19 I Will Remember You (JusticeCykes Part 1)

May 2028 – Sahdmadhi Law Offices


Here it is, Dhurke’s old law office – and now home of the future Justice Law Offices. Yeesh, talk about your fixer-upper!

Looking around at the dusty, dark space that had formerly been the headquarters of the Defiant Dragons, Apollo heaved a gusty sigh and sank down on the musty sofa while fighting back the sensations of being completely overwhelmed and in over his head, combined with a wave of homesickness for Los Angeles and the people that he had loved like a family there for the past couple of years that he’d recently bid farewell to when he’d chosen to stay behind in West Asia.

Apollo still couldn’t figure out what had been the most agonizing parting amongst the members of the Wright Anything Agency.

Even now, I still can’t decide which goodbye was the most gut-wrenching for me. Was it when I had to see the teary blue eyes of the bouncy little magician who christened me Polly –entirely without my consent! – but always with all the love in the world? The Top Hatted trickster who traumatized me by always screaming about her Magical Panties, yet grew to be like the occasional bratty but endearing little sister that I never had, to whom I could never say no, and thus always succumbed to her every whim, even if it meant life or death scenarios as her reluctant magical assistant! The same girl-child who was, in spite of the vast difference in our ages, my closest friend after Clay died, and was my constant companion and source of light in my otherwise bleak existence.

He buried his head in his hands.

Or was it seeing the look of resignation, acceptance, and desolation on Mr. Wright’s face when I told him my decision to leave? Phoenix Wright. My mentor. My childhood idol. The Comeback King, who taught me everything I knew about how to be a legitimately good lawyer and decent man. The Turnabout Terror, who took me under his wing while still giving me the wind beneath him to fly and become my own kind of lawyer? The one who made me realize I had the powers of perception and made me feel like a superhero when I realized this little bracelet of mine wasn’t merely a funky accessory. What kid doesn’t dream of becoming a superhero at some point? Of course, given my stature and of course, my legal talents, being a lawyer was my best not to mention the most realistic option, but seeing the unbreakable Phoenix Wright in action over the years still gave me the occasional urge to want to persevere and become my own sort of legal superhero of sorts, to make courtroom victories possible that otherwise would never have been.

Apollo clenched his eyes shut, but the burning image of Athena’s beautiful, tear-stained face during their bittersweet secret kiss goodbye stubbornly remained seared in his mind. With a pang, he realized at that moment just which goodbye had been the hardest of all.

Yup. It was bidding adieu to my Tiger that was almost been my undoing.

This was the very girl who had made him realize that one could not have faith or belief without any doubt and habitually scandalized him to his very core. First, in a public courtroom while asking if he was into bondage when reenacting the Themis Academy crime scene, and the second time when she’d demanded to see the secret tattoo Apollo had on his rear end! The effusive, brainiac, titian-haired beauty who’d made him realize you could be best friends with a girl, despite being your polar opposite. Even one who was annoyingly perky at times, especially in the mornings; an overly competitive, butt-kicking, orange juice-loving kind who dragged his resisting butt of bed every morning at 6 AM to accompany her on those grueling 5-mile daily jogs.

Wild, zany, brave, wonderful maddening Big Red herself, with the indelible behind he’d been forced to jog behind for two exerting years!

A bubbly brainiac that’s built like a swimsuit model, whose heinie looks like two Pringles chips hugging, he recalled with a rueful grin. Athena’s a knockout in more ways than one, alright!

Their stealthy parting smooch had been their first and only one, letting him know without words within its fleeting instant that all his years of ardor had most definitely not been one-sided!

That kiss would forever be seared into his memory.

Their mouths collided, meeting in the middle. It was just like the Greek God relationship itself; the perfect give and take. His fingers had dug into her Titian mane as he pulled Athena closer to him. She’d wrapped her arms around his neck, and Apollo had kissed her with the desperation of a drowning sailor who couldn’t help but cling to the hope and magic of immortal life that was promised in this kiss…

I couldn’t stop kissing her if my life had depended on it, Apollo vividly recollected, as though it’d only been yesterday. Time, the whole world itself froze for me — in that instant, it was like the sun had stopped shining, the earth had stopped its movement on its axis…

While a thousand emotions had been wordlessly spoken between them during that kiss, which Apollo had fervently hoped was not their last, a lifetime of inherent coping pessimism couldn’t allow him to think JusticeCykes could go the distance.

Not while countries, not to mention continents apart, and only the Holy Mother knows for how long.

Knowing this still didn’t erase the glaring, inconvenient truth from his forlorn heart.

Athena Cykes. The deceptively strong spitfire who’d flipped a cop at him the first time they’d ever met – with neither of them ever knowing that Apollo would be the one flipping for her very shortly thereafter!

It was nothing short of masochistic to be mentally reliving their stolen lip lock yet again, as the burning behind his eyes now matched the searing sensation in his chest. Gritting his teeth, the red attorney reluctantly shoved the poignancy of that bittersweet moment into the back of his mind; it was the only way he could not completely break down all over again.

Welp, that clinches it. As much as I respected Mr. Wright and adored Trucy, there’s still nothing more soul-crushing than saying goodbye to the love of your life.

The girl who’d forgiven him when he’d falsely believed and accused her of Clay’s murder. The Courtroom Revolutionnaire who’d been his steadfast investigation partner and healed his mental wounds with her kindness, caring, and psychology therapy sessions. The wingless angel who had held his hand to comfort his sorry acrophobic ass when they’d had to climb to literally unknown heights together to investigate the crime scene when Trucy had falsely been accused of murder.

The one girl who, even though family honor and a vow to avenge a certain slain dragon had forced him to leave her behind, Apollo knew he’d love forever.

It’s official, he realized grimly. This attorney has endured as much misery and loss as any doctor and is now seriously contemplating some sort of psychological health counseling – beyond the therapy kind I could get with Widget! – should have been a larger part of a law degree.

“Am I a heartless bastard to have left behind the only other family I’ve ever known?” He pondered aloud for the gazillionth time while stabbing his index finger so hard between his eyebrows, it actually hurt. “Sure, I may have grown up here in this foreign land, but I’m still an outsider in every way shape, or form! So not only am I all alone here, but I have my work cut out for me trying to rebuild everything from the ground up all by myself! I need to replace the captain of my brain ship because clearly, he’s drunk at the wheel!”

But you’re not alone, his mind whispered to him. You don’t have to do this on your own. Your old friend Ema said she’d stay behind too, remember? Surely, she who calls you Horn Head would lend you a hand if you asked her! Princess Rayfa is like another sister as well, and would therefore be the perfect person to help you acclimatize and offer assistance, or at least offer you a palace full of loyal servants who can help you put this place together!

Expelling a deep breath, Apollo nodded slowly to himself. It was true – he was not alone. Aside from Ema and Rayfa and her mother, Queen Amara, there was also his brother.

Nahyuta. The one who convinced me to stay. The man to whom I swore I’d help rebuild Khura’inese legal system in honor of Dhurke’s memory. The one with who I shared all my childhood reminiscences, all of which were within this country. How can I ever forget the countless, blissful times we spent together, running around a field of wildflowers, with the sun beating down on our bare behinds? Or splashing each other in the river on hot days? Or the countless times I’d kick his butt while playing Chenti Benti…

The Asian children’s pastime, still popular in Bangladesh, was a simple one. Just like frisky puppies, the boys would be entertained for hours playing the game that was composed of mere sticks – although they didn’t chase them and play fetch!

All we’d needed was two sticks, one about six or seven inches long and the other about a foot long, Apollo recalled, as vividly as though it’d been yesterday. Then we’d make a hole in the ground about two inches deep and place the shorter above the hole so that it hangs over the edge. Then we’d hit the shorter stick with the longer stick as hard as we could! The person to flip the stick the farthest won.

Being a scrappy kid right from the start, the horn-haired boy had usually claimed victory over his foster sibling in the game. But regardless of the victor, the game, much like almost all the other moments they’d shared together while growing up, had been filled with laughter and bliss.

Oh boy, talk about simpler times back in those good ol’ days! The red attorney chuckled to himself now. We didn’t need much to amuse ourselves back then, did we? Those happy-go-lucky, carefree moments of abandonment with my brother, focused on having fun and nothing else, are the best of my childhood memories. Unlike my more painful adult ones, my days of youth are like a vacation slideshow that I can edit, keeping only the best ones that bring me joy, while letting the others fade.

But the best memories of all, of course, had been with the head Defiant Dragon himself; the only father Apollo had ever truly known.

Ah, that Dhurke. That lawyer-turned-rebel was quite the pistol! We’re just lucky he was gunning for the good guys!

A wave of nostalgia washed over him as he fondly recalled every halcyon experience that he’d ever spent with the anterior defense attorney.

Holding me high over his head, Dhurke would spin me around real fast upon the grassy fields of wildflowers. We called it a “helicopter” ride. He’d get giddy and I would, too. It was one of my favorite times with him. And I was never once afraid he’d drop me – I trusted him with every fiber of my being, knowing that he’d never let me fall. He never let me down… which is why I can’t let him down now.

He clenched his hands into determined fists, digging his fingernails so deeply into his palms they tore into his flesh. But Apollo was mindless to the stinging sensation.

“Dhurke Sahdmadhi.” The familiar prickling sensation behind his lids returned as he spoke the name aloud. “There’s not a day that will go by that I won’t miss you or remember you. I loved you so much… Dad.”

He turned his face towards the heavens, needing to believe the late, great Defiant Dragon could hear him.


“I’m going to become someone Dhurke would be proud to call his son. I won’t let his death be in vain. I will restore the Kingdom of Khura’in to its former glory and make his delegation to restore this justice system to one of honor into fruition. I will… I will deploy his mission and bring it to light while heralding the praises of the only father I have ever known from the rooftops!”

Loudly deploy
I swear I’ll loudly deploy
Hear my vow, sad though I am, Dad
You’d never believe your own eyes

I’ll help fight crime
Free the non-guilty
I care nothing of my wage
That’s not important to me…

Thought I was your forgotten kid
Lived life sullen, void of joy
Never knew about the cleaning up
You strived for here all this time

Hear me Dad, these words from my heart
I promise I will rebuild from the start
Restore honor to your name and the courts
I’ll loudly deploy

True that I’ve not got much to offer
Just a short, horn-haired young man
Been called Polly, Herr Forehead and Stink Bug
But I’ll still do the best that I can

Rifts in this land shall abridge won’t be easy to grow
I can’t just sit idly by here and grieve thee
Not the me that you know

But by the next moon
I vow to loudly deploy
Though I am not a top scholar
Just one of those foreigner guys

With hand on chest, I vow to you
Since you were the only father that I knew
Dad, I will strive to
Proudly herald you
I’ll loudly deploy…

Apollo steeled himself not to break down as thoughts of the beloved man and his untimely passing threatened to consume him yet again.

I’m fine!” He bellowed into the empty room, Chords of Steel in full effect. “My name is Apollo Justice, of the new Justice Law Offices – and I’m fine!”

He had to stay strong. He had to focus on the present – and on making a brighter future for his father’s homeland.

I need to treat these painful memories like thick, heavy novels; encyclopedia volumes that nobody uses anymore and are left to collect dust on the bookshelf. Sure, I can pluck one at random if I need to learn something again or seek a different perception that will help me create my own good story. I can choose to reflect on my past through a detached, third-party point of view, as though watching somebody else’s tragic backstory rather than my own. One or two rough chapters do not mean a bad book. I am the author of my own story from here on. I get to choose what goes on the pages going forward, and I alone can ensure the future is friendly; that today and tomorrow are going to be wonderful.

“These heartrending reminiscences are no different from a reoccurring bad dream. They dissipate whenever I open my eyes; whenever I choose to just focus on being here in present; whenever I think of you. Whenever I’m with you. I know you’re still with me and watching over me, Dad. I can feel your presence. Knowing this, I can raise my face towards the sun and let the daylight rays shine upon me, so these desolate memories have no choice but to vanquish and I can absorb the splendor and wonder of everything around me.”

Placing a hand over his chest, Apollo kept his chin tilted upward, mindless of the droplets rolling from his eyes as he continued his avowal.

“I promise you Dad, from this day forward, I will leave behind all my painful memories and bury them into the ground, like the coffin we had for you at the funeral. They are entombed now, and I set them to rest with the same veneration I gave you and always will give you; just like yours, this ceremonial burial of my past traumas will be mourned for their passing, but like with any memorial, the wake comes next. It is the waking of my inner-self, the one with the power to heal and be the person I was always destined to be. This dragon will never yield. I swear that I will make you proud of your boy.”


Heart-Warming Java Shots Copyright © by JordanPhoenix. All Rights Reserved.

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