So let’s talk about Mello.
Small, tiny, alone Mello.
Mello who was not yet Mello, but a little boy named Mihael Keehl. Let’s talk about how he used to get so excited for his birthday each year because it meant that soon there would be gifts for good boys and girls on Christmas Eve.
Mello who spent his first birthday without his parents hiding under his blankets at Wammy’s House, trying desperately to barter with God. Mello who promised to be the best little boy in the whole wide world if St. Nicholas would just bring his parents home on Christmas Eve.
Mello throwing himself into homework, tests, learning anything and everything he could get his hands onto. Trying to make himself the best little boy in the whole wide world to hold up his end of the bargain, just in case God and St. Nicholas conspired to make his dreams come true.
Mello realizing that St. Nicholas is a myth, but still desperately believing that God would provide, even in his darkest hour.
Mello hearing, “L is dead”
Mello changing his bargain. If he can’t be the best little boy in the world, he’ll be the toughest. The smartest. The bravest. He’ll do anything and everything to take down L’s murderer, if only God would just bring L back on Christmas Eve.
Mello forgetting his 15th birthday altogether. Mello making his wish belatedly, just days before Christmas, between running drugs for cash through muddy back alleyways, the slush of winter sticking to his boots.
Mello fighting for his life, but wishing for L’s life. His parents’ lives. Wishing for his own life back, a steady life full of schedules instead of uncertainty. Mello washing his hands, never quite scrubbing away the filth of the streets. Mello shivering on his own, no shelter some nights and scary shelter on others.
Mello rising up, becoming more powerful with each passing day. Becoming tougher, smarter, braver. Becoming better every day. Learning the rules of the underworld. Learning manipulation, bribery, thievery.
Mello forgetting how to wish altogether.