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Mikaela Shindo.

How should I begin with him?
Let's start from the beginning- with one single word.

He would amaze me with the things he does, that would be strange to most. He can climb to the tops of trees without a single trace of fear, take my sorrow away with his bright smile.

Yeah, that's a word that describes how he makes me feel. The only person who could convince me to get up at odd hours of the night to watch cartoons as sing songs.

The dark feeling deep in my stomach as I lay in bed at night attempting to convince myself that he wasn't gone. No, that was a bad dream. He was safe in bed, sleeping without a care in the world.

The painstaking feeling that stabbed through my chest like a dagger as I accepted the inevitable truth. Mika was gone. Dead, even. And it was all my fault. If I had just fought, maybe he would have had a slim chance of survival.
If I had just disobeyed his plea to stay hidden-

Being reminded of your friend by little bits and pieces he left behind. His name written in neat cursive on a wall from third grade, the tree in my backyard. Crimson roses. Candles dimly lighting a pitch black room.

He's alive.
My god, Mikaela is alive. But something felt wrong. He felt wrong. How can that be? We're finally back together after so many dark years. It should be emotional. Why was I not crying into him? Hugging him tightly? A puzzle to my mind left unsolved as to why I did not react the way most would expect me to. I was just glad he was alive. That is all.

Mika is broken. Emotionally, possibly physically, I don't know. Monster, I've heard him mutter when he believes me to not be near or asleep. He has yet to learn that when he is awake, so am I. I am a monster.

He wanted reassurance that his mother was alright. That she didn't sit in bed, crying, screaming, or merely stating at the wall with stoic expression like I did. In that moment, I had none to give. So, I hid my uncertainty with false hope. It would be better than nothing, I convinced myself. He didn't accept it, I could tell by the way he looked at me. But he didn't say anything. He would never say a word too harsh to me, I took careful note.

We find peace, sitting out on the rooftop as we gazed at those below. Although, we envied them. Their freedom to do as they please. There is a knowledge biting into us that once we return, pain will once more enter our systems as that horrible cane bears down upon us once more. But, in that moment, we are serene. No burdens. Just us. Alone with ourselves as company. Silence. His hand covering mine gently.
We are at peace. If only for a while.

Something I hope, I plead, but I do not pray, will be granted to Mika once again. When we are free. When he smiles again. God, I missed his smile. It was the type of smile so broad and filled with joy that you couldn't help but smile along with him, no matter what it was he was so ecstatic about. Infectious smiles are the worst. Especially if you are without them for such a long time. His eyes were missed for some time. Reflections of his very soul, the way they crinkled up to collide with

As many praises I can sing of him to the heavens, even those sorrowful, I cannot describe how he makes me feel. I have recently noticed, it is not in the way two best friends typically feel towards one another. I always thought that is how friends acted. But, comparing my relationship with Mika to my other friends, I have learned differently.

There is one word that I now believe fits. The one word I did not have a full understanding of.


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