The Wind Spirit

It's been years. He's grown. He looks just like how he did so many years ago. The same slightly effeminate features, the same lazy smile, everything she found so infuriatingly obnoxious in the past. He laughs with the rest of his friends. He jokes with them. He glances up through the tree branches as he walks, and his eyes go right through her.

It's to be expected, she reasons with herself as he looks back down and walks right on by. Things change in the next life. He's kept his looks, his personality, that strange charisma of his. To keep his ability to see elementals would be pushing his luck. She reminds herself over and over that he's only been reborn. He's not the same boy who panicked and pored over various summoning books when she first appeared to him, who shamelessly asked her stir up the wind beneath the skirts of unsuspecting girls, who laughed and joked with his friends as he used his summons to fight alongside them.

She constantly tells herself this, but trails behind him anyway, all the while remembering nights spent sitting on his desk, his head resting in the nest of his arms as he spoke to her in the quiet tone he only used when they were alone.

He still sleeps at his desk, or rather, this blonde boy who reminds her of him also sleeps at his desk. She prods his face and angrily pinches his cheeks, but when he wakes up, his bleary eyes still stare through her.

"Remember me," she urges, and all it serves to do is make him frown in confusion, stand up, and close the window. He hears only the wind when she talks.

His friends are the same as well. She recognizes them from their past lives, the ones who always walked and joked with him. The same ones who he traveled alongside with in their quest. She recognizes the brown-haired Declan who still naturally leads the group, the deceptively cheerful Brian whose smile is still too big for his round face, the silently threatening Inez who still instills a sense of fear with just a single look, and the whimpering cowardly Silas who can still cry at the drop of a hat.

She looks at herself in a pool of water and finds that she's the only one who's changed. "Oh," she murmurs, disturbing her reflection with a single touch. It suddenly makes sense. She's never felt this long aching loneliness before, not even when the wind first roused her and made her aware of herself. She thinks of their short lives compared to her own. A dull ache twists in her chest as she remembers their lifeless bodies lying in the dirt.

She gambled on their next lives, and she lost.

She buries her face in her hands and wails, cursing the day he, sitting on the wooden floor of his house and staring down at her with childlike wonder, summoned her.

Years pass. He's settled down from his womanizing ways, married a girl with a smile like sunshine, and had a son whose eyes stay on her as she tugs on strands of his father's hair.

And one day, that son sits down on the wooden floor of his house surrounded by summoning books. She watches him listlessly, recalling all the memories that she can never hope to reclaim, but at the same time, she feels the tug of his words just as much as she felt the tug of that other boy's so long ago.

They lock eyes, and with a forlorn sigh, she flutters down onto the ground in front of him, and places her hands on her hips.

"What do you want, human?" she demands grouchily.

He lowers his head and holds out his hand. "Only for you to follow me instead of my father."

She hesitates; she can't get the image of him holding his finger out for her to land on, the curve of his smile when he launches her into the air with that practiced confidence of his. And then she looks at this boy in front of her and she sees...

She sees nothing to remind her of the past, and it hurts to know that her past is gone. Those eventful days of their companionship are long gone.

"What will you offer me?" she finally asks in a defeated tone.

He places a hand on his chest and answers with full confidence,"Only myself."

(It's not what she truly wants, but she accepts it anyway.)

The End

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