Matt sat in his room, reliving the previous night. Last night, I felt...like a person. It wasn't like I was just someone's dog...I suppose that's what Kaori was trying to show me. She made me feel like I actually meant something.... And the way I felt, it reminded me of how it used to be between Mello and I.... He used to be as gentle as she was last night.... I miss that so much....
“Matt.” Mello pushed open the door to the other boy's room, and walked inside, shutting the door behind him.
Matt was sitting on his bed, and looked up when Mello entered. “Mello...?”
“I want to tell you something,” Mello said, going over and sitting down beside him. Kaori was right about me being a coward. I know I'll lose Matt if I keep treating him this way, and I know it will hurt. But I'm being too selfish; I'm only worried about my own feelings here. I also know that neither one of us will be happy this way...so I have to do this...I have to be truthful, both with myself and Matt.
“And what is that? Are you going to warn me not to come back again?” Matt replied.
“Matt, I...I'm sorry about everything. You know I hated to hurt you like that...”
“Then why did you?”
“I was just...just scared,” Mello admitted.
“What's that supposed to mean?” Matt said dryly.
“I was scared to lose control. I was afraid that you might leave me if I didn't own everything about you. I didn't want to lose you, and I...I felt that keeping control over you would be better than that,” Mello said, his head lowered and his eyes cast down at the floor. “I knew how you felt, and I was only protecting myself by controlling you.”
“Mello...” Matt's expression softened, and he placed a gentle hand on Mello's shoulder. “I would never hurt you. And even if you're afraid now...we'll never know unless we give it a try. We can't keep running away from everything we're afraid of...like we did a year ago, when we came here. We ran away from our old lives, and everything we hated. We're all each other's got, and you want to run away from that too?”
Mello shook his head, tears stinging his eyes. “No...I – I don't. I'm sick of trying to run from it. I...I want to be with you, Matt. The way it used to be....”
Matt smiled. “Then does this mean you really do love me?”
Mello nodded, and Matt threw his arms around him. “Then I'm happy,” he said. “I'm prepared to be hurt, if that's what ends up happening. I just want to be with you.” Matt sat up and touched Mello's face with his hand. “I'll never leave you. I said that on the plane ride here, remember? And I still mean it.”
“Yeah, you did,” Mello said, smiling. “'Immer an meinen seite?”
Matt returned the smile, and leaned forward to place a kiss on the other boy's forehead. “Immer an deiner seite,” he whispered.
Matt and I are both tied to each other, confined by these shackles that have held us together for so long. I know I can never break these chains. We are each other's prisoner. We are bound to each other. Bound for the rest of our lives.
“Hi, my name's Mail. But uh...you can just call me Matt.” He smiled at the boy in front of him. “Our parents said we'd be going to school together from now on.”
The other boy smiled back and took a swig of the drink in his hand. “My name's Mihael.” He wrinkled his nose. “But I don't like my name.”
“Well what do you want to be called?”
“I dunno,” he said, taking another drink.
Matt thought for a minute, and then looked at the drink the boy was holding. “You sure like that Mello Yello stuff, huh?”
The boy nodded. “My dad brought it from overseas. It's really good!”
“Alright then,” Matt laughed. “How about I call you Mello?”
-End of Chapter 22-