A Little Sunshine In The Darkness

It’s raining outside. I’m at headquarters. In my head, he and I are curled up under the blankets together in the darkness, listening to the soft patter of rain on the roof and drifting off together. My reality will never match up to that image, but it’s what I’ve been holding onto the past few weeks, when neither he nor Moonshine are here with me.

This must seem suspicious, with my last post from the 1st. Ten days ago. Jeez. I feel all bad for not posting anything after that…well, whatever that was. The “he” I’m talking about isn’t the Hypno-Terrorist, I promise. The Hypno-Terrorist is…let’s just say he might need a therapist after what happened to him.

And I have Totem to thank for that! You may have heard about him lately. One of the new heroes, but he’s actually got some kinda powers, unlike a bunch of the others. I think I’ve posted about him before, but I can’t remember right now. I met him a couple months ago, but I never paid much attention to him. Well. Until the 1st, anyway.

After the Hypno-Terrorist grabbed me in the tunnels, I was pretty out of it and I guess he got to Moonshine too then. Well, Moonshine’s safe now too. She’s at the hospital, but not to recover from anything.

She’s with her mom again, who…isn’t doing too well. I go by there every couple days to visit with them. She still reads to her mom, but they’ve moved on to another book. Anna Karenina this time. Still Russian. Moonshine and her mom love their Russian stuff.

As for me, I’m safe too. Promise. A couple nights after HT jumped us, Totem came to the roaring rescue, smashing through the wall or window or whatever, I don’t remember much. Most of what I know comes from his Tumblr posts. Point is, he got us out safely and HT hasn’t bothered us again. Yet, anyway.

After that, he took us back to his own headquarters for a while, to try and help us recover. The first thing I remember for sure is waking up in a room that smelled like fresh laundry on top of the softest sheets I’ve ever laid on. A damp washcloth over my eyes prevented me from seeing much of the room until later. I was still pretty out of it, so I just faded out again soon after that.

The second time I woke up was a day or so later, or so he told me. The washcloth was gone and it was nighttime. He was sitting next to the bed as I was on, asleep himself but apparently having been keeping watch over me for who knows how long. That was the first thing that did it. I’ll never tell him this (though he’ll read it off here anyway, probably) but most of what he’s done for me is…let’s just say it’s a guaranteed way to get me all warm and fuzzy inside for someone.

He woke up when he heard me sit up in the bed. He had the Kool-Aid ready and everything. He said I should probably be drinking water, but he knew from the first time we met how much I liked my Kool-Aid. He let me get used to being awake for as long as I needed before we talked. The first thing I asked was where Moonshine was. She was safe, in another room. The second thing was what happened.

He explained it all, slowly. When I first heard what happened (I don’t even remember making that last post, and I want to get rid of it because of…things I said in them, but every time I try…let’s just say bad things happen), I felt…well, not much. I knew how I was probably supposed to feel, and still do. But…I dunno. I couldn’t bring myself to feel much about what had happened to me. He asked me how I feel after he told me what happened. I just shrugged.

We didn’t say much after that. I fell asleep a little while after, that’s mainly why. When I woke up the next morning, Moonshine was gone and I was still in my uniform. Well, my mask and boots were off and my pigtails had probably come undone several days before. But other than that, it was mostly the same.

Totem told me when I got out to the kitchen area that Moonshine had gone sometime during the night. She left a note, for me, telling me she went back to the hospital. Only five words. “Went back to the hospital”. Not even a “Love Moonshine” postscript thing. I knew it was because she needed to be with her mom.

He fixed me food, which was…really nice. He’s not the best cook, which he openly admits to. But it’s been…a long damn time since anyone’s fixed me food that wasn’t at, y’know, a restaurant or a diner or something. Not since my parents…well, it’s been a while. I didn’t want to take the food. I felt I’d imposed enough or whatever. He practically forced it on me.

Then we started talking seriously. I didn’t want to. I wanted that moment of “Someone fixed me breakfast. Someone took care of me and protected me.” to last forever. That’s pretty much why I went quiet for so long after he asked about the scars.

I didn’t know I’d mentioned the scars in the post he told me I’d made until he asked about them. He said “So do you really have scars? You mentioned them in that post.”

I denied them instantly. Robotically. The words “I don’t have any scars” have been like a mantra of denial since I got over making them in the first place. Because how I got the scars is something I do remember from after my parents died. I guess I said how I got them in that last post, and I don’t want to say it again. But I know I have to. Because otherwise, I’ll feel like the confession wasn’t mine. And if I’m going to make a confession like this, it has to come from me. It has to be mine. And it wasn’t that time.

So you wanna know how I got these scars?

See, my father was…well, actually, he was a very nice and caring man. He had the kindest eyes you could imagine. Given things Totem’s told me, I’m pretty sure I got my eyes from my dad. But I loved my parents a lot, and that’s a pretty big understatement, as you can probably tell. So when they died, I was pretty upset, as you can probably also tell.

So…between all the crying and hugging Moonshine and pretending she was my mom, wanting more than anything for her to sing to me but knowing she never would, I had what you could call run-ins with one of Moonshine’s knives that I’d nicked from her place. It was mainly my stomach and my upper legs that had the run-ins. Frequent and painful run-ins. Moonshine didn’t find out about it until after the first month, when she caught me in the process of carving into my skin a word I managed to finish a week later. She took the knife after she found me, but I managed to find other things to do it with.

I don’t like thinking about it much. I still don’t. But if I don’t tell you, all you’ll have to go by is what Hypno-Terrorist forced me to say. So I’m giving you the official account.

After she caught me a few more times, she forced me to go to a therapist about it. I was pretty messed up. Therapy was a bad idea for me then. It still is. I don’t much like therapy, especially not when all I want to do is bleed to death through nasty words in my skin and maybe then I’ll be with my parents again.

I kind of fucked therapy right up. I stopped…having run-ins a bit after I fucked therapy up, but it was on my own accord. I just got bored of the pain and figured that if I did nothing at all, I’d fade away and everyone would forget about me.

I didn’t tell Totem any of this at first. I didn’t even confess to them until a couple days after he first asked about them. After about an hour of me staring into nothing at the breakfast table, he just washed the dishes in silence and let me sit there for a while. I got bored about an hour after and went to find him. I was all awkward by the time I found him again, trying to find something to talk about so he wouldn’t ask about the scars again.

I asked if he had any clothes I could change out of my uniform into laying around. When he said he didn’t, I awkwardly asked if he could accompany me back to my headquarters so I could change. So we went for a fly. Scared the crap out of him. It’s funny. He can turn into these terrifying animals, but he’s scared of flying. I guess he thought I was too petite to carry him.

He stayed in the main hangout room of the headquarters while I changed into some more comfortable stuff. It was just a sweatshirt, jeans, and a knit hat I like, but I remember the look on his face when he saw me in it. Here I thought they were just some old random clothes, but he looked at me like I was wearing a million-dollar prom dress. I had to pretend I forgot something so he wouldn’t see my blush.

That was the first time he called me Sunshine. And it was the first time I realised I might have significant feelings for him. I…kind of really like it when people give me nicknames like Sunshine. My mom used to call me that. It was part of the whole “You Are My Sunshine” thing. And even with what Dr. Synergy did to me and that song, I’m glad to realise he didn’t ruin it forever. Because when Totem called me Sunshine that first time, I…I’ll honestly say I practically melted in his arms right then and there.

But I didn’t. We went for a walk instead. We spent pretty much the rest of the day not really talking. Just walking through the forest outside Spotlight City. When it started getting dark, we went into the city to pick up some food. He paid. then we went home. He stayed at headquarters with me all night to make sure I was safe.

I woke up a couple times during that first night. The second time, I couldn’t get back to sleep, so he brought me some hot chocolate from his own place. Even if it meant I had to be alone for a few minutes, he brought me hot chocolate. Now, I don’t really like hot drinks all that much, but…when it’s from him, I do.

I went back to sleep shortly after the hot chocolate. I had a dream where everything wasn’t terrible for once. I didn’t want to wake up from it.

The second day was only a couple days ago now. And by a couple, I mean like five. I woke up to him complaining to himself about how we barely had any food at our place. By the time he saw I was awake, he’d rifled through all the cabinets at least six times. I ended up just suggesting we go somewhere for breakfast. We did, after I got dressed. After we ate our food, I told him about the scars.

I told him more or less all at once. He hadn’t even asked about them since the previous day. But I just wanted to get it off the table as fast as I could. He just sat there and listened to everything I said. When I was done, he got up, came over to my side of the booth, and hugged me. Then he ordered me a slice of pie I never asked for but ate anyway. He never said anything about what I’d just told him. I guess he figured he’d let me forget about it for a while.

We went by the hospital later that day, to check on Moonshine. Well, I went by the hospital and Totem stayed by my side to keep me safe. We stayed by the wall while Moonshine finished up the chapter she was reading and her mom drifted to sleep.

I just sort of stood there a bit awkwardly, but between the two people who are, then and now, my two favourite people in the world, listening to my best friend’s soft voice. I didn’t pay much attention to what she was reading. I probably wouldn’t understand it even if I had, since it was a Russian version.

I do feel a bit mad at her, though. She reads to her mom while she dies but she never sang or read to me after my parents died. But I only ever remember I’m mad at her after she’s done reading and we talk for a while. When I walk in on her reading like this, it just takes me completely off-balance.

After she finished reading, she sat there for a while, watching her mom sleep. Then she noticed Totem and I at the doorway, laid the book by the bed, and took us into the hallway. She asked why I’d brought him and I told her it was because she wasn’t there to make sure I was safe and Totem was. She hadn’t even dropped by the headquarters to make sure I was safe now.

That’s when I remembered all the things I’m mad at with her. But Totem broke us up before we got into another fight. He took me back out for a walk, practically forced me away.

During the walk is when he found out how old I actually am.

We got to talking about our childhoods, using me ranting about my history with Moonshine as a segue. During the conversation, I guess he figured out I wasn’t as old as he thought I was and asked me to make sure. I saw a visible difference in him after I told him I’m only 15. Now I wish I’d lied and told him I was older.

He doesn’t stay at the headquarters anymore, but he still brings me hot chocolate if I wake up and message him that I can’t sleep. But every time I do, it’s a lie. I do wake up and can’t get back to sleep, that part’s true. But it’s not because I need hot chocolate. I’ve realised by now, with all these images and fantasies going around in my head, staying up late wishing for things I know I can’t have, that the reason I can’t get back to sleep and the reason I message him about it to get him over here is because I’ve fallen in love with him. And because I wish that every time he comes over here, he’ll realise that my age doesn’t mean a damn thing about being with me, and crawl into bed with me and protect me the whole night long.

I know it’ll never happen. And if he reads this, he probably won’t even come over anymore. But I’ve finally realised all of this and I needed to say it, along with all the other things I’ve said in this post.

So I’m going to go to sleep without him, listening to the rain, alone in the dark with a thousand images of things that will never, ever happen.

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