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Unrequited Tales: Selfish Selfless

by ChiisaiLammy ::: 12.Sep.2003

I cannot rise. I cannot bear to see the passing of the days. I am wordless, tearless, and somewhere in between sleep and dream.

But I cannot sleep. I cannot wake.

I feel nothing, and that is neither surprising nor important to me. None of this means anything to me anymore. I canít even will myself to close my eyes, pretend to sleep or make the series of quiet, encouraging friends to leave.

Theyíre so careful. So damn careful around me. They tiptoe. They whisper. They are as gentle as you have been. I have become porcelain: fragile and delicate under your careful hands.

And then you broke me.

Iím already alone again. I will always be alone, abandoned, lost. It will make no difference whether they stay or not. Their talk of the future, of taking care of myself, preparing for the return of the rurouni, itís all empty to me.

I am empty.

Oh, what hurts most is the thought that you see me as a child and nothing more. It renders me less than I am. It is as if youíve reduced me to an image of purity and innocence that I canít live up to. Do you think that I am incapable of understanding complex human emotions, that I am incapable of loving you?

Was it a selfish wish? Was I selfish for wanting you to stay?

If you cared, then is it selfish for you to go?

Iíve never been preoccupied with developing virtues or with keeping up with social customs. If I spent my life sidestepping taboos like fine ladies with puddles, I would never have met you.

I was indignant. I was fearless. I did what I felt was right. I was forever foolish in following my heart.

But I havenít regretted a moment of my life. Do you regret your decision to stay?

I tried to understand you. But I canít understand why your battles have to be fought alone. All this simple girl knows for certain is that you deserve peace. You deserve it for being the man that you are. You deserve more than a bucket of laundry in a dojo with a family of loud-mouthed, eclectic orphans.

They call me generous for taking you all in. But I was the one who was selfish. I was the one who needed to be loved. I was the one who feared the silence. You asked only for laundry.

You havenít just left Tokyo, you left because I wasnít enough to sustain you. I wasnít enough of a reason for you to stay.

So youíve left. Youíve resumed your wandering, and I havenít moved since then.

No, Iím not waiting for you. Iím not delusional. I just havenít found the strength to pull myself up.

When did I, the master of a style that protects, fail to find the strength to protect myself?

When did self-pity become a mantra for Kamiya Karou, the child of a woman who knew nothing of compassion and self-sacrifice, man who lived and died by his ideals?

But I donít think my weakness is your fault, Kenshin. I was so afraid. I forgot everything that had made me who I am.

Megumi had stormed into my room. She kicked down the fragile walls of my self-imposed prison cell. She mocked my self-pity. But she reminded me, Kenshin, what it feels like to fight back.

That will to fight reminded me of you and the pieces of me that I saw in you. Though years and guilt may lie between us, but I see that you and I are the same. We are twin flames that burn with love for the world. And all of the cynicism distrust and betrayal which exists cannot extinguish our faith.

You are a lasting stronghold, a final vigil of hope. You are the champion for humanity.

How could I not love you?

By leaving you asked me to stop loving you. And I tried to forget you. I tried to numb myself. I wanted to let you go, Kenshin, because the world needed a hero and Iím not selfish enough to ask you to stay. So I wanted to carve out the place your place in my heart so that it would stop aching. And I had to punish myself for loving you, for wanting to be selfish. I had to deny myself the luxury of life, because I loved you. And I canít live with that love.

But I follow you now, Kenshin. I follow you because I realize that love is at once selfish and selfless. That adoration and devotion is a duality. And somehow, this revelation has compelled me to move.

For myself. And for you.

I will not let you travel this path alone because it is the only way that I know how to love. I will follow you. Because I learned to believe that you will be true to the desires of your heart. I understand you will need me to light the path and carry you through the darkness of your days. This battle will be hard, and you need me to be with you to keep your flame from extinguishing.

I will save you, Kenshin. One more time.

I finally know you, and that is how I can love you. It took a woman like Megumi, a woman who could have loved you too, to remind me how I love.

All I ask is that you allow me to be that selfish. To stake that claim for myself. I will follow, I will believe, if you let me.

Love is selfish. Love is selfless. It is bliss and agony. Love is the taste in those little rabbit onigris that you make for me. Love is the salt of my tears as my heart chipped off piece by piece as you walked away. Love keeps redefining itself. But love is that fateful Tokyo street, which never failed to bring my thoughts back to you.

And you will be my hero, because it heals your scars and transforms the monster into a man.

Selfish and selfless. I will let you be my champion. If youíll let me save you.

True strength, as you taught me Kenshin, is about the ability to rise again, and find hope in the darkness of your condition. You survived from the ashes of the Bakumatsu. And I will rise now, from the aftermath of you.

I will rise. Because that is the only way I know how to love you. And I may not tell you this, but its all that I know to do.

What do you think? A little sad. The theme, if you havenít noticed, is lost/unreturned love: ďUnrequited TalesĒ is a series that Iím trying to write whioch focuses on angsty-romance stuff. If you like this, check out ďEndlessĒ (and thus endeth the shameless self promotion.) ;)
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