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30 August 2013 @ 12:40 pm
#21 Memory  
Title: WE ALL FALL DOWN
Fandom(s): Yume Nikki/ Ao Oni
Character(s)/Pairing(s): pretty much eaveryone mentioned so far.
Rating: M for implied child abuse, death, murder and some swearing.
Theme: Table 2 theme #21 Memory
Words: 5,000
Summary: The pasts of the Rose Garden Girls catches up with them.
Note: This is actually chapter 19. This is part of the second story arc. A list of chapters for the first arc is here The list for the second arc is here.

WE ALL FALL DOWN

Hatsuki ran as fast as her legs could carry her, trying not to stumble as she made her way back to the main hall. The tears would not stop falling. If only she hadn’t been so scared, she could have helped that nice boy. If only she had tried harder to calm Chie down. But when Chie was like that, what could she do?

“U-chan! U-chan! Help!” Hatsuki wailed.

Urotsuki stood up. “What’s wrong Hatsu? Why are you crying?” she asked.

“Where’s Takeshi?” Sabitsuki asked as she looked around. “Hey! Takeshi!” when there was no answer. She looked at Hatsuki. “Did he get lost or something?”

“He was… he was… and then Chie…” Hatsuki couldn’t finish. She cried louder.

“What happened to him?” Sabitsuki asked more gently. “It’s okay to cry. You can tell me what happened when you’re ready. I won’t get mad at you, I promise.”

“Really?”

“Cross my heart.”

“I had no idea you were so good with little kids, Sabi,” Urotsuki said with a smile.

“I’ve had practice,” Sabi said with a small smile of her own.

Hatsuki whispered what happened into Sabitsuki’s ear. Urotsuki saw Sabitsuki’s face twist. “She what? Is she still in the garden?”

“I… I think so,” Hatsuki said as she wiped her eyes. “He told me to run, so I did.”

“What’s wrong?” Urotsuki asked.

Sabitsuki put Hatsuki down. “Chie went chopped off Takeshi’s head.”

What?” Urotsuki whispered. “No, she wouldn’t!”

Hatsuki tugged on Urotsuki’s skirt. “U-chan, I think the others were bulling her again.”

Urotsuki glanced behind her. All the little souls were still sleeping. “How could they? They never moved the whole time we’ve been sitting here.”

“We have to be prepared for the worst, U-chan,” Sabitsuki said. “Take the chainsaw; you might need it.”

Urotsuki shook her head. “I’m sure it’s not her fault! Please, Sabi! Maybe we can talk to her or-!”

 “I don’t think Hatsuki is lying, U-chan. Takeshi wouldn’t abandon a little girl; he’s not like that. If he’s really gone because of her, then we have to be prepared. I promise I won’t let her hurt you.”

“She’s never hurt me before, Sabi,” Urotsuki corrected.

 Sabitsuki ignored her. “Show us the way, Hatsuki.”

Urotsuki held Hatsuki’s hand as they walked down the dark, surreal, twisting path. When had it come to this? Back when they were all together, Chie had been fine, hadn’t she? Why couldn’t they go back to that? Or had she not been okay this whole time?

Takeshi’s severed head was hard to ignore. It seemed so out of place against the green grass and sweet smelling flowers. Yet, his expression was oddly calm. The pretty white flowers in the center of the garden were blotched with specks of red blood. Chie was lying against the trunk of the large tree, the one they always used to play at. Her head leaned against her knees.  She looked so lonely.

Sabitsuki gritted her teeth when she saw Takeshi’s head. He didn’t deserve to die like that. “Why did you murder Takeshi, Chie? He only wanted to help you!”

Chie looked up for a moment and shook her head. “You’re lying… that was a monster. It ate him all up.”

Chie’s words sounded uneasily like her own. The calm, detached, tone she knew so well. Sabitsuki gulped a painful knot was forming in her stomach. This air… it was too much. “This is… what you meant isn’t it, Takeshi?  Ulp! I think… I’m going to be sick again.” Takeshi had just been beside her no less than an hour ago and now he was… She had killed him. The thought made her sick to her stomach. She got down on her hands and knees and vomited until she had nothing left to heave up. The bile from her stomach was the color of rust and blood, but it smelled of a familiar, sterile, white-walled room.

When Sabitsuki looked up again, a monster stood before them. It was lean and coated in dirt. Its entire body covered in large red scars and bruises. Worms crawled all over the exposed flesh. The only sound it made was a high pitched wail.
It needed to die. Sabitsuki prepared her pipe.

“Sabi! Don’t!” Urotsuki called.

 “I will protect you! I promise I will!” Sabitsuki grabbed her pipe. “While I’m at it, I’ll avenge Takeshi!”

 Urotsuki grabbed Sabitsuki’s arm. “No, Sabi! Don’t hurt Chie!”

That wasn’t Chie! It was a monster! The monster screeched something incomprehensible. It still tried to speak, she could see the monster’s mouth fighting the tightness of the stings that had been used to stitch it together.

“Don’t even start with me, Chie!” U-chan snapped. “Do you honestly think I liked smiling through all the pain? I hated it just as much as you did, but unlike you, I couldn’t just act like it didn’t affect me! I couldn’t cry away the pain like Hatsu always did, because then Uso would get worried! So I smiled. I smiled and endured it so I could stay with my sister and we could be happy. Even after all of that, the ogre lied to us! I haven’t seen Uso since I was ten! I don’t know where she is or how I can find her! So don’t come crying to me about how hard you had it! We all did!  We didn’t deserve to be treated like the dirt under his feet! We were good girls! I know you’re a good girl, too!”

How could U-chan know what the monster was saying? Sabitsuki paused. Since when did U-chan have a sister? Focus, she had to focus and calm down. If that monster really was Chie, she wanted to be able to hear it for herself.

“All of us felt the same pain?” Chie’s voice said from the monster’s mouth. “Don’t make me laugh, U-chan! You never felt his wrath like I did! He was always talking down to me, always hitting me so hard, always, always, always! You had Uso protecting you, and taking the blows in your place! That stupid, manipulative, liar protected you from everything! Even when it was your fault! It was your fault the window broke! Not mine! And yet it was my back stung for weeks! I’ve got the scars to prove it! Where are your scars, U-chan?”

“Please stop fighting,” Hatsuki whimpered from behind a tree. “Make it stop!”

It was then that Urotsuki socked the monster in the mouth. For the first time, since Sabitsuki had known her, U-chan looked angry. “Blame me for my own weakness if you want, that’s fine! But don’t you dare insult my sister and the sacrifices she made for my sake!”

The monster began to screech incomprehensibly again. Was it crying?

Sabitsuki pulled Urotsuki behind her. “We can’t reason with her U-chan! I’m going to have to take her down! Help me!”

Urotsuki looked down at her chainsaw, but did nothing.  Sabitsuk rushed forward. She slammed her pipe into the monster’s shoulder. The monster slammed into her with its other arm, knocking her back. The screeching of the monster grew louder and louder. Sabitsuki plugged her ears. It felt like her head was going to burst. Her vision began to blur, and darken. The splitting pain in her head did not stop.

“Chie, stop! You’re hurting Sabi! Stop it!” Urotsuki cried. She turned. To her horror, she saw blood coming from Sabitsuki’s ears. Sabitsuki knelt onto the grass, struggling to stay upright as the wailing grew louder and louder. She felt her body go limp.

“U-chan, Chie, I’m sorry,” Sabitsuki whispered as she put her head down on the grass. “All I see is a monster.”

“Sabi! Sabi!” Urotsuki cried, but Sabitsuki did not move. Urotsuki clenched her fist “Chie! Sabi is dead thanks to you!”

“Huh, because of me…?” Chie murmured. She looked surprised at the sight of Sabitsuki’s motionless body. “Oh no! I didn’t know I was supposed to protect her! I thought she was supposed to be strong. Don’t worry, I’ll protect you, U-chan.”
How did Chie not notice her dislocated shoulder? Wait, Chie was distancing herself again. If she didn’t snap her out of it…

“Let me help you, Chie, please. Let me make it up to you somehow,” Urotsuki cried. “No more of this! You’re injured!”

Chie’s eyes changed. She looked dangerous. “I’ve endured worse than this, you know that! If you really want to help me, let me have my revenge!”

Urotsuki shook her head gently. “No, Chie. I won’t let you hurt them.”

Chie was close to tears. “Let me have revenge for my dog! My dog was innocent!”

Urotsuki paused. “Huh? What happed to Brown?”

Chie pointed her axe forward, as if she meant to challenge someone, but there was no one there. “Those little devils you’re protecting, they did something to my dog! I can’t find him anywhere! I checked all the usual places for him! U-chan, I just want to see my dog!”

Urotsuki tried to smile. “I’m sure Brown is fine! You moved him, remember? That boy said he’d take him home so that the Warden wouldn’t catch him and kill him! It was good because the fire happened shortly after that! Please, Chi-chan, you have to remember how it was! I know this place is really confusing, but it’s not real!”

Chie clenched her fist. “So you’re still going to protect them?”

Urotsuki nodded slowly. “Yes, because they’re my friends! I believe in them!”

For a split second it looked like something in Chie broke. “Aww, Uro, I’m not good enough to be considered your friend anymore?” she said softly. “I’m heartbroken or at least I would be… if I still had one.”

 Urotsuki shook her head, standing her ground. “No, you’re not my friend. Not when you’re like this, Chie.”

“When I’m like what?” she whispered. Her eyes challenged Urotsuki.  “Go on, U-chan, say it. Say it to my face!”

“Not when you’re acting like such a demon!” Urotsuki shouted. “You murdered my friends! I hate you! I should have let Sabi kill you, but I was stupid and wanted to believe you still had some good in you! You were never good in the first place!”

Chie paused for a moment. She hid her face with her good hand and laughed hysterically. “Hahahaha! so even you thought of me like that? I thought you were different, U-chan! You and Hatsuki were the only ones who I considered friends in this hell hole, and even you turned against me in the end. Alright, fine, fine! I’ll be the monster! I’ll be the monster you all wanted me to be! You can burn in my hell, too! You all deserve to go with me! I won’t let the pain I suffered go unpunished!”

Urotsuki glanced around. The garden, no, the entire building was engulfed in flames. The little shapes in the building burned up all around her, their spirits began to glow red as they dissolved into ash. Urotsuki felt her rage bubble inside her. She grabbed her chainsaw and ran towards Chie. The rotating blades made contact with Chie’s left arm, sawing it off below the shoulder.

Chie slumped to the ground, trying to cover the wound on her good arm. She braced herself for another blow, but it never came.

“Why won’t you finish me off?” Chie asked gently.

Urotsuki couldn’t hold back her tears anymore. “I want you to come to your senses, Chie. Please… don’t make me hurt you anymore. Haven’t you suffered enough?”

“Bleeding heart. Make up your mind,” Chie muttered. “Didn’t Uso teach you better? It’s a kill or be killed world, and you turned against me.”

If there was one thing Chie knew, it was how to win a fight. It was easy to trip Urotsuki, with her legs when she was distracted, to knock the sense out of her as she came downward with the butt of her axe. Uro looked so peaceful as she fell, even when she was becoming unconscious.

“Chi-chan… please…. Come back… I’m so sorry.” Urotsuki whispered. “U-chan is sorry.”

Chie laughed again. “Now you care about me? You’re only mad because Sabi’s gone. She reminded you of Uso, didn’t she? That’s why you clung to her. You really are pathetic. Your weak apology means nothing!” Chie rubbed her face with her good hand. It hurt, it hurt so badly. “You’re only… saying sorry because you’re scared of me.”

Chie slammed her axe into Urotsuki’s chest felt around inside the hole she made. Her blood was still warm to touch.  She dug around until she felt what she was looking for; she pulled at Urotsuki’s heart with her hand. When she looked at it, it was much smaller than she had thought it would be. Chie shrugged and tossed it behind a tree. “Now you’re heartless too, U-chan. Everyone can see it. You can’t hide behind that fake smile of yours anymore.” Wiping off the blood and bits of flesh onto her skirt, Chie straightened. Without another glance she turned and walked away, disappearing into the fog as the burning building crackled behind her
***
Takuro wandered aimlessly through the thick gray fog trying to find a road in the vast grayness before him. Mika’s words still stung him. His older brother had warned him that because of their last name, girls would fall for him easily. For the most part, Takuro had been able to brush them off, but he didn’t know how he felt about Mika. They had kissed, but…

 This whole mess was making his head spin. Takuro heard something rushing behind him and turned to face it, but when he felt for something to defend himself he found nothing, He braced himself and hoped it was just Hewie.
The thing that awkwardly stumbled toward him was Chie.

“Shit, Chie, what happened to you?” Takuro asked as he looked her over. “You look like hell.”

“I just lived through it again,” she whispered.

Takuro looked around. “Are you alone? Where are the others?”

“Monsters got them. I tried to protect them! But I….”

“Is that what happened to your arm? Do you want some help with that?”

 She shook her head and turned away from him. “No. I’m fine.” No matter how she looked at him, he was still the boy who used her friend.

Takuro smiled as they walked together through the fog. “Man, I’m glad you’re still here! I really hate being on my own in this creepy fog. Hey, Chie?”

He heard a ragged breathing sound behind him. He turned. A monster stood before them. It was almost human looking, but it was covered in awful looking burns. Its red eyes seemed to look right into him and left a hot feeling on his skin.“Stay away from me!” Takuro cried as he scrambled to run away. “Chie! Where are you? Help me!”

The monster lumbered after him with surprising speed.  He turned quickly and socked it in the face. It staggered for a moment before it grabbed him with its long, strong arms. He struggled to get out of its grip. The monster’s hot, stinking breath was creeping down his neck. A low rumble echoed in his ears. The last thing he felt was the sensation of teeth on flesh and then he heard a single, loud snap.
***
As Mika walked down the dark, foggy, road she tried to concentrate on something, anything other than the itching of her skin. She tried to stop herself, but her nails went over her arms again and again. She could feel the soft warmth of her blood on her fingertips.
“Takuro… where are you?” Her voice was going horse from calling him. He didn’t answer her. This fog was getting thicker and thicker, and a stink hung in the air. It smelled like meat.  In the distance, she heard a rhythmic squelching sound.

“Takuro?” she called in a voice she could barely hear.

 Mika saw something move in the shadows of the fog, an upward motion, and then it came down again. Up and down. Chie chopped into whatever it was again and again, its blood soaking all of her clothing, diluting the colors so that there was nothing left but red.. It was only when she saw the head that she realized it was Takuro.

“Takuro!” Mika cried. “You’re a monster, Chie!”

Chie turned, Takuro’s blood still dripping from the edge of her clothing. “Yeah, I’m a monster, I’ve known that for years, but he hit me first! I swear it! He came after me like a crazy person! It really hurt! I think I lost a tooth! I’m making sure he can’t come back to kill me! If I scatter all the pieces of him…. I can run away….” She rubbed her red cheek with her hand over and over again.
“Chie? Are you okay? You don’t look well at all,” Mika asked as she came closer. “Here, let me see your face.”

Chie jerked away from Mika’s outstretched hand. “No! You called me a monster when it was self-defense! I swear it was!” It was then that Mika noticed Chie was missing an arm. Just what had she been through?

“I’m sorry, Chie. I was just scared. This place is really… creepy.”

Chie moved a little closer, as if examining her. “You’re a monster too, you know. You’re vain like a bird, and it’s starting to show.”
Mika paused.”What do you mean by that?” she asked softly. In the limited, smoky light, she could barely see it, but it was true. Those sores on her arms were feathers. She backed away slowly.  “Why is this happening to me?” she gasped. “What did I do?”

 Chie pointed her bloody axe to Takuro’s dismembered body. “I can think of one thing.”

“So what if I did like him? I didn’t know about that girl!” Mika snapped. “I’m innocent!”

Chie looked down. “You know what Hatsu said to me when she saw you two kiss? ‘I don’t blame Tak-kun if he wants to be with her. She’s so pretty. Not like me at all.’ But I could tell… she still loved him so much. When you’re like us, you tend to cling to what makes you happy. For her, it was being with him. It didn’t matter what his last name was, so long as they could play together.” Chie glared at Mika. “You want to know why you’re a monster?  You’re just like those damn aristocrats! You’re always looking down on those you don’t deem worthy and just take from them! That’s not innocent at all! They all hated me and I never knew why. I bet you hate me, too.”

Mika shook her head. The poor girl was a mess. She was going to break any moment. She had to calm her down. She put her hand over her heart “No, Chie. I don’t hate you. Honestly, I admire you. You’re the complete opposite of me. I say things I don’t mean and keep my true feelings hidden. You know what you want, and you act on it.” She looked to the side. “And I can tell that deep down, beyond all of this… you’re loyal, Hatsuki’s really lucky to have a friend like you. If I had a friend like you, then maybe I… wouldn’t have changed myself so much.”

Mika’s words were surprisingly gentle. They knocked Chie off her feet for a moment. She laughed. “Why would someone like you want to be friends with someone like me? I’m a cursed, worthless piece of flesh that was only put on this earth to suffer. I’m a monster who only brings misfortune! My few friends were eaten by monsters! If you stay by me, you’ll be eaten too!”
Mika stooped down to her level and hugged her close. “I don’t believe that! It’s true that I will probably turn into a monster soon for my actions. I… I hurt some people very badly because I was selfish, but you still look like a human to me. Come here, Chie. We’ll go the rest of the way together, okay? It’ll be alright. I’ll fix up your arm and we’ll find a way out of here.”

Chie shook her head and pulled away, pushing Mika with her good arm. “No! Don’t touch me! I’ll get you killed!”
As Mika staggered back from the force, a shot rang out. Mika’s body fell to the ground with a soft thud. Blood was leaking from a small wound in her forehead. “Mika?” Chie whispered. She got down on her knees and shook her body back and forth. “Mika… say something would you?” Chie held back a sob. “I told you I was cursed, didn’t I?”Chie took Mika’s body and placed it by Takuro’s head. “Now what do I do? I don’t want to be alone!”

 “Chie. Chie where are you? Come out, come out wherever you are!” a voice called.

She knew that voice! “Uuji? Uuji, where are you?” Chie called as she groped around on the ground.  She tripped over something and slammed down hard on her knees. “Ow~! Uuji I give up!”

 When she looked up, her friend was standing over her. Even in a place like this, he had a very calm expression. “Looks like I finally found you. That means I win! That was a very long game, Chie. It wasn’t very nice of you to not tell me we were playing Hide and Seek.” He pulled her up and looked her over. Though his face remained placid, his tone was surprised. “What on earth did you do to your arm?”

Chie looked down at the ground and felt her feet shift. “Oh, um, that’s a long story that it involves a chainsaw. I mean-! I must have forgotten about the game. Heh, sorry to make you keep playing with me like that, Uuji. You must have been so bored.”

Uuji shrugged. “Worried, actually. Hide and Seek isn’t supposed to be a year-long game. You were just a really good hider, so it took me awhile to find you. Though, now I really wish I had found you sooner, so maybe you wouldn’t have played with Mr. Chainsaw.” He looked her over. “Though, I wasn’t looking for someone with boobs. Those are new.”

“Oh! Um, yeah, they are, huh? A year… but I thought… Just how long have I been here? My head really hurts.”

“Of course your head hurts; you didn’t think,” Uuji corrected. “You just ran and hid without even talking to me first and now you’re missing an arm.” He sighed. “I can’t fix that with just a bandage, Chie!”

Chie shook her head. “I didn’t want to involve you in my problems!” she looked to the side “… Besides, I don’t know where your house is.”  She heard a twig snap. Chie instinctively pressed herself up against him and wrapped her good arm tightly around him “Be careful, Uuji, there are monsters everywhere! Don’t worry, I’ll protect you!”

Uuji patted her head. “It’s okay, Chie. I know, but the monsters don’t bother me at all. I think they’re cute. They look like bunnies to me.”

Chie pouted. “Aw! How come you see bunnies? I want to see those! Instead all I see is that ogre and these weird kids with animal heads. They keep laughing at me! I hate it! I guess they’ll never leave me, will they?  I wonder if… the others… will ever forgive me? I didn’t mean to do those things… I didn’t… but… all of my pain and anger…. It just…blew up. I didn’t even think about protecting them from the monsters!”

Uuji pulled her close to him. “Shh, it’s alright Chie. Don’t waste your breath on people like them. They were horrible to you.”

“U-chan wasn’t at least not at first…. yet I still yelled at her…”

“Stop talking. Chie, Please, save your strength, okay?” Uuji said, tightening his grip on her. “Please.”

She leaned into his chest. “I don’t want to stop! If I stop talking it’ll be just like before. The pain will just keep growing and growing until I can’t hold it in anymore! I’ve wanted to scream for so long, but now it hurts! It really hurts, Uuji!”

“It hurts because you lost an arm, idiot. If we don’t do something about it, you could die from blood loss.”

Chie looked up at him. She smiled. “It doesn’t matter now. I’m so tired. Uuji… I’m so glad I got to see you again. Thank you for believing… in someone worthless like me.”

 For the first time since she’d known him, Uuji looked surprised at the wetness on his shirt. “Chie, why are you crying now?” he asked. “You’ve never ever cried in front of me, not once.”

“I know. It’s strange, isn’t it? But I feel like I can cry and you won’t tease me about it. Is that okay?”

He smiled. “Yeah it’s fine. Cry as much as you want. I don’t mind. I’m happy you trust me that much. You just stay right here with me. Come on, I’ll sit and you lie down next to me, okay?”

“Thanks. You’re probably the only person in this whole damn world who didn’t… lie… to me. You didn’t lie to me, right?”

“Nope. Not once.”

 Chie smiled. “I knew it! Uuji, more than anything, I want… to play with you again… you can pick the next game… if you want…”

“You’re in for it, Chie. Next time we meet, we’re playing a word game. It’s your punishment for making me worry so much, okay?”

“Okay. You’re always fair like that. I’ll still try my best for your sake, even though you always win. Hey, Uuji? Can you do me… one more favor?”

“Sure, Chie, anything you want.”

“Can you… do that thing that always makes the pain go away, please?”

He leaned over her body and gently stole the last bit of warmth from her lips as he placed her head on the ground. She smiled again. “Uuji, I want you to know that I love you. I know it’s dumb, but I really, really love you.”

He kissed her again. “It’s not dumb at all. I feel the same way about you. I always have. You should have confessed to me earlier. If we had the time, we could have played some adult games.”

“Adult games? I wonder what those would be like?” She held his hand. “I wish… we could have played those. Sorry, but I think… I’m out of time.”

He held her hand tightly. “I’m right here with you. I’ll stay with you until the end. It’s okay to rest now, Chie.” She smiled at him one last time. It was the sweetest one he’d ever seen.  He waited until he heard her stop breathing and then shut her eyes with his fingers. Mindlessly, he stroked her short hair. She’d really confessed to him, but it wouldn’t be any fun to proceed with the relationship now that she was dead.

He was not alone. He could see a small pair of white rabbit ears from the bushes. “I see you, Irisu Kyouko. Could you be a dear and do me a favor?” Uuji asked playfully to the darkness.

Out from the shadows came the figure of a young white-haired girl dressed in a homemade witch’s outfit. The little rabbit girl looked surprised. “Why should I do you any favors? You stole my target! I was supposed to kill Mika! What did you do with the gun?”

Uuji shrugged. “I don’t remember, nor do I care at this point.” He pulled Chie’s body closer to him and leaned into it. “Sorry to steal her from you, but she was getting on my nerves by touching something that didn’t belong to her.”

Irisu nodded, seeming to get his meaning.  “I can understand that, her hands are filthy, to have her touch something so precious to you is disgusting. What is this favor you want?”

Uuji smiled at her. “I was thinking that it would be a great honor if I could be killed by you.”

Irisu cocked her head to the side. “That is a strange request. Before I do, answer me this, how do you know my name?”

Uuji lifted up part of Chie’s hair, revealing a scar on the right side of her head.  “I’m a big fan of yours. I’ve read all the stories about you. I really like them!”

“Oh?” Irisu blushed and looked down at the ground. “How flattering. I always thought I was easy to forget.”

Uuji shook his head. “It’s hard to forget someone like you. You’re so cute and clever.”

Irisu blushed. “Very, well. I’ll grant you your request. I’ll make this quick. Only, what’s your name?”

“Uujima Satoshi,” he said. He hugged Chie’s body. “I prefer Uuji, though.”

“How would you like to be killed, Uuji?”

Uuji put his fingers to the right side of his head. “If you could hit me right here, that would be perfect.”

“Very well, I hope this is what you wanted,” Irisu said with a nod.

The last thing Uuji saw was the face of the bunny witch as she clubbed him over the head. The blow was quick and relatively painless. She was as skilled at this as he had read.

He slumped down. He lay back and waited as his world slowly darkened. He lay against Chie’s side and used it as a pillow. It was a little boney, but still a comfortable resting place.  “Don’t worry, Chie, I’ll be with you soon,” he said. “I have a feeling you and I are going to the same place. I’ll meet you there and then we can have all sorts of fun together. Ah, that sounds so nice, doesn’t it? You and I will be together forever.”