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Lost (but still with you)

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"Those that go searching for love, only manifest their own lovelessness. And the loveless never find love, only the loving find love. And they never have to seek for it."

~{&}~

"Hey Kuro! Let's promise that we'll never separate from each other ever in a thousand or a million years! We'll use this bell to seal our pact— or, something like a contract together, alright? This will act as the base for our contract together so we can make sure that we'll always be connected. Through this bell," The young boy smiled as he held out a yellow bell with a string attached to it.

Kuro eyed the bell carefully and gently took it. It glistened and shone in the sun. It was obvious that it had been polished by the boy himself. It looked simple yet there was a warm and heartwarming feeling to it that resounded the boy's feelings, and he knew that it was mutual. He stared up at the boy who's smile resembled the sun and couldn't help but feel comfort from it.

He smiled back as he placed the bell around his neck, hearing it jingle softly with the rustle of his hair as the wind breezed by. It was as if a bond that was as tough as steel formed through their hearts, linking them to each other silently, making sure that the other wouldn't stray so far from the former. They were connected to each other.

Their feelings to each other were mutual and nothing in the world, no matter how sharp, how hard or how strong was ever going to break their bond; they were meant to be, and they both knew that fact even from a young age.

"Okay. We'll be together forever."

And forever's a long time that they'll spend together.

But little did he know that it would turn out to be the biggest lie that he has ever told anyone before in his life.

~{&}~

The tired teen with permanent eye bags that were covered by his baby blue bangs yawned and stretched his limbs as he stepped into the apartment, overseeing his new and temporary home.

It was a safe haven for him and he was glad he bought it. No more annoying siblings, no more distractions, and most importantly, no more memories that reminded him of his best friend from a decade ago, someone who he cherished with all his life and someone he could call his own.

His partner.

He sighed as he shook his head, his old yet polished bell that had a long string attached to it to keep it on his neck swaying with the wind and earning him a jingle, and he smiled softly. However, doing so reminded him of who exactly gave him that bell and he gritted his teeth.

No, he could not afford to bring bad omen to his new house now. It was a fresh start from everything that had lead up to this point in his life, and he was going to muster up any energy that he still had and could salvage to make it into a good fresh start. No more. He couldn't afford to remember anything else from his dark past just when he was about to start anew.

If he did, then there wouldn't be any point at all, right?

He shrugged to his own question and decided to explore his apartment, having unknown of what it looked like inside because he signed the contract without even seeing the interior of it due to the temptation of the cheap costs it had.

He shoved his hands into the pockets of his hoodie and was about to strut off, but something else was shoved into his face, albeit he felt nothing from it.

Though, he could definitely see it.

A translucent form that was halfway through the wall and halfway into the hallway popped out of nowhere, and creepily enough (if it wasn't already creepy at that point), it had the facial features of a boy who could not be older than twenty but not younger than fourteen, probably around sixteen to eighteen of that age.

The apparition turned to him, and judging the way how he could permeate through the wall — a feat he knew was impossible due to common sense — he could deduce at least one thing through the midst of it all.

This guy was a ghost.

It was obvious that the ghost— or, the boy was about to go to another room but was halted by his presence, and both locked eyes with each other in a slow but stress-inducing way with the Earth's clock seemingly stopping itself at that moment.

Time slowed down so slowly that he managed to watch as the boy finally gathered his bearings and saw the shock overwhelming him, if his wide eyes and gaping mouth was any to note.

The human teen however, was not consumed yet by the delayed feeling of shock, and his mind seemed to wander off to another place as he realised a key and crucial factor that explained the landlords apprehension when he told him that he wanted to buy this apartment.

The apartment was haunted by a ghost and he had bought it on a whim.

'Ah,' he thought woefully as the feeling shock finally enveloped him,'so this is why the apartment was so cheap.'

Maybe he should've checked it out first before buying it.

~{&}~

Kuro Ash, a high school student, rented out an apartment for a steep and cheap price and expected to live his life forever restlessly in solitude after his best friend died mysteriously without any explanation a decade ago, a memory that he doesn't ever want to recall ever again. A painful thorn that he has pricked himself with in a garden full of roses. Or a painful chapter in a novel that everyone wished that they never read, per se.

He rented it out in hopes of escaping the past, away from his siblings who try and reach out to him to help him but to no avail. He rented it because it was cheap and near to his school and since he was just a mere student, it was a win-win for him. It was impossible for him to not jump on this chance.

However, he should really check the apartment out before he signs the contract and not judge it just based on the price itself.

Especially if that apartment has an unwelcome roommate who floats and is slightly invisible and can pass through objects easily.

But why does his roommate act like a housewife and order him to live his life healthier, even going so far as to berate him when he eats instant ramen instead of home cooked meals?

And more importantly...

Why does his new roommate look exactly like his best friend from a decade ago?

Sadly, only time and a lot of unraveling of uncomfortable truths can tell.

~{&}~

"I'll always be with you, be it in body or soul."