No matter how hard you try, you won't be able to fix someone through willpower alone.
No matter how well you piece together a shattered plate, the cracks will always show, whether they be clumsily stuck back together and obvious or whether you have to look closely to tell that it's been broken at all, it will never be whole again in the way it was before.
For Homura, it was just another part of growing up; learning that she could never turn around and go back to the person that she was before.
She almost was envious of who she used to be, before realizing that she was the same person with less pain and less self-awareness; regardless of it all, she'd always just be a blotchy stain to everyone's life, maybe a memory or a dirty thought crossing the minds of old perverts or an uneasy question on the minds of those that she used to work dead-end jobs with, but she would never stand out in anyone's mind.
Maybe that's why she left him standing there, and why she found herself even more confused when he came back for her.
The night that she resigned herself to her fate was a long one, but a calm one. She remembered the thoughts that made her skin prickle, the fear and uncertainty that she might just survive what she would do and end up making things even worse. She worried that the moment that she got up there she would be entirely unable to give herself the final push that she needed.
After she realized what she was going to be doing, a strange wave of calm washed over her. Yes, Homura could easily feel the tears prickling in her eyes, such a familiar ache that just the beginning of the sensation alone forced the fatigue and exhaustion to resurface, but she knew that this was what was right for her. She knew that deep inside of herself, this was what was right for herself and everyone around her.
The next thing she knew, the boy with the brightest eyes and an even brighter personality was staring down at her with worry in his puppy-dog eyes.
She didn't understand, but whenever he was around her, she felt… so much lighter.
While she knew that she didn't deserve Jyushimatsu, not in the slightest, she knew that selfishly she wanted to keep him around. She wanted to allow herself to fall in love, and to allow him to fall for her.
Nothing seemed to hurt as bad when he was around. Something about him was just so … lighthearted. It didn't hurt to talk about the bad things to him, because he cared, but he didn't seem affected the way everyone else did. When she did stupid things without thinking, he just laughed it off and said he loved her. When she confided in him about all of her past finally, told him everything that haunted her while she hid curled up in her bed trying to fall asleep at night, he didn't judge her. He didn't stare at her or give her that searing pitiful gaze everyone else did; somewhere deep in her heart she could tell that for once it changed nothing about how he saw her.
Occasionally, he'd ask her how she was doing and if everything was okay. It caught her off guard since no one had ever done that for her before. It surprised her so much to see someone caring about her that it almost felt wrong, as if there was something wrong in the universe for her to have someone so much kinder than she deserved.
Every time that they talked and made stupid inside jokes and laughed until their lungs were sore, she couldn't help but sit there after he was long gone and wonder what the hell he could have seen in someone like her.
There must have been many other girls out there, prettier ones with better qualities, funnier and kinder ones with less baggage who weren't so god damn depressed all the time… he deserved so much more than what she could offer him. She couldn't see how she could possibly help him at all, how she could possibly make his life better instead of exponentially worse.
All of her doubts and insecurities seemed to weigh her down.
So, when the day came and he asked her to make things official, she couldn't help but deny him. It was for his own good.
She hated seeing the smile drop from his face knowing it was her fault.
They kept talking as if normal, but she could tell that something was off. She didn't want to ask about it because she worried it would be overstepping her boundaries. Besides, how could she know that he wouldn't just realize what she was after they had been dating? Didn't she save him a worse heartache by just rejecting him now?
The more that she thought on it, the more she regretted the decision. The more she realized that she had made this choice solely out of anxiety, out of fear of ruining what they had, and dejectedly admitted to herself that she was more selfish than she had ever believed.
The day that she was set to board her train, she sent him a text letting him know; it was the least that she could do after all that had happened, after all.
She didn't expect anything at all, yet she was surprised once again by the boy who had saved her life showing up once more. And, unable to keep herself from feeling all of the things she was feeling, she realized something as she watched the boy that she had fallen in love with follow after her like a puppy.
Maybe, she should just go ahead and give this a chance.