Most things aren't perfect... sometimes nothing is.
But this moment was, and will always be. I will always,
hold this inside my heart.

Memories have been sealed away that mean more than gold to me,
My friends are with me, standing around me,
Holding me up, their hands on my shoulder....

The one who holds so much pain,
I pray for his healing... and tell him to take care of himself. He's been through far too much already.

Another, .... he holds a darkness within him that only one other has seen
She rejected him.
I would not reject him.
I ask, if he will not, or can not... show me the darkness within him, then to try to heal, too
His kind of wounds, though, not even time may have the magic to heal
I pray, I pray they will, because he means too much to me to remain in this pain.
Don't lock it away, but let it go.
Only then will you heal.

Everything. She gave... everything. How can a woman be so brave? I look up to her. She is crying, but there is a beauty in her tears.... I cannot explain it.
Two very dear people, linked together by their love... I can't help but smile, watching them. Their hands... each, put a hand on my shoulder. They care as much as I do . . . but is that possible, I have to wonder. Heh. I need to stop wondering. The answer is right here.

Even the stranger of them is like family to me, he smiles his big smile, so soft for such a tough man. Not usual for him to smile. . .

"You're smiling," I remind him, but don't realize that the same smile has spread across my face, and the joy and pure happiness that lit my face is shared in his. My eyes are filled with youthful joy, I think. I feel it. His are calmer, but still, that happiness... soft, pure happyness.., cannot be overlooked in his features.

"So are you," he replies. I laugh, I can not help it, and turn my head. Lower it... before I know, I'm crying again. "So special," I chant. Their faces are all lit with smiles... except one's.

I turn to the man, and I instantly feel the rage surge up in me. I hate this man with his bent-over body, disgusting face and dark eyes. A rage grasps me by the throat and takes control of my words. Without control, I start shouting at him for what he's done, I curse him, I wish only the worst punishment on him... that man, who caused so much hurt... so much hurt in my friends--no, my family, and thus in me, that I want to kill him. He doesn't reply, because he knows that I will just shout him down again.. I'm too mad for my own good. My lips are quivering and my teeth, though clenched, chatter as I fight to keep control of my emotions, and my show of them...

But for once, I am not hiding any emotion. I shout at him until he disgusts me so much I cannot take it... I turn my head and rest it in my hands, and sob again. "This is all too much.."

The big man rests his left hand on my shoulder on top of Her's.

They are all there for me, with their love, kindness, and all I can hope is to understand them better. I ask for that.. I also ask something that I am afraid they will not listen to.

"Don't leave me.. please, please don't. You're my whole life. I .. don't want it to end.. never. I never, ever want this to end . . . ."

The one woman, the girl that I admire so much. She nods, then tells me that they are always there. It's all so oerwhelming, I can't help but cry as I smile again.

I sense that the time is drawing near,... why they have to leave, I do not know. I remember thinking, and saying, "If only I could freeze this moment.." I wanted to take a picture of them all standing as they are, all lined up for me, the people I care about most.. Then I know, that they always are with me, they will never leave. I feel them. I make a promise that to this day, intend to keep. "One day," I say in bold seriousness, "I am going to draw all this, and make it real.... Because it is so real,.. to me."

I sense the animal chuckling softly. So do I. I love him, too.

"I guess that the only thing left to say, is.." I pause and steal another glance around the room. My eyes land on Him, but I will not say His name here for I will know who I speak of..... then I smile and wish him well, knowing that I might very well love him more strongly than all the rest.

I decide to finish, "Is, that I love you all so very, very much." I can't help myself again. I start to cry... it doesn't matter though, these are tears of joy more than anything.

I look up and see one person, ...oh, god. I start laughing again. He stands above all the rest like some deity. I can't help but think that's funny. The attitude is just for show, anyway. I know him.

"I love you too," I assure him. Is that a hint of a smile I see, or just merely his normal smirk? Oh well, whatever he wants to hide behind is fine with me.. I'll still know him, and always treasure him.

Then, I look back at Her, the girl I look up to. She smiles, wipes the sparkling tears from her eyes and I can feel them going. Not... going. Just gone. But they are here. Does that make any sense to you? It does to me. Because I was there, and I am here. . . and so are they.

They are here with me.

Even if I can't see them anymore, I know they're here, because I can feel them in my heart. I can see them there if I look, if I need to look. I know that is where they went. Positive.

No one will ever believe me, I'm sure. So I won't tell them... . . . just my little secret, and theirs. Family is all you need... sometimes these friends are more a family to me than my own blood. In fact, I think they are.

And now, I feel secure in turning back to face MY world, the only world I know now. But this won't be my world forever... I will be in more difficult worlds later, and perhaps sometime, when I am weak, tired, burned and slashed, lonely, angry, or full of sadness, I will forget that they are with me... Even if that is when I need them most.

But in the end, I will turn back to my family
Beause they will know,
And they will be there for me, . . . . as promised.

If you are a friend, then I have shared this with you, you must mean an awful lot to me. This is so personal that I am most likely never going to let anyone know the true meaning of this poem/story. ... As I told 'them', It is... our little secret.

                  - Christy Wendel
                  - (Auroran Flash)