I stare at the screen, waiting for some burst of inspiration to rain upon me like a meteor shower sent straight from the gods of literature heaven.
A sigh escapes my lips, and I haphazardly bash random buttons of the keyboard, watching as the blank document before me is littered with an incoherent placement of characters. The monotone click-clack seems to just resonate with the narcoleptic beating of my heart, further fueling my senseless crusade.
Where has all my writing gone?
It feels like it was just sucked right out of my soul. Ideas constantly plague my mind, yet all I can do is write them down. When I go to type them out, nothing happens. And then, just as quickly as my urge to write appears, it is gone in a flash—and all I can do is slump forward and hope that maybe next week I'll get something productive done.
My fingers halt in their endless assault of the keyboard, and my eyes slide up to scan the nonsense I've created on the bright screen. It's nothing but pointless keyboard spam, yet sadly a part of me is somewhat relieved that I have at least filled up the blank document with a semblance of proper words. As this notion eases across my mind, my eyes catch sight of a certain bit of the nonsensical combinations of letters and numbers and punctuation marks—it practically flares up at me as if the word itself is on fire, and I merely stare.
"…hah," the meager laugh sounds just as worn down as I feel. "That's pathetic. Out of all the words I could have subconsciously written correctly, I type down that one? Guess it just shows how childish I still am, after all I've vowed to do."
I rub my eyes and figure the best thing to do is put the laptop away for another night and get some rest. It wasn't like I was going to make any headway on a story in the first place. At most, I might have been able to concoct a poem of some sort; maybe jot down a few more plot ideas here and there. But actually sitting down and getting a chapter of a story completely written over the course of a single day? Not a chance.
"I need sleep," I mutter as I exit out of the document, not even hesitating to click "don't save" when the option to save the file pops up. My cursor hovers over the shut-down button on the menu of the laptop, and for a moment I simply stare at the wallpaper I haven't changed since I first bought the damn machine.
Prussia. Prussia in all his "awesome" glory. A collage of random fanart images of the Hetalia: Axis Powers character, one that I remember squealing with happiness the moment I came across it. A bitter smile curves upward on my lips, and I shake my head. "I was an idiot back then. Just a raving fangirl. One who wrote nothing but pointless fanservice. One who thought of nothing but Hetalia. One who…practically broke away from her friends and family for the sake of immersing herself in the fantasy world of Hetalia and its characters. And…Prussia…"
A name that, as soon as I had learned of it, I knew I would cherish for a very long time. The human name for the country of Prussia as deemed by fans and author of the Hetalia series alike.
I had fallen in love with that name and the persona identified with it the moment I read it. Yet now, all I can do is wince and regret that unfortunate event.
"…why?" I ask myself softly, still staring at the wallpaper. His silver-white hair, his mischievous ruby-hued eyes, that handsome and confident pale face…there's about a dozen figures on the screen, thrown together in one single collage, and every single image seems to scream the same exact thing:
"Why?" I repeat to myself in a quiet tone, not able to tear my gaze from the wallpaper. "Why did I let it get so out of hand? My adoration for the series…and my 'love' for you. It was all I lived for. For a year and a half. It was all I talked about—all I thought about. All I wanted to be."
I close my eyes and remove my hand from the mouse, just sitting there and thinking. Memories flood back in my mind like a tsunami—of first finding Hetalia and watching a bit; of how it quickly evolved into an unhealthy obsession; of telling my friends "no" when they asked me to hang out because I'd rather stay home and look up as much Hetalia-related things as I could; of writing nothing but cheap, smutty reader inserts when I should have done so much more with this "gift" of writing people keep saying I have; and, of most of all, spending so many nights crying myself to sleep because I so desperately wanted nothing more than for Prussia himself to come to life and call me his awesome Frau.
"And now look at me," I mumble, opening my eyes once more. "I'm constantly thinking about all the things I missed out on while I was in my Hetalia-induced stupor. Hah," a slightly bitter laugh makes itself known, "I've even gotten to the point where my standards for actual men are impossibly high, due to my damn obsession with that harem of fictional characters."
I glare at the collage of Prussia now, my blood feeling hot and cold at the same time. "It's all because of you! If you hadn't…been as awesome as you are, I would have never gotten so wrapped up in a fantasy world! I would have written stories that were actually worth something, instead of pointless reader inserts about how you seduce a make-believe version of me! Dammit, Prussia—Gilbert—I…I…I hate you!"
"Nein, Frau. You don't."
My heart leaps straight to my throat.
I would recognize that outrageous German accent until the day I died.
My head raises from the glowing screen of my laptop to the foot of my bed. There, standing right in front of me, is the source of my woes.
Prussia—Gilbert Beilschmidt—in the flesh.
I gape, my mouth closing and opening like a fish out of water. He simply stands there, in his usual blue military outfit, those crimson eyes locking with mine like a heat-sensing missile. I can't move—I can barely breathe. A million words get caught on my tongue, like a fly trapped in a spider's web, and everything I wish to say melts away into a stream of incoherent noises.
"Y-You…y-you're…why are you…I-I must be…"
He leans against the bed for a second, before hauling himself up and sitting cross legged on the folded up blanket at the end, reaching one pale hand out and gently pushing the laptop lid down. Now there is no barrier between us as we both stare at one another, as if in a life-or-death staring contest, neither one of us blinking.
At last, Gilbert speaks.
"You don't hate me, Schatz. You hate that I'm only pixels on a screen—awesome pixels at that." He manages a cheeky grin that lasts only a moment. "You hate that you were desperate enough to latch onto the idea of me. You hate that you were weak and let yourself be swept away in…everything I was. You don't hate me, liebe. You hate yourself, and the fact that you can't turn back time and stop yourself from drowning in my awesomeness."
The words aren't being said in his usual arrogant, bragging tone. They are simplistic; realistic.
And I know they are the truth.
"…I'm sorry," I whisper, not being able to bring myself to look him in the eyes. "I'm sorry, Prussia. Gilbert. I'm sorry I…let it all get so bad. I'm sorry I keep wanting to blame everything on you when in reality, it's my fault. I'm sorry. I'm sorry…"
"It's fine," he replies in that same soft, sincere tone. "I know, liebe. I know. But you can't dwell on this, ja? You have to keep moving forward." His hands reach out, carefully grasping my own. Rather than a delicate warmth pressing against my skin, all I can feel is air. "You have to do what you love. Writing. Write whatever the hell you want! So what if it may take you all the time in the world? At least you'll be doing what you love. So stop hating yourself, Schatz, and learn to smile again."
Prussia smiles now, and it's all I can do to not throw myself at him and pour my soul out to him—this character I've come to love and both hate at the same time.
"Be yourself. Be happy again. Laugh, cry, und smile. Stop despising yourself every chance you get—it isn't very awesome to do so, you know! I don't like unawesome things, remember? So…"
His forehead presses against mine.
Yet all I feel is nothing, and I can't help but close my eyes.
"Become yourself again—the healthy balance you keep wanting. Because that was the you that was truly awesome. I promise, mein Frau, that everything is going to be okay. Just remember that you are always awesome…you just need to find yourself again."
There's only silence, as I cannot find the right words to say, and he is finished speaking. At last, my tongue seems to work, and I can't help the slight tremble in my voice.
"…I love you, Gilbert. No matter what happens, some part of me will always love you. You were some of the best days of my life, even if it was one I lived in a fantasy world. I'll try to be awesome again. I promise. I don't hate you, Prussia. I love you."
My eyes open for the last time in our exchange.
He is gone, of course.
Because he was never there.
The bedroom around me turns blurry and my eyes feel hot and prickly, but I refuse to make a sound.
Instead, I merely open up the laptop again, log in, and bring up a fresh word document.
As my heart and soul break and try to piece one another back together simultaneously, I begin to type.