1000 Words: A Tribute to Lenne and Shuin
I can scarcely recall what has happened, it all ensued so quickly that the events barely registered in my mind. I have faced a group of gendarmes, but other details are vague. The soldiers, the gunshots...they all came in a rush. And I, clinging to the person I love for dear life--I love Shuin more than life itself--felt strangely safe in his warm embrace. It was as if the bullets would never reach us. And when I met his intent, blue-eyed gaze...that moment, when the world meant nothing to me, lasted forever, but it was gone the next instant.
The projectiles had found us, and my life--our life--flashed before my eyes.
One second was all it took to pull the trigger. But it took an eternity for those two to finally succumb to perpetual slumber. The soldiers watch them with growing regret, the growing desire to take back the instant it took to fire. Yes, one second was all that was needed to tear apart the future of young lovers, but the guilt lasts forever.
I suddenly feel as though death is lifting a burden from my shoulders--the burden of living. Yet my heart, which will stop beating soon, is heavy with the fear that I shall never the only person who can make my troubles go away with a single smile, that I shall never see my sole reprieve from a world full of pain again. In his arms, I find a refuge surcease of sorrow. Relieved from the weight of living, yet bereaved of my reason for living. Hah. What irony.
Now, as I meet his gaze once again, he smiles at me reassuringly, as if to say that everything will be alright. Despite my fatigue, I feel my lips curling into a smile of my own.
I wish I could hear his voice one last time, or at least find mine... A thousand words I want to say to him before we part, yet I know that those thousand words will not suffice.
Two intimates lay prostrate in the cold ground. They share a smile of triumph and grief, and the regret of their persecutors grow much greater than their numbers.
To smile at the face of Death... is their love so strong that they are not intimidated by Her coming?
Each draws strength from the other, so the couple does not despair. An unspoken oath floats within the space betwixt them. It is a solemn vow of love and of devotion, of loyalty and of faith, and of steadfastness for each other. Death, they tell each other, will not hinder their love. Death will not keep them from meeting once again. That they say, and much more. The promise, albeit unsaid, has a voice of its own and one thousand words are not enough to speak it.
In the midst of the silence, I can almost hear the whisper of a song. It is about the fate of a man and woman. Had I the voice, I would sing it for Shuin. But my strength is rapidly deteriorating, and simply keeping alive is hard enough.
And even if I can tell him what's inside that I have to let out, I just can't, because there's so little time.
The woman mouths the name of the one person she loves. If I can send you my heart, she thinks bitterly, I would not need the thousand words that are scarce...
It was then that it occurred to me, that his smile meant more than what any number of words could ever say.
My smile widens, a message to him before I face Death.
I was dimly aware of my consciousness gradually fading. All I ever thought of at that moment was the triumph of saying all I have to say; I had given him a smile of a thousand words.