Old Pages Covered by New Faces

“You taught me the courage of stars before you left.”

“How light carries on endlessly… even after death.”

The viewing rock seemed so empty without anybody to watch the stars with her now.

It was funny, how these things worked. Just yesterday, her teacher was sitting right next to her on this same rock, teaching her how to spot constellations and how to use them for navigation. He was the only person who ever  cared for her ever since he found her, and he was the only person that she could call family.

Nobody ever came into this corner of the forest they called home, and neither of them left it to venture into the cities,  so now that he was gone, she was alone. 

A cold breeze passed through, rustling the trees above her and  the journal’s pages  on her lap. Shivering, she closed the marked-up pages and stood up, dusting herself off before heading back into the dark covers of the forest.

She thought that it would get easier with time, but grief worked in mysterious ways. It was the aching pain that bothered her most. It sat, hard as a lump, in her chest and pulsed with a life of its own. As if her sorrows were there to drown her whole. She was no fool to believe that her master would live forever, and her master also made sure that she knew the ways of life and death ever since she was little. 

Whether it be sickness,  old age, or something else, the end result remained the same. All things came to an end, it was the the route of all existence. It was the arrival and departure, the train without fail, the leaving to a different place.

She wondered, now that her master was gone, how soon would she follow him?

She found herself out on the viewing rock again, this time looking over the forest that stirred in the midday breeze down below. If he had seen her now, he would have scolded her for moping around. But he wasn’t here.

The thin pages felt oh so fragile underneath her fingertips as she turned them slowly, a motion that she had done so many times before. Eyes scanned over the notes painstakingly written in there, yet did not read anything. It felt like she was closer to him this way, a whisper of his voice as if he was there next to her, teaching her all over again. 

One day, her little smear of solitude was popped. A girl named Noba. A boy named Yuu. Another who simply told her to call him Meg. All eccentric characters whom intrigued her. Despite her cut-off nature at first, they came back again and again. And she found herself looking forward to their visits.

One day Yuu approached her as she pored over the contents of her journal.

“You’ve lost someone too, haven’t you,” He said. He smiled sadly as he saw her look. “I  lost someone too. It wasn’t fun. Especially when you spend your time in solitude. Come with us, even if it’s just for a little bit. There’s more to life out there you know?”

Hearing his friends calling him, Yuu stood up and offered his hand. Patiently. Knowingly. With the slowest of movements, she closed the journal’s tattered pages. Yuu’s hand was warm and she found that she didn’t mind following Yuu and his friends.

Eventually, she would have to follow the path of her master and leave for the ones beyond. But with her newfound companions, she would dwell in the moment with them a little bit more.

“In time… I will leave the city.

For now…

I will stay alive.”

One thought on “Old Pages Covered by New Faces

  1. I clicked on this blog post because I was intrigued by the title. If I’m being honest, everything sounds like it came out of a Studio Ghibli film and that’s a huge compliment. I would spend money, without hesitation, to see it be made into a movie. I love how easygoing
    the transitions are and each paragraph is beautiful and very descriptive. Farewell!

    Liked by 1 person

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