The next day, you woke up a little lost and confused. With your palms, you patted the surface beneath you and noticed you were lying on the floor. You sighed and struggled to get back up despite your achy back and spinning mind. You looked down at the counter and saw your empty mug still lying there.
Must have fallen asleep while making myself hot cocoa...
You pressed your hand against the side of your head and moaned at the migraine that began to intensify.
A migraine. Just what I needed.
Walking down the hallway that led to your front door, you picked up a few picture frames that were lying carelessly on the floor and put them back to their original spots. When you finally got to your front door, you noticed it wasn't closed properly. You leaned against it to push it back into its place but it still wouldn't close. You groaned and flung it open. A textbook lay near the door frame. You figured this was the object that kept getting in the way of your door. Bending over to pick it up, your eye caught something interesting. A ruffled up sheet of paper with the words tutoring and come in written in different places on it.
Last night's memories came running back into your head.
Yao was here last night? Oh right... He wanted to tutor. Like hell I was going to let that jerk inside of my house.
You picked up all of the things Yao left behind last night and threw them all away, including the textbook.
After making sure all of his things were out of sight, you walked over to your phone, which was laying on the couch in the living room, and began checking all of your unanswered texts. A couple of them were from Mei, but you chose to ignore them. One in particular caught your attention. It was from your mother.
Mom: Hi sweetie! You might be asleep right now but I just wanted to let you know that I won't be coming home tonight. Your aunt Delilah was brought to the hospital earlier during the day. I think she finally gave birth. I went to check up on her so I won't be coming home until maybe 5 PM. Take care, dear! xox
Even though you were glad that your aunt had finally given birth to her child and that you were probably going to meet your new baby cousin soon, you were still kind of down because you were planning on spending the day with your mother. Guess you were going to spend another day alone.
Or were you?
Rubbing your hands against your arms in order to keep warm, you rang the doorbell another time. Why wasn't he answering? You were about to ring the doorbell for the fifth time until you saw the doorbell begin to turn. You took a couple of steps back and bit your lip. A familiar face suddenly appeared and looked down at you with a stunned expression. You saw his lips move and knew he said your name.
"Hi, Ludwig." You whispered even though you had no idea if that was a whisper or if you were talking normally. He stared at you for a couple of seconds more before putting a warm hand behind your back and inviting you inside.
The tall German helped you take your coat off and led you into his living room before patting the couch, inviting you to sit down. You smiled weakly and gently sat down and watched him do the same right beside you. He grabbed a pen and paper from the coffee table in front of you and began to write down a few words.
I haven't seen you in so long, ____________. How are you?
Being the clever girl you are, you pulled a black sharpie out from your purse.
I'm good, thanks. Although school has been a real pain in the arse.
Ludwig smiled weakly and looked down.
Are you still getting used to being deaf or are things a little easier now?
Things are easier. I'm still learning sign language but I'm getting better at reading people's lips.
That's great! I'm happy for you.
The tall blond passed the paper to you but instead of writing something on it, you simply stared at it for a while. You hesitated a bit before grabbing your sharpie and quickly scribbling down the words you were scared of showing him.
Is it hard for you not having Gilbert around?
Ludwig stared at your words for a couple of minutes before hesitantly taking the paper again.
I'm so sorry, Lud... I wish I could have stopped the accident. I have nightmares of it every night...
It wasn't your fault. I should have never given him those car keys in the first place.
You were about to write another sentence down until your eyes caught something familiar. Resting on a high wooden shelf near the fireplace was a frame that contained a picture you knew all too well. It was a picture of you and Gilbert during the first months you used to date him. He was behind you, hands around your waist, chin resting on the top of your head. If you remember well enough, it was taken after an amazing day at the fair with the rest of the gang. Toni, Belle, Francis...
You felt your throat tighten and before you knew it, you felt the tears flowing down your face again. Ludwig watched you stare at the picture before he placed a finger of his beneath your chin and forced you to look up at him.
And so you looked up at him with red and puffy eyes. He didn't like seeing you like this. His older brother's girlfriend, broken and torn up inside. Ludwig placed a soft kiss on your forehead and wiped a few tears away.
"You are a strong person. Gilbert would be so proud." You weren't able to hear his voice but you were able to read his lips. You nodded and threw yourself into his arms. Ludwig hugged you back with the same intensity. He missed his brother just as much as you did. He couldn't remember giving anybody a hug until now. All of the emotions he'd been bottling up inside of him since the accident. He gave himself permission to shed a few tears as well.
After a few silent minutes, Ludwig pulled away and got up from his spot on the couch. You watched him make his way upstairs and as soon as he came back down, you noticed he was holding something in his hand. He sat down next to you like before and with his other free hand, he invited you to cup your hands together. After doing what you were told, he placed a cold object in the palms of your hands. You sniffed a few times, still shaken by a couple of sobs, before opening your hands to look at what was inside.
A black cross necklace.
You gasped at this and looked back at Ludwig, searching for answers in his clear blue eyes. He grabbed the piece of paper and wrote something down.
It belonged to Gilbert. He wanted to give it to you for your 2 year anniversary on August 29th. But then the accident happened and... I guess he would want me to give it to you now.
You placed a hand in front of your mouth to prevent any more sobs to escape. You looked down at the cross and noticed that indeed, it was the cross he would always wear around his neck when he was still alive. Never had you seen him without it. You bent over and felt more sobs shake your body as you tightened your grip around the little black cross. Never were you going to let go of this precious item. Never.
You quickly sat up again and hugged Ludwig one last time.
"Thank you so much..." You softly murmured into his ear, hoping he would hear you.