple. She wiped the tears from her face, and, slowly raising her head, looked up at the wide expanse of stars that were gradually revealing themselves. In that very moment, one shot past, then quickly disappeared into the endless sea of the night sky. She gasped quietly, with a look of surprise. Then, her expression slowly returned to a smile, as she got back up, and stepped back down into her wooden boat.
After she had finished docking into the shore of the mainland, she took a few steps onto the sand, noticing something off in the distance, near the entrance to the trail.
“Heey! Kairi!” Wakka called out, waving a hand in the air. He was sitting in a chair next to Tidus, across from Selphie, surrounding a wooden table. On it, was a large white cake, surrounded by dishes.
Kairi gazed at the set up in confusion. “What’s this?” she said, as she approached the three of them in confusion.
“We wanted to celebrate completing the assignment!” Tidus said.
“Yeah! And we didn’t want to start without you.” Selphie said.
Kairi smiled, flattered by what her friends were doing. “Thanks you guys,”
“Aww yeah!” Tidus called out, raising his fist in the air.
“Enough talk. Let’s eat!” Wakka said.
Kairi sat down, as they all began there little party under the night sky. Talking and laughing with another, she was able to forget about the sadness she felt earlier in the day. She had almost taken for granted the close friends she had here on the island, and how much they all meant to one another. Tidus, Wakka, and Selphie. They were all her closest friends, without a doubt. And they were also the bonds that she was able to have with her everyday. When she went to class each morning, or when she spent her evenings eating ice cream on the grass hill.
After hours had past, the sky blackened, and the four of them eventually parted, going home for the night.
Not once, throughout the whole night, did they notice the hooded man, hiding behind one of the trees that rang along the shore. The one who had been watching them the entire time. After they had already left, he took a few steps out, opening a corridor of darkness and stepping through without making a sound.
“Pitiful…” he said slowly.