Songs used:Stratovarius-When mountains fall.
This is not a songfic. Just a usual fanfic. The song is just used for instrumental purposes.
It was 7 hours before the sun is predicted to set below the horizon. We could then it was around 1'oclock. From this information we could however not deduce that it was 1 o'clock in a particular city in a particular country in the northern hemisphere, and to a lesser degree we could have not known that the country in question is Canada nor could could we have known that city was Toronto. To sum it up, it was 1 o'clock in Toronto and it was very 7 hours before sunset. At this time of the day, the city was fairly busy, just like every other times of the day. Many business men carrying suitcases return to their respective building office after their lunch break. Some individuals chose to return to their home, deciding it was a good time for an afternoon nap while other ponders on their own existence, why they exist and what their purpose in life was. Incidentally, two anthropomorphic cats did not fit in any of those criteria: they did not carry suitcases, nor did they ponder about their own existence, nor did were they taking afternoon naps.
Being an anthropomorphic cat has its perks, they are capable of speech and every other thing human is capable to do including bipedal motion and using their paws as a way to manipulate objects but also their sins, often times, these cats would find themselves playing lazily video games nearly all day long and napping for two hours before playing video games again for the whole day. Surprisingly, it never occurred to them their behaviour was closer to those of a human than those of a cat. They never chase after a human-controlled laser dot or mice, or play with scratch pole. What is even weirder was that either one seems perfectly undisturbed with that.
In a small apartment somewhere on Yonge Street, the two anthropomorphic cats were playing video games. Rectification. One pink cat was playing video game and one gray cat was being abused at his favorite shooting game. Call of Duty. Disputes arose daily because of miscommunications and idiocy from one cat.
"You idiot, you were supposed to cover my flank!" the pink cat said aggressively to the gray cat sitting next to her while throwing her game controller on the floor in front of her.
"I thought you said, front?" shrugged the gray cat, his attention still on the screen and paws pressing on buttons on his white-colored wireless controller.
"This is why I told you to elaborate on a plan before charging in like what you just did, now how do you expect to defeat zombies from either side now without anyone to help you?" snarled the pink cat on the verge on wanting to place her two paws around the neck of her gray feline friend and squeezing them.
"Dunno by using frags?" asked Leo.
"That would be such an intelligent plan" said Aeris in a sarcastic tone. "If you hadn't wasted them during the earlier waves. Damn it! I had told you the next waves won't be a walk in the park no matter how good you believe you are at shooting games. Why do you do so much and understand so little? Have you been checked for brain damage? Or did you mother dropped you on the floor the moment she'd saw you because of how retarded you are" yelled Aeris.
" You are mean you know that?"whimpered Leo, apparently hurt by her untasteful remarks.
" Let me remind you, you fucking deserved it! If it wasn't for you we would have conquered the 100 waves of zombie and finished the game!" the pink cat snarled.
It did not particularly help Aeris that her friend was not the brightest of of the bunch. However, despite his IQ in the double digits, he was functional enough on its own without needing any extra social support. Due to this fact alone, conflict arose on a daily basis, oddly enough, against all odds and expectations, those hassles are were no threats their their friendship. Rather, the discordance arose as a result of their companionship. Of course, what other possible outcome can you expect when you put a sadistic cat and an idiotic cat whose only interest seem to be only gaming in the same room? On the television screen, the gun, health bar and ammo disappeared and we could see the player's vision is falling to the feet of the walking zombies. The player exhausted his last hit point. A menu screen with the options "Replay", "View statistics" and "Quit" pops out, with "Replay" being selected.
"See? you died because of your own stupidity, your inability to understand that charging in is the last option you would want to do when confronting an horde of zombies, and your pre-disposed stupidity!" Aeris said while facing Leo who is still holding his controller. "Now go get something to eat. It's incredible how much energy I've to waste just to deal with own stupidity!"
Leo rose from his seat. His jaw opened and closed and then opened again and closed again. Wanting to reply to Aeris's words but his brain had decided to better leave the silence as it is, undisturbed and unbroken. As a result, he mumbled gibberish.
"The fuck are you doing? Food won't be made by themselves, you know." snapped Aeris.
The kitchen was quite a remarkable kitchen, if we take into account the size of their 4½-sized apartment. There is no wall that separate the the kitchen from the living room allowing a minimum of time to grab some snack before the start of a sitcom episode or a movie. If you were to stand in the middle of the and gaze toward the kitchen, you will first notice a stove and its left a stainless steel sink. On its right side lies a medium sized refrigerator. A wooden cupboard was located just above the sink. Another one was above the refrigerator. If you were to take several medium-sized steps away from the stove, you would see a counter left by the previous tenant who had lived in this apartment. The previous owner was so impressed by the taste of a Bloody Mary he had one day at the local watering hole that decided to start his own business of mixing drinks. He had ask a counter to be built in his apartment to replicate the looks and feel of a bar. After several unsuccessful attempts at mixing liquors and several diarrhea later he gave up and threw the idea of opening a bar in the waste basket. However, on a fateful morning and for unknown reasons, he had left the city and underwent some rigorous liquor-mixing training in the mountains. No one ever heard from him ever since and no one knew why he practiced mixing liquors again.
Leo grabbed the cold metallic refrigerator handle and swung open the door. Only realizing there was just leftovers from two days ago. an empty nearly milk jug and egg carton. Leo decided after no further deliberation that microwaving a bag of QuickMade instant pop-corn would work better than cooking something up.
Our gray little furry friend caught a small shadow moving with the corner of his right eye. The shadow in question was a gray mammal, had a long curvy tail, whiskers, a muzzle, would make any women jump on a chair without any second thoughts and is smaller than a rat but is labelled as one anyways despite lacking several attributes that would a rat a rat. It was a stray mouse. Now let us remind ourselves that our gray cat here has an intellectual deficiency, the kind of deficiency that prevents him from fathoming future consequences caused by his actions. It was not a big shortcoming but detrimental in some predicaments. Incidentally, this is one of those situations. Without as much of a thought, Leo dashed towards the mouse which naturally moved in the opposite direction of the incoming cat. The unwelcome little intruder parried and feign his movements while escaping the grasp of its predator.
Meanwhile, in the living room, Aeris is waiting for her snack while crossing her arm and tapping lightly her foot on the floor. " Damn it what's taking so long? It is just a fucking snack!"
Her answer was soon replied by the sound of a ceramic dish falling from the cupboard and smashing into barely distinguishable pieces on the kitchen floor. She jumped from her seat, obviously startled by the sound.
"Leo, keep it down will you? We've got enough broken dishes as it is!" the pink cat said.
Leo not having heard her instructions and to distracted chasing the mouse, continued to crash into more furniture as he tried to capture the mouse and cause even more commotion which chiefly prompted Aeris' attention. "For Cloud's sake! what the hell is this mess?"
"Been trying to catch a mouse?" answered Leo.
"What mouse? All I see is a moron lying among debris in what seem like a kitchen." sighed Aeris, clearly exhausted of Leo's stupidity. "Clean up before the landlord or other tenants below take notice of the mess."
The ruckus Leo had caused would leave any person who fancy cleanliness waiting to pluck their eyeballs out of their eye sockets and throw them in the salty ocean never to be found again. Silverware and bits of shattered ceramic plates were scattered on almost every kitchen tile mixed with fine grains of dust. A fractured pipe and a severe water leakage was evident just below the kitchen sink. The leakage was roughly the same if not worse than before Leo began his little game of tag with the mouse, water was gushing out of the broken pipe.
"Look at the mess you put us in now!" adding more guilt on top of Leo's already high levels of guilt." Can you little little brain of yours comprehend something else than Konami cheat code?
"That is an impressive feat to be able to memorize that." weakly exclaimed Leo.
"Any idiot can do it. Not just you. You are not anymore special for memorizing that code than anyone else in this room." replied Aeris.
Leo was trying hard to his newly found tears. He could not as his eyes became watery. He held back his tears from flowing as much as he could possibly. His eyes remained very watery nonetheless. The gray feline knew that if he were to cry before Aeris, he will become the object of Aeris' jokes for the rest of the year.
Clearly noticing that she went bit bit far with her usual emotional abuse, Aeris locked eyes with Leo and murmured:" Don't sweat on this too much. Look help me clean up this mess and we will call the plumber ok? I mean shouldn't take that long should it?
"WHAT? 3 whole days? Are you certain?" bellowed Aeris, in disbelief." Can you not do it like 2 or 3 hours?"
"I am pretty much certain as your fur color is pink. Your pipes are damaged well beyond physical repair. Changing them is the most reasonable thing to do as the cost for repairing the pipes would exceed the cost of replacing them by around twice the amount. Also, you'll have to live somewhere else during the reparations regardless of the choice you make." said the plumber wearing a green-hat with blue overall and whose physical appearance remind us of a popular nintendo mascot.
"You sure we can't live here during those days?"inquired Aeris.
"You can." said the plumber
"Thank Arceus we can..." said Aeris in relief.
"...if you are able resist the idea of not being able to take a shower from three days, tolerate constant noise from drills and possible occasional electric outage caused by thereof." said sternly the plumber.
" Okay we're out! Leo come here." as Aeris said as she grabbed Leo's by the collar and dragged him towards the exit.
"What….What are...What about our games and consoles and everything else?" Leo asked, weakly struggling against Aeris" grasp.
"Just come with me , we've got everything at my cottage."
"Cottage?" Leo thought.
Driving to Aeris' cottage took about 2 hours on highway 48 north bound, turn right on exit 69, then turn as soon as you intersect with BigCliff road. From there continue until you find a signpost that reads "Private property, Our aggressive pink cat could care less about your lives than hers is on loose and guards this property. If you've got deathwish then you are welcome." A paved road leading to the cottage in question lie adjacent to it. No one really bother to read the signpost most people understand that it is a private property and get on with their lives but nonetheless Aeris thought it would be good way to avoid prosecution from the victim or the family of the victim as they had been properly warmed. It is another excuse for her to go all out on trespassers without needing to care about the legal issues.
Aeris turned off her engine and exited the car. "We're arrived"
Leo just closing the door on his side. "Since when did you have a cottage?"
"Just hurry up and go. We have been playing to your lame ass shooting game all day long. I want to sink my teeth in Final Fantasy XVI." Apparently according to rumors on the internet, there is a scene involving Tidus and Alureon's "cooperative play" right before you get to the final boss.
As Leo trudges behind Aeris, he could not help but notice how secluded the area they found themselves in is. Heavy green vegetation on mountain walls as far as its feline eyes can see. Small bushes lie on either side on the path they are walking on. On Leo's left hand side, a swift current lies below several dozen feet from where they were standing on.
A moment later, Leo stopped in his track and took a glance at a wooden house. The exterior was made of tree trunks horizontally stacked on top of one another. The cottage's triangular roof was composed of solar panels instead of traditional copper tiles. A small wooden stairway with handrails is placed before the entrance.
"Come on! Hurry up! I am freezing now." uttered Aeris as she rushed into the wooden settlement.
Once inside, Aeris dust off her Xbox, cracked open her final fantasy disk case, inserted the disk in her machine and turned it on.
Aeris bends to turn on the TV and said "Hey Leo, its freezing in here can you go get some wood right behind the cottage?"
"The logs are outside the cottage?"
"Yeah! Where else do you think they are?"
"I have to go out?"
"Out in the dark?"
"I don't think it is…"
"Shut up!" Aeris clearly annoyed by Leo's indecisiveness." You're are going outside and you're going to like it!"
Leo trudged heavily towards the door and as he grasped his paw on the doorknob, he heard Aeris trying to contain her mockery laugh.
"Careful not not being eaten by the wolves!"
Leo's pupil dilated and began to sweat." What the heck? you never told me there were wolf around here!."
"We're removed from GTA, so of course you'd expect some wild animals roaming around these parts. What else would you expect? A horde of Watapons and Kuribohs? For Cloud's sake, you're my punching bag, you won't die just yet." blurted out the pink feline."Why do you not want to go anyways?"
"I could ask the same to you" said Leo in a dominant voice, pointing his finger towards Aeris' direction. "Why not want to there yourself? I mean it is not like anything bad will happen to..."
Leo continued but was interrupted by Aeris.
"What?!"Aeris uttered, who did not expect to be challenged.
"Why? When it comes to physical strength you are unmatched, and besides, you are like the top tier when it comes to brute force."
"You are being silly."Aeris flustered, not being used to compliment." Tiers are for queers"
Aeris knew he was right on the money for once. it would be hard to not overlook how she managed to single handedly broke the femurs and neck of three nearly 2-meter tall bulldogs who cornered her because she apparently matched the description of the individual they were looking for. After those three were discharged from the hospital, they established they had been a identity mismatched and shrugged the event off.
"Aeris…" repeated Leo one more time.
The pink cat made her way to the door."Ugh! fine, I will go get the logs." She cocked her head around giving an intense glare to Leo."If anything happen to me, you're the only one to blame."
Aeris' words were the last thing that haunted Leo. "Yeah right. As if that would happen" He returned to the console where he removed the Final Fantasy game disc and replaced it with Call Of Duty 4.
"That fucking Leo, how can he leave a cute, defenceless cat who would not hurt a fly out there in the dark." muttered the pink cat.
It was one of those moment when Aeris wished Leo was next to her, partly because she needed to blow off some steam. After all he is a invaluable punching bag, a fairly obedient slave and her only friend. It is difficult as it is for her to make new acquaintances as she usually scare anyone who dared to approach her especially during junior high and high school but not during elementary school. It was never precisely known why or what happened during her transition from elementary school to high school that caused a 180 shift in her personality. The ever caring, innocent young Aeris replaced by a ruthless blood-thirsty beast. One could nevertheless speculate about it and philosophers, mathematicians and psychologists are already on it.
Another reason was that sometime she may not be as strong she would like to believe to be. To an outsider, she may seem to have strength equivalent to a Giga Bowser or a Ganondorf. Secretly she longed for a another feline who would comfort her when all odds are against her, a soul who would accept her for who she is, a kind friend who'd stick with her no matter how ugly the situation she is in may look like, who would embrace her faults as they are and bring out her innermost endearing qualities. Against all expectation she had found such individual and against all expectations such individual was Leo. She harboured feeling for him ever since the day he'd protected her from Snake's constant bullying and trapped him in one of the locker at school. Often times she would admire the side of Leo, he thought he never had: his courage against adversity. Earlier when her position was challenged, her face took a crimson hue and her heart skipped a beat. She never admitted to her gray counterpart and might never will that she enjoy playing the submissive little kitten who needed protection at times. Just that thought alone intensified her blushing and warmed her entire body on this cold night.
Sounds of a rustling bushes shook her violently out of her daydreaming. Aeris directed her gaze towards the source of the sound. The bushes trembling intensified and from there emerged five wolves all baring their razor-sharp fangs to the pink cat.
"Fuck!" This is not looked at the door, it was several feet away from her present location."Well there goes plan A"
The wolves took several step closer menacingly glaring at Aeris.
"If I don't fight back, I am done for." A moment later, Aeris removed her jacket and threw it on the ground without any hesitation, only leaving her with a black top. She clenches her fists and position herself in boxing stance. "Well, as they all say. No pain, no gain!"
"Freaking Martyrdom. Whenever I approach the guy and teabag him I die, but when I miss my chance to teabag him, I don't blow up. This game mechanic is about as broken as Aeris's Xbox."
Leo put down the controller next to his seat. "Speaking of which its being a while now, where is she?"
Leo searched the in the cottage but no sign of her. He stepped outside." Aeris? Aeris? Aeris!"
But no response beside the howling of some wolves.
Leo circled around the wooden structure. Aeris was nowhere to be found. When he decided that to return to the house after believing that she might just went into the wood to find for some wood. A small metallic object prise his attention."Wait. What is that?"
Leo picked up the small triangular-shaped pendant, examined it thoroughly. He gasped in horror. "That is Aeris' triforce pendant. She never go anywhere without it. Finding the pendant and Aeris in mutually exclusive places means trouble for her and big ones" Leo reasoned. "Nah! no way she could not have dropped it on purpose, after all it feels she hold dear on that object more than the person who offered it to her. Otherwise why would she keep beating me?"
"Weird what is this?" Leo took a glance at some crimson-colored stain. He put it close to his nose and notice the smell was similar to steel. This red-colored stain was familiar to him, hadn't he smell thing when Aeris beat him to a pulp?
To his horror, he realized that the stain in question was blood.
"Yeah, as if anything would happen to Aeris, she is too strong for that. probably blood of her assailant splashed on her pendent."
Leo was about to return inside when two pieces of clothing tumbled, carried by the wind and hit his left leg. Leo looked down and collected the awfully familiar clothing.
"Ah shit! This is Aeris pink jacket and her purple sweater traces of blood on them!" Leo said trying to collect himself.
Another thing caught Leo's attention. On the ground next to the logs there was droplets of blood and those droplet trailed all the way the edge of the cliff. Leo began piecing the evidence together and the conclusion he arrived was unfathomable.
"No that can't be right! She could not have...She could not have...I'll have to call the emergency!"
Leo rushed back inside and furiously punched the number 9-1-1 on his cell phone whilst still holding onto the pendant. "Hold on Aeris, I will save you. Just you wait."
Several weeks passed after this incident. Leo returned to his usual apartment. As usual he would game to his heart's content. But that day, he felt uneasy. Aeris haven't returned and he did not have a partner to play video games with. "She gonna be fine." Leo reassured himself, "She is just lost that's all. She will be back and this nightmare will be over." Oddly enough, he could not shake off those feeling of having something amiss in his apartment. Normally you would expect Leo to feel happy because he is no longer the object of abuse of Aeris. but this is not what is observed.
"Shouldn't I be happy? I mean she is no more here to threaten or abuse me! Why am I not feeling so? Why am dep..."
The phone rang interrupting his monologue. Leo answered it. " Hello? This Leo speaking."
"Hello Leo this is Rutherford Watson, I was the person who was assigned to search the area north of Toronto, the area where Miss Aeris Cole disappeared."
"Do you have any news?" asked Leo.
"I am sorry. Our teams flew helicopters and searched from the air, we had a team of divers looking for any evidence in the lakes nearby and even had our canine team try to locate the scent with the sample scent you provided us but to no avail. I am afraid she will be classified as missing and possibly dead."
"Please can you not do anything?"
"I wish I could, but rules dictate that if the person is missing for over 12 weeks we can no longer initiate a search for that individual. We can however put poster of her around that area and hope someone with information call us. That would be the least we could do."
Words could not get out of Leo's throat. Rutherford paused.
"If anything comes up I'll let you know as soon as possible."
Leo hung back the phone and fell down on his knees.
"Fucking hell!" He yelled as he smashed his right fist on the floor. "Why does it have to happen to me?" Leo could no longer hold back his tears. They came down crashing on the floor just like a waterfall. "What's wrong with me? Why couldn't have more intelligent and complied with her for once? But all I did was tell her she should do go pick the fucking logs herself. Because of that...I…..I…" Images of the past, of when he had a good time with Aeris playing video games and fighting were flooding his mind. One particular and rare image and her laughing was on his mind before slowly fading into black. " I...killed her, the only person who had truly given a shit about me." Leo sobbed uncontrollably to the point that he was tired. He went to bed and tried to rest.
For the next several nights, Leo, needless to say, had an agitated sleep, he could hardly get any rest as nightmare visit him on daily basis just like birds singing every day when the sun rises. The thought of sleeping scared him. What is more is that wherever he goes, he has hallucinations of Aeris mocking him and ask him why he did not obey her and saved her.
One day he received a call from Aeris' parents.
"Hi Ms. Cole"
"Hope you are well. Hi Leo, we will be holding Aeris private funerals this weekend and we would like you to attend."
"I'll see, I don't know if I have the strength anymore"
"Leo, I know this loss hit us all hard and how much you had cared for her. Please do remember that it is not your fault."
"I know. I will be here" whimpered Leo.
"See you this weekend then"
Leo hung the phone and walked to the living room where he turned on his game console.
"I can't do it. How can they parents be so warm and face the one person who killed their beloved daughter?"
When the day of the funerals came, everyone was dressed in black. except the priest who was dressed in his usual white robes. Each individual wore a grave expression on their face and each of them gave their condolence to the family of the defunct.
"Where is Leo?" asked Miss Cole.
"I haven't seen him, are you sure you called him?" said Mr. Cole.
"Helllllllo I am heeeeeere!" said Leo, dressed in black, but clearly did not took the time to re-arrange his outfit.
"Leo!" said Mr. and Mrs. Cole in unison.
"Yeeee?" replied Leo.
"Leo are you drunk?" asked Mrs Cole.
"Dear you are clearly drunk and we must have you sober up!" insisted Mrs. Cole. " Alfred. Bring him back to his house."
As Mr. Cole walks toward the gray cat, Leo started running around while avoiding to be caught. "You won't catch me!" Leo knocked several shelves and a picture of Aeris in a frame fell and broke.
Others proceed to help catch Leo before he did any more damage.
That was not needed as Leo quickly hit a wall and collapsed on the floor unconscious. The last thing he thought had seen was Aeris smile and how much he would trade his life to have her presence next to him once more.
"Ow!" Leo rose from his bed. "What happened?" Leo flinched in pain and had a string headache.
"Oh dear you woke up." said Aeris' mother. "You should cut down on the alcohol, it is bad for your health and your body."
"Where am I? What time is it?"
"You are in your bedroom. I had Alfred carry you here from the funeral home after you were running around like a drunk maniac. It is now 7 pm"
"Shit!" a thought quickly came to him."What about Aeris' funeral?"
"It was over 2 hours ago."
" I am sorry. I really am. Now I can't hope to face her ever again when I will visit her tombstone." said Leo, regretting his earlier action.
"Please don't be sorry, you had you own ways to cope with the loss. Just refrain from doing anything like that again."
"Is he awake?"asked Mr. Cole.
"Yes he is and he's sobered up."
"Okay then we will leave. I've got other things to take care of."
The door slammed behind them. leaving Leo alone and lonely once again. Never had Leo thought that his room and apartment looked darker.
For the next few months, Leo was caught up in fights at watering holes as he tried as much as possible to drown his melancholy with alcohol.
Because he was often caught up in fights, the local police sent him to a psychologist and to a detoxification center. It was decided that being referred to a psychologist should be done before going to detox to probe and understand the problem at hand and suggest alternate ways to solve the issue.
"Hello there Leo" said the psychologist adjusting his glasses and looking at Leo.
"Hi Dr. Lefevre" said Leo.
"Now I understand that we have a drinking problem?"
"Now according to police report you often end up in brawls involving other customers is that correct?"
"Have you had any other drinking problem before? because you did not seem to had any drinking problems until very recently." inquired the bespectacled psychologist.
"No I did not."
"Let me ask you what had caused you to drink then?"
"Regrets" Dr. Lefevre eyebrows raised. "I want to erase the thoughts of Aeris from my head."
"Who is Aeris?" Dr. Lefevre inquired.
"She is...a friend of mine who got killed because of my own stupidity."
"Would you mind elaborating?"to which Leo replied."We got in a dispute over who was going to pick up the wood for the fireplace in our cottage. She somehow blamed that if something ever happen to her then it would be my fault."
"But you had no actual proof that you had anything to do with it right?"
"What?" shaken by his words.
"You are just linking two closely-timed events and think that one led to the other." The psychologist continued.
"What do you mean?"asked Leo. "Your self-imposed guilt from a random coincidence led to vicious circle of depression and alcohol problems. Without any proper intervention you will never break free. Let us phrase it in a more positive way. If she was here do you think she would want to see you in this pitiful state that you are in? " replied the psychologist.
"Whatever the state I am in, I am always being mocked by her."
"Were those attempts formulated in such way to hurt and damage your self-esteem?" asked the bespectacled psychologist.
"Well, yes but no. Hesitated Leo. "Despite her occasional insults she seem to be able to put up with me despite my behaviour. In retrospect I think she might tolerate me even better than other kids back in elementary school all the way to high school."
"What do you think this mean?"inquired Dr. Lefevre.
Leo began to wiggle on his seat and came to the realization "She might actually enjoy my company?"
"Let us ask another question, did your friend Aeris ever relied on you instead of anyone else?"
"Not that I can recall off. She rarely rely on anyone else beside herself. Maybe there was that one time when I protected her from that bully Snake back when we were in junior high and in high school. Whenever she was in a pinch she would call me at my home and asked for my help especially that time when she broke her arm back in junior high. Instead of going to the nurse office, she had asked me to carry her."
"Do you not think that she would need you even if she is in the afterlife?"
"Why would she anyways? I am too much of a burden to her." admitted Leo who had to sacrificed a bit of his pride. "Plus she's dead so why should I care?"
"If she were alive, would you have stuck with her?"
"Hmmm. I always always respected her inner strength which I don't have for all these years. Our friendship never suffered and remained pretty much intact despite our fights. "
"Would you think that, if she were there today, she would want to see you abandoning her?" asked Dr. Lefevre.
"You're right! I should stand by her side no matter what, wherever she is."Leo stormed off the room."Well my job is done here, no need for detox after all." sighed the psychologist.
It was a warm summer day, Leo returned to the cottage, the place where Aeris lost her life. It was not exactly a walk in the park. He was reluctant even to step anywhere near that place as it is the last place where he had last saw her. He managed to contained his tears and trudged along the way. This time he came to accomplish what he was not able to several months back. Pay respect to her and pray for her wellness wherever she is.
"Aeris…"Leo standing next to a tombstone and a bouquet of dried white flowers that was left there possibly some time ago. He left Aeris blood-stained jacket and sweater on the floor. "If you are able to hear me, I would like to be sorry for the mean things I said in the past as well as…" Leo gulped. "...the dispute we had when you were still alive in the cottage. I should have listened to you back then and picked the logs instead of you, if I had died at least I know you would be standing by my side unlike me who just kept blaming on my own inability to do anything."
Leo added."I hope you will forgive me and I wrote a song to make up for the bad times."
Leo cleared up his throat, and stood of Aeris' tombstone. The forest was silent as if waiting impatiently waiting for Leo to sing in his beautiful voice. It began like this:
"It was just like yesterday,
when you chose to leave and I to stay,
it was a warm and sunny day,
but my heart felt as heavy as stone.
Never told me where you went,
then again, I never tried to asked,
now i know in life there is one chance
and you better use it well.
Finally I found your grave,
Sadly I came three summers late,
Now I am sitting by your grave,
and I sing this song for you.
When the mountains fall and the oceans flood,
i will be in search of you,
the only thing I want to say,
I am still in love with you.
The only I want to say,
I am still in love with you."
Leo took a deep breath swiped a newly formed tears in his left eye. "I think this is it. Good-bye forever Aeris Cole."
Leo looked up in the cloudless blue sky. Sunlight beamed down on the mountains below. "You know it is those moments that I miss because of playing too much video games. Just enjoying what nature has to offer."
"Yes those times are the best one aren't they Leo?"
"Haha. Now I am hearing her voice of all people. It is a good thing that she still chose to talk to me after what I had done." said Leo, his head still pointing towards the sky.
"Why would I ignore you, you are the nicest cat in the city of Toronto?"
"Gee thanks. But I don't know, I mean I've been shitty to you, I messed up your funerals, I had used alcohol to temporarily erase my problems even if thought it was an ineffective way and got in fights. Surely, such cat would be labelled as loser?"
"Not in my book, you aren't. You are still the courageous little furball I know."
"How nice of you, Aeris. Whatever you are doing in the afterlife made you soft. It is almost cute, you are reverting back to you elementary school self. The real you would not…"
A cat-like creature extended both of its arms and grabbed Leo's neck from the back."...do you really want to die that much? I shall grant it to you if such is your wish" growled the cat.
Leo did not turned his head. A tear formed on both of its eyelids slid down his cheek. "If I can be closer to her then I will respectfully accept my death."
The pink creature proceeds to tighten its grip on Leo's neck. Leo grasped for air. More tears were forming below its eyelids. He was at death's door. Consciousness fading into black. "I guess this is it. I am sorry Aeris."
"For Cloud's sake, you're my punching bag, you can't die just yet." the cat said, releasing her hold.
Leo gasped for more air and twisted his head around. His eye shot wide open and his jaw dropped. He could not believe what he sees. "Aeris?!You are alive?"
"You see this is we you can't have nice things. Whenever I try to be nice you brushed it off as if it was an one-off occurence. Why would you think I was dead?" whistled Aeris.
"You lost your pendant, got your jacket and blood sweater stained. There was a trail of blood leading to the edge of the cliff. How can I not think that you were dead?!" said Leo still gasping for air.
" I did fell off the cliff after being slashed by wolves on my belly see here?" Aeris showed on her black tank top where there was three discernable longitudinal parallel hole in the clothes fabric in between which lied three scars.
"Yeah but how did the patrols not being able to find you?" asked Leo, puzzled.
Aeris began."I fell unconscious for several days after falling from the cliff. After that I regained consciousness but not my sense of direction. Also, I had needed to recuperate as I had been injured, so I hunted for whatever looked edible. When my strength returned to me I somehow managed to climb the cliff and returned to the cottage."
Leo at this point yelled."What did you not returned home then?!"Aeris interrupted him."Tank's was empty. My cellphone phone was destroyed because of the fall. So I stayed in the cottage until I figured a way out."
"So, you just stayed in that cottage…"began Leo trying to keep himself calm.
"Yes." said cheerfully Aeris.
"While I was back in Toronto..." said Leo who can hardly be considered as calm now.
"Yes." continued Aeris.
"Being drunk, depressed and worried?!" screamed Leo who really could not take it anymore.
Leo lurched toward Aeris, head against her chest, tears flooded his face, he could not help but smile."I missed you. I am useless without you. How can I sleep my nights when my whole body cry?" yelped Leo.
Aeris could not prevent from blushing at the sight of Leo crying. She was glad that if there was a thing that would not change it would Leo depending on and supporting her wherever she is. A diamond-like bond connecting both souls overwhelming any obstacles in its way.
Aeris whispered to Leo and caressed his head. "There, there, you crybaby. Bring me home, I feel like eating real food now and playing co-op games. "
It was 2 hours before the sun is predicted to set below the horizon. We could then it was around 5 o'clock. From this information we could however not deduce that it was 5 o'clock in a particular city in a particular country in the northern hemisphere, and to a lesser degree we could have not known that the country in question is Canada nor could could we have known that city was Toronto. To sum it up, it was 5 o'clock in Toronto and it was very 2 hours before sunset. At this time of the day, the city was fairly busy, just like every other times of the day.
In a small apartment somewhere on Yonge Street, the two anthropomorphic cats were playing video games. Rectification. One pink cat was playing video game and one gray cat was being abused at his favorite shooting game. Battlefield. Disputes arose daily because of miscommunications and idiocy from one cat. But now would it really matter anymore? A friendship that transcends the boundaries of the living and deads exist between these cats. Even in afterlife, nothing can come close to hope to sever or alter feelings they hold for each other.