Everything But The (Birthday) Girl

Thursday the 31st of March was Miranda’s Sweet Sixteen. I can’t say if she had fun or not, since she’s been missing for more than a month.

I had an elaborate virtual party planned for her; I had been working on the environment ever since I woke up a few months ago. Satomi and the girls had already marked their calendars to put on a private Die Database show just for her and me.

I had a huge box of gifts, including character goods from anime and games that only existed in prior variants – I managed to secretly cache them at Point Zero over the years, and Ai uncharacteristically looked the other way.

It’s so rare that Miranda actually survives this far in each Variant, and I wanted to celebrate in the most massive way possible.

Not that she would have even understood such intensity – not that she can ever really understand all that we’ve been through, all that she’ll never remember from all of her lifetimes.

Still. I figured it was worth a shot, to really give her the 16th Birthday she deserved, and her mother ruined everything.

I don’t think I can ever forgive her, but that isn’t even the problem. I need to find her, to save Miranda from whatever mess Number 12 has gotten her involved with.

I need to find her, so I can just look at her one more time, even if it’s through pixelated eyes.

Is that too much to ask? Such rhetorical flourishes are pointless, since the only higher power in this universal bubble doesn’t seem to care. She may be my cousin, but I always get the feeling that Ai just sees other people as fingerprints on her glasses, just getting in the way of her infinitely long view.

No, I really am not in in the best of moods. Sometimes I wish I was etched, if only so I could turn off the pain and sadness, ignoring the heavy enormity of it all.

Sometimes I wish I could tear up my Get Out Of Jail Free card, the one that brings me to Point Zero to contemplate the ashes of everyone I’ve ever seen.

And sometimes I just think of Miranda, of her careful and sweet kisses so many Variants ago…. at this point, I would gladly destroy the world for her touch, and that’s selfish fire is how I know I’m alive.

Everything else is an ever-blurry shadow, the fuzzy memories of so many almost-identical lifetimes. My only anchor is her.

I have to learn how to build off of that. To make a world profoundly beautiful enough for my always fallen angel, and to pray to the void that I’ll be able to reside there with her.

That’s the dream I’ll hold tightly to my chest as I cradle myself to sleep, alone.

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