Just Like Us
There was one thing Yuta had learned from being immortal: No matter how long you live, you can never learn everything. No matter how many books, magazines, and newspapers he had gotten his hands on (usually by sifting through people's trash), there were always new discoveries and advances to learn about. Society and its views of the world were constantly changing, and Yuta was humbled over the 500 years he'd lived to witness it.
But the world was an even bigger mystery to Mana, who made it painfully obvious just how new everything was to her.
"What's that animal, Yuta?" she asked one day, pointing at a billboard that advertised a popular brand of soft drink as they were walking down the street,
Yuta glanced up, surprised. "That's a polar bear. It lives in the Arctic. See, it has white fur so it blends in with the snow."
"Oh," Mana said. There was a short pause. "What's the Arctic?"
When he saved up enough money, Yuta decided for Mana's benefit and enjoyment (she did seem to love animals so) to take her to the aquarium so she could learn about these things firsthand.
Yuta had never seen Mana so happy as she looked in wonder at all the animals, but no exhibit captured her attention more than the orca tank. Mana had never seen anything like it.
"Look, Yuta! Giant fish!"
"Not fish, Mana. Orcas are mammals just like us; they breathe air just like us, they're warm-blooded just like us…" He continued talking while Mana watched the orcas swim, spellbound. "You know, the amazing thing about orcas is they share a strong bond with their family. They spend their entire lives with the ones they care about—"
"Just like us!" Mana smiled.
Yuta was speechless. Two orcas swam by in the background of the tank.
"Yes," he finally murmured, his voice light. "Just like us."