Don’t go . . .
Can’t you see it now, my dear son? This is the end for us all. So please don’t go. Don’t leave me here alone. Please, at least, let us die together. In this shattered, blood-stained world, can’t these monsters just let a mother and her son die together?
No . . .
Shake my head. Clear my thoughts. Don’t think that way.
You have to live. Eren. My son. My love. My everything. You can’t stay and die with me. Please live. I know you can do great things. I see the fire in your eyes, the passion burning through your veins.
Oh, but don’t go . . .
I want to see you grow up. Please come back. Drag me away from under this heavy wood. Stop the pain. Silence the screams and still the shaking of the ground, the trembling of my bones. Please, oh please.
But no . . .
Keep running away from me, Eren. You have to live. Live for me. Shine. You can’t die yet. You’re just a little boy. You have a world of opportunities to see. You’ve barely experienced anything. I see your tears, I hear your cries, but don’t stop. Keep moving . . . away from me.
Please, though, don’t go . . .
No . . .
We live in a world of monsters. Not the obvious kind. Not the titans. We live in a world of monsters that disguise themselves in clean clothing, of monsters who eat proper food, who socialize in the right circles.
Humans are just as monstrous as the titans.
Grandfather, you would know, wouldn’t you?
I should’ve known when you left, when you gave me that crinkled smile of yours, when you handed me your old hat. I cradled it in my hands. The fraying edges, the hole on the brim; it was all familiar to me. You loved that hat; you let me play with it all the time. But you never parted with it. I knew then . . . and I was fearful — not fearful enough.
You’d been dropping me hints all my life, hadn’t you?
Titans aren’t the only ones who are monsters.
I should’ve pleaded. I should’ve begged. On my hands and knees.
Just please —
Armin cried for you.
Should I cry? Would it be a sign of weakness or a sign that I truly cared for you?
I won’t cry.
I’m stronger than that.
Besides, you’re not gone yet.
You are strong, too.
You can survive.
You haven’t fallen from this life.
Don’t worry, Eren. Until I find you, I’ll live for you. I’ll remember you in my heart. I won’t cry.
But wait for me.
What is this?
The question won’t stop ringing in my head. Over and over, endless, endless. Just a few days ago, the two of us were laughing over some stupid joke you’d told me. Just a few days ago, I was making fun of your freckles again. Just a few days ago . . .
What is this?
You lie before me — what’s left of you. Half of your body is blackened, burnt-looking. Your face appears to be sunken in. Clearly lifeless. Your eyes are dull, your skin pale. I don’t remember you this way.
In my mind, you were always smiling and laughing, peace-making or helping someone. You always had the best intentions, even if thought they were pointless.
What is this?
Is that really you? Maybe not . . . it could be someone else . . .
No . . . I would recognize you . . . I would . . .
What is this?
Vaguely, I remember a woman coming up to me. She asks me a question. I answer. Your name.
And . . . what is this?
Marco? Please .
. . don’t go.
“She said she was going to dedicate her life to you,” the man rambles on, oblivious.
I stare forward, unblinking. Ignore him. Move on. Don’t think. Anything.
“Personally, I think it’s too early for her to get married. She’s still so young, with so much to experience. . . .”
My heart skips a beat. This man . . . what am I supposed to tell him?
Marriage is the least of your concerns right now.
Your daughter isn’t going to worry about being too young for anything anymore.
She’s not coming back.
Petra’s not going to dedicate herself to anything anymore.
And how stupid she’d been, to ever think I was the sort of person to dedicate her life to.
She’s dead now.
We turn a corner and the man starts to fall behind, getting lost in the crowd. “Please!” he shouts. “Levi-heichou! Where’s my daughter?”
I can’t stop myself — I look back.
The man’s face is panicked. His eyes search the line of Survey Corps members and a slow look of realization mixed with horror floods his face; he goes pale.
“L-Levi-heichou?” he says.
I turn around and start walking again.
“Wait!” he cries. “Please! Don’t go! Please, tell me! What happened —?”
His words and the noise of the crowd rage on, but I block them out. They are unimportant; they don’t know, do they?
They have lost, that’s true.
But they have not seen, they have not experienced.
They haven’t seen all their comrades, lifted into the air, blood coloring the skies red, devoured right in front of them. They haven’t seen people they’ve been with for years, people they’ve thought could survive anything, taken away in a heartbeat, by one false move, one single mistake.
That man back there . . . he didn’t see his daughter’s face lifted toward the sky, blood streaked on her delicate skin, eyes blank and empty, clothes ripped and torn, body twisted.
He didn’t see me looking down at her, an
inexplicable yearning rising inside me, and he didn’t hear me say the exact
same words he said to me: “Please. Don’t
Tell me it’s a joke.
You have a sick sense of humor.
You’re playing with us, just like you always do.
Don’t go and ruin things.
. . .
I don’t understand. Why did things have to be this way? I thought we were friends. I thought I understood you.
I was wrong.
Why has it come to this?
I never wanted to fight you.
So, please, stop this. Don’t go and run away from me. Stay, tell us what you know, we won’t hurt you if you comply.
Tell me. I want to know. I can’t control this power inside me. I can feel it rushing in my blood, tearing through my muscles, shaking my bones. It threatens to boil and overflow and I’m scared of what’s going to happen. I hurt Mikasa. I don’t want to hurt anyone else.
So, please, why don’t you stop fighting and tell me what’s going on?
. . .
Does it feel good to you, too? All this strength and rage . . . the feeling that you could do anything with this power.
I could kill you.
You’re tiring, slowing. Desperate.
What are you going to do now?
You could stop this, you know.
Don’t go near the wall. Come back, talk with us.
Or I’ll . . .
Annie, why are you crying?
Don’t leave it like this.
You can’t go.