“When your heart is strong
It leads you on.
But when it breaks you
It devastates you for so long.”
(Heart: From the 1983 album Passionworks)
My heart has withered…
My soul has fractured…
All I see are the walls, rusted and hopeless.
My clothes are tattered and worn.
I am nothing.
I am noone.
How long has it been?
Gone are my spirit and my will.
Gone is the fear…
The life I flourished by…
Azula shut her eyes. She felt abused and abandoned. She did not know how long she had been stuck in this hellhole; noone ever cared to let her know.
I have never had the pleasure of another’s company.
No, they forgot about me long ago.
Just like the war…
Like history left unwritten.
She found herself in wonder as to what the outside was like. She disregarded the wind upon her face, the sun beaming in her eyes, the water cleansing her skin.
Oh, how I wish I could feel it again…
So many things that we mortals take for granted…
The things I shall never see again.
The door that had sheltered her darkness creaked open. Light filled in her topaz eyes.
But it feels so good…
A figure stood in front of her. As her eyes slowly adjusted to the beam, the visitor’s form became clearer.
Azula frowned in pain as she stared almost helplessly at him.
You left me…
Just like Father…
Just like Mother…
Just like everyone else.
Zuko’s penetrating eyes ate through her as he spoke, “Azula, it has been three years.”
Three? Where has my life gone in all that time?
“I do not know what has become of you. You always seemed like a person to fight this. You fought for the crown. You even fought me to the death.”
She realized almost instantly that he was right about it all. It had begun to sink in.
She did not speak, but the tears flowed. She found that she could not hold his gaze any longer.
But the words kept coming, “You are so empty, Azula. You let go of yourself, that fiery vigor that was almost beautiful.”
Indeed, Zuko. But it was you who took it all away, remember? At The Meeting of Flames. From the moment the sun died inside me, the Fire Nation abandoned me.
I have nothing to give it…
I have nothing to live for.
“There is so much that you have missed out on. You are seventeen, now. So much has changed. The world has slowly rebuilt itself, Father resides in jail, and hope is alive.”
Stop your taunting, Zuko.
But you read my book well.
I miss the outside world.
I wish just to be a part of it again.
“But there is something else, Azula.”
Another figure entered behind Zuko.
I remember them!
They hurt me…
But they loved me too…
“Father told me that she was banished to the Earth Kingdom. She was a refugee, just like Uncle and I.”
Ursa smiled warmly at her broken daughter. “Azula. There is so much left unsaid between us.”
No kidding, Mother.
This is just an illusion.
Yes, an illusion.
That is what those doctors told me. My visions are unreal.
Mother, you died, did you not?
You do not exist…
Tears flew from Azula’s torn face. She screamed ferociously. Flames roared from her mouth in her angered ecstasy. She scorched the bars and wished that the blue fire would reach her mother.
Just to show you what you did to me.
I want your heart to hurt…
Just like mine.
Within a moment, both Zuko and Ursa disappeared. Azula lowered her head, allowing herself to weep, the tears seeping into her ragged clothes.
Was it real?
Are you really back, Mother?
Or was it just a dream?
How long have I been here?
I do not know.
But I trust noone.
It was just a lie.
It always was…