Sun shining bright in a clear sky accompanied by an occasional breeze, another day of good weather. It would've been a perfect day for a surprise picnic date, if not for the dropping temperature with the change in seasons.
When I return, I'll wait for Spring or early Autumn, and I'll bring her out on a picnic date. Preparing her favourite food, finding an empty and peaceful area to settle down, just spending and enjoying time together alone. That would be delightful.
Ah, this tree seems to have lost a few more leaves from yesterday. The temperature must be getting too cold for humans to bear. I do hope that she doesn't dress too lightly. How worrying.
Moving along silently on a familiar unmarked path, I made my way over to my usual spot.
With Winter encroaching upon this forest, the little ones are now in their busiest phase; and when the green and brown is coated in a layer of white, the little ones will soon disappear with the noise that accompanies them — leaving behind a white and silent world.
I'll have to move and find a new spot before that happens, it would only be troublesome and a waste of time if I were to be caught by certain unsavoury humans.
Gradually, the sound of crashing water overpowered the sound of the forest and dominated its surroundings.
Hiding in a discreet corner within the rocks behind the blanket of water, under cover of the crashing water, I continued familiarising myself with the human tongue.
Learning its' primary language is simple. However, it is my voice that still poses an issue. Even though I've repeatedly been adjusting the timbre, it's still unpleasant to listen to. If it isn't too rough, then it's disharmonious or worse, a combination of a chorus of screaming and the scratching of nails on a blackboard mashed together. Utterly horrendous and hard on the ears. It's already unbearable to me that there's no need to consider how badly humans would take it. It would be safe to assume that fear and discomfort would be my only harvest.
Smooth and deep, like an undercurrent. The whisper of a devil that draws one into sweet temptation and fall in willingly.
I'm sure she would get extremely excited and flustered over this top-quality voice. She was already all jumpy listening to low-quality ones. And after she hears mine, everyone else's will become unbearable and an audio assault on her ears. There'll simply be no contest left, and I'll erase every impression those little bugs had left behind.
I wonder if she's grown any bigger from the last time I've seen her. I'll have to sneak back at least once to check her size. I'll adjust my body measurements accordingly, and we'll be the perfect match once again.
However, currently, my body, by human standards, isn't a body.
A mass of shadows congealed together to resemble the shape of a human figure. I would no doubt be slapped with the label of a lowly earthbound spirit. Not to mention that under the light, it becomes translucent.
Still much too far from my goal, and too slow. I'll have to speed up the process.
I'll need to make some preparations and rearrangements.
For my facial features, it'll be the lowest priority. It's a little bit of a pain to reconstruct the bones after it's been made, but I'll need to plan that out and go through some tests first. Thoughtlessly putting everything she likes together may not necessarily look good as a whole.
When the wind drifted over a humans' voice, my head snapped up, eyes fixed in the direction the wind had strayed from. All my attention is now stolen and focussed on picking up even the softest of sounds.
Just for a split second, I heard her name. Even though it was barely audible, I would never commit the fundamental mistake of mishearing her name. However, I can't be sure if it is merely another human who goes by the same name as her. Just for a little bit, I'll make a detour to check it out.
If I estimated right, it should've come from that open area in the west. In exchange for speed, I let loose the shadows that I had intended to use to shape my new body.
The leaves rustled as I sped through the foliage. Excitement, anticipation, and fear are pulsating from my core with each wave more potent than the previous. The fear of the possibility that it had just been another human with the same name terrified me. However, if on the off chance that it was truly her, and I missed this chance because I was a coward and backed out from fear of disappointment, I will never forgive myself. Moreover, I was never one to back down from uncertainties. If not now, I'll be finding her later on my own anyway. It's only a matter of time. Hence the only thing at stake would be a pleasant surprise.
As the edge of the forest drew closer, my sudden break caused the wind behind me to brush past and leaves fell from its impact. Even though I had made up my mind, I couldn't help but hesitate as my fear overrode my rationality for a split second. But a split second was neither a short nor long moment, and after it had passed, I edged slowly towards the edge under cover of the dense foliage.
As the leaves gave way to the light, I held my non-existent breath as I peeked into the open area that now had three tents, with two figures hunched over working on a fourth tent. My eyes immediately narrowed on to the female of the pair.
Familiar light brown hair shining a brilliant golden under the sun, with a tilt of her head, the angle of the light hitting her hair changed slightly, and the hidden strands of red flared to life. Light brown almond eyes that shone like polished brown Mali Garnet gemstones with a beauty mark highlighting them at the corner of her left eye. A cute round nose, arousing my teasing nature once more to pinch them. Pinkish heart-shaped lips lifted a little at the edges, tickled my core with how closely it resembles a kittens' mouth. Those adorable lips adorned with two sexy beauty marks side by side just above that once threatened my self-control daily. I wonder if the tip of her right ear hidden beneath her hair still has that same little black sesame seed that stirred my desire to nibble it.
As I took in and savoured her changes, I realised that I had been away for too long. She has grown so much that she has blossomed into the unique flower that she is now.
Now that she's human, that unique charm she possesses is shining even brighter than before. It's a little frustrating. Previously, it was already attractive enough to attract some persistent pesky insects. Not to mention now, amongst a species that's more susceptible to charm.
Ah, another little fly. Such a fragile thing, yet he has the guts to look at her in that manner. A manner that is permitted only to me.
How foolish of him to think he might stand a chance in my absence. After everything we had been through, we finally reconnected once again. The position by her side can only belong to me; without my permission, no one can steal her from me.
It seems I can only adopt the riskiest route for the fastest speed to obtain a suitable container to inhabit. And when I return, I'll personally teach them what it means to dream of an impossibility.
With every glance of my beloved he stole, my irritation and impulse to immediately return to her side grow stronger. Even though I am fully aware and prepared myself for the consequences of my decision, it didn't change the fact that the disparity between reality and my desire still continually drive me to the edge.
The familiar feeling of my deep longing started boiling over, and the stimulation of having her so close where I can reach if I just took a step forward sparked a fire that burned my reasoning to ashes.
I miss her. I miss her so much. I'm slowly losing my mind, the longer I'm away from her.
It's been four years eight months and sixteen days since I left, a short time, yet it feels much longer than that. I wonder if she'll recognise me if I appear before her, it would be depressing if she couldn't recognise me. It was already heartbreaking when I first lost her, only to find her later with no memories of me, of us. Though sadly, she wouldn't be able to recall the past we shared, we can always make new ones. If she can't remember or recognise me, then I'll do it for her.
Her smile, it doesn't glow with her unique charming diametrical yet harmonious mischievous and lazy temperament. Instead, it looks bland, dead, like she's devoid of life. Almost like what little was left of her spunk when I found her extinguished, a star fizzled out.
That silly girl, something must have happened again while I'm absent. I wonder if she's alright. She must have kept everything inside, as usual. Whenever something happens, you choose to hide it all away and refuse to talk about it. Unwilling to let anyone bear witness to your pain and vulnerability, opting to close off entirely than to let someone in.
I was your only exception.
The world couldn't tolerate your existence, all because you stumbled into a place where you didn't belong. They tried breaking your spirit and heart, again and again, the you who was so unconditionally kind and bright like the sun. And I could only help you survive, as I watch on powerlessly as you're torn down and scarred. Watch on helplessly as you gradually close that beautiful heart from this cruel world, building a wall of caution and cynicism in your last-ditch attempt at protecting yourself.
But I couldn't restrain the joy I felt then, even if it made me feel equally guilty. The thought that your beauty can only be fully appreciated by me alone; just like when there was only two of us, that I won't have to share your tender, kind, warm, and gentle nature any longer. It sent shocks of ecstasy through my core.
The time I had spent waiting for you to turn around and look at me once again like you used to was excruciating. Perhaps because you had adapted to the narrow perception of humans, you never once considered me as a possibility. Instead, you tainted your eyes with them.
Even though we once stood at the apex together and supported each other. You don't remember our past, the love we shared, or even our promise of eternity even after one of us ceases to exist.
Even though I knew all this was due to an accident, and I shouldn't be blaming you for it. I still can't help but feel a little angry at your carelessness that resulted in your loss of memories and our brief separation. What's more hateful is how I was not by your side when it all happened, I failed to protect you. So a little punishment was only appropriate, a punishment for us.
I banned myself from getting involved in your affairs, and personally witness the consequences of a short moment of my inattentiveness.
I stood aside as you got closer and attached to someone other than me. You devoted yourself wholeheartedly to them as you did to me, got intimate with them the way humans do. Allowed them to treat you horribly and disrespect you, then cried yourself to sleep when you finally realised it was better to let go of such hopeless love.
Though I already expected the outcome, it still burned me inside that those insects dared to mistreat you and hurt you repeatedly, as if you were just mere common goods. And I had to let such filthy things assume they hold an equal position to mine in your heart even if it was temporarily.
There was never a moment I hated your stubborn streak even more than then. Despite the blatant way they had insulted your dignity and honour, you still stubbornly held on to these bugs and gave your heart to them. Willing to selflessly sacrifice yourself if it was to make them happy, overlooking all the tears you had spilt previously because of empty words.
They aren't worthy of your forgiveness or your tears. They were never worthy of you in the first place. Your eyes should never have to cry from sorrow at all. Yet I could only witness your puffy and swollen eyes the next morning because it is still a punishment at the end of the day. However, there wasn't anything about restricting myself from teaching those little shits a lesson. When I get my container, I'll make time to visit each one for supplementary lessons.
Hateful hateful hateful hateful!
And amid our ongoing punishment, just when she finally looked at me once more, finally overlooking the difference in our species, immersed in my ecstasy, I lost control and touched her.
It was already hard staying in this realm without any energy to supplement my prolonged stay here. Touching her just once was enough to dry up my reserves nearly. I was dangerously close to being forcibly pulled away, which would have been another short, forced separation. At that moment, I first learnt about jealousy.
Even those little shits could touch you, yet my circumstances do not allow me that same luxury. We had finally reconnected, yet I can still only linger around you. Though you were blessed with a physique that allowed you to sense me, we could barely communicate efficiently. It was unfair. Everything they could accomplish so easily, I couldn't. All because our differences restricted me.
Then all I need is a vessel that looks human, a vessel that conforms to this world's consciousness.
With it, I could do more than just touch and communicate with her. During her difficult days, I can support her. When she's sad, I can comfort her. When she's happy, I can be there for her to share her happiness with. During her lazy days, I can be her silent company. With me standing by her side with a human identity, I can better ensure that she will never have to bear all the pain and bleeding of her heart in silence and alone again. I can better devote myself wholeheartedly to her happiness and protect her from anything that would make her sad or hurt her.
With all this in mind, I left that very night to build a vessel that allows me to stay by her side. Without inconvenience till the end of her life, and the many to come. Strong enough to shelter her from the wind and rain, and carry the weight of her difficulties together.
As my desire to build my body reached a new peak, she turned around suddenly and startled me. Though she was looking in my direction, as if she was searching for something, I was assured by the fact that she couldn't see me.
After a second, her slender brows furrowed a little and lips pouted seemingly unable to find what she was looking for. How adorable. I'd like to think that she was looking for me, though it would be impossible. I never told her where I was going, and I'm too far away for her to sense my presence, so she wouldn't know that I am here.
She turned back around again and walked further into the camping grounds when she took one final glance in my direction again. Since she couldn't see me, just a little, I indulged in the fantasy that she was indeed looking for me.
So I waved in time with the breeze, swaying the branches of the trees I was hidden behind in substitution of my arms.
Just for as long as she's here, I'll stick around. I don't think I could concentrate anyway, knowing that she's this close to me. In the meantime, I'll keep an eye on that little eyesore buzzing around her.