Epilogue – The Other Side of The World

Shizuku loved this time of day, this time of year. And especially this view, looking down on the buildings, the streets, the railway line. In the school yards and gardens the cherry trees burgeoned with blossom, thick and creamy like candy floss. The cherry blossom was especially pretty this year. Or perhaps that was her imagination. She'd not seen it for eight years, perhaps it always seemed this beautiful if you went away and didn't see it for so long. She liked to be here as the sun began to go down. It hadn't quite set but was near the horizon and the sides of the hills, the buildings and the air itself were painted with a golden light. She knew the scientific explanation behind it, something very boring to do with the suns rays cutting obliquely through the earths lowest layers of atmosphere where all the tiny dirt particles were and the light became diffused. But she didn't care about that, she just loved the colour the world was painted. And the sense of peace it brought with it. Late afternoon was such a magical time, a restful time, a time that promised the evening ahead when people could relax or have fun. It was her favourite time of day. It reminded her of him coming home when she could talk with him and feed him and hold him.

She liked to lean on the wooden rail here and watch the day ending but recently leaning had become more uncomfortable and it hurt her back. So now she stood upright and rested her right shoulder against one of the large upright timbers that supported this balcony, and the one above it. She rested her left hand on the balcony railing and her right on her lower stomach, which she absently stroked from time to time. The sun was going down now and the sky began to attract her attention more than the painted landscape. The first tints of pink and salmon and lilac-grey were in the clouds. She settled against the wooden post, trying to get her extra weight comfortable. She watched the night coming.

Then it happened. She hardly noticed it at first, she thought it was just a twitch of a muscle. But then it came again, and a third time. There was no mistaking it now. She touched the place. It happened again.

"Seiji! Seiji! Come here. Quick!"

She heard his footsteps chatter down the stairs. He came out of the old workshop door onto the lower balcony. He'd been painting the walls of the main room, the old shop room, and was wearing his shirt sleeves rolled up, an old pair of jeans and his heavy leather work apron.

"Come here, quick."
"What is it? What's wrong?"
"Nothing's wrong. I don't think. But here, give me your hand."

She took his hand in hers and placed it on her, low down.

"There, no, a little to my left. Lower. There."
"What? What is it?"
"Just wait. Wait a moment."

He looked at her face, then down at his palm pressed against the lower curve of her belly, on one side. He waited, a questioning look on his face. She placed her hand over his.

"Sshh, just wait."

And then it came again, a small knock or kick, a tiny thing, almost too faint to be felt. It happened again.

"Did you feel that?"
"Yes," he replied, "yes, I feel it. Oh, wow... is that?"
"Yes, its him."
"Or her."
"Or her. Yes, it could be her."

Seiji knelt down. He put his hands to the hem of her dress and lifted the material. She helped him by gathering the cloth up and raising it. Her naked stomach was exposed, it had grown big in the last few weeks, very big. She was huge now and getting around had become uncomfortable. It wouldn't be too long. Seiji put both his hands back on the warm honey coloured ball of her enormous belly. He felt the movement again. He put his face there, just resting his cheek against the flesh and felt his child kick out at him, at the world.

He put his lips to the place and kissed the skin.

"Hello," he said, "good strong limbs you've got there. Don't play too rough. If you're going to be a violin maker, you need a delicate touch."

Shizuku's voice came from above him,

"I expect he's trying to reach behind his head and smooth that damn hair down."

Seiji looked up at his wife. He stood and held her.

"Happy?" he asked
"That's a stupid question," she replied, "as long as I have you, of course I am."

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We'll do it all
On our own

We don't need
Or anyone

If I lay here
If I just lay here
Would you lie with me and just forget the world?

I don't quite know
How to say
How I feel

Those three words
Are said too much
They're not enough

If I lay here
If I just lay here
Would you lie with me and just forget the world?

Forget what we're told
Before we get too old
Show me a garden that's bursting into life

Let's waste time
Chasing cars
Around our heads

I need your grace
To remind me
To find my own

If I lay here
If I just lay here
Would you lie with me and just forget the world?

Forget what we're told
Before we get too old
Show me a garden that's bursting into life

All that I am
All that I ever was
Is here in your perfect eyes, they're all I can see

I don't know where
Confused about how as well
Just know that these things will never change for us at all

If I lay here
If I just lay here
Would you lie with me and just forget the world?

(Snow Patrol - Chasing Cars)

The End
12 December 2006 – 14 February 2007

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Saint Valentines Day, 2007

For author notes about the Epilogue, please see my forum (click on my pen name)