It had been almost two months and I still went searching for him. Trying to find his missing form, trying to convince myself that he was still alive and somewhere out there. I've been looking everywhere for him, went to all of his favorite spots, went to all of our secret places. He was nowhere to be found, as if he was vanished from earth's surface
I asked every person, that came into my mind and had to find out rather painfully, that I had no idea with whom he still communicated. I never noticed how far we grew apart in all those months.
I still can't understand how this could all have happened. I mean... one day it was just m e and Goten.. and then everything changed and went downhill. From one day to the other, just with some simple words. And yet they were too difficult to understand at that time.
I can't even begin to describe the feeling, when I felt Goten's Ki flare up for the first time after all of those minutes, hours, days. It was ... it was like a mixture of rain and sun, like ice and heat. Feelings and thoughts so different, so totally opposite. Relief and fear.
My first thought was: He's still alive. Kamisama, he's still alive. I was so glad, that I was finally able to locate him, that I totally forgot, what his raise of energy must have meant.
I found out the bitter way.
It was a small divergency in an alley and I wondered briefly how a normal human could see in the darkness of it all, if even I had to force my eyes to recognize my surroundings. For an instant my heart stopped and panic filled my senses. What if Goten was away again? What if I lost him again?
I shook those unwanted thoughts off immediately and tried to rivet my attention to the actual cause, which lead me to this place.
With every step forward the lump in my belly seemed to grow, an uneasy feeling raising.
Dark in black. A small shadow, hardly recognizeable, if it weren't for the white skin that shone through ragged clothes. And for the low melody that the fragil form hummed quietly from down on the ground.
"Goten?" I whispered, when he didn't respond to my steps. His head was lifted a little and he looked at me - and didn't. As if I were a mere person, a stranger.
"Goten?" I tried again, hoping for a sign. Any sign.
He clasped his knees with his hands and leaned his head back against the wall behind him, still humming.
I searched for his eyes again, searched for the spark of recognition in them. When our eyes connected he finally stopped humming. He tilted his head to the side and looked at the ground for a moment, then, almost questioning with the curiosity of an innocent child, he looked up again and opened his mouth to ask something. Then he closed it again and leaned back to continue humming his monotonous singsong.
I followed his movement with my eyes. There was money on the ground. ...money?
I lowered my hand - and stopped moving when I finally heard Goten's hoarse voice. "Shouldn't take it. It's filthy."
I narrowed my eyes, wondering what the situation was about. A part of my senses still refusion to accept what this all was apparently about. Was he... was he selling himself for money? No, the idea seemed so absurd that I rejected it right away. My Goten, the Goten I knew, selling his body for money... it was.. it was just not possible.
He had begun to sing his wordless song again, shutting himself off from reality again.
"Goten, please don't do this..." I was on the very edge of crying. Weeping for the loss of my best friend. Weeping for all the pain he must have endured. Weeping for the poor creature in front of me, who seemingly didn't recognize me anymore. I doubted, he would recognize anyone anymore.
I shook my head to escape from this horrible nightmare, that surpassed my worst apprehensions. "Goten..." I moved my hand and laid it above his own.
And he suddenly snapped. His eyes opened widely and he looked at me with sheer horror in them. One second. And then he screamed and pushed my hand aside, jumping up in an instant.
- I could only stare, at a loss for words.
"Don't touch me! Don't ever touch me!!" he hissed, his eyes sparkling with fear and anger. His whole body tense.
"Wha--" My eyes wandered around nervously, anxious to make a mistake, anxious to frighten him and push him away further with unmindful actions.
No, no. It couldn't...
I was brutally teared out of my thoughts when I heard the simple sound of bare feet on the ground, turning and running away. I stood up immediately, not willig to let him go away again. Not willig to loose him again. I caught hold of his hand and jerked him around, pulling him into my embrace.
"Let go! Let go!!"
He tried to fight me, used his fists, punched me with everything he had. Kicked, tried to bite. I held still, tried to calm him with soothing words whispered in his ear until he finally quieted down again.
"It's me, Goten. Shh, it's only me."
His body trembled slightly while he stood stiffly in my embrace, not daring to move. Then his body slacked and he leaned against me heavily.
"Make... make it fast, so it won't hurt again..." his words were muffled by the fabric of my sweater, so very low, that I hardly understood them with even my fine hearing.
"I won't hurt you again, ever, Goten. Shh... It's all going to be fine..." I whispered while running my hand through his hair slowly.
He closed his eyes against my chest and began singing his melody, lost in life.
"Do you... do you know who I am, Goten?" I tried again in an attempt to snap him out of his own world. He nodded and shook his head afterwards.
Then he broke his lullaby and removed his head from my chest to look straightly into my eyes. "Ya have H with you?"
His voice was quivering and it made me forget everything I had in mind. Shock filled my senses instead. It was one thing to asume something. Another to hear it straight from your best semi-saiyan friend.
"I'm... I'm quite sore... my body's aching..."
I released him from my embrace and cupped his face with my hands to make him look directly at my face. "Goten, it's me, Trunks."
He blinked. His mouth opened. He raised his arm in wonder, touching my face lightly with his fingers. "Trunks?"
I smiled softly against his skin. "Yeah, it's me..."
Part Thirteen |