"Amy?" A hushed voice asked. It was a whisper, barely perceivable in my sleep-drowned ears, but it was enough to stir me from my slumber. I rolled over and glanced at the clock. It was a little past two in the morning.
? Who is it
?" I mumbled tiredly. I rubbed my eyes. I never really liked it when people woke me up. I was always cranky when someone interrupted my sleep, and thus no one dared to wake me up unless it was an emergency.
"Shadow." The voice said. I gasped. Shadow!! It changed everything. I would never be mad at him. But what did he want? "Are you awake?"
"Yeah, of course." I said sweetly, pouring on as much sugar as I could on the sentence so it sounded like honey. I hoped that he wasn't leaving early. Anything but that, I prayed. "W-what's going on?"
He didn't say anything. For a while, I thought Shadow had fallen asleep in the darkness. My eyes were trying to adjust to the lack of light as I squinted to see what he was doing. Was he listening to something or watching something? I grew tense at the situation, suddenly realizing that my hair had probably been a total mess. I reached up and stroked my pink quills down. But even after doing that, it was so silent you could've heard a pin drop.
"I want to show you something." He interrupted me halfway through his name. I finally was adjusted to the blackness and I was able to see his silhouette against my white door. I was at the peak of curiosity when he crossed his arms. "And
it's outside. Follow me."
I hopped out of bed without any hesitation. I suddenly didn't feel tired at all, especially when it was just he and I alone. He turned and began walking out of my room before I could make it two steps from my bed. I took my time to make sure my footing was stable so I wouldn't trip and make a fool of myself, but when I exited my room, I found that he stood before the door to his room. His black figure leaned against the doorframe, making the surrounding air look blue from the night sky. At first, I didn't know what to expect. I thought that he was going to go in by himself to get something, but then he suddenly opened the door and waited for me to get closer. I took a little too long in comprehending this, and he impatiently grabbed my hand, pulling me through the entryway.
His grip, I felt, was warm and tight; it sent my heart up in the heavens and my cheeks grew hotter and hotter by the second. It grew harder to move my feet off the ground, so he had to partially drag me through the door. But I did manage to squeeze his hand back; an unfortunate mistake, for soon afterward I felt his grip loosen. I instantly regretted my action; perhaps I was being a little too fast with him and was turning him off.
When I entered his room, it was the same room as I had seen one day ago; white walls, white bed, white closet. It was still the blank canvas I saw and felt just like. Much like that room, I felt like I was at a new beginning. But since he was there with me, I felt out of place once I stepped in. Shadow was the type to seclude himself from any person or group, and he strived to keep it that way. I felt like I was a spy stepping out in open fire; was this okay? Of course it was, I answered. He wouldn't be inviting me in his room if he didn't want me in his territory.
He never looked at me over his shoulder as he guided me towards the back of his room. I held onto his hand tightly up until he loosened his grip so much that my hand fell back to my side. Shadow stepped forward, taking hold of the window, and threw it open in one swift motion. As soon as the window was open, a sudden breeze filled the air, tossing my quills behind my shoulders. The breeze chilled me slightly. It made my eyes water as I walked forward, and just as I brought up my hand to dry my eyes, he turned back to me.
"You have to trust me, especially if you're afraid of heights."
It was like he read my mind; I was terrified of them. My heart throbbed with sheer discontent fear as he snatched my hand forcefully, almost if he had no care if I wanted to back out of it or not. My waist was gripped, and suddenly I found myself in the air, then on the windowsill. Oh, God, I thought. Is he trying to kill me?! I felt dizzy, grabbing onto the frame awkwardly for support. All of this was going so fast, and without hardly any talking between us; I wanted to ask so many questions, like what he was doing or what he was going to show me, but it was as if his intentions were to prevent any questions from being asked. A pain scattered alongside my feet; they molded to the shape of the window and it was hurting me. I stared down in horror; the roof was just a few inches below me, but the ground was two stories down. I could barely even see the grass in the darkness of the night sky. My head throbbed and my throat grew dry; acrophobia was kicking in.
His simple command seemed like a death wish aimed at me. Still, my heart acted before my head could reject, and I reached down with my right foot, feeling the coarse texture of the roof. Unfortunately my step down turned into a stumble out that was just short of disaster. I toppled out of the window, landing on my tail and sliding a few inches before I was able to stop myself from falling off. I clenched the surface with my fists, my head spinning in pure fear. Adrenaline rushed through my body, life flashing before my very eyes. Shadow's hand touched my shoulder, and his strength gave him a capability to lift me up with one hand. I was still in panic from my clumsy fall.
"Please don't kill me
" I muttered without any thought. His peak hearing certainly picked it up as he pulled me up to my feet, but his emotion and tone didn't change one octave when he spoke.
"I wasn't planning to."
I almost expected him to end it with a delayed "yet". The way Shadow talked to me was suspenseful and smooth at the same time, it sounded like something straight from a movie. It was both captivating and threatening at the same time; perhaps it was just his style, which most likely unintentionally swooned other girls like me. We shared a moment's gaze, and then he turned around and led me along the angled surface of the roof until coming to a stop near the far edge of the house.
When we came to a stop, I looked around, trying to find something, anything that Shadow would be interested in showing me. I felt my heart jitter as I realized that he and I were the only ones outside; there was no Sonic, no other girl, no other person. This was strictly our time. He targeted me and decided to show me and only me whatever this thing was; so I was special. Me! I blushed a happy rose color. Maybe he had the same feelings for me as I did him?
I was surprised to see him sit down on the roof, resting his arms on his knees and looking on the horizon. I was clueless why he did what he did, but I mimicked his actions and sat next to him, cautious of our distance. I sat a good two feet away from him as if he had the biggest space bubble on the face of the Earth. I doubted his tolerance of closeness, especially of someone like me, someone he didn't know that well. But after a few seconds, awkwardness tugged at my stomach and brought back a small feeling of nausea from before. I took deep, even breaths, trying to calm myself down. I hoped that whatever Shadow wanted to show me would come out soon.
"Shadow, what "
His hand spread out toward the night sky. I turned my attention to the direction he showed, and I gasped, my eyes beholding small bright dots covering a sheet of black. I ran my eyes over every speck I could find, no longer recognizing any of the constellations I had seen before during a stroll in the city. Because our house was far away from Westopolis's borders, there was hardly a manmade source of light anywhere. I never noticed how many there were until then; there were so many little lights cast into swooping curves and spiraling shapes that left little to no darkness left. Every second my eyes adjusted to the blackness outside, more and more stars appeared. There had to be dozens of millions of them; I never paid any attention to it before and it was so wonderful, so amazing that I almost forgot Shadow was sitting next to me. I couldn't take my eyes off of them all.
His crimson eyes reflected the small orbs of light, saying nothing for the longest time. I guessed that he was deep in thought, much like he was all the time.
"Shadow, it's amazing. I've never seen this before in my entire life. This is what you wanted to show me?" I asked, my heart welling up with joy. The stars were so romantic.
"Yes. All the stars, space
the universe." Shadow explained. I was at full attention now. "I don't know if it's because I was raised in space, or if my Black Arms heritage adds that homey feeling when I see it, but the stars always make me feel thankful for what I have here on Earth. The stars are the only thing I have left from fifty years ago."
I bit my lip, thinking it over. I had a good idea forming from his little speech, but I wasn't sure if it was too sad for him to take. I hoped it wouldn't hurt my chances too much, either.
"Is it because of Maria?"
The name caused Shadow's head to turn to me. His eyes looked hurt. "What?"
you know, she's in heaven. Maria and Gerald. They're with the stars, looking down at you." I said carefully, finding my voice to be quieter than normal. Shadow looked away from me, my thoughts echoing in his head. I couldn't tell if he was okay with what I had said or not.
After several moments of silence, I continued. "What I was told was that when people die, they turn into stars. Every night they appear and look down at you sleeping, and sometimes they're the ones that give you good dreams. After my parents died, I always felt alone and sad all the time, but when Cream's mother told me that, I felt better. So maybe it's the same way with Maria and Gerald; they love you so much and when they passed away, they turned into stars and look down on you every night."
A pause came after my speech. Finally Shadow opened his eyes. "They're not just looking down on me. They're looking down on you, too."
I felt honored to hear something like that come from him. I got the courage to scoot closer to him, and he didn't seem to mind. There was only a foot of space between us now.
"They're looking down on all of us." I agreed, feeling my cheeks warm up. Shadow hesitantly replied:
Then, Shadow did the unthinkable: the corner of his mouth jerked up slightly at me; a smile. I felt like bursting into tears of joy and throwing myself into his arms, but something internal stopped me. It was my promise that I had made to myself, to never repeat the mistakes I had made, to never obsess, and to never stick to him like glue. At that moment, I felt like a new person, almost like a grown-up lady searching for love rather than a little girl. I wish I could've told him the new thing I promised myself, but I held back and simply smiled back.
"That was very endearing, Amy. Thank you." Shadow returned his gaze at the sparkling sky. I closed my eyes, feeling the lights of the stars shine inside me, thankful for a connection that was made between us. His comment was completely and totally serious; if Sonic had said it, he would have been sarcastic. It took long enough, but I knew deep down that there was still hope for me yet.