By Any Unborn Child

Once again, she was at her desk, restoring yet another painting. Even though she was used to being up so early, the colors that were before her still swam in opposite directions. It took a little bit, but with a nice cup of jasmine tea at her side, its fragrant and relaxing scent wafting under her nose slowly but surely the frayed watercolors calmed.

She continued to work as her thoughts slowly began to turn to her niece Makoto. She had been seeing a lot of her lately – not that she minded; far from it actually. They did check in from time to time, but everyone in that family was so busy with their own lives. She did not want to bother them – she was often swamped with her own projects – pragmatically, yes, but still swamped.

But still…

There was only so much she could tell Makoto.

She had so much ahead for her.

She was not like anyone else in her family, not like anyone else she knew.

She was passionate.

She was ambivalent.

She was strong.

She was emotional.

She didn't think before she acted.

She thought too much.

She was swayed by so much, and yet, she was swayed by nothing.

Makoto followed her heart.

A small, if slightly sad, smile graced her features.

If there was anything that she envied about Makoto, it was that she followed her heart, when it was more sensible to use her head.

She would have loved to have followed her heart back then.

There was not anything she could do about it now – she had used up her time leaps so many years ago.

With each passing day, every time she started thinking about the boy, who at first was her friend, who slowly turned into something more, a pang of nostalgic regret floated into her subconscious. Oddly enough, this feeling eerily passed everything else except her heart.

Her heart…

Yes, Makoto had reminded her so much of what she had not done in the past. But, with her, it was also an invitation…

An invitation to a new beginning.