“It’s so cold...And there’s nothing here...”
“Brother...Swallow...Are you here...”
The bright sun shone upon Edward, who appeared even paler under the light. He was lying by the window, gazing out at the distance, motionless, with stiff smile on his face. The swallow’s wing covered half of Edward’s body, as he regretfully gazed at the ring on Edward’s finger and sighed.
Shining with an eerie glow, the stone on the ring looked like a hybrid of a tanzanite and a moonstone. The ring fed on his soul at every single second. It drained his soul, emotions, and motivation. No matter how bright the sun shone outside, darkness always surrounded him; no matter how warm it was, all he felt was bitter coldness. All he had was darkness.
“I will be fine if my brother is alright.” thought Edward. He spared no effort to stay positive, yet he couldn't remember the last time he truly smiled. Sometimes he pretended to laugh and forced himself to be optimistic, believing that everything will work out by doing that.
A few days later, he couldn’t even recognize his own laugh. Whether it was his laugh or someone else's, he couldn't tell. He kept hearing a voice in his mind: Keep laughing, just keep laughing, No one can predict the future, but as long as you keep laughing, everything will be fine. “Fine” Edward was curious of what that word meant…
What’s the definition of the word “fine”? Did he ever felt fine?
He wore the ring, losing his soul bit by bit, even to the extent of losing his emotions.
Pretending to be a madman, his brother disregarded his pride and would often parade around naked. Edward still laughed every time, thinking it was the only solution because he knew he couldn't find another way to stop his brother's humiliating suffering.
He recalled when Prince William accused him of usurping the throne, he was tortured, but he kept smiling, believing that it overpowered the suffering, however, all of it still left an unhealable scar...
It was a terrible stormy day when his father passed away, Edward kept knocking on the coffin in hopes of awakening his father, while tears, mixing with rain, ran down his face...
“The pain’s...killing me...” His body was demising, but he still suffocated by the pain. He tried his best to put on a smile, but with the sound of his brother's cries of pain echoing in his ears, he couldn’t smile for long…
At that moment, all he wanted to do was cry with his brother and pour out all the tears he held back all these years…
“I...I don’t want to...laugh anymore...”
Suddenly, a warm feeling passed through his palm.
“It’s warm...What’s that...” As he immersed in the warm feeling, he heard a familiar sound summoning him:
“Wake up, Edward!”
“Bro...brother?” The voice became more and more clear as he gradually regained his sight. Although his vision was still blurry, he never failed to recognize his brother's blond hair
Upon touching Edward’s hand, the ring became a claw, which wrapped around Louis's finger. Tears suddenly filled Edward's stone eyes, which ran down his face. When the ring completely transferred to Louis, the layer of stone covering Edward cracked and Edward gradually regained consciousness.
“Brother...am I...crying?” Edward asked weakly. Louis wiped his tears away, and said: “You don't have to force yourself to smile anymore. Cry as much as you want. Everything is fine now…” Holding Edward tightly in his arms, Louis could no longer hold back his emotions...