• Disclaimer: All characters are original! The song excerpt is from Damien Rice's "Volcano", which can be found on the album O. (I thought the chorus would be appropriate to set the tone of this story)

    What I am to you is not real
    What I am to you, you do not need
    What I am to you is not what you mean to me
    You give me miles and miles of mountains
    And I'll ask for the sea - Damien Rice, "Volcano"

    The first time I met you was last spring.

    We were classmates together in a psychology class for secondary teaching majors. You were a sophomore wanting to teach high school classes pertaining to film, and I was a freshman focusing on English. You never spoke to me until a few months later when we were getting food on the go at the food court near our class.

    I remember the blue tint in your hazel eyes, and the valley boy laugh in your chuckle. You struck me as someone who loved to surf. In fact, you were an aspiring professional surfer.

    Or so you joked.

    We lost contact with each other over the summer, but I wasn’t surprised. I went back home for the summer holiday working with my best guy friend at the local amusement park while you remained there in Oukan dating a graduate student while stocking shelves on the night shift of your supermarket job.

    I heard about your break-up, which saddened me. You were always a nice guy with very good morals; I don’t know how a girl could not want you!

    I saw you again the follow August at the campus’ welcome back party, and you immediately fell head over heels for my new roommate Beronika Hoshino, even though she was taken by someone else. I remember you wanting to do everything with her that night, and you even ditched your best friend Megu Hino for her! But you finally got what you deserved when Beronika beat you at the virtual dance game tournament… In front of all those Greek students who knew you!

    From that night on, we kept in close contact over the semester, seeing how you still had a crush over Beronika and seeing how I kept seeing you after my art history class since your section was right after mine. I remember you joking about having me do your midterm paper after I told you that there was no way you could procrastinate until two days before the paper was due. I didn’t know how you made it through college with your procrastination, but you did as of late.

    When Beronika had her dance recital in November, she invited the two of us along with Megu on opening night. You were looking at her and only her with your beautiful hazel eyes behind the swoops of your dark wavy hair, and I heard Megu saying something about how we needed a bigger bucket to catch the drool coming from your mouth.

    If only those eyes were on me…

    But that could never happen and probably will never happen.

    Ever since Megu found out that she was Ai after a demon attack in the Village, ever since you became one of us from afar, and ever since it was you behind that black mask you wore as Oujou since our first encounter, your persona changed toward all of us. You were cold and mean, and you insulted the three of us, mainly me. You had to remind me of my flaws and how they contradict my abilities of being a leader – crybaby, selfish, and a coward.

    But you had your own problems too – you had the soul of another Angelic Guardian living inside you other than your own, and you hated living with that decision, or as you called it, “a curse”. I wanted to help you free Inochi’s spirit from your body. I really did.

    But you gave your allegiance to the Dark Demon, or Myoujou, after Kasushiusu tricked you into joining their side all because of me – the one you think is the worst leader you’ve ever seen. You thought you could do better. No, you thought Kami could do better than having three girls – Yorokobi, Ai, and me, Tamashii – to help you lead His army against Myoujou. Just because we’re not as almighty and powerful like you, O Angel of Death, or have a scythe like yours doesn’t make us less of a warrior than you are yourself.

    Why can’t you see that, Jeison? Why are you so blind?

    But more importantly, why won’t you see me like you see my roommate? Why must I be always compared to someone more pretty than me in your eyes? She’s not the one interested in you.

    I am, and I have always been from the moment we first met.

    And why did you have to listen to that monster? Why did you have to believe his lies?

    Oh, Jeison… Please come back to us. We need you.

    No. I need you.