As Imperceptibly as Grief part 8
by: Kyuketsuki
Disclaimer: See part 1
Notes: I am really sorry about this taking me so long. I really hate that I made you wait--if any of you were even looking forward to this--but it was necessary. I'm not even happy with this chapter, but it just sort of appeared and I've been told that it's ok, so... Feel free to give me your opinions in the feedback that all you MLers are required to give.

*****
People think life is a cycle, but I know that it isn't. Life is nothing but a relatively long line dotted with events that are inconsequential in the long run.

A man can contemplate suicide today, perhaps even lift the razor blade, but it doesn't matter in the big picture. Death is the finish of everything. What do the means matter if the ends are the same?

So why do I feel like shit if all this has no purpose?

I did not love my father, but my stomach is still in knots as I try to escape from the people who are here to give their condolences. They have no more right to be here than I do, but still they file reverently into the dimly lit viewing room to pay false respects to a corpse that will not thank them for it.

Contemplating death as I do, I have never really considered it an option. I have never sat down with a bottle at the kitchen table, lining the pills up in a precise row of white capsules as I have heard of people doing. I cannot picture myself doing this as I can other things. I can see myself gently kissing Quatre each night before bed; calling home from work to see if I should pick something up for dinner; gazing into the mirror and wondering where my life went; sitting in the hospital waiting room; standing in the funeral parlor, graciously accepting humble condolences from people I don't remember once they have walked away.

I can't see myself trying to escape the pains of life, but I want to. I want to because I need to know what death really is. I want the answers to the questions that have plagued me since my mother's "untimely demise".

When does childhood end and adulthood begin?

I am twenty-something years old and could die tomorrow. Is it the date of death that determines such things? If you die at sixteen then were you an adult a moment before you were struck down? Or perhaps only when realization hits of your death are you truly grown; for it is then that you have experienced everything that you are going to, save the end, which could not possibly happen to a child.

Could it?

I've often wondered how others' deaths might have changed history. Insignificant people like my third grade teacher or the man who seemed to be permanently huddled outside the building in which I work.

Would by life be any different for the lack of them? Would I have been traumatized by the strict teacher who replaced Miss Lundy? Would the tattered man at some point in my many meetings with him somehow change my perception so greatly? Would I have ever left this dying town in Duo had pulled me onto his gray sheets that night?

Quatre wandered worriedly over, pristine black suit making him excruciatingly pale. He looks fragile but his skin is flushed a healthy pink like a meticulously polished glow. The look on his face in unmistakable; he pities me and is ashamed for it.

I pretend not to notice, preferring to watch the door for Duo, who walks almost nervously in a moment later, raven haired man close on his heels. He is dressed in his customary black, perhaps a bit more soberly. A starched dress shirt over matching pants and a pair of leather boots. His companion is wearing much the same thing, but he looks odd, as if he would never consider such a wardrobe for anything but a funeral.

I immediately despise him.

Duo smiles winningly at me from the door, but there is force behind it that is disconcerting. He nods to the black headed boy, who drifts inconspicuously into a corner, casting one last glance to Duo and then me, meeting my eyes with a look that I do not recognize for a moment.

Jealousy.

I am tempted to grab his hand and drag him back away from the guests, all of which must recognize him. I don't. I won't dare touch him; I'm too afraid of what I might do. The mere sight of him sends the world spinning lazily beneath my feet so that I feel like I might be pulled from gravity any moment.

He stands close, eyes downcast. "I'm really sorry about your dad, Heero." He glances over to the casket then quickly away. "If I had known that you were in town--" he stops, as if considering the inappropriateness of the comment. "I would have dropped by sooner."

He doesn't want it to look like my father's death was a convenient way to see me again. I wonder when all these people started mattering so much to him. But even as I scan the crowd I can see it. They are all looking at us, as if expecting something to happen at any moment.

"What have you been up to," he says after a minute, almost nervous to be asking such a thing here.

"Come over for dinner?"

Once again I have thrown him for a loop and he is forced to meet my gaze, which has been studying the top of his head contentedly since he walked up.

"What?"

"After the viewing. Quatre--" I realize that he does not know this relatively recent addition to my life. "He's cooking dinner. I..." I lick my suddenly dry lips. "I want you to come over."

He looks to the man in the corner, who refuses to meet his gaze.

"Well, I," this time his eyes fall on the buttons of my shirt. "Sure."

I nod stupidly; wanting to touch him, to hear every story he can tell, to recount my own miserable years, to just watch him until nothing exists but those blue-violet eyes. I want desperately.

*****

Yes, as a matter of fact, I was in a REALLY weird mood when I wrote that. I'm sorry if it's kinda... blech! I was depressed about my inability to write, and I tend to take all that out on this story, since it is my depressed fic.