Cause all I know is we said hello
And your eyes look like coming home
All I know is a simple name
Everything has changed
Tuari. The name had been etched into his mind ever since he helped her after she fell out of that tree. He had met several cats since he first came to Nandryx, yet there was something about the Pink/Orange-Water he hadn't been able to shake. Her eyes, as blue as the sky, gazed at him in his dreams. There had been something about her, something special.
He had been right, even though it was just on his first impression of her. She became the Yellow-Water, but to him she became so much more. In her he was able to find a piece of him he'd thought he lost. She brought out so many feelings of happiness that he hadn't felt since loosing his sister. Yet he didn't see her the same way he saw his sister.
He remembered how they had raced, the look of utter shock on her face when he somehow managed to win. The way she butted her head against his chest and the way it made his heart flutter. And the confessions they had made..... Tuari had been the first cat he had ever told about his past. And she had told him about hers, about losing her mother to death much like he did. That night they spent together changed everything, and it was one of his fondest memories.
That was the night that she became more than just another friend. She became his first love, and more importantly, his best friend. She was the sun and the stars; she was everything.
I never wanna leave
Because you feel like ecstasy
A seduction becoming a part of me
The first fight and only they'd had had been nasty. They hadn't seen each other in a few moons, and in those few moons everything had changed for the now Silver-Water. She had lost so much, and he hadn't been there for her. She'd endured all of her pain alone and in doing so had shut down completely.
Seeing that hurt him more than words could ever describe. He hadn't been able to be there for her when she needed it most, and now she was a shell of her former self. He had tried to coax her out of that shell, but she had resisted him, snapped at him.
But that was alright. As she fled he promised that he would always be there for her, never knowing if her ears heard his words of if they were lost in the wind. That was alright, though, as long as he kept that promise.
He remembered her telling him that she was pregnant, how it had hurt him more than the caiman's jaws that snapped at his face. He had been frozen in place for a long time as he tried to process everything. That was the first time he realized how he truly felt about her. Right when he realized what he wanted he had to let go; she was to have a family with someone else.
He promised he would always be there for her and her kits; he would be like a second father to them if she would let him. When she complied he was able to handle things a little better. Even if they could not be anything more than friends, he would accept that.
As long as she was in his life she was happy.
Losing her was blue like I've never known
Missing her was dark gray all alone
Forgetting her was like trying to know somebody you never met
But loving her was red
As much as he didn't want to, he still remembered her death. How could he not? It was burned into his memory; it haunted his nightmares.
Her body had been so still and small, and so, so red. She had been drenched in blood to the point where the cream in her fur was barely visible. He remembered how much she hated blood. It was the only thing he could think about at that time, the only thing his mind could truly process.
Deep down he knew she was dying as he groomed her, curled around her in the middle of Earth-Tribe camp. He still remembered the lump in his throat as he assured her that her kits would be there when she woke, and the way she had tried to say goodbye to him. He hadn't allowed it, couldn't allow it. He couldn't loose her too.
And yet he did. Her breathing slowed and her heartbeat stopped. Her sky colored eyes closed forever as his heart shattered. She was gone. His best friend in the entire world, his first love, gone just like that. He didn't know how to function without her, didn't know if he could.
He had never felt so alone.
He had spent an unhealthy amount of time at her grave. He pushed others away from him. So much so that it drove Eileen to leaving the Tribes. He barely ate or slept, just spent time at her grave talking to her as if she was still alive. He couldn't let go of her yet. He wasn't strong enough to face the world without her in it. Losing Asher had been hell, but losing Tuari..... There were no words to describe how much it hurt. But he was alive and she wasn't. He would have to move on.
He didn't know if he could.
I've traveled near and far
Raced with all the stars
Now alone I'll be
If I had one more
Chance to just explore
I would take your hand
And do it all again
Life was hard without her. Waking up each and every day began to be a chore. And yet he had to; he had become the Yellow-Earth. He needed to be there for his Tribe even if he could barely function. They deserved that out of him.
He saw her everywhere he went, even when he was dreaming. She was always off in the distance, eyes always on him as he padded through the bogs. Her figure danced behind his eyelids as he slept, tantalizing him with the life that could have been. Sometimes he swore he felt her race past him as he was hunting, as if she were challenging him to a rematch. Sometimes he would catch a whiff of her sweet scent and perk up with hope only to remember. Tuari was dead and there was no coming back.
Eileen's return helped him begin to cope with the loss of Tuari. She was able to reach him in a way no other cat had. With her help, he began to let others back in. Charley, Eileen, Isis, Oliver, and Tuari's kits became his reasons to keep going.
He knew she was happy that he was beginning to recover. He could feel it in those moments that she came to see him, a ghost in the realm of the living. She usually came at night. He could have sworn several times that he heard her voice whisper in his ear, yet whenever he woke he wouldn't see her. In a way it hurt, still expecting to see her alive and well. Apparently time couldn't heal all wounds....
Whenever he woke, though, he could catch just a small whiff of her lingering scent. Puddles of water often appeared for no reason, well no reason that most would expect. They were always a silent assurance, a physical proof that she had been there. That she was still there, watching over him.
Those nights that she visited him always hurt more than he'd like to admit. Whenever she did he would still feel that sting in his chest, as though a cat like Mar had smacked him straight in the chest. Even after that time there was still a gaping hole in his heart, one that would probably never be filled. True, it had started to heal over time, but it would never completely heal. A piece of his heart would always be hers, and there would always be that whole that had appeared upon her death.
Once somebody had asked him if he would change things, go back so that he would never have had to feel such pain.
He hadn't ever considered that.
When he had been asked he simply gave the other a small, sad smile and the shake of his head. "If I knew what would happen I would go back and do it all over again. I will never regret her, no matter how much it hurts."
She was his favorite what if and the best he would never know.
He would never give that up for anything.
I'll see you again
You never really left
I feel you walk beside me
I know I'll see you again
A year after her death he had a family. He and Eileen became the parents to six kittens, and for the first time in a while he felt completely at ease.
She was there when they were born. He could feel her presence as Eileen screamed obscenities at him, winding around him and giving Eileen whatever protection she could. He knew that Tuari was never Eileen's biggest fan, yet here she was doing all a ghost could to keep her safe and give her guidance.
When it was time to name them he could feel Tuari sitting next to him, beaming with pride. If she were alive she would probably have been purring and playfully head butting him. When he looked at his daughters, he just knew he had to name one after her. Eileen had named their sons after cats she loved, so shy couldn't he?
At first he didn't know who to name after her, or even how to make it work. Yet when he looked down at the oddball of the litter, the little gray kit, she let out a fierce shriek. Well, a fierce shriek for a newborn. He knew she would have a strong, fiery spirit when she grew up. He could already see so much of her in his daughter.
He knew Tuari would approve of such a name.
He was right. During her kithood Tari came to him one morning and told him all about a cat she had dreamt about. She had stars in her light fur and tenderness in her blue eyes. Tari had told him that she said her name was Tuari; she had met his "special dream friend." When he asked what had happened, Tari simply said that Tuari was watching over her as well as him. Hearing that warmed his heart, knowing she would protect them all. She was still there. She always would be.
She was there at the kits' ceremony of light. He could have sworn he saw just a small splash of cream right beside Ashlee as she received her Water-Tribe tattoo. He had laughed that two of his children would go to her Tribe, even though her namesake wouldn't.
It didn't matter though. He knew that she would watch over Tari and her siblings in their new Tribes when he couldn't be there. She would be their heavenly guardian.
When all of our friends are dead
And just a memory
We'll lie side by side
It's always been just you and me
For all to see
She had been dead for almost two season cycles. It was hard to believe that so much time had already passed. So much had happened, and yet things were still the same. She was dead and he was alive; she was there and he was here.
Sometimes he would leave camp in the middle of the night and just sit out in the middle of Earth-Tribe's territory. Ever since the stars disappeared things were weird; he had been worried that her spirit had disappeared with the stars. So he would go out and search for her star, wondering how she was doing.
He would just sit there and look at the sky, sometimes he'd speak to it and hope that she could hear him wherever she was. He hadn't seen her in a while, and he missed her more than he ever thought he would this long after her death. He missed knowing that she was always there, missed feeling her next to him when things got difficult. Ever since the stars disappeared things had been difficult; he hadn't seen Tuari since before this whole mess began.
He signed and gave a resigned look at the sky, wishing for her to come talk to him. He still missed her, the living her. But he wouldn't get to see her like that ever again, not while he was living anyways. Maybe in death they would be truly reunited; maybe they could both find peace.
He took a deep breath and blinked. He was way too sentimental and stuck in the past. He laughed slightly at himself and stood up, ready to head back home for the night. Before he left he turned back to the sky, blue eyes searching for something they would not find.
"I'll see you in another life."
When our lives are over
And all that remains
Are our skulls and bones
Let's take it to the grave