It's been a while since I killed myself. I thought that things would be better, without me. I thought things would be better out of life.

How wrong I was...

When they came to take me away, I didn't let them. I wanted to watch my funeral. I was afraid. Afraid of where I might be going, afraid of what I left.

I said I'd go with them after my funeral. I wanted to see my "friends" for one last time before I left. But something went wrong. They never came back for me. So now I'm stuck here.

"You never realize what you've got until it's gone"
by Eli Young (Elyscape)

---------

I remember my funeral. I remember it in painstaking detail. I remember Largo, confused and angry. Erika, filled with righteous anger. Ping, completely unknowing of what to do. Miho, wishing she had learned about me while she still had time. Yuki, so sad. So sad that she wouldn't ever get her drawing lessons. So sad that she wouldn't ever see me again. And Kimiko. If I wander around forever, I'll never be able to clear my mind of that expression. That completely broken, shattered dreams type of expression.

Remembering my funeral lead me to understand how much I really had in life. It made me realize that you never realize what you have until either it's gone, or you're gone. You can never know who loves you until you die. And then it doesn't help one bit.

---------

Sepharim could only hang around for a little bit after I died. After about a couple of days, the agency caught up with her and made her move on to a different client. This in combination with the fact that I couldn't speak to anyone made me more lonely than I ever was while living.

I began to sing one of my favorite songs, Miserable World.

"Every night I look out at the world... It brings me down.
Every time I look out at the blue ocean... I wanna drown."

"Of course," said Seraphim. "You can't drown. You're already dead, lest you forget."

I began weeping with joy.

"Seraphim! I can't believe I'm seeing you again! How'd you get out of work?"

"Well, I cured one case so they gave me a couple days vacation. I thought you might want a visit, so here I am."

"Well, thank you for coming out!"

"Yeah, about that. I didn't just come out here for no reason, Piro. We need to talk."

---------

"See that girl over there?"

It was Yuki.

"Yeah, I see her," I said.

"What's she doing?"

I floated down above her desk and watched her for a bit. She was drawing something.

"Ever since you died, Piro, this is all she's done."

"How do you know that?"

"She's my next case. They gave me some briefing information to review while I was away."

Seraphim's job wasn't only to keep people in line. Her job also entailed fixing up the lives of her clients. I was her first failure, and she wasn't about to have another. That's why she brought me here, I supposed.

"Anyway, go take a look at what she's drawing."

I took a closer look at her page. Had I been living, my heart would have stopped right then and there. She was drawing me. I was sitting on a bench in the park, drawing something in my sketchbook. And I was crying. I looked at the bottom right and to see what she titled it.

"'Are you sad, Mr. Piro-san?' She's been working on that drawing non-stop since you died."

"She what?!?"

Seraphim didn't have time to respond. Yuki's mother walked in and looked at the drawing.

<Wow, Yuki,> she commented. <That's really good. Where did you learn to draw like that?>

Yuki exploded.

<It's not good! It's the worst drawing ever! It's not good at all! I hate it!> she screamed.

She ranted on in this vein for some time.

"See the problem, Piro?" Seraphim asked. "Look what you caused."

---------

"I'm not done with you yet, Piro," Seraphim warned.

"Eh?"

"Just follow me."

---------

I was relieved when Largo got a second job. No matter how bizarre or farfetched it might be, at least he was making something. At least he was doing something. That's more than I could say.

Largo walked into the apartment on the third floor of MegaGamers. Thanks to Erika, he had managed to avoid being kicked out. Now part of one of his paychecks went to the boss of the store. He managed to live quite comfortably there. It was quite a feat on his part.

I watched him as he wandered around. He seemed to be arguing with himself about something. Then, his thoughts came out.

"Damn you, Piro! Why did you have to do it? Why?" he shouted.

He sat down and began sobbing into his arms.

"Geez," I said. "I didn't think it had effected him this much."

"Well, it did," Seraphim said.

"When I watched him, he never seemed to show much emotion," I thought for a minute, then added, "Of course, I only watched him for a couple of hours..."

"Right. You happened to have spied on him before his emotions devoped this strongly. Only recently has he been like this."

"Wait, how do you know that?"

"I did some research. It wasn't hard."

---------

"Where are we?" I asked.

"You'll see."

We drifted into one of the rooms. Miho Tohya was sitting there, talking to Ping.

<I've been wondering...> she said.

<What have you been wondering?> asked Ping.

<All this time, I've been searching for someone who could truly understand me. And I found Piro. I had a test planned so I could see if he was the right person. But he killed himself... Do you think he was the right person?>

<I don't know, Miho... I never knew him well enough.>

<Neither did I. And there's the problem.>

<What about me? Can't I understand you?>

<No, Ping. You can't. I'm sorry, but you aren't the person I'm looking for.>

<But we're still friends, right? Right?>

<...I suppose so...>

"You mean to say," I said. "That she thought I might be able to solve her problems?"

"Yes, Piro," Seraphim said coldly. "And because of you, she's been losing focus on everything else."

"What?!?"

"You heard what I said."

---------

"And here is the one most effected by your death, Piro," Seraphim noted.

I watched Kimiko. She was being recorded at the voice studio. She was so sad. Was that just her character, or was it something else?

"You broke her, Piro. You shattered her. Before you died, she felt like she had maybe done something good for once! After you died, she felt as though she would never do anything right. And those feelings haven't left yet, Piro," Seraphim yelled.

---------

"Piro, I don't think you fully understand what you did. In doing what you did, not only did you take your own life, but you also took part of everyone else's. They may never recover from what you did. Can you even begin to comprehend what you did? You had so much in life, but you ignored it. You focused on the things you didn't have. And, in doing that, you threw everything you had away."

"What do you want from me?" I cried.

"I want you to go and try to fix up these people's lives. Enter their dreams, do whatever you have to. But make an effort to actually change something."

---------

That night I visited Yuki while she was asleep. Before I entered her dream, I watched it from outside. She was standing in a garden. I was nearby. She walked up to me, to say something, and I ran away. She chased after me, crying, but I kept running. Then I melted into the dirt.

About that time I entered her dream. Everything went blank. She stood there, confused. I walked up to her.

<Yuki, move on,> I told her.

<I can't.>

<Yes, you can. Forget about me.>

<I can't,> she began to cry again.

<Yuki, your tears won't revive me. Your suffering only makes my time here worse.>

<Forgive me... Please forgive me... I just can't forget about you.>

<Why not?>

<I loved you.>

And she believed it.

I wasn't one to shatter dreams.

<You still have to move on. There's nothing you can do for me now.>

<I'm so sorry... so sorry...> she sobbed.

<Yuki, stop it.>

<I'm sorry... for all the pain I'm causing you... But I can't move on... I just can't...>

<Yuki, stop it. This isn't helping you.>

An idea came to me. Seraphim would kill me if she ever found out, but it might just work.

Her eyes widened and she tried to say something, but it was forgotten as she accepted the kiss. I knew how much she must have wanted this.

<Move on, Yuki. It could never happen. Only in a dream could things such as this happen.>

She said nothing, just tried to stop her tears.

<Yuki, at least return to your life. Your friends miss you, and this isn't good for you.>

<I... can try...>

<Good. Trying is the first step towards anything.>

<Can you... visit me? Later?>

I didn't know what to say. So I didn't say anything.

<Please?>

<...I'll try, Yuki. I'll try.>

---------

I watched the next morning as Yuki finished her drawing. Now it was even more heart-stopping than before.

I was still there, drawing and crying as before. Now there was a noose around my neck. Yuki was standing nearby, crying yet walking away...

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