A persistent pain will nag. It will continue to be sharp and piercing; this is how a person is to know something is wrong. But even the most dedicated of pains will eventually become a normality. The body grows accustomed, and despite it's continuous pleas to be recognized and dealt with, it will end up ignored.
Humans will shoulder incredible pain and treat it as it is nothing unusual. This is because they have been forced to live with the hurt for so long, that living without it is not even something that seems possible. And often times, they are not given the chance. So, they live; imaginings of a life without the pain fading into the farthest corners or their mind.
After all, it is normal.
A dull ache. That is what it could have been described as when he was old enough to actually find the words to put with the feeling. But as a young boy, those words did not cross his mind. The pain felt as though it were coming from inside him, but he could not even begin to describe where he hurt. When asked, there was no way to paint his feelings. He tried, but all he could say were vague phrases.
“Inside and all over.”
After many scratched heads and shrugged shoulders, the boy's complains of hurt were ignored. And soon, he followed suit; the ache continued, but his words did not. He shouldered the pain, forcing a square into a circle of normality.
As he grew a bit older, there were odd moments of slight relief—moments where he would feel almost as if he was floating. There never seemed to be much rhyme or reason to them; they were simply a few precious seconds of what felt like comfort. He never gave it much thought. After all, the dull ache that was inside and all over had become constant and normal. The occasional relief went mostly unnoticed.
Heading into his teens, a different type of ache began to accompany the shouldered pain. Loneliness. He took more comfort in the comings and goings of the mysterious moments of comfort, but it did little for the silence that rang in his ears and the emptiness of his days. Tinkering with is the Sennen Puzzle filled more hours than it ever had before, and he poured a desperate wish into the pieces—friends.
He had already been living with a dull ache. He didn't want to add loneliness to the pile.
When his wish was granted and the puzzle was solved, it seemed too good to be true. Loyal friends who would stay by his side had actually appeared. The ache of being alone was suddenly lifted from his shoulders. He was happy. But in this excitement it had taken him a few days to realize that something said changed.
He felt comfort; the dull ache inside and all over was gone.
Instead, he felt a deep warmth inside and all over.
The warmth was a spirit. He had no name, no memory. However, when he was finally aware of the being, he was strangely welcoming. Sharing both body and mind with him seemed almost as if it were second nature.
In the years to come, his life exploded into a string of chain events. Never had he imagined when he solved the puzzle that he would become the King of Duelists. Never had he imagined that he would be saving lives. Never had he imagined that he would be one of two minds in a single body, or that despite all odds, he wanted it to stay that way.
Never before had he imagined a life without a dull ache.
Defeating the spirit—who had found his name, who had found his memories—was when the hot tears poured down his cheeks. He fell to his knees, and cried. He was leaving. The Pharaoh from the puzzle that he was one of the two in a single body with. The Pharaoh who he had shared an indescribable bond with. Even with his age, thinking of a way to paint the feeling was impossible. His words sounded like a child's.
“Inside and all over.”
Watching the Pharoh walk into the light, tears still streamed from his eyes. This was a new hurt to bear on his shoulders. Loss—the pain of never seeing him again. And as everything began to crumble around him, he cried out as he and his friends fled. The pain was great.
Staring at the Egyptian sands and the rubble, he clenched a hand to his chest. Through the hurt of his loss, he could feel a different, new pain. A pain he could not describe as anything but with childish words.
“Inside and all over.”
The deep warmth had left him, and returned were the pains of the past. But they were no longer dull and aching. They were piercing and stabbing, just like he had felt when he was young. The hurt had not been shouldered for years, and now that the warmth was gone, he had forgotten how to do so.
He still moved, he still smiled, he still laughed. He was still happy. But the stabbing and piercing was always with him as he tried to return to life. As he tried to fit a square back into the circle of normality.
Sometimes, his friends would catch him with closed eyes and a hand clenched too tightly to his chest. Sometimes they would ask him what was the matter. Though, there was no way to describe, no way to explain; he smiled and brushed it aside.
But even if he could not describe the pain or where he hurt, he finally understood it.
He was only a half again.