Echoes Off the Inner Skull

I admire her. Lina, I mean.

I admire her.

Lina. Dancing flames. The two are much alike. I admire her beauty, her intelligence, her power. Her courage. Her flamboyance. The moment she walks into a room, a town, a city, a village, whatever, everybody stares. And she fireballs them for it. She draws people to her without even trying. Just as a magnet doesn't think about attracting nails. It just does.

Lina is fire. So beautiful, yet so dangerous. I read somewhere that 'fire can warm you from a distance, but close up, it burns'. I got too close to Lina. Now she's burning me up. And for some strange reason, I'm enjoying every minute of it.

I admire him. I fear him. And I pity him.


He is so smug. So arrogant. Confident that he will always come out on top. I wish I could be like that; sure that I am right, that I am strong. And he is. Strong, I mean, Powerful, so very powerful. If he played it right, he could have all of us begging at his feet. Maybe he will, one day.

And yet, he is still a slave, chained to a destiny, an ideal, decided for him at the birthing of the worlds.

At times, I would give everything to have what he has. But, then his mistress yanks the leash, or I catch a hint of fanatical obsession in his rarely opened eyes, and I realize that, miserable as my life is, I am still far luckier than he. Because I am who decides my fate.

Or so I would like to believe.

I envy her.

Imagine that. Me, jealous of a sheltered, misguided innocent.

I'm talking about Amelia, of course. If you hadn't figured that out on your own, I would advise knocking yourself on the head several times. It might raise your IQ.

But I'm avoiding the subject.

I envy her.


I envy her because she is so absolutely certain that what she is doing is right, good. And it is, if not exactly in the way she thinks. People see her, and they smile, because to them, she is like hope personified. Her beliefs, her enthusiasm are so strong they spill over onto everyone around her.

Me? I'm not even sure if my cure is out there, much less whether or not I really want it.

I'm wasting my life and I know it, yet, I'm too proud to stop.

Amelia, on the other hand, will make herself all that she can be. She might even outshine Lina Inverse. Because she's got what Lina never had -- the love of her people.

Who wouldn't envy her?


I admire her. And I am awed by her.

She was proud, strong, the perfect ryuzoku. Or so she thought.

And then, over the course of a few short weeks, all her beliefs were challenged. Everything that she thought was right, each and every concept she believed, was shoved into her face and recast in a different light. Quite the crisis of faith, né?

But she survived. And she found the courage to pick up the pieces and go on with her life, using the scars as a reminder. And she found the courage to take in and care for another. She is a reforged blade; shattered, mended, stronger.

I don't think I could do that.

But I might have to, one day.

And Gourry.

I envy him too.

Someone said, once, that ignorance is bliss. Cliché, I know, but it just might be true.

His sense of security, his absolute and complete faith that no matter how bad it gets, Lina'll get us through okay -- that is why I envy him. I know that one day, Lina won't be able to save us.

Nobody's invincible. Not even Lina.

But Gourry isn't aware of that.

I envy him.

I'm a little uncertain about Sylphiel.

I admire her.

Her entire city, her only home, nearly everyone she cared about was destroyed in heartbeats. Twice. And both times she kept going. She didn't close up or become a hermit, suicide, etc. She wasn't afraid to love. It takes a lot of strength to be able to do that.


I'm terrified of having feelings for anyone as it is. Terrified of feeling, period. Too late now. I'm in way over my head. If anything happened to them -- Lina, Gourry, Amelia, Filia -- I think I'd die. Or go completely insane.

Not Sylphiel.

Which brings me to the next point in this little soul-search.

I also pity her.

It should be fairly obvious why.

She's completely in love with Gourry. Gourry, on the other hand, is almost completely unaware of the fact that she exists at all. He ignores her when Lina is around, and she is hurt and confused. Or, perhaps, she refuses to see that he loves Lina. One of the hardest things to do is to admit you're wrong. Trust me. I know.

Maybe I shouldn't pity her.

Maybe I should sympathize with her.

Upon re-reading what I've just written, I find that I am seriously entertaining thoughts of burning this before anyone reads it. I'm not really sure why. Maybe I'm afraid that they'll laugh at me. That would ... hurt. I don't want it to, but it would. Of course, I suspect that if I ever read something like this, I would laugh too, outwardly at least. Maybe everyone thinks like this, and the laughs are only a shield.


If only?