Persistance of Memory:
Part Four

Freesia. That’s what that smell was. Freesia flowers. After finding out that our enemy had been holed up in a flower shop of all places, I had found myself looking up flowers, so I could identify their smell. It smelled sweet and gentle, much like the voice of the one who had delivered them. I had never thought that I would think of a member of Weiß as sweet and gentle, but I was glad to hear his voice, even though he didn’t think I could.

This was the second time he had come. I would have smiled if my body would allow it. I had remembered my nurse, a voice that had no face, saying that he had come. She seemed very surprised, and had wondered if I was lonely. She had described Omi as ‘a prettyish sort of man, who seemed kind’. I wondered what he looked like now, if he looked older, or the same. I could tell that there was a shake in his voice. Seeing me, even though I couldn’t really move or do anything, must have made him remember the past. At least Omi had had the chance to start an actual life, unlike me. I guess once you entered the SZ ranks, you didn’t really get out. Thinking about our former employers made me think about the others. I guessed that we didn’t really have ties to them anymore, and wondered what they were going to do with the rest of their lives. Would Crawford go back to America, maybe start his boxing career again? Would Schuldich go back to Germany? What had his life been like before I knew him? Was it as miserable as mine had been? Would Farfarello be institutionalized, or would he make peace with his demons? Or were they all helpless in endless darkness, as I was?

"Do you even know I’m here? Or do you care?" I heard Omi ask. He had asked something similar during his previous visit. I wanted to scream, yes, dammit, you stupid moron! I know you’re here, and I care! I would have laughed softly at that remark if I could actually say it. That I actually cared that a member of Weiß was by my bedside was laughable, but true. I had become very lonely in my existence, and Omi had a kind voice that showed more sympathy than I deserved. He showed more compassion for a sworn enemy than even my own teammates would have shown me.

"I wonder which one of you died….. Or was your nurse mistaken….?"

Ah, yes. I had heard my nurse tell Omi that one of the people in the car died. I didn’t know which one, for I think I had blacked out pretty early on in the accident. Crawford and Schuldich had been in the front, so it may have been one of them. Were they in this hospital, too, or were they all dead? Was I the only thing left of Schwarz? Would anyone go to their funerals, or would they be nameless graves, marked only by numbers? Actually, I wouldn’t have mourned the death of Schwarz, for it had killed me a long time ago, and it only got what was coming to it. However, it had put a roof over my head and gave me a little companionship. I had actually felt sort of safe with them around, even Farfarello. I had never felt safe in my life, seeing as how I had had to peddle my body before Crawford had found me. What security could a child prostitute feel? Even in this black that surrounded me, my past was a hole where no light could penetrate. I didn’t want to think about it, and didn’t. One good thing had come from Schwarz, though. Toto…..

"Why hasn’t that Schreient brat come to see you? I thought that it was ‘unending love’?" Omi asked of me. He didn’t expect me to answer, but I did anyway. Tot never came because she was dead. It still hurt to think about it. She had been my first love, and it had been something fragile and delicate, like the petals of the Freesia flowers Omi had brought for whoever Kyuu was, but had given to me. Was it actually love? What could a boy know of love? Maybe I had been in love with Tot, fallen for her pretty eyes and azure hair, but I didn’t think I would ever be sure if it was love. She had died before I could explore those feelings with her. It had been three years since her death, and the memory was getting dimmer. It wasn’t as persistent as it had been just after her untimely death. A brain hemorrhage seemed so odd as a cause of death, seeing as how I had seen every other kind of death all around me every day. Maybe it was destined that Toto had died. Farfarello probably would have killed her sooner or later, and this way, she felt no pain. She had given it all to me. Sometimes, I was actually angry at her for leaving me with all this pain, all this residual anger. How dare she? I then would feel guilty. I had ‘loved’ this girl, and I was thinking ill of her.

"At least you felt love. How odd, that someone who was surrounded by hate and lies could have something so wonderful, so fragile."

Omi sounded sad to me. His life had probably been as hard as mine. He may have been opposing me, on the side of ‘good’, even though in the life of an assassin, I couldn’t find much good, but he had been stained just as I had. I remembered that girl, Ouka. Farfarello had shot her, and Omi had screamed. Had he felt about her as I had about Tot? Unsure whether it was love or not? I would have liked to ask Omi about it, to actually use my vocal cords and converse with him, but I was totally unable. It seemed that we had more in common with each other than either of us would have probably liked to admit. I would have readily admitted it, though, actually had said to one of my greatest enemies, "I’m glad you’re here."

And I was glad he was there…..

Part 5