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 Illusion of a Dawn [Oneshot] (reposted)

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PostSubject: Illusion of a Dawn [Oneshot] (reposted)   Fri Sep 02, 2011 8:32 am

They wanted a boy. A healthy, athletic child, one who can succeed the family and bring it to glory, with the sense and intelligence of a perfect heir. Scratch that – even just a simple boy with a normal body would do, they said.

Yet, she was none of those things.

Even if she can't be a boy, they said scathingly, at least be a proper woman. At least be a woman who can be married off, someone who is able to serve at her husband's beck and call. At least then, she'd be of some use to the family! But the child they were given did not even have complete control over all her limbs. She was a pathetic burden, somebody who can't even bear children or even stand. Who would possibly marry a woman who can't bear children, or do housework?

Every day, the couple protested and complained, over and over again, over their useless child. If they had just let that child die, would they have been blessed with a new child? They had thought countless times. This child meant nothing. They did not care about her, in fact, every time they looked at her, it just reminded them of their failure. As parents who could give birth to proper children!

Every look at that girl's faltering, questioning face made them feel murderous. They could not even bear to look at their own daughter's face anymore – furthermore, she must be kept out of public view. Nobody should know that this distinguished family parented such a pathetic child, they said.

And so she stayed put. And wished.


If I had been born as a normal girl, would things have been different? Of course they would. I wouldn't be a failure then. They would love me just like normal parents would. That was all I want. Was that too much to ask?

They might have been disappointed that I was a girl. But still, they wouldn't have thrown me away. Would they?

I clenched my fists weakly and looked out of the frosted window. The first flakes of snow were falling, and the stone walls were beginning to feel very cold. There was one thing I was certain of, right at that moment. If I were born differently...

Immediately, as if I was supposed to do it all along… My body jerked around to face the mirror. Naturally, I saw myself, and my pathetic figure that was not enough for them to feel satisfied with. I was skinny, and probably not in a good way. My eyes were dull, and my face was way too pale. My worn hair trailed down my back lankly onto the floor. I looked like a ghost.

If I were born differently...

Perhaps as a normal girl. The mirror felt as if it were a pool of water, and a drop had just fallen into it, swirling. The scene changed. I saw myself sitting at a table, enjoying a warm meal. My eyes were bright and gleaming, and my face was rosy and healthy. My hair was tied neatly into two ponytails, long and sleek and shiny. I would go to school, just like the rest of the children. Would I have wanted that?

Of course. The girl in the mirror turned to me and smiled. This is what you wanted. To be normal, isn't it?

But it won't happen.

The girl in the mirror looked serious, and she whispered.

My circumstances are better. But I still am not a child they love. They are just feeding me well and educating me in preparation for marriage. Is this still what you want?

Perhaps not. But still I could not deny that the situation for the girl in the mirror was better than mine right now.

If you want to make a wish, why don't you wish for the best?

For the best? What would be the best situation? That would be to have love and care, and a happy home, wouldn't it? Over and over again my parents have said that I do not deserve love. Because my body is not one that is capable of love.

Listen to me. There is one way you can be loved my your family, and to have friends in a happy environment. Do you know what that is?

If I were born differently... If I were a normal boy?

Correct.

Right then, my world began to grow murky. Losing consciousness, I slumped over my chair and held my head. The giddiness stopped just as quickly as it had come, and I looked around wildly. The mirror was fine. It showed myself, sitting in my chair, my lank hair a bit messy, and my eyes looking surprised. Nothing strange there.

Except...

Behind my chair stood a young man. His face had a serene smile plastered on it. He wore a nice suit with a tie, and he looked well-groomed with neatly cut, rich black hair. Quite like me, I could not help but notice. But...

"Good day, miss," he made an elegant bow. "I've heard what you have to say."

Without waiting for me to speak, he continued. "Welcome to your world... and mine."

~~~

That was when I noticed how wishes can bring about great things. Hope is what drives people to self-discovery and true happiness. He never really told me where he was from, but I knew. From my wish was where he was born, and I appreciate him. He, too, appreciated me, and it was a wonderful feeling which I have felt for the first time in my life. To have love and care. It was sheer bliss and happiness, with no negativity at all. I knew that he was my salvation, and for some reason he was happy that I needed him.

Every day of my life, I had wished desperately to be able to go out. Now, I felt happy to be here. He, too, did not want me to leave this safe haven, because it was our world, for just the two of us.

Back then, I did not know that with his presence, he was the one stopping me from seeing the outside world even more than my parents did. I made the mistake of just brushing off the suspicion.

~~~

The first time after a long while that I wished again to be able to see the outside world came when I saw that college boy. Alone in the snow, being pelted mercilessly by the frozen rain, that man stood, waiting for something.

I let my instinct judge, and immediately asked him to pass the man an umbrella. With some reluctance, he finally agreed and took it to the man. I watched him as he spoke to the young man, not able to hear a word that both of them are exchanging. He later returned, looking slightly unhappy. "He said thanks, and that he'll come back in a few days to return it, milady."

I felt happy for helping a lost soul in the snow, even just a little. "That's great. Thanks for helping."

"Don't mention it," my 'butler' replied.

The college boy came back the very next day, and as usual I called for my butler to receive it. However, that was not the last time he came. The young man visited yet again a few days later, looking rather flustered, looking up at me. My butler nonchalantly went down to greet him, coming back telling me that he was very grateful for my help, and wanted to know how to thank me.

"Tell him there's no need," I told him.

Yet, as I viewed such a scene, doubt arose in my heart. My butler arrived one day when I desperately made a wish, and I never questioned his arrival. Deep in my heart, I knew that he was probably an illusion created by myself after all those years trapped in this prison. Yet, he had no trouble talking with the man outside.

My butler was perfect in every way. When he talked to me, all I felt was overwhelming happiness and joy. Yet, I knew that the world was not like that. Always, there had to be sorrow. Only when there were sad feelings, there would be happiness. Just like how I helped the man back then – if he had not been walking in a freezing rain, there was absolutely no way he would have appreciated an umbrella.

So why was my butler here? He had nothing to gain from serving me. He never felt real. In the end, my world and his, in this room, felt like nothing but an illusion. The world outside was what felt real. When the college boy visited, I felt hope and happiness, and some unease. The feelings all arose within me at once, and that was what felt real. When he was gone, I was a little sad. It felt real too.

When my butler talked to me, I felt nothing but overwhelming happiness. When he was gone… I felt nothing. It was as if he was never there in the first place. It was emptiness, hollowness, just like in the beginning. It was almost like when he left, he took my life energy with him.

"Milady, it is not healthy to have such thoughts."

"What-?" I immediately turned around to see him, his coat in one arm, with the same smile on his face as always. Suddenly, it just seemed… empty.

"Something is bothering you, milady. May I be of assistance?"

"It is alright. I am fine," I said. Then I twitched a little, and turned back. "By the way... The next time that college boy comes... Can you tell him that I want to talk to him? At night, if you please... It won't be good to have my parents notice."

I saw him twitch irritably, as if he was fighting to swat some fly. "As you please, milady." He stalked off immediately.

And so, finally, I was able to talk face-to-face with the young man. He had light hair, and it seemed almost a little curious. He seemed rather flustered when he talked to me. It was as if he had a lot of things to say, but he could not say them. Somehow, I found that rather cute. He seemed just so... human.

Most of what we talked about was not anything of much importance. But as we got to know each other more and more, I felt so happy, and tearful, at the same time. It felt like he was the only person that I have met in a long, long time.

He told me that there was nothing to feel bad about myself. I told him a bit about my weaknesses. He flushed and told me he didn't think they were weaknesses at all.

I could not help but think that my butler had never said that. He had always told me that I could not help my condition, but as long as he was with me, I would be fine. I only needed him, he said. Over and over again. And thus subconsciously, I became reliant on him. When he was there, I was filled with nothing but happiness. When he was gone, I was empty.

But this man... He accepted who I was. He was human, and he made me feel human, too. Was this what true happiness was?

From then on, we kept exchanging letters and messages through my butler, and occasionally we would meet face-to-face. No longer did I wish that I was born differently. If I were born differently, I would not have met him. I would not have done a lot of things. He liked who I was, and I liked who he was, too.

I... liked him. Daring to admit this, I felt free. As if I had finally broken from the bonds binding me...

~~~

... Or was it all just a childish dream?

"It was all just a childish dream," he said, his face solemn.

My eyes grew wide with shock. I refused to believe it.

"He said he doesn't want to see you ever again."

No. No way.

"I'm sorry, milady, but it appears that he lied all this while. He was just playing nice because he felt sorry for you. But when he saw that you really seemed to like him, he backed out because he didn't think he could take it being together with a girl who can't even walk, get married, and can't be accepted by even the lowly family she is from."

Seeing how he was uttering those painful words with absolutely no expression, my heart shattered. Tears welled up my eyes, and they couldn't stop falling. I collapsed onto the floor from my chair, unable to move, crying my bleeding heart out. It couldn't be. It... couldn't be.

My butler came to me and hugged me gently, whispering into my ear. "This is why you should never, ever doubt... the fact that you just need me. I will never betray you. You leave me for a second just to be with that man, and see what happens? He said all those fancy words for nothing. You were a fool to believe, even for a moment, that you could enjoy a normal love! Your body isn't capable of love. You can't properly love a human being. But I am different. I am the only person who cares about you. I am the only person you need. I am the only person you can trust. Our world is the only world you need to be in. In this world, you will never need to be sad again. Angry again. You can just be happy. With me. Forever."

In the middle of it all, I finally realized the meaning of his words. Sobbing, I embraced him back.

I finally knew where my butler came from. And now I finally knew. People can't trust each other. They can only trust themselves. This is why they can't love. The only people they can love and not get hurt over are... these people who are born from their wishes, hopes and dreams.

This is why I will save everyone in this world. I will bless them and show them how amazing it is to have dreams.

~~~

He stood there, looking up at the window in the middle of the winter, waiting for her to appear. His heart couldn't stop beating. Today, he would confess to her how he felt. Even if she rejected him, he would be happy to have come into her life, even just a little.

Her butler came down to me again, as usual. Excited, I ran over to tell him that I wanted to see her face to face. However, I faltered when I noticed the seriousness on his face.

"Please don't come again," he said, emotionlessly.

"W-What?" I said, stuttering. "Surely something couldn't have happened..."

"Please don't come again," he said again, with more bite than before, "Milady doesn't wish to see you again. She just helped you back then because she was being kind, but you have been bothering her since then. She wants you to stop harassing her."

"N-No way," I said hoarsely, "the last time we met, she said that she is looking forward to our next meeting..."

"Milady doesn't wish to see you again! Please leave!" he said, his voice rising. With that, the butler walked off, back into the house.

He couldn't believe it. Surely there must have been some kind of mistake. He looked up, but he didn't see the smiling face looking down at him as usual. Could he have been telling the truth? Or was he lying?

He came back the next day, and the day after next. The servant boy did not appear again. And the curtains of those windows remained shut...

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Illusion of a Dawn [Oneshot] (reposted)
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