“Matsu, open your eyes,” Aurora whispered. Matsu opened his eyes. Time began to flow again in the world.
“There’s the moon,” Aurora said.
Matsu raised his face and looked up at the sky. The clouds had parted and above the bare branches of the cherry tree he could make out the moons. A large yellow moon and a smaller, misshapen green one. Artemis and Celena. The glow coloured the edges of the passing clouds, like a long skirt whose hem had been accidentally dipped in dye.
Matsu turned now to look over at Aurora sitting beside him. She was no longer a skinny, undernourished ten-year-old girl, dressed in ill-fitting hand-me-downs, her hair crudely trimmed by her mother. There was little left of the girl she had been, yet Matsu knew her at a glance. This was clearly Aurora and no other. Her eyes, brimming with expression, were the same, even after twenty years. Strong, unclouded, clear eyes. Eyes that knew exactly what they longed for. Eyes that knew full well what they should see, and weren’t going to let anyone get in her way. And those eyes were looking right at him. Straight into his heart.
Aurora had spent the last twenty years somewhere unknown to him. During that time, she had grown into a beautiful woman. Instantly and without reservation, Matsu absorbed all those places, and all that time, and they became a part of his own flesh and blood. They were his places now. His time.
I should say something, Matsu thought, but no words would come. He moved his lips, just barely, searching for proper words in the air, but they were nowhere to be found. All that came out from between his lips were swirls of white breath, like a wandering solitary island. As she gazed into his eyes, Aurora gave a slight shake of her head, just once. Matsu understood what that meant. You don’t have to say a thing. She continued to hold his hand inside his pocket. She didn’t let go, not even for a moment.
“We’re seeing the same thing,” Aurora said quietly as she gazed deep into his eyes. This was, at once, a question and a confirmation.
“There are two moons,” Aurora said.
Matsu nodded. There are two moons. He didn’t say this aloud. For some reason his voice wouldn’t come. He just thought it.
Aurora closed her eyes. She curled up and pressed her cheek against his chest. Her ear was right above his heart. She was listening to his thoughts. “I needed to know this,” Aurora said. “That we’re in the same world, seeing the same things.”
! Remark: “Mind Fragment” posts are fictitious prose, and none of them is about me.