Your very voice is in my heartbeat, sweeter than my dreams. You were there, in everlasting bloom.
“You know... I was scared.”
The day Jack met Lacie, snowflakes were tumbling to the ground and no matter how heated their dance seemed to be, they didn’t ever melt.
It felt weird to look at them – they were so free, a least until they hit the ground and stuck to it. They weren’t bound to a body like he was, to a weak vessel that could pull him into an endless darkness if he didn’t take care of it. Then again, he didn’t care too much about death. Just like snowflakes melted after a while, human beings passed away, were forgotten by everyone who had acted as if they loved them.
Jack had seen people dying, had seen the light fading from someone’s eyes; he had witnessed it so many times that it left him cold. He’d seen others being shocked at death, but he knew it was all just egoistical thinking. They didn’t care about a stranger who had died of famine or the cold. All they really had on their mind was their own death, being reminded that their pitiful lives would end too.
He had thought that she had come out into the streets to die, too. Little did he know that she had come to live.
“Not knowing who I was, was to me an unbearable horror.”
The day Oz met Alice, there hadn’t been any snow. Instead, heavy rain drops splattered against the windows of the mansion, lightnings cut through the darkness of night and thunder growled loud enough to make even him, him who accepted everything shiver.
Her embrace was warm, even though it had only been a projection.
It almost felt like someone he knew – the shape of her body, the colour of her hair.
A name was on his tongue; not Alice, but something that almost sounded alike but had been buried too deep inside of his conscious.
It was the name on the grave he had found just a few hours before that, but he didn’t learn that until much later.
“And so... Before I knew it, I had come to detest Lacie.”
Lacie showed him the ridiculously cruel and ridiculously beautiful world. She held him by his hand and led him through it. Not carefully, but almost brutally so. It was just him and her, exploring streets and the sky and the stars and everything suddenly shined to him.
Before her, everything had felt dull and cold and unfriendly.
With her fingers slowly creeping into his, their hands intertwining, it suddenly started to become colourful. The blue of the sky. The yellow shimmer of the rising morning sun. His own green eyes reflected in the puddles the snow left behind.
Slowly, so slowly that he hadn’t noticed it, he had grown attached to her.
A feeling he had never experienced before.
“I detested that we ended up meeting.”
Alice showed Oz what it meant to show your own feelings in ways that he couldn’t ever have imagined before.
When she was angry, she screamed; when she was sad, she cried.
Alice perceived the world in a different way. She took in everything at once and then exploded into a burst of colours.
That was exactly what he had told himself not to do. He always stayed quiet. Took everything in bit by bit, so that he could learn to accept it, even if he hated it with his entire being.
After all, he didn’t even know what Break’s question had meant.
Where was he?
Maybe, just maybe, Alice had helped him answer that.
“I cursed that she had saved me.”
After she had left his life just as quickly as she had entered it, Jack had begun following her rules after all.
And everything for one single goal – seeing her again. Feeling something, anything at all.
Because she was the only one making it possible for him to do so.
Not only was he questioning every single in the world with the question ‘why’, but he started selling his body to work his way up into the aristocrat families, since she belonged to one. He knew his father was a Vessalius, but he also knew he would never even dream of taking him in as a lost child if he was a homeless man with no purpose in life other than rotting away.
So, he had started putting on so many masks that he had lost count. A different mask for every woman he slept with, a different mask for every man he lied to.
Until he forgot who he was. Until he lost all sense for the bit of feeling he had finally experienced.
Until he forgot the love he had harboured towards this woman.
“The words she spoke, the song she sang... they all bound me in chains.”
When Oz saw Alice dancing in the rain in Sablier, another name was stuck in the back of his throat again. It was almost as if it was a physical response to seeing a girl with black hair dancing in the rain, something that was anchored inside of his body for infinity.
He had felt all the freedom radiating from her, all the happiness that was emitted by her shining eyes as the rain washed away all the dirt, all the negative feelings they had experienced in the past few hours.
And strangely enough, it had felt right.
As if everything had fallen back into place.
As if the name ‘Lacie’ was eventually going to break the surface and tell him everything he needed to know about himself and his origin.
“But at the same time I noticed it.”
Jack barely remembered the time he had spent with his mother. He knew that she only ever saw his father in him and deeply believed that he would come back to get her and make her have a better life.
He himself knew that it was a lie. Never once did he so much as think that she was right.
As if a wealthy man like one of the Vessalius would waste a single second of his life on the likes of him and his mother.
But he had just been a child. He hadn’t known any better than to try and act dignified, like he thought a Vessalius would, just to make her stop crying or go crazy or leave him.
All it ended up doing was make him a lifeless puppet without an own personality. All the faking cracked something inside of him for forever.
He wasn’t sure if it was his heart or his soul, but it had shattered.
There was nothing left of him.
“My face, contorted in hatred for her, the raw emotion of that was undoubtedly a 'true feeling'. “
Oz remembers his father better than anyone else. Him looking down on him and Oz never looking up, never able to look into his eyes because maybe he would see him as human then.
Everything his father had done was reject him with words so cruel that they would break any child.
What he had wanted to hear was a simple ‘I love you’ or an ‘I’m glad you’ve been born’. He always got the contrary of it.
Until the breaking point.
And from then on, he accepted everything as it came, with snowflakes dancing outside the window while he was sitting on a lonely chair in a cold room.
They were free.
So much unlike him.
“If Lacie was there, then I could recognize 'myself'.”
Jack was nowhere.
And Oz was here.
“When she wasn't by my side, it was painful, when I came in contact with her it was cherishing, tranquil...
I could feel what it was like to be alive.
Yes, I want to live.
In order to do that...
I need Lacie.“