Thanks for the praise, I'm glad to see that others enjoy reading it as much as I do writing it. >>96952 >Rather, it comes from the choices available, in and of themselves, being so obscure as to render differentiation between them utterly pointless.
Obscure maybe, but not impossible. Hopefully, the following will help you to understand.
With humility appropriate to the beauty and sanctity of the spectacle before you, your right hand steadily extends towards the window. As it inches closer, all the panes of glass become commesurately brighter till you're unable to look at them directly, shielding your eyes with your left hand. Coinciding with this physical blindness is a mental one. Uncertainty seizes hold of you and impairs your judgement right as your fingers near the surface of the glass. Just which pane will you touch? ...Answering this proves to be unexpectedly difficult and in the process of trying, you only encounter more questions. What will happen when you touch them? Should you touch them at all? Should you touch them both? Under the doleful burden of these myriad queries, those last few centimeters become more distant and arduous than all the unending leagues of starless void.
With your mind and hand restrained by these misgivings, vacillating indecisively towards white, then black, towards lily, then butterfly; the impasse is resolved by your constant savior - your heart. Before your fingers, which had drawn near to the window before shrinking away, a spectral golden hand forms in the air and reaches. Without hesitation, it traverses the space before which your rationality failed with ease, touching the white pane and coming to rest its 'palm' on the lily. A brilliant white light engulfs you and as it does...
"Everyone's keeping quiet about it, but I can see it in their eyes. You're leaving, aren't you?"
"'Leaving' implies choice. In this case, it'd be more proper to say that I'm being cast away."
"Cast...away? Oh dear, don't tell me those strange men in black that showed up the other day were...?"
"Hahaha, no no, they weren't bandits or slavers, thankfully. Though ...they weren't much better. They're those bald fanatics that interviewed me a while ago, turns out they're willing to sponsor me, which is a nice way of saying that I'm being abducted and imprisoned. Let's hope they aren't into sodo- Ow! Hey that smarts!"
"Serves you right for having such profane thoughts. But, about what you just said. ...You're being taken to be trained as a monk?"
"Yes, wonderful, I know. Don't look too happy for me, now."
"N-no, this... I...I'm happy for you! Being accepted into the Shingon temple on the mountain is a great honor and with your abilities, you'll surely rise far higher in life than the rest of us if you work hard and apply yourself."
"... You've always been a terrible liar, you know that? When you force yourself to smile through your sadness like that, it breaks my heart. ...You should know, because more than anyone else, you understand my true character. I've never cared about the kinds of wealth, honor or status you just mentioned; I would trade all of those for you in a heartbeat. But as it happens, this wasn't my decision to make. It's... It's..."
"Come here. ...Yes, that's good, let it all out. I'm sorry for not helping you sooner, it's just horrible of me! To leave you alone to struggle with something like this...I... surely someone else has...?"
"...No, not a one. Maybe it's what tipped you off, but most of the village's become... distant to me. Though they congratulate me with smiles on their faces, in their hearts, I'm already dead to them. Whether they say it or not, I know the reasons. They think that I'm abandoning them to seek a better life for myself and that I'm worse than an outsider -that I'm a traitor to the community. ...I wish they knew the truth."
"It sounds like even if they did, in their jealousy and resentment, they'd never accept it. But please don't hold it against them. Their anger isn't directed towards you as a person, but at the heartlessness of fate in granting you a chance which was denied to them -the chance to escape from bitter, unending toil and to make use of your natural gifts. If you're angry right now, I understand, but in time, I hope you come to forgive them."
"...The way in which you can find the grain in a bushel of chaff puts me to shame, but it also
reminds me why I love you. You're truly my better half. If you're not going to stay mad at them, then I won't either."
"Then I'm glad. I would be sad too, if the memories with which you left this place were only of an unhappy or regretful tone. ...Speaking of which. For how much longer can we... cherish each other before we're parted?"
"... Tomorrow or the day after. They didn't tell me the details, but it sounds like it'll be a long time before I can see you again. I... I hate it. Not being able to do anything but to wish for your safety and happiness from afar. So... if you grow tired of waiting and forget about me, I'll underst-"
"Liar. I know you'd be devastated if that happened. But... it won't happen. Never, not though our parting should be for a day, a year or a lifetime. But in return, I want you to promise me something."
"... Don't allow yourself to be mired down by the past. You have a glorious future ahead of you, so take full advantage of it - spread wide your golden wings and soar high to the heavens. In my stead, become the greatest person you can and don't squander this chance. If you do, I'll never forgive you."
"I promise. Within ten years time, I'll become an incomparably great person, one of whom you'll be proud to have loved! Yes... when I think of the enormity of what I am losing and have lost, if I can't do at least that, then...."
"Shhh, I understand, so don't look at me like that. We'll see each other again, I'm sure of it. So... when you are weary from your labors, then return to me. No matter how much time passes, I'll be awaiting you with open arms. And..."
"I... I can't take this! It's your most-"
"Please wear it. When you do, think of your pledge and of me. ...Whatever the future may have in store for us, I'll never forget you."
As imperceptibly as the dream began, it ended; the ambient whiteness of the window giving way
before the gentle veil of daylight against your eyes. You gradually yield to its advances and, after a short struggle, awaken to a bright morning. ...It's early, probably only a little bit past dawn. Your heart rejoices at a small triumph you've attained; unlike usual, you're the first one awake today, so Mima's teasing will be about something other than narcolepsy. With any luck, she'll be last today and- Look upon your right hand.
At Acala's bidding, your gaze falls upon something clasped tightly in your fingers. You've been gripping it the whole time you've been awake and you didn't even notice. But now that you have, you remember everything. The dream in all of its intensity returns in a rush of emotion and you can barely hold back your tears.
Held against your chest is the small brocade bag that usually sits around your neck. It contains your most treasured possession; your only memento of her
[ ] Open it. How long has it been?
[ ] Don't open it. ...It's too painful for you.
For various reasons (some of which are yet unresolved) this one took a while. I'll do my best to keep things going at normal speed, but just so you all know in advance, Wednesday and Thursday might be hectic.