i feel like i'm dying
slowly fading, slowly leaving
but maybe a miracle could happen
slowly coming, slowly believing
There's always something hidden underneath the surface. Like layers of sadness piled up one on top of the other, coated with fake happiness. And then everyone thinks you're alright, and fine, when really, you aren't. I guess that's just the way life works. Secrets stay hidden until you let them free from their prison.
So I just sit patiently in a corner, all that happiness that seemed to be there before slowly fading. I feel empty, hollow. Like I'm withering from the inside out. What happened? Can Owlmoon help me? What about Autumnbreeze?
I feel like I'm dying. Slowly fading, slowly leaving... but no. I'm floating now, and I feel sort of happy again. I'm free. Free of the misery, free of all the worry and sadness. All these layers have been stripped away, and I'm alive again. Really alive. Again.
"Owlmoon?" I look up to see Skymist running towards me, breathless. And just like that, that feeling is gone. I'm back in reality, and the sadness is back too. I feel like I'm tethered now, to this place, where sadness rules. I feel like pouring rain, the steady beat making me feel lonely. Drops of sadness and agony instead of drops of rain.
"Skymist." I look up at the light gray she-cat and her deep sky-blue eyes. They're usually sparkling and happy, but right now... they look worried. Really upset. "What happened?" I ask, getting up swiftly. "Where's Autumnbreeze?"
"She's um..." She cringes a little before going on. "… gone." She watches me tentatively, and I get up. I have to find Autumnbreeze. I have to know what happened - because Skymist obviously won't tell me. "Owlmoon. Don't." Sighing unhappily, I turn to Skymist, who sits there calmly.
"Let me go, Skymist! I need to know - know what Autumnbreeze is up to. I need to know what's wrong." "She won't take your presence very well, Owlmoon." I let out a little yelp of surprise. What had happened? "W-What do you mean Skymist? Autumnbreeze is my best friend. She doesn't hate me." Skymist just stares at me, her expression like stone.
"Maybe you don't know everything, Owlmoon. Maybe things are there, but you can't see them."
"Skymist, I-" "There might be some things you should know, Autumnbreeze..." "What do you mean?"
"That there's things you should know?" Skymist says drily.
"No, before that!" I say, frantically. I don't even know why.
Skymist sighs and shakes her head. "Owlmoon, listen." I start to get up from my sitting position when Skymist shoots me a sharp look. "Fine." I mutter. For some reason, only Skymist and Roseblossom can have this sort of effect on me. "Look around us. What do you notice?" I look around the camp, and at the other cats around me. All I really see is cats sitting, talking, and for the kits and apprentices - playing. "Everything's … normal, Skymist..." I trail off when I see her expression. She sighs, exasperated, before waving her tail. "What's wrong?"
"Just... nothing, Owlmoon." Skymist looks solemn - something's wrong. "Owlmoon, I- it's just that..." "Skymist, tell me."
"… there's more to everything than what meets the eye."
"You saw everyone being 'normal', right?" I nod slowly. "But look at what I see." She looks around. "I see the warriors playing a truth or dare game - cats are getting humiliated when their darkest secrets are out in the open. I see the kits play fighting one another, but one is sick, and his mother is trying to get him to go to the medicine den. I can see the apprentices telling scary stories, and the deputy and leader having a serious talk." I just stare at her, before I look around.
Skymist is right - there were so many things I hadn't noticed. I only grazed the surface of things - while she dug for the truth. "Whoa." I breathe. "So what does this have to do with Autumnbreeze?" I ask curiously.
"There's more to her than you know, Owlmoon."
"Tell me, Skymist." She doesn't reply, but starts walking out of camp, waving her tail for me to follow. After a few seconds' hesitation, I bound after her.
i should've been more careful
i think this is all my fault
i'd just like to go back in time
wish everything were in default
"So tell me." I say as we wander through the woods, the sun making the leaves' shadows dance across the ground. "Tell me what happened to Autumn."
"Do you really want to know?" Skymist asks, sounding wary. I nod my head vigorously.
"Please, Skymist. I need to know." I beg. I sense that she's about to argue, when she sighs unhappily.
"Fine. But if you don't like what you hear, remember that it was you who signed up for this."
"Deal." Skymist doesn't talk for some time, so I poke her with my tail. Hard. She needs to start talking, and soon. There might not be enough time to find Autumnbreeze after this. And I need to fix this mess that we got ourselves into.
"I'm thinking about how I should say it... okay, I got it." She walks to a nearby tree and sits down under it. "Come on."
I sit down, staring at her intently. "Spill."
"Owlmoon... I, uh - are you sure you want this?" She asks, worriedly.
"Autumnbreeze... thinks that your friendship with her is fading..."
"What in the name of StarClan is that supposed to mean?"
"… but that's only the gist of it."
"Skymist!" I wail, crouching into a ball. "What?" She says immediately.
"Why is this happening?"
"Because," she says gently. "Sometimes mistakes and problems can bring people closer together than they've ever been before."
"How can I stop this?" I whisper.
"I can't help you with this, Owlmoon. This is your problem - and yours alone. The only people who can fix this is you and Autumnbreeze. And we have no idea where she is..." She mutters bitterly.
I jump up at once. "Skymist!" I nearly scream. "Why didn't you tell me before?" I choke out.
"It would've only made you feel worse."
"But you should've told me!"
"Now's not the time to mope, Owlmoon. You need to go find Autumnbreeze."
Skymist walks back to camp, leaving me feeling stranded in the middle of the woods. I start moving towards the river, hoping to do something besides watching leaves flutter down, and kill them under my paws as I walk over them.
Where is Autumnbreeze? What could she be doing? Why is this happening? What did I do? Why is she acting this way?
I hear the rush of the river, and I start running toward it's steady beat. But something else - something new - stops me. The sound of crying. I look to see a ginger she-cat hovering over the river's surface. Autumnbreeze.
"Autumnbreeze?" I come out, walking up to her.
"O-Owlmoon?" She looks up at me, fear taking over her. I can see it in her expression.
"Save it. I - It doesn't matter." Autumnbreeze gets up, and takes a step back.
"But it does, Autumnbreeze-" I bound up to her, staring into her bright gaze.
"Skymist talked you into this, didn't she?" Autumnbreeze whispers.
"Yes-" I see her expression, and I wish I could take back what I said. "No! I meant no, Autumn. I came here of my own accord."
"I don't believe you." Autumnbreeze says helplessly. "I'm not lying." I say pleadingly.
"Where were you all this time?" She stares at me.
"I, I was-"
But Autumnbreeze bounds away, and I stare at her lithe shape before sprinting after her.
i really need to fix things
to make things the way they were
but you won't let me be sorry
that's what i would've preferred