Thursday, January 21, 2010

Across the universe of time

When the sea falls from the shore
As the light sinks low, will I see you any more?
As the rain falls from the sky
Can I bring you back, from a distant lullaby?

Show me your vision, the story begun
Two lights are rising and burning as one

In the deep blue of the night
Shine the millions of stars and my spirit burning bright
Spinning on, into the sun, flying higher
Now my journey's begun... And the...

Cold, cold wind, it blows me away
The feeling all over is a black, black day
But I know that I'll see you again
And I know that you're near me

There's a star, calling my name
It's echo is true and the song is not the same
Take my hand and lead me away
Bring me back to you in your arms I'm going to stay...

Tell me your vision, the story begun
Two lights are rising and burning as one

All those years drifting in space
I have known you well, yet I've never seen your face
You turn around, looking at me, laughter in your eyes
And now I can see

And the cold, cold wind, it blows me away
The feeling all over is a black, black day
But I know that I'll see you again
And I know that you're near me

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Is love alive?

- I can't give you this.
- Why not? I promised to find you another one later.
- You won't.

It'd been three days and he still failed to convince her. She kept rejecting him no matter how many times he'd begged or promised to trade anything for it.

- You don't believe me? - asked he.
- No - she answered coldly.

The determination in her attitude made him feel frustrated, but he couldn't give up. He'd found it after such a hard time lost in search so there was no way he would let it go at this point. At any cost, he had to have it, the tiny thing she was keeping in that little glass pot by the window. Seemed like it was the only thing that brought life to this house, where lived a girl who was famous for many strange things around her.

- Is there any thing I can do so that you'll agree to give me that thing? - asked him in patience.
- Tell me why you want it so badly? - giving a serious look in the eyes, she asked.

Although he'd anticipated she might ask him such kind of question, still he felt pretty uneasy when it came. It wasn't that he didn't want to answer, rather he didn't know where to begin nor how he should begin. The look of those clear eyes, however, kept him from avoiding the answers. They were so clear yet intense and persistent that thinking of making up a lie made him feel guilty. Looking down to his hands, one wrapping the other, laying on the round wooden table, he was struggling to find a right point to start.

Without a noise, she reached him with a glass of warm water, gently placing it in front of the strange man who was trying to take away her precious thing. She didn't say a word after the question, just patiently waiting for his answer. It was always difficult to guess what this woman could possibly be thinking based on her expression. Maybe many years of solidarity had frozen down her emotions.

He lifted his eyelids a little bit just to catch a glimpse of the water glass. He didn't drink but strangely it made the nervous side in him felt warmer bit by bit. Slowly he took a deep breath and began to move his lips, still not looking at the woman.

- It's for someone. - he murmured - She said it was important to her, as much as she was important to me.

He took a quick glance at the woman's face but her expression was all blank as if the introduction of his story was nothing special to her, even though it was about a girl, with whom he supposed she would be curious about his relationship. With no other choice than going on with what had been begun, he continued.

- She said if I could find it before the winter ended, she would marry me when spring came. It would be like an evidence of my love for her and she would treat it as a symbol of our destined love. You may assume she's an unreasonable girl with sour and scornful thoughts or crazy ideas, but actually she's not. Well... it's just... she has her own belief. So when she said it was important to her, I had no doubt about that. That's why I wanted to find it for her no matter what.

She woman was still sitting in silence. Her fingers were moving on the table, drawing some undefined shapes. She didn't look at him but he knew she was listening.

- What if you can't? - she asked suddenly, looking at him in the eyes.
- I'll wait for another winter. - he answered with no hesitation.

The door bell rang all of a sudden. A guest was coming in and he had to stop his conversation, which was also today's conversation. The woman owned a little coffee shop and even though it didn't serve many drinks, the shop was quite well-known in town for its unique taste of coffee and milk, flavored with cinnamon. The shop was decorated in brown and honey yellow, with all of its furniture made from wood and intentionally made to look old. There were many windows installed around so that even in winter, it was still bright inside without any lamps. People said with this shop's space and coffee, you could get through any harsh winter, and even the owner who seemed pretty reticent and strange, the way she looked at you could also warm up your heart.

Because of his promise to the girl, he'd spent many weeks and days looking for her desired thing. But it wasn't easy at all. In the middle of winter, everything was covered under a thick layer of snow. It was so cold that even time also felt like  freezing. He dug deep into the snow for yards, trying to find a hint of what the girl wanted but every day passing by just left him disappointed and hopeless. He knew her demand was almost the same as finding a unicorn alive, but also, he couldn't resist it, his desire to make her happy. After days tolerating the cold in frustration searching for her version of "unicorn", he decided to take a break in that little coffee shop, and that was where astonishment  stroke him when he found that thing in a small glass pot by the snow decorated window, shining in the dim sunlight.

He came back to the shop again to convince its owner. He didn't mean to take it for free, but the woman told him that even if he'd agreed to become her servant for free, she would never let it go.

- Don't you know that it's impossible to find it in winter? - asked the woman.
- I do.
- So why did you accept the challenge?
- I just want to make her happy.
- At any cost?
- Yes.
- Even if you may die?

The man found himself holding his cup of hot coffee tighter than usual, pressing both palms against the warm sides of the cup. He'd never thought of that. He knew winter would be very cold but even in his worst nightmare, that never was a possibility.

- I never thought of it. I don't think it can happen.
- Anything can happen in this world. I think you're risking yourself on a worthless thing. Don't you think your girl's demand is ridiculous?
- I don't. I guess it must mean so much to her so that she insisted of wanting me to find it in winter. She's never been an unreasonable person. So I believe she has her reason. But... - he paused - if it's just a worthless thing, why don't you agree to let me have it?

The man's question surely had hit some note in the woman. For half a second, her face expression changed from indifferent to stunned and awkward. But she quickly composed herself, leaving the man the bill and turned away.

The next day, still sitting at the same table, the man looked at the tiny thing in the pot more closely. Its vivid green stood out in the brown theme of the shop, and seemed like the white color of the window was also lending it some more light to shine. For a moment, he thought he could understand why these women would love it so much. In winter, it was the only thing that reminded people of the continuous life out there, or at least that was what he felt in this little space, where the tiny thing was enjoying some scarce sunlight of winter.

- It seems you haven't change your mind yet? - today he was the first to ask.
- Not at all. - she answered firmly.
- I don't know what else I can do... - he continued with a miserable facial gesture.
- Tell me what she means to you. - she demanded.

He found this an unexpectedly easy question to answer. Taking a sip of coffee, he began his story about how he'd met her several months ago, how bright her personality was, how he found it so comfortable talking with her about lots of stuff... The woman kept listening with an amusing face. Usually she never showed her true feelings about anything but something in this man made her feel different. She didn't really know whether it was his strong determination or strange honestly that impressed her, but she knew she wanted to get more about him.

- So you think you love her? - asked the woman after his long talk.
- If not love, what else could it be? - the man questioned in doubt.

Another day passed by and the man hadn't got what he wanted. "Give up", however, was a word that didn't exist in his dictionary. He kept dropping by the little shop everyday, asking the woman the same question about the little thing in the glass pot, hearing the same negative answer from her, but different stories and revelations were exchanged each time. He didn't recognized that the woman talked more than usual and himself, either. Sometimes they talked about love, or just about coffee, weather, few people around them and so on. He helped her with the orders now and then, thanks to which he could learned a lot about many kinds of coffee as well as how to enjoy them. He began to understand why people in town love this place so much, but not until the day winter ended, did he realize that coffee wasn't the only thing he loved in here.

Spring is coming soon and snow had started to melt. Along with that process of nature, his frustration was growing up to its peak. He knew today was his last chance before all of snow disappeared from the ground. In that small coffee shop, everything remained unchanged. The tiny thing was still staying in the little pot by the window and there was no hint that the woman had changed her mind. Today, he felt strangely sad. Just sad, not angry. He knew it was also very precious to her, so there was no reason for him to blame her in anger if she refused to give him the thing. If he couldn't get it from the woman within today, he might lose someone he loved and that, for sure, made him unhappy. But actually, it was not the only reason; yet he couldn't find out what the other is.

Seeing the sadness in his eyes, the woman didn't say anything. Today she made him a cup of hot coffee and milk flavored with cinnamon, not black coffee like usual. She said it would make him feel better for a long day. They didn't talk, just watching one another in silence. He took a last look at the tiny thing in the pot, casting his eyes around the brown-themed shop, its old furniture, the white window where there was hardly any snow left, and his eyes lingered a little bit more on the owner who was turning her back to him to do some cleaning.  He didn't know how long it would take him to be here again if everything turned bad between him and his girl. That was why he thought he should see this place more closely before leaving. Noted that the cleaning thing would take the woman some time, he left money on the table, slowly walked to the door and prepared to leave without a word. Suddenly, he heard a noise and then someone  gently pulled his sleeve. The woman flipped his hand, putting the little pot in it, and without letting him utter any words, she said:

- Take this and give it to your love. Don't say anything. I'm not in the mood for any "thank you" or "sorry". Just remember what I told you about love. Find the true one and never let it go.

The woman pushed the man out through the door and hurried back inside the shop. He was still stunned and speechless due to the woman's sudden grace. But excitement soon came up and won over, which drove him straight to his girl's house within minutes. No need to describe how happy and surprised the girl was as she saw what the man had brought. She asked him how he'd got it but without waiting for his full answer, she kissed him more passionately than ever and hurried him into a wedding plan in spring.

It'd been five days and our man had been quite busy with his wedding plan. Of course he was utterly happy because everything was going so smoothly for him, but still, something strange kept lingering in his heart which made him felt uneasy. Seeing how his fiancée treasuring the little thing, suddenly he remembered the woman's saying:

- Love is not what you can archive to prove something, rather it's how you go to the end for it, no matter you're successful or not.

Did his girl ever ask how he'd got through the icy winter to get the thing for her? Did she ever care what he'd done and what he'd had to cope with? Only the shop owner knew. The long walls in white of the girl's house as well as its well-pruned  garden couldn't warm up his feelings even though snow had all melted away, leaving room for slippy roads and wet ground. He found himself missing the old wooden table, the brown walls, the honey yellow light, the smell of roasted coffee, the warmth of the air, and... someone else in that picture. He missed those clear eyes, the soft voice, the tender movements, he even missed the silence between him and that person filled out by the nice flows of music. And fortunately, it didn't take his heart so long to recognize who she was.

It's been a month since the dear owner of the small coffee shop left the town. People missed her so much and they were all praying the best things for their beloved girl. She had to leave for a big surgery overseas and it was said that she had to trade her life for it. If the surgery failed, they would never have any chance to see their strange but heart-warming girl again. They loved and pitied their poor girl, whose far-living fiancé had died in a plane crash this winter while on the way to bring her the twenty-sixth birthday gift, which was found later in his remaining luggage, something tiny in a glass pot.

Several days after the leaving of the coffee shop's owner, the hired lady who replaced her to take care of the shop noticed a man who came by everyday, all alone, always drinking coffee and mink flavored with cinnamon. He said he was the owner's friend. One day, he came in carrying a small glass pot with a green tiny thing inside, a four-leaf clover which was said to be the symbol of eternal love if  found in winter. He asked the hired lady to place the pot by the window where he usually sat near by.

And like other people in this small town, he'd been praying with all his heart for the little lady to come back,

for his true love to come back...

Friday, January 8, 2010

A mother's love


Of all the epic moments in the latest episode of my favorite drama, this scene moved me to tears not only once but almost every single time I watch it. Maybe  because it makes me miss my Mom so badly...

Watching the reunion of mother and daughter, I can feel how much grief and pain Ji Wan's mom has put on her beats. No matter how harsh her words may sound, it's true that she still loves Ji Wan as a mother and the suddenly appearing of her daughter after almost 10 years with no connection utterly overwhelms her. In the end, she's a mother and Ji Wan must always be among the most precious treasures in her life.

The other day, a close friend of mine left a short note on her Facebook telling that her mom refused to pick her up at the airport at 11pm 'cos she said it was too late for her to go out, and my friend had to nag that she'd got too much luggage to manage all alone so that her mom would agree to go to the airport. My close friend, she used to be a target for my jealousy 'cos of her wealthy family as well as her freedom to go to almost everywhere she wants, but after reading her note, I realized that in some way, I may be the one who's got more. My Mom, she's just simply the one who never goes to bed before I get home and even if she's got sick, she'd rather let me sleep some more than wake me up to do something for her illness. And for that alone, I know how much I've been blessed for being her child.

A rainbow painter

Of all things in this world, she loved to paint rainbow the most. A rainbow after the rain, under the magic of sunlight was like a bridge to a mysterious fairy-land, where a child in her soul had always dreamed of flying to, even just once in a lifetime. She believed that rainbow had magic, a powerful magic which could heal any wounds a human has to bear.

Today, again she began to paint her rainbow with red. It must  have been the warmest, kindest color because it was the color of blood, the magical thing of life which flowed underneath the skins of any living creatures. She stroked her little brush into a long curve over the paper and was happy to see the first line of her rainbow appear. Then she decided to go on with purple, which she believed was the tenderest color of all because lavender, her most favorite flower, also bloomed in purple. She loved the soft, gentle fragrant of those flowers, like a whisper of a fairy; hence she supposed purple must have been for something soothing and sweet.

She continued with some shades of blue. Light blue, indigo-blue and dark-blue. The first one was for bright sky in summer, the second for a gloomy day and the third must have been picked out from a starry night sky. The colors of her rainbow were never mere colors, they were all connected with something else as if her rainbow was a collection of finest colors of finest things in this world.

There were only two colors left to complete the rainbow. Even though this was not the first time she'd painted a rainbow herself, she still felt as excited as ever, looking all over her work before going finish it. Five colors, five representatives of life, she felt thankful for her luck to be living in such a beautiful world with so many colors to paint. Orange must be very very sweet and pure, because it was the color of her favorite fruit. It was tasty, it helped cool down the summer, then orange must have been a nice color to put on, she thought. Under the red line, she stroked another long curve of the new color. Oh, only one line left. She was about to complete it, her lovely rainbow. "Green should be perfect" - she murmured. She was going to put the color of trees, of grass, of silent moss on land and of drifting seaweed under water on her rainbow. Green always was the tranquilest color on earth, she believed. Finally, she'd finished her rainbow. Again. A magic rainbow in an immense sky, where she would hang over some white clouds, some transparent water drops which were the remaining of the summer rain, maybe a fairy flying to her magic world and at one end of the rainbow, she wondered if it was possible to paint a wish there, so that the tiny fairy could pick it up and help her make the little wish come true.

Our lovely painter, there was only one wish she'd always got for the entire of her life: seeing a  colorful rainbow with her own eyes.

Every day, like a worker bee she patiently painted a rainbow in her heart based on people's stories about this life's colors...

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Before bed time

I wrote a lot then deleted it all.

Well, maybe because of the drama tonight. Being loved and being hurt is somehow a nice experience to have but too painful to get through...

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Sound of silence

I loved you.

The full stop at the end of the sentence left her exhausted. Putting down the fountain pen on the old wooden table, eyes closed, she took a deep breath then looked over the letter once again.

I still remember the day when we first experienced the painful meaning of "separation". Don't you forget it? How we walked down in the chill of the continuous rain, hand in hand, both humming the melody of our favorite song, a song with no lyrics. I still remember your hand, wet but warm and soft, holding mine tightly as if it was a knot which could never be loosened between us. I wanted to hold on to it so badly that just thinking of letting it go for a while was enough to make my heart ache...

Yes, she still remembered it, the day he'd sent her off at the airport. Their city was covered with rain almost half a year and people are all used to the damp cold of the weather. The other half of the year was bright and sunny, which, of course, was loved and looked forward to by all of the city's citizens. They'd first met in the rainy half and she was glad that it'd happened in that season instead of the sunny one. In her city, there was a story that told couples who first met each other on a rainy day were destined to be together and never could be apart. Her innocent heart had truly believed in such romantic story and so it wasn't too hard to imagine how happy she'd been when her very first love had come to her in a chilly rain.

I thought we could be like that forever, side by side, hand in hand, smile after smile. I loved the days you drove me in the rain where we could share our raincoat and I could feel how warm it was to embrace you from the back, smelling you sweat and felt your gentle startle as I tightened my arms. You told me about your friends, how your first love looked like when you was five (She loved to wear pink dresses and white shoes. I was surprised to find out that we studied in the same kindergarten but I could hardly remember about that time), how you managed to play truant once in third year and so on. Just simple stories like our love. And maybe because it was so simple, I'd never imagine one day this love could hurt me so deeply.

She read again another part of the letter. The song kept playing again and again from the CD player. Their favorite song. She named it "the sound of silence" because she always felt like it was trying to tell her some story underneath such beautiful notes gracefully played by piano and violin. A sad story, perhaps. She loved to listen to the song on rainy days while looking at the rain drops smashing against the window in despair, they could never break through its glasses as well as she could never break through the shadow in her heart.

Do you still remember it, our song? I thought I was among the very few who like that kind of music, but you surprised me by showing your collection of the same artist and of all their works, we both liked the same song the most. You said it made you feel the loss of time so clearly, like a spring never stopped flowing  down away the mountain. Hence, it reminded you not to waste a single day of your life and live it to the fullest because you couldn't take back what had been swept away in time flow. At that very moment, all of my senses told me that you were the one I'd been looking for, the missing piece which completed the puzzle of my life perfectly. Thinking of days and nights we could spend together listening to the song made my heart shiver with happiness. And more than anyone, you know how earnestly I prayed for it to come true.

Rain kept falling down outside the window. The violin part of the song was like a sharp wire bit by bit squeezing her heart. Memories kept flowing back to her mind and made it flooded. She'd never thought of another ending to their story other than a happy one. The day they said goodbye at the airport, he'd promised to wait for her, he'd even joked that she'd better pick a sunny day to return so that he could bring a huge bunch of lilies, her most favorite kind of flower, to welcome her back. She'd stroked her hands along every figure of his face, reminding herself never to forget it as well as the bright smile which had always lit up her rainy days. The last-minuted checking had been announced on the speakers, and she could  have barely managed to turn her back and walk into the checking room. That day, she hadn't cried, as she'd strongly believed in a return as well as in his love.

Dear J,
How are you? I'm doing fine...

The salutation sounded fake but it was still far better than a grievance. She could hardly remember how she got through the funeral as well as days after that when people said she treated herself like a dead one, clinging to his picture. She was leaving this city again, maybe it was forever this time. Her family had almost finished the packing. They couldn't hide their happy faces when she agreed to move with them. She folded up the letter, put it in a pink envelop, wrote down his name on the receiver line. She held the envelop in both hands, gently stroking her fingers over his name then she stood up, slowly went to the fireplace and, after a short breath, she threw the letter into the burning fire.

Her mothered stepped into the room, carrying along something that looked like a little dress.

- Honey, I have just found this out in a corner of my wardrobe. You used to like this dress very much. Time flies by so fast, eh? I still remember how you always liked wearing pink dresses and white shoes in your kindergarten...

Sunday, January 3, 2010

I want to go to Yokohama, seriously.

It's not a very excellent drama, it has neither brilliant acting nor multi-layered story. But it's special. Strangely special. When love again is portrayed in its purest form, that alone can make you speechlessly stunned. Their love story is so simple yet blossomy that it's too perfect to be added up or cut down any details. Watching this series makes me want to go to Yokohama so badly. It seems to be a very nice place for a sightseeing, let alone its fame for epic love stories in dramas and literature.

Side note: Unlike other dramas in which the heroes usually make me go crazy due to fangirl syndrome, this series impresses me with its strangely but interestingly innocent heroine. I doubt there's any girl in this world who can be more straightforward than her, either in drama or real life. She recalls me to an old lesson of love someone taught me long ago, which appears to be quite simple yet,  in fact, most difficult to learn and practice. It is: be honest.

Title: Tatta Hitotsu no Koi (Just One Love)
Episodes: 10 (thanks to which I could finish them all in one sitting)

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Last word (for a story)

My friend told me that my story is already perfect itself without the "untold part". I know it, but I meant to write that short part just for myself, or for the boy, actually. When listening to the old song by Secret Garden, I felt like somewhere in my mind, the boy wanted me to tell his story as well. He couldn't stand watching her waiting for him in vain like that as well as I couldn't stand not acknowledging his pain. So I began to type again, finishing the separate part in 2 hours.

- Did you think of this ending last night?
- No, I didn't. I just felt like writing and I started it. Just like last night, while I was typing the first sentences about the girl, I didn't known how it would end, either.
- I think just the first part is enough. You should let the readers guess the rest.
- I know. But I told you I felt like writing and I couldn't resist it. It was like I wrote another part of my diary rather than a story. When the boy died, it felt like parts of myself followed him as well. But then I felt relieved, totally relived. My mission is completed and I'm content.

This is how I finished the first day of my new year. Now it's time for me to rest.

I've got an awful Japanese exam awaiting me in 2 days while I'm still totally unprepared for it. Gosh! I should have killed myself first.

Friday, January 1, 2010

An untold part of a story

"I miss her so bad, but it's too late for me to turn back now. From here I can see neither our green hill nor even a hint of the sky above. The trees blocks my eyes, and their thick canopies of leaves together with thousands of tall trunks make me feel like a bird in cage. Darkness is tightening me in its trap. I forget the time and my senses refuse to work. I don't know how many days have passed, nor remember when the last time I ate was. But I feel so clearly that my strength is leaving me, faster and faster every minute. My instinct tells me not to give up. It slaps my face, it calls my name, it does everything to keep me alive. I need to live. I must live to find my home, my real home, the place I've never been to. I must live to come back to our little town, to meet her again and take her along to the end of this world. I must see her again, I wanna be with her in that painting under our blue sky. I need to look into those eyes which capture the whole world in its purest form and my own world as well. She must be waiting for me. I cannot just break my promise like this. I must live. I have to live. Please, God, please let me live..."

The long howl of a wolf was like the music of the night, which stopped him from thinking. It was coming near, the painful song by the children of Mother Wild. For a moment, he felt glad because he wasn't completely alone after all. "I should need some rest" - he thought. As if fully understanding his wish, the night cradled him in its immense arms, swaying gently in the tuneless lullaby, and so slowly he felt into a peaceful sleep. In his dream, he found himself standing on their green hill, humming an old song in bright honey sunlight, waiting for her to come:

I remember a meadow one morning in May.
With a sky full of dreams that sailed in that day.
I was dancing through green waves of grass like the sea
For a moment in time I could feel I was free.
There are waves of forgiveness and waves of regret.
And the first waves of true love I'll never forget.
In the meadow that morning as I wandered alone
There were green waves of yearning for life
Still unknown.

Take me home to the meadow that cradles my heart
Where the waves reach as far as you can see.
Take me home to the meadow we've been too long apart,
I can still hear you calling for me.
Take me home to the meadow that cradles my heart
Where the waves reach as far as you can see.
Take me home to the meadow weve been too long apart,
I can still hear you calling for me.

What I'd give to remember that heavenly state
Just a moment in time all mine to create.
As I'm taking my last breath I know what I'll see
There'll be green waves forever out there waiting for me.
Take me home to the meadow that cradles my heart
Where the waves reach as far as you can see.
Take me home to the meadow we've been too long apart,
I can still hear you calling for me. 

The children of Mother Wild were going on their night hunt. And leaning against a huge tree foot, they found a human smiling softly in his sleep...


Original song: "Greenwaves" by Secret Garden

There's no such place

She climbed up the hill, standing on its top and looked up to the vast blue sky...

Six years ago, he left. Without a word. She woke up quite early that morning, prepared a huge breakfast for two, humming a song whose name she didn't even know. He'd asked her to wait for him on that green hill, the place which had witnessed all the children in this town grow up, one by one, generation after generation. There they first met when she was playing hide and seek with her classmates, and he happened to rescue her out of a bush where she was being frozen seeing a snake approaching her so near. He yanked her out of danger in silence, and left her stunned in silence. For the very first time of her life, she knew what it was to be scared to death.

Covered with the deep green of grass, the hill standing there alone, far at the south end of the town. From its top looking far way down, you could see a small village surrounded by paddle fields which seemed to change colors every season. That village was a mystery to all the children because they never knew its name nor where it was. With their vivid imagination, the children made up all sorts of stories about the mysterious place which was hidden behind the thick curtain of fog from time to time. Unlike those paddle fields, their hill's color almost never changed. It just faded a little in winter, from dark to gray-green. "Why do you like this place so much?" - she once asked him. "Because of its green" - he replied. "You like green?" - she continued. "Not really. Because the hill never changes its green, like you never change your transparent eyes." - he answered, ignoring her blushes.

He said he had something to tell her that morning, something very important. That made her wonder a lot because he was utterly not the expressive type with words. He would prefer actions. After being rescued in those younger days, she met him more often at the hill. Actually he'd come there lots of times before the incident but never been noticed by her or her friends. They'd been mere strangers. She noticed that he always came to the hill alone, with neither friends nor pet, sitting hidden from view behind a bush and looking down to the small village far away. He could sit like that for hours. One day, summoning up all of her courage, she came sit beside him without saying a words. He just gave her a glance before turning back to where he was looking, and that was how they became friends. Because there were very few sounds and words exchanged in their friendship over years, she had no idea what could be so important that he had to bring himself to tell her. However strange it felt, she could just hold back all of her curiosity and wait for the time to come.

- Do you know what they have over there, that village? - asked he.
- I've got no idea. People say it's impossible to reach there.
- Why? Have they tried?
- I don't know. They just told me some stories.
- I heard all of them. But I wonder if they were true. I just want to see them with my own eyes.
- How come? You've never been out of this town.
- Who knows? Maybe I'll be the first to reach that place. Will you go with me then?

She shrugged. It was the longest conversation they ever had. She thought he was only joking because nobody in town even knew the way to that village. Some said it was just as mediocre as any other villages in the world. Others supposed it was a blessed place with the finest land on earth. Actually, she didn't really mind any of them. She'd been born in this town and she'd been always pretty sure that this was also where her grave was built. And during that period, she had no plan to go any further than the hill's end. During that period, her major and only plan was staying by his side.

That morning, she packed all the sandwiches and milk in a small basket, put on her favorite sky-blue hat and in her simple yet lovely flower-patterned dress, she began her way up the hill. He hadn't come yet. She sat on the silk-soft green grass, gently put down the basket, stretching out a little, she enjoyed herself the beautiful sky as well as the soft morning breezes while waiting for him. She looked like a lovely bunch of wild flowers arising upon the green of the hill, waving their little petals under the clear blue sky where several white cloudlets hanging here and there, all of which could be painted into a heartbreakingly beautiful picture. In that picture, our little girl remained waiting hour after hour. She didn't know that from that day, there would be only her left in the picture of the hill. Without him.

- Please come. I'll be waiting. - he said in earnestness.

His words kept playing in her mind and they retained her on the hill until the sun hid itself behind the mysterious village. He'd never broken his promises and hence, she kept assuring herself that he must have been late for some unexpected reasons. But that time, he was late for the rest of her life.

She got home when night spread out its black curtain over the little town. Her basket remained untouched but she didn't feel a tiny bit hungry. That he didn't show up left behind hundreds of theories as well as unanswered questions in her mind and they also filled up her stomach. What was he doing? Where was he now? What had happened to him? Why didn't he come? Why didn't he keep his promise? She felt a little bit angry. Who else wouldn't get mad when she was stood up? But more than that, she felt anxious. She knew he would never break a single promise once he'd made it. "There must be something bad happening" - her premonition whispered. It was too late for her to run out to his home and so she  managed to get through the rest of the night with tons of questions and no sleep.

Next morning, the old postman brought her a letter with his name on the envelope. She tried her best to stay even when receiving the letter from the postman's hand,  but it couldn't shove away the bad feelings strongly growing up in her heart. When the postman walked away, she slowly opened the little green envelope in tremble.

"Dear my little Sarah,
Please forgive me.
I couldn't bring myself to say goodbye to you as I had planned to.
I must go to that village because it's where I'm from, or so my adopting father told me years ago. I want to see the place I was born, no matter it is a cursed or blessed land on earth.
Goodbye, Sarah.
P/S: Yesterday you were as beautiful as the finest painting I ever saw. I was so afraid of seeing you cry in that picture. Your eyes, their beauty, can I ever see them again when I'm back?"

And so he left. In silence.

"Can I ever see them again when I'm back?" - Did that mean she would meet him again? That he wasn't leaving forever? That they could climb up the hill together again? That she could sit by his side in silence again? She found herself again lost in a mess of questions.

It's been years and the hill was still as green as ever. She looked out to the line where her sky met up with the land far way, wondering where he could be now. The village was still as silent as a sleeping fairy covered in smoke. Its surrounding paddle fields are changing their color into pale yellow this season. Nothing had changed in the mysterious stories about the far village, but she had no idea if he could possibly become a tiny dot somewhere in the middle of that sight. However, at least she knew that still they were sharing the same sky and the village as well as the hill would never disappear from this world like he did.

Under the immense blue sky, she found herself murmuring a foolish question: "Down there does he ever look up to this hill to find where I am?"

"There's no such place" - a song by Augie March of which I owed a friend for her brilliant recommendation.