Author's Note:

This story takes place immediately after Maria is back in Japan at her photography exhibit. (Last episode of CANAAN)



"There was something that I lost.

There was something that I obtained.

Then I lost it again.

I sought and I ran and then I obtained it again."-Canaan



After the photography exhibit ended, Maria Osawa yawned and stretched her body. Mino already left the exhibit two hours ago. He had asked a shy girl he met at the exhibit to dinner. The blonde couldn't wait to hear from him. He promised to call her tomorrow.

Maria gazed at Canaan's picture one last time before she was going to leave. The black and white photo stared back at her in such a way that Maria felt Canaan was still watching her.

Suddenly, the blonde felt a tap on her shoulder. She spun around.

A young brunette with a choppy haircut around his early twenties stood a few inches taller than the camerawoman. He was wearing a blue flannel shirt and had a clean shaven beard.

"Is your name Maria Osawa?" he asked courteously.

Maria nodded at the stranger and he smiled.

"My name is Michael and I really like your gallery. Your photos truly captures the essence of each picture."

The blonde blushed. "Thank you Michael! That means a lot to me."

"You mean it?" he asked.

"Yeah. No one really compliments my photographs," Maria replied frowning. "But I'm still an amateur at photography so I guess it explains a lot. If it wasn't for Canaan, then I would never have gotten into photography."

"Canaan?"

"A special friend," Maria replied quietly. Canaan's name echoed in her ears and the blonde's heart started to beat rapidly.

"Oh. Is this Canaan the one in this photograph?" he asked pointing at an unsmiling, short-haired woman next to Alphard.

"Yes!"

Soon, Michael's voice drowned in her ears and Maria thought about Alphard. Her brown eyes grew solemn. What happened to her? Was Alphard still alive?

"Good then," Michael laughed nervously, "I thought you had another person in mind."

Maria jolted out of her thoughts when she realized Michael was still talking. "Eh?" she asked.

The young man's cheeks turned red. "I'm sorry. That was a stupid remark I made."

"I should be the one who's sorry! I wasn't listening before," the blonde apologized. "Can you repeat that again?"

"Oh, that's alright," he replied with color returning back to his cheeks. "What I meant was I thought you were already going out with someone."

Going out with someone? "Why do you ask?" Maria asked puzzled.

"Would you like to go out with me to lunch tomorrow?"