Where am I? This isn’t right, is it? I – I don’t think this is where I’m supposed to be… Vegeta? Vegeta, where did you go? Am I dead? Where am I? It’s so dark, and I can’t see anything. There are no shadows, no light to cast them, no sound… no heat. It’s so cold… Piccolo? Vegeta? …D-dad?
I hate silence.
Can I move? I–I’m almost afraid to try… My arms hurt. Why do they hurt? The Cell fight was months ago… those injuries shouldn’t be bothering me anymore. Strange. It stings like a bee’s prick, lacing up the underside of my forearms, so cold, tight. Now it’s becoming hot… burning, pulsing like a heartbeat… this pain – I should know it. Why should I know it? Have I… have I done something I shouldn’t? That’s right… I did, didn’t I? I did something to myself. What was it? What did I do? My arms hurt so much…
I’m trying to remember, I know there’s something to the pain, but there’s an essence blocking me. A part of me doesn’t want to remember, maybe. There has to be a reason for why I feel I should know whatever it is that I’ve done and forgotten. But… but what is it? I have to push harder, have to get past this black wall so I can understand…
My hands feel wet. I can’t see, but maybe there’s water in here. I could probably even be standing in a lake and I wouldn’t know… everything but my arms feels numb. Whatever it is that’s on my hands is warm, and it makes my fingers stick together when I curl them. I wish I knew what it was. The sensation of it is slightly disturbing as it tickles down my arms and makes my fingers twitch. I want to wipe it off, but I’m afraid of the pain from my arms if I do.
I jump when something cold presses against my knuckles, coaxing them to open, and a thin, cold object is pressed into my palm. Unconsciously, I curl my fingers around it. A sharp edge bites into my skin and I realize what it is.
There’s a flash in my mind… something I should remember? This knife… means something? Does it have something to do with the pain in my arms? With why I’m here? This knife… did I… cut myself? Did I…
Silver; the flash of the blade in the evening light, the bite of cold steel, the sweet, burning pain as it slips easily into the skin… red; sweet, dripping red…
Is – is this a memory? I didn’t really do that, did I? Why? Why would I do something like that? There’s no reason… I’m happy! Happy people don’t kill themselves!
_Was_ I? Happy, I mean? I don’t… I don’t think I was.
No, I wasn’t! I wasn’t happy at all. My father… he left us. After the fight he didn’t come back. He just told me ‘good job’ and disappeared. Died, vanished, faded away. Forgot about me… Of course I wasn’t happy! He abandoned me! He abandoned my mother! He didn’t come back! …He-he said he was going to come back…
Why did he do that? Why didn’t he want to come back? Wasn’t I good enough… didn’t I – didn’t I do it right? I mean, there must’ve been some reason why he didn’t want to be alive, wasn’t there? Did I make him unhappy? It was all my fault, wasn’t it? It always is… I can’t do anything right.
Unexpectedly, the pain in my arms intensifies, and I cry out. I want to curl into a ball but my body won’t move. I want to shout, but aside from the feeling of my throat vibrating there is no noise. Only silence.
There’s a flash within my mind. What’s this - another image? Pain… there’s so much pain in this one. More of the red… but not from me. No, this blood isn’t mine. This is… This is… - I don’t remember. Why don’t I remember this time? Fingers… like little red rivers the blood drips from them, falling onto shattered rock. There’s a smell, of brimstone, carried in the wind.
Drip, drip, drip…
I know I know this! I know I should! Show me more! Show me more so I can remember! What’s missing? It’s on the other side of this black wall. I can feel it there, calling me, taunting me… like the voice of Cell it won’t shut up! I have to know… what’s missing?
What’s missing in me?
I feel it. It’s just beyond the darkness. What am I forgetting?! _I have to remember!_
“Son, I want you to do something for me.”
Sound. A Voice. This is my father? It sounds sort of like him… but different. Like he’s talking through thick wads of material. D-dad? That is you, right? Otousan?
“I want you to get up. You have to help Krillin.”
Help Krillin? But how? I’m dead, aren’t I? I’m here. How can I help Krillin from here? Dad?
“You have to fight, Gohan. Fight, damn you!”
“You are weak – no son of mine. Damn it, Gohan, fight!”
N-no! No, not again!
“You let me down.”
No! No, please, no! I did it to get away from this! To get away from these voices! To stop you screaming at me! Stop screaming at me! Leave me alone!!! Go away and LEAVE ME ALONE!!!
I switch my grip on the knife and raise it up. I can’t see in the darkness but I know where it is I’m aiming for. I lift my arm and plunge it down… I feel it sinking into me, through my skin, cutting deep. Sharp… god it’s sharp. I flip hands, and I repeat, the pain searing through me now as it echoes its previous course through my opposite forearm. Yes… yes. This is why I did it. It’s an end… I needed an end. My palms were filling with blood as I sat on the floor in my room. Okassan didn’t come to stop me… okassan didn’t care. Vegeta came – he cared. So did Piccolo. But…
Pain! Pain… I thought it would go away… I’m dead but I still bleed. I’m dead but I still hurt. I thought the dead weren’t supposed to hurt. I thought that was why chichiue didn’t want to come back, coz I would make him hurt, and in the afterlife there wasn’t any pain…
Is this my judgement? Is this where I’ll be judged? Is that why I’m being shown things – things I don’t want to see? Things I don’t want to remember? Things I tried so hard to forget?! It’s so cruel, I sob. Why is death so cruel?
You are cruel, aren’t you?
To give me light now, when I don’t want it. There’s so much of it… It’s warm, feels like the sun, but there’s nothing here. The light is full of emptiness… Is this Heaven? But where are all the people? All of the Angel’s? There’s nothing but the bright splatters of my blood I can see staining the perfect whiteness under my feet like it was wet paper, or cloth. Hehehe, that’s funny – I’m tie-dying Heaven with my blood! I don’t think Enma is going to like that much… Hehehe.
This isn’t funny. Why am I laughing? Oh, Kami – am I insane? Did that last fight with Cell rattle more than just my teeth? I’m nuts, I’m crazy – no wonder my father hates me! Oh, God, oh God, oh God – I don’t like it here. Why’s it so empty? There’s nothing here but the light… There’s nothing! It’s almost as bad as the darkness – at least there I couldn’t see that there was nothing! Here… the emptiness…it… I’m lonely… I’m so alone… I’m not supposed to be here, am I? An eternity of this? This can’t be Heaven – it can’t! Oh, no…what if I’m in… Hell?
I killed myself – that’s a sin, isn’t it?
Voices again… what are they saying? It’s not father this time… no, not otousan… This time it’s…
“I have to help Daddy.”
That voice is me? But I’m… I’m not speaking…
“I have to get up. I have to help Krillin.”
Wait! This is from… this is from… This sounds so familiar!
“I have to fight! Papa can’t move – I’m so scared!”
No… No… I don’t want to hear this… You’re making me remember – I don’t want to remember!
“I’m weak – not like Daddy, not like Pikkoro-san. I have to fight… but what if he hurts me again?”
I said stop it! STOP IT, STOP IT, STOPPIT!!!
“I let Daddy down…”
I don’t wanna hear this! It was easier when I thought it was Dad! When I made myself believe it was Father! But he just smiled, said I ‘did good’ – but I didn’t! I knew I didn’t! I got Piccolo killed! Daddy almost died, too! I wanted him to be angry with me! I wanted him to hate me! Why doesn’t he hate me?!?
Oh God – why do you show me these things? Why am I so mixed-up inside?
You’re cruel and sadistic! And you keep taunting me!!! Why? In Heaven’s name – why? What did I do to you? What? Oh, I’m so tired of this pain… It never goes away… It’s hounded me for how long now? I don’t know…years… years…
All I wanted was to sleep. Forever in darkness, in obscurity, to be oblivious, blind, mute, deaf, dead to every sense and emotion, to everything that could ever be associated with life. Float in nothing, like a solitary speck of dust. It must have been too much to ask. I only wanted the pain…the pain to…go away…
I wanted it to stop. I needed it to stop. I tried to make it stop… but it hasn’t worked.
I’m just a stupid naïve child, aren’t I? What would I know about pain? Pathetic little whiney brat that won’t fight - spends his whole day with his nose buried in a book… Is that what everyone sees when they look at me? Well, of course it is, after all, I don’t see anything else myself…
Oh, wow. The floor beneath me is almost completely red now. I wonder how long I’ll bleed for in this place. Long enough to fill it to its boundaries? Do you think I’ll get to keep my body? Does this place even _have_ boundaries?
I think I’m crying.
I think I’m insane.
Nothing is making any sense... my insides are in knots. I can feel them, twisting through each other, pulling the tangles even tighter, tying up with them all the threads of my mind that hang loose from where my pain tore them free… I feel like I’ve got a jigsaw puzzle, and I’m trying to put the pieces of me back where they’re supposed to go, but only there’s no picture to work off of…
Do you think… maybe I’ll get a second chance? And maybe, if I manage to figure out what’s wrong with me on the inside, then maybe they’ll let me see dad? I want to see him, I really do… God, I wanna see my daddy…
Yeah, I am crying. I thought I was…
Silly. I’m quite stupid for crying, after all, I was the one who put myself here…
And they all thought _I_ was the smart one.
Darkness again. Is the judgement over? Can I see my daddy now? Wait… if I go tell Hell, I won’t be able to see him, because I’m pretty sure he’s in Heaven. Is there a special place for the crazy people to go? I don’t really wanna go down to Hell if I have to see Cell and Frieza again…
Oh God, Cell…
No, I won’t think about that. I’ll think about nothing. Yeah, I’ll think about what this place I’m in is. It’s like space, only without matter. Cold, empty, and colourless. Funny, how I really wanted to come here, how I took a knife to my veins to get to this empty place, and now that I’m here I would give everything I have to be somewhere else. Pity how I have nothing left to give. My soul feels a little bit mangled right now, so I doubt if anyone would want _that_.
My arms won’t stop bleeding. My insides are knotted, pulling, full of pain. My thoughts have no… they make no sense.
Is this how a foetus feels, when still within the security of its mother? Aware, but not knowing what it is that it can hear, can feel? The tingling of nerves as they become active, the shifting and rolling from inside itself as things change and grow? This drifting, this endless dream of floating…
Hmmm… this dark is nice. I don’t have to feel in here. I can loose myself within this nothing.
Will I be able to find myself again, you think?
I don’t think I care anymore.
I thought I did…
But, that was just a dream.
Just a dream…
I should just let the dream go…