General Commentary

~Enduring Pain~

by Fushigi Kismet

I watched as he was blasted backwards by a burst of power. He fell. I could not comprehend it . . . could not comprehend the hideous sound that Beryl made that was her laughter. ZOISITE! my heart cried out. ZOISITE! Sometimes, love is just too cruel . . . too cruel.

Beryl spoke to me and I responded even though I was not really listening. How could I listen with my Zoisite lying on the ground somewhere . . . dead, dying? I had failed him. I should have leapt in the way of Beryl's blast . . . should have saved him, but I had not. Why? WHY?! Why hadn't I saved him?

Later, I held Zoisite in my arms as he died. Oh, why did he have to die? Because you did not save him, my mind responded treacherously. You have failed him, as you failed . . . the others. Others? What others? A memory struggled within me, buried so long ago that is almost past the point of recall.

Faces . . . they swam up before me. Girls-no, *Senshi*-appeared before me. One in particular . . . her long golden hair framing her face, her blue eyes smiling at me. *Minako*. It was a face dearer to my heart even than that of Zoisite. How had I forgotten? How could I forget?

Then something dark and malevolent blasted into me from behind and before I blacked out I heard shadowy voices whisper, "He musssst not be allowed to remember. He musssst sssstay within our control." And a voice I knew well replied, "Yes, Empress."

I did not remember those memories when I woke, but I did remember one. Though the image of the golden-haired girl had faded, the image of another had not. *Zoisite*. His death clawed at me, hurt me. Every moment that we had shared together came back to haunt me, playing over in my mind, taunting me with chants of "Never again . . . Never this . . . Never again . . ."

And I wept. I wept until I thought my heart would burst and I would die from the pain. What is life without him? What is life . . . alone? I am nothing, nothing. Born in darkness . . . living in darkness . . . suffering in darkness . . . destined to die in darkness. This is no life, no existence. This is nothing but the eternal torment that I have earned for myself.

And I just wanted Beryl to take away all of my memories . . . to stop my suffering . . . to make all of my pain go away . . .

She did not.

It did not.

And I was damned to an existence of eternal torment and never-relenting, ever-enduring pain.