by CM Short
Memoirs from Tanya
Addi and I met long ago, it seems like another lifetime. We were so young then. She was so spirited and full of life. I mourn her passing more with every day. She showed me that there was more to me than I thought and she gave me a reason to believe in myself. I often wonder what our life would be like if she was still here, if I had not let my guard down on that darkest of days. I wish with all my heart that I could still hold her, hear her voice, and watch her dance around like she used to. My world is a darker place without her. She was my best friend and the love of my life. She deserves to have her story told.
Born the final of four children, Addi was the first Diamondbak to appear after Chaos left our world and the ancient one who had tricked it and cursed her kind had passed. Her mother died bringing her into the world and her father followed soon after as the love in Animanians runs infinitely deeper than that of any other species in the great wide universe. Her siblings blamed her for their mother's death and were unkind to her. One in particular, Kyle, was filled with anger and hatred toward his sister. He tried to kill her on more than one occasion and although the others stopped him, they did not help her.
One by one they left the home of their childhood, moving on to live their own lives until Kyle and Addi were the only ones left. Addi spent most of her days hiding. She had several spots that she had disguised with her magic so that her brother could not find her. She was very careful, coming out of her hole only after she was positive that he was gone or sleeping. Never could she leave the safety of her hiding place while he was around for fear of her life. She would go days without food or water, never seeing the sun or moon. She was starving for light and her powers began to fail her. She did not know how essential the moon and the sun were to her. A Diamondbak gathers strength from them and needs them to survive. One day, weak and helpless, she found herself unable to keep hidden. Her brother found her right away and pulled her out. I know that he would have killed her had a visitor not arrived unannounced.
His friend Jordan had come to the house to check on him and when he saw what was happening he stopped Kyle. He fought hard to save the dying Diamondbak and to this day he cannot say why. When Kyle had given up, Jordan picked her up off the floor and the ancient magic bound the second Diamondbak to a master. He healed her and helped her find her strength again taking care not to let Kyle near her. When she was healthy and strong again he sent her away. Finally free from the wrath of her brothers and sisters, Addi ran as fast and as far as she could away from the house that had trapped her for so long. That was when she found me.
I had been living on my own for many years, never wanting the company of another. I had my own struggles to deal with and did not think I needed anyone to help me. One day I was out on a walk, rain poured from the sky and I let it wash over me as I walked. That was when our paths crossed. I happened to look down just in time to see a small black bunny sitting along the side of the path that I had made through the woods. She was soaking wet and watched me with big eyes the color of amethysts. I recognized her right away for what she was and stopped, puzzled by her appearance. Clearly she belonged to someone or something would have happened. I knew the story of how the wars ended, everyone did, and I knew that a Diamondbak out on its own would not stay that way for long. I wanted to keep going, finishing my walk alone, but I could not make myself move. Instead I stood there, in the rain, watching her and she watched me. I was startled when she hopped out onto the path next to me and when I started to move forward she came with me. We walked for some time in silence. I was sure she must be uncomfortable, her fur soaking up the rain that it was not made to handle. Then I reached down and held my hands open to her. She hopped up into my open palms without hesitating and looked up at me with those beautiful eyes. She trusted me, a complete stranger, and I was humbled. I carried her that way back to my house, not knowing just how important she would be to me.
When we arrived at my house I set her down on my front porch. It was small but the roof stuck out above it, sheltering it from the rain. I had no idea how to proceed. I wondered where she had come from, if she lived in a house or preferred to stay outside. Finally I decided to give her space to decide what she would do on her own. I opened my door and was about to go inside when she turned to look at me. I paused, caught in her gaze, and as I watched she transformed leaving her bunny form in exchange for Animanian.
Her Animanian form was also small, she had long brown and red curls that cascaded down her back, two-toned pink and orange skin that was scattered with scars. The first time I saw them, her scars shocked me, they stood out in stark contrast to her otherwise beautiful self. I was curious and about to ask where they came from when I was distracted by her eyes. They were the same big round amethyst eyes she had looked up at me through from the path. I cannot count the number of times I have found myself lost in her eyes. They held her every feeling and thought and through them I saw the world in a new way.
She did not tell me where she had come from and I did not ask, respecting her privacy as she did mine although I wondered about her scars. She stayed at my house that night and then the next and then every night after until, before I knew it, she had made my home hers. Filling it with life and light and decorating it in sunshine and wildflowers. She painted it inside and out so that every room was a different color while I watched and admired her work. When she finished filling the house with more life than it had ever seen she moved her attention to the outside. She spent time with the many plants and trees that grew around our house and helped them to grow strong and healthy. Those that produced food made more than we could eat and she would gather them up and take them out to villages near and far, sharing them with everyone she met regardless of their species. It was not long before I began to go with her, helping to carry the loads of food and other things that she made. We visited villages of Centaurs, Minotaurs, Fairies, Dwarves, Dinosaurs, Humans, and Animanians. Some of the villages were a mix of different species while others that carried the scars of the wars were only populated with one. Addi was not shy or prejudiced, rather her pure Diamondbak heart loved all of them. She joined the villagers in their daily tasks, talking with them and sharing her harvest. I helped as well though much more inclined to keep to myself. She brought out a new side of me and grew it as she did the world around her, I found myself caring about the different creatures we met as my cold heart began to melt.
We lived happily together for some time, sharing stories and taking care of each other. She did not talk about her past although I shared mine. She never judged or hated me for what I was or what I had done, abandoning my family and running from the wars rather than helping those in need. I am a spirit of the wind. When she met me I was wild and uncaring. I had never had any interest in being around other people and had no desire to fight for them. I had never thought about anyone other than myself or done anything that was not for myself. I felt shame for the first time as I told her all of this, a feeling I had never felt before. I had been so afraid that she would be disgusted with me and ashamed of the person I was as I sat there on the couch beside her. To my surprise and relief she reached out to me and hugged me. Never in all the time I knew Addi did she ever bring up the things I had done or the person I had been before I knew her. She simply loved me for who I was and for that I am forever grateful. The day I finally learned where she came from was one I will never forget.