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a hug from the sun

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I remember when the warm air outside was something comforting. Like a hug from the sun. Knit sweaters turned into short sleeved shirts as it became hotter and hotter. And, as inconvenient as it may have been, we never minded. You’d think the monsters would - it wasn’t like most of them were exactly used to it after all. Even in Hotland, the warmth of the core of the Earth wasn’t anything like the warmth of the sun. Most monsters from Snowdin were fluffier, or used to layering - generally unbothered by the cold and unfamiliar with warmth. Same with Waterfall - ocean creatures weren’t exactly meant to walk on land. Yet most of them did it anyway. They all settled into society the best they could without a complaint, appreciating the little things, no matter how uncomfortable it may have been at times.

I’d almost say they were transitioning back into society better than I was. None of us had a place to go, but many of us had seen the surface before. They knew how things worked and could take care of themselves for the most part. I had memories of how things worked on the surface, so I helped those who needed it the best I could, but it was more than embarrassing being asked about my life before I fell. Where I was from, where my parents were, I could never say. Whether this was from a head injury or from me being an entity that didn’t exactly follow the rules of the universe, I don’t know, but I tried to rejoice with my newfound family anyway.

Despite my confusion, despite my hardship, summer was a symbol of hope. Accomplishment. Again and again, no matter how many times I went through the underground. Sometimes I would go through a little too quickly and come out at the end of spring, other times I would take my time and just make it into autumn. However, for the most part, it was always summer. The sunset that greeted us time and time again filled us all with hope. Determination. It was almost addicting, seeing the look on my friends’ faces over and over and over. They were so happy. They were so happy because of what I did. I had saved them all.

Quite ironic, considering how I was treated whenever I’d try to integrate into their society and help myself. The first time I went through the underground I was honestly terrified of some of them, not knowing the capabilities they had or the extent of their potential. I love the monsters to death. They’re the only friends and family I have and the only people I will ever have - however, for a while, I resented them. I never told them, but I resented Asgore for killing the six human children and Undyne for feeling so little guilt. Openly, at least. I know now most of it was a facade. Deep down, she was terrified. She was far from a coward, of course - Undyne is one of the bravest people I know. But the bravery came from a place of loving her friends, not wanting to save herself.

Despite this, the more I thought about it, the more admirable she became. She didn’t know the extent of my potential either, and yet she still tried to stop me in my tracks, to save everyone she knew and loved. She was motivated by the love for those around her, and seeing her drive was truly inspiring. It had me thinking though…

What would happen if she didn’t have anyone to save? What if I took them all away from her? Would she try to kill me out of anger? Or would her cowardice show? My thoughts then began to wander to my other friends. Was Papyrus’ kindness conditional, or would it change when being faced with a true monster? Would Toriel be as motherly and caring towards a murderer?

I had always wondered how the judgment hall let in so much light. The warmth felt real, far from artificial, despite the nights I had lied awake on the surface thinking the entire world was just a collection of predetermined events. Nothing ever changed no matter how many times I reset, so I thought maybe, just maybe, something new will happen if I do something drastic. I knew I’d feel guilty, but I thought guilt was far from the worst emotion I could experience. Surely nothing could be worse than the feeling of realizing how meaningless the world truly is? That you’re the only real person?

I was wrong.

The first time I killed everyone I loved and knew I remember stopping in my tracks and sobbing in the judgment hall, overwhelmed with grief. I was so burdened by guilt I couldn’t bring myself to continue to Asgore, and yet, the sun was there, hugging me with warm, open arms. Mockingly. It felt like my entire body was on fire. The universe decided to punish me by turning the one thing that was always constant, the one thing that felt truly real in my world against me.

I can’t say I ever left the underground in the summer after that. I’d always stay a little too long in the Ruins or have one too many conversations with the residents of Snowdin. Anything to prevent me from coming out of there and being met with burning heat, a constant reminder that they’re not your friends if you killed them.