31 AUGUST, 20XX
It was a Monday, the cursed day which turned my already pathetic life even more horrible. I already hated my life to begin with, but this Monday seemed gloomier than usual. It was the day when I was supposed to start school again.
I somehow got up and went downstairs.
My mother cheerfully greeted me, but I could only lightly nod in response.
I’m really grateful to her, for she has always supported me no matter how I was feeling or acting. I’m sure that without her I would have died a long time ago.
“Breakfast’s ready. Wash your face first.”
She ordered and then went back to her cooking, humming her favourite tune again. Thanks to her I was able to live a bit peacefully at my home.
But living itself was becoming painful for me. It had become too painful, in fact.
And so, after many considerations, I had decided that today, Chloe Evans would say goodbye to her pathetic life.
I know my mom would be incredibly sad over my death, but I just can’t live anymore. No matter what I do, no matter how hard I try, I just can’t find the will to live again. Not after what was lost. And that’s why I decided to bid farewell to my mom and free her of the burden that is me. I’m sure that without me, she would be able to live a bit more freely. She had to give up on her acting career because of me, so with me gone she could go back to acting. She could live a better life.
I went to the bathroom to wash my face, and saw my own reflection in the mirror. Messy short blonde hair, droopy eyes with black circles under them and a fairly depressed face. As usual I looked pretty horrible.
After coming back, I went to the dining table and had my breakfast. Today my mom had cooked bacon and scrambled eggs with toast. It should have been delicious, but today even the food seemed tasteless.
After that, I got ready for school. Just as I was leaving my home.
“Bye bye, Chloe!”
My mom cheerfully bade me farewell. This was the first time in months when I left my home, so I’m sure that she was feeling happy for me.
Yeah, bye, mom.
I left my house after waving my hand and went down the path to my school. As I was walking down, the black clouds rumbled and it started to rain. My mom had given me an umbrella as the sky was dark since yesterday, but I didn’t feel like opening it now. And so, I kept walking while being drenched in rain.
But on the crossroad which comes on my way to school, I kept walking straight instead of taking a left. I kept walking towards the hill. People passed by me as I kept walking on while being drenched, but thankfully none of them paid any special attention to me or tried to stop me.
The forest on the hill was dense and the visibility was low due to the heavy downpour. But the path I was taking was wide enough for me to keep walking straight without getting lost. Needless to say, I had known about this path beforehand.
Before long, I finally reached my destination: the cliff.
The steep cliff from which I was planning to jump down. I threw my bag away on the side, which contained my suicide cum apology letter to my mom, and walked to the edge of the cliff. The fence made from barbed wires stood in my way, but I easily climbed over them to reach the edge.
In front of me was the entire city, which seemed more colourless than usual due to the rain. Strong gales were blowing causing the raindrops to hit me straight in my face. I looked down and saw the ground which was at least 500 metres below.
Good, if it’s this high I shouldn’t survive.
I had planned everything beforehand. I would jump straight down and land with my head down so that to make sure that I won’t survive. Someone would find me sooner or later, and while investigating the police would find my bag here. They would find my suicide letter there and pass it onto my mom.
I just hope that she’ll forgive and forget me, and then move on with her life. And maybe, I’ll get to meet them in the afterlife.
Yosh, time to lose my life.
But as I was about to jump-
“What are you doing, Chloe Evans?”
Huh? Someone had called to me from behind, and he knew who I was. But of course, I had already prepared for such a situation. I should have jumped without even minding the person on my back, lest they would get the time to stop me.
I should have….!
But I couldn’t. How could I? After all, I recognised that voice.
I abruptly turned around, and there was a man standing at some distance from me. His face was hidden by the umbrella he was holding. He was wearing white T-shirt and black trousers. He looked like a completely normal man you could have found anywhere. No, he was in fact a boy.
Yet, I knew. I knew who he was. There was no way in hell I could mistake him for anyone else.
Lightning crackled, followed by deafening thunder. As the light lit up the place, that boy tilted his umbrella to let me see his face.
The world suddenly changed. I could no longer feel the raindrops hitting my body, or the strong winds which were making my body tremble due to the cold, nor could I see anything else. In my sight was just that single man.
Before I knew it, I crossed over the fence, broke out in a run and leapt on him. Sam too let go of his umbrella and spread his arms. I fell into his chest and hugged him tightly, afraid to let him go again. He too hugged me back and gently caressed my hair.
“Yes, it’s me, Chloe. I’m back.”
He gently murmured into my ear as he hugged me even tighter to let me bury my face into his chest. Unable to hold myself back anymore, I broke out crying, all the while crying out his name again and again, to make sure that this wasn’t a dream, to make sure that Sam wouldn’t leave me alone again. All this time he just kept caressing my hair and hugging me, his hold never getting softer.
After some time, when I finally got a hold on myself and stopped crying, I realised the situation I was in.
I was in the arms of Sam, the man I loved.
I hurriedly stepped back, my cheeks feeling incredibly hot. I managed to calm myself and while wiping my tears, which really didn’t make any difference as I was still drenched, I managed to speak again.
“Sam….. sniff……, you idiot, just where have you been all this time, huh?”
But the moment I asked him, the smile on his face vanished and his eyes got narrower. With a voice so cold that it caused my entire body to tremble, he answered.
“Well, I had been to hell.”
“H-Hell? What do you-”
But he cut me off before that.
“More importantly, just what were you trying to do there, Chloe?”
“You were trying to kill yourself, no?”
He asked with a calm voice that was somehow still filled with wrath. Against the demonic expression on his face, which made him even more handsome, I couldn’t say anything.
“Why? Did you forget about the promise you made to us? That no matter what-”
“-I would continue to live. Yes, I still remember it, and I did want to see through it! But you also broke your promise, didn’t you?! You left me alone! There was no way I could have lived without you! And so, I decided to end my life!”
Sam made a confused expression.
“Couldn’t live without me? Why?”
“Why? Let me spell it out clearly for you, Samuel Hayden! It’s because I love you! I love you! Because it was you who showed me light, it was you freed me from my emptiness, it was you who brought the colours back to my life, and because it was you who held my hand when I was completely alone! I love you with all of my heart, Sam! And that’s why I couldn’t live without you!”
At the end, I was panting heavily due to speaking so much in such a short amount of time.
And there, I said it! I finally confessed my feelings! Though I would have liked the occasion to be jollier, I just couldn’t hold it in.
Now how would he respond? Would he accept my feelings and reciprocate them, or would he deny them? No, it doesn’t really matter. He’s back, and that’s all that I want.
However, the expression he made wasn’t something I was prepared for.
Sam seemed……. disappointed. No, not just disappointed. He also seemed to be angry.
“I see. You love me. And after observing you for the past month, including today, I have no choice but to believe that. And that’s what makes this problematic. You see…………. Your love would only hold me back.”
He declared coldly.
“Eh? W-what do you m-mean by that, Sam…….? I-I would never hold you back, so-”
“No, you would. If left alone, you and your love would end up being a great obstacle to my goals. And mercy does not exist for anyone that stands in my way. To make sure that such a situation does not come to pass…………… Hargreave.”
Suddenly, another man appeared beside Sam. He was a bit taller than him, and with his black hair and sharp black eyes, he seemed to be more handsome than Sam.
Yet, their eyes were the same. Those eyes, that contained not a semblance of warmth in them, were looking at me.
“I have no other choice but to eliminate that love.”
“Eh? Eliminate my love? Y-you can’t be serious, Sam…….”
But one look at him and I knew that he was serious. He wanted to get rid of my love for him.
“No! I don’t want that! I want to keep loving you! I- ugh!”
Just then, the other man appeared in front of me and clasped my neck, thus lifting me from the ground.
“Don’t be so rough with her, Jack.”
Sam spoke up, and in response Jack threw me away. I toppled and rolled on the ground. I swiftly sat up, but before I could stand up again Sam and Jack had appeared in front of me.
Sam lifted my chin with his right hand, and with sadness mixed in his cold voice, he spoke up.
“I feel I should apologise for what I’m about to do to you, Chloe.”
“You might see my actions as outright evil. You might even hate me!”
As if I could ever hate you!
His right hand moved over to my face, and covered it. But no matter how I tried I couldn’t bring myself to shake that hand away.
“But you see, I’m not the villain here. I do what I do because there is no choice.”
From the gaps in his fingers, I could see that Jack, who had a really malicious smile on his face, had placed his right hand over Sam’s, thus effectively blocking my vision. But even though my eyes were closed, I could feel that their hands were shining. My head began to feel warm and fuzzy, and I began to lose consciousness.
“I can’t kill you, but I won’t have you standing in my way.”
I tried to fight and maintain my consciousness, but with each passing second, I was losing. And just as I fainted, I heard Sam’s last farewell.
“Until we see each other again.”
And so, I lost everything once again. But this time, I forgot everything about it.
I was back in the dungeon, the place where I was supposed to be. There were a lot of boulders around me, and so I sat on one of them. The situation was similar to before: I was still alone, and I didn’t know where I was in the dungeon. I had no way of contacting others either.
But there was a huge difference this time: I knew everything. I had remembered everything, every horrible thing that Sam had done to me. And every noble thing he had done for me.
And my love for him as well. No wonder I always thought something was wrong. No wonder I was always at ease with him by my side even though I was supposed to like that despicable Jack!
Chloe Evans was finally back, stronger than ever before.
That woman was right: I should have asked just who I was. The life I had been living for the past one and a half years was nothing more than a sham, and the ones who created that sham were Sam and Jack.
I don’t know how, but that woman managed to break me away from that charade. And for that I’m eternally grateful to her.
Just then, a large crimson magic areia appeared in the air, and from it two people appeared. I knew who they were by sensing their mana, and so I raised my head to look at that bastard.
“Jack, we have some things to discuss.”
But in return, the smile that appeared on his face was the same as when he had stolen everything from me.