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The Wilting Lotus (6)

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You wake up in unfamiliar surroundings and feel lost. The last thing you can remember is Shorter's face in tears which still pulses in your head like a heartbeat. You look around and find you are in a plane to somewhere, and the only other person on this plane other than the pilot is a Chinese man who is sitting next to you. He introduces himself, "Hi, my name is Sonny. I'm Shorter's younger brother. I'm sorry we're meeting like this in such circumstances. How do you feel?"

"I'm still woozy. I didn't even know he had a brother. Then again, he hardly talked about family. What happened? Where's Shorter?"

"He knew you wouldn't take 'no' for an answer when he asked you to leave him so he decided to drug you and send you to L.A. where you will be in my care until you get comfortable there. Shorter will not be able to see you or get in contact with you because of the danger he's in."

You feel heartbroken and helpless. You look out the window as you don't want to be bothered right now. You let the tears flow from your eyes and adjust to a world without Shorter Wong, your Purple Dragon.

"Shorter..." you whisper to yourself.

The plane lands in Los Angeles, and Sonny takes you to your new apartment. "Welcome to your new home. It's fully furnished, lots of space, even a view of the mountains" Sonny says as he give you a tour of your new place. You walk around the space and still feel empty. Sonny sees your face and tries to cheer you up, "Shorter wanted me to tell you that he'll always be thinking of you. He also said not to worry, and to always see the good in everything like what you saw in him. He gave me this to give to you when you woke up." Sonny gives you a small, white, cloth drawstring bag, and in it was a purple lotus. There was also a small piece of paper in the bag that read...

"A lotus for MY lotus. From, your Purple Dragon"

You hold back the tears in front of Sonny and say, "Thank you, Sonny. Will you check up on me every now and then?"

"Of course! We're family. I'll be around if you need me. Here's my number in case you need to call me, OK?"

"OK."

"I'll give you some space now and let you get accustomed. If you need anything please don't hesitate to give me a call."

"Thanks, Sonny."

"See you soon. Oh! One more thing...he did also say that he'll miss using his 'hand warmers', whatever that means." You give Sonny a smile as he closes the door behind him, and leaves you alone in this new space in a new town. You don't know what to feel, what to think, what to do. All you can do is cry on the couch wishing all of this was different. You can still hear Shorter's voice as you read his letter over and over again.

You yell from the top of your lungs Shorter's name wishing he could hear you from New York. You continuously yell his name so many times that you lose count, and eventually are too tired to say anything. Sleep is the only thing that resolves you from this chaos.

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About a month passes and you feel a bit better about things in L.A. You are now used to life there and met some cool people, but feel rather introverted and would still rather stay at home alone sometimes. You became an avid reader, and decided to take up piano lessons just to be productive. You even hang out with Sonny from time to time.

One day out of the blue Sonny calls you asking if he could come over, and you accepted. Sonny comes over and sits you down to tell you of some unfortunate news. He had gotten word that Shorter was caught in the middle of a gang war and was fatally shot. The police didn't find him until the morning after in an alleyway. All he had on him was his gun, his smart phone, and a purple good luck charm which you gave to him for his birthday.

You cry uncontrollably and hold onto Sonny for comfort. You are now living in a world without your Dragon by your side. You decided that you couldn't stay in the house so you tell Sonny that you have to leave and be somewhere else. He asks if you needed an escort and you tell him no. You travel a ways to a hiking trail away from people. You sit on a grassy cliff looking off into the sunset. With tears rolling down your face you let the wind sweep through your entire being. With the warmth of the sun and the gentle comfort of the wind you close your eyes and become one with the earth. You take a deep inhale and slowly exhale, and hear a familiar voice that you thought was buried in the past...

"Princess?"

**This seems like a good time to jump in and speak to you all. I have made a few changes to the titles. Since I am writing the "Main Story Arc" right now I have now added volume numbers to the titles in case you wanted to read them in chronological order to get the full effect of the main story. While the main story will get increasingly intense, I have other side stories that will cushion your fall such as Ash's 18th birthday celebration. Thank all of you who have been reading and following my cathartic journey through both Canonical (Thank you, Akimi Yoshida!) and Non-Canonical Banana Fish. Best community ever <3 Stay tuned!**