I never thought I could lose her.
I never thought it was possible for such beauty to just...stop.
I never thought...that I would be the cause of her death.
But I guess I never really thought at all, did I?
The day started out as normal. The sun was shining, the sky was blue, the clouds white and fluffy and the birds chirruping.
I get up, filled, as always, with that wariness. Who knew what the day could bring? As usual, I complete all my daily tasks with gloves on.
I always keep my gloves on.
Black and worn, two layers thick, the cotton and rubber accessories were more than just fashion items.
They were my lifeline.
Once the house was clean and breakfast eaten, I sit down on the front porch, and carefully slip my gloves off. I star at the bare skin for a while, a burning hatred inside me. I want to cut them off, I want to destroy them, anything is better than this constant fear that something could go wrong.
Then, right on the dot, she came. My only source of happiness. As always, at exactly noon, I hear her melodious voice calling as she jogged up the hillside, away from the village miles down the mountain, “Finn, hiiiii!”
I chuckle and smile, face lighting up for the first time that day; only she could manage that.
“Hello, Vivi,” I greet her calmly with a soft smile, taking her in as she comes to a stop before me and bends over, hands on her knees as she pants. Her short black hair sticks out at random angles, as always making me think of a fluffy pom-pom that has had a haircut. Her fringe, as always, carelessly pinned back atop her head with a grip, making her beautiful, beaming smile so much more visible. Her hazel eyes light up as if possessed by a thousand rainbows, just making her that much more captivating. She always looks so childish yet so mature all at once. Her blue overalls, cut off into shorts and her bright yellow shirt seem so slapdash that they make her appear young and adorable, but her high cheekbones and long, slim form make her seem eloquent and grown up.
“How are you?” She grins as she straightens back up, always filled with the same boundless energy.
“Just the same. You?” I gesture for her to sit in the pot next to me on the wooden steps that lead up to the shoji of my small house, forgetting, in my joy to see her, that I did not have my gloves on.
“I am good, thank you!” She happily sits next to me and pulls a packet of sweets from her pocket and shows them to me, “I got something for you!” Grinning, she opens the packet and pulls one of the small candies out and holds it in front of me. When I chuckle, she says, “Open up,” and I contentedly obey, still smiling. She pops the sweet into my mouth and I chew, smile growing.
“They taste good,” I say a moment later and beam at her.
“I know right? For dagashi they’re great!” She eats one herself, before leaning over and kissing my cheek.
I blush and chuckle, turning to her and just staring deep into her eyes for a moment as I smile. And she just smiled back calmly, because that’s how she is. I love her so much. Suddenly daring, I slowly I bring a hand up, close to her cheek as I move in to kiss her. She closes the gap between us, and just as our lips meet for the first time, my hand rests on her cheek.
And like a fast spreading virus, her skin turns cold as the gold spreads across her face before enveloping her body entirely. I recoil, gasping in horror.
“No…” I whisper. No, I couldn’t have, I-I-I-- the gloves! “No… No! No! NO!” I scream and scramble back, disgusted and horrified with myself, terrified by what I have just done. My hand brushes a plant, and it too, turns to gold. I jerk back, standing up and stumbling away. How...no… I swore I would never hurt her, I swore… Tears stream down my face as I stare at her beauty, encased in gold. She looks pleased, euphoric even, face frozen in the action of kissing, the packet of sweets still trapped in her hand. Our first kiss...and I...I…
“YOU MONSTER!” I scream at myself, slamming my fist against a wooden post so hard that my knuckles split open and begin seeping blood, and the post turns shiny and valuable.
It disgusts me. How could anything so cursedly cold and heavy be valuable? Nothing was more valuable than her life, and now...now she’s…
I sob and lunge for my gloves, yanking them back on as I cry, feeling something truly shatter inside of me.
I will leave this place.
I will go far away, where I can never hurt anyone again.
But just before I turn to run, make the mistake of looking at her, and all my resolve rusts away as I sink to my knees, feeling true physical pain at what I have done.
Throwing my head backwards, tilted to the sky, I let out a scream of anguish and grief that does not sound human.
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