Remembrance by the Lady Arianrod
a/n: This is a brief vignette based on Kenshin at Tomoe's grave....
This will be quite sad.
Oh, and the lines in italics are taken from a poem by César Vallejo, a wonderful poet, from a poem called "Summertime"
Sun-colored roses fill his hands as he walks alone, softly, surely. He knows this road, this old path....
He has avoided it.
For many a year he has not entered this hushed side of Kyoto ...not even in plaintive reveries or wishful dreams. He has stayed away long enough...
He, the rusty-haired warrior, cannot stand to face this one final foe.... the past. It haunted him too often, so an effective barrier known as the Battousai shut out these undulating echoes of remorse.
Now, he faces a new foe.... truth.
Realizations of truth are always the hardest to accept when you have told yourself for so long that it never happened, that she still lives....
But he sees her there, manifested only in worn grey stone.... her name barely visible on its decade-old surface.
Her name barely hits the tangible world when it begins to rain. The silvery droplets fall upon the broken warrior: the kind-hearted man who has been proven guilty by a gravestone.
"I've stayed away so long..."
His master stands behind him, offering a word of condolence and of faint derisive humor. He is now fully soaked to the core, dull wet stains forming on his autumn-red shirt.
His face is also stained, a shimmering wetness visible over his bandaged scar and still-tender visage of twenty-eight. As he reaches out his hand to her, he feels the empty space between the corporeal reality and the memories...
In the rain he sees that she cannot return.
In the deep silence he sees that she is gone.
"I killed you," he murmurs to the damp ground. The earth does not move in response. Not even a wind stirs the gentle moment.
The rain drums out its constant, unwavering pattern.... one of the few non-changing things in the world.
His master turns to leave, allowing his "foolish apprentice" to deal with the dark, consuming reality.... a tale that is conveyed by a silent stone.
The rain begins to slow and taper off to a wet mist as he finally places the golden roses by the graveside.
He has made the final step.... he no longer flees from his actions or from that woman that lives in his memory... distant and ethereal like an angel in a dream.
He will not wander in grief now but in remembrance.... the escape from these memories proves futile as he stands to leave....
Don't cry anymore, summer!
In that furrow, a rose dies
That blooms again and again!
"Don't worry. I'll return to visit you," he murmurs to the gravestone.
As he leaves, he is sure that for as long as he lives, a flower will always grace that small plot of land.
End notes: I feel that as Kenshin placed those roses by Tomoe's gravesite, he is now realizing that she is really gone. However, this also shows a new step of maturity in his character: Even though Kenshin realizes Tomoe is dead, he will not avoid remembering her or holding her in his heart.... which is what he would most likely have done if he had not become the Battousai first. By always placing flowers by her grave, Tomoe will always live on to him...
She is not forgotten.
Oh, and as for that little poem snippet... i believe that it is quite similar to Kenshin's need to no longer mourn Tomoe's death. She is the rose that dies, but that blooms again and again (in his memory). Also, read above for my comments on the roses symbolizing a change in Kenshin who no longer runs from his past but remembers it. So, especially because the roses were included in the show, I believe that the poem added a bit to the symbolism....
Please review =)