Worlds Apart

A small street in Kyoto

It was raining.

Her zori clip-clapped on this stone street and splattered some rainwater slightly. She looked up and saw some green mist was hanging over the distant mountain top. Everywhere was dyed green in this rainy season; even the wood handle of her oil paper umbrella had built a trace of green moss. She sighed faintly.

As a geisha, she had to attend all of the parties that her clients had booked, even in such annoying weather—She couldn’t disappoint them. She withdrew the floral tail of her checkered kimono and tightened her little parcel in another hand. They were things she might need for this evening’s party—A folded paper fan, a few silk handkerchiefs, a bottle of perfume, a small  mahogany comb, and a lipstick.

When she thought of the perfume, a gentleman’s face appeared in her memory. It was last year—She met him at the door of a cinema. That day the weather was similar to today’s. She had forgotten to take her umbrella, so he offered to walk her home. He told her that her eyes were so clear-- as if they were a spring pond. She went out with him several times, and he gifted her this perfume. But she wasn’t clear exactly since when he hadn't shown up again. What a willful man! He came as unexpected as a summer breeze, then disappeared like nothing had ever happened. 

Was that true? Nothing had ever happened? She could pretend, but she couldn’t lie to herself. Her mind always touched the wound subconsciously. That man and his perfume, as well as his words, were set deeply in her memory.

“My eyes were so clear as if they were a spring pond…” She murmured. These words dropped from her lips like faded flowers which pitifully had left their branch. The rain became heavier.

An office building in Manhattan

It was raining.

A man sat in his office and looked out the window. Outside was the forever noisy 5th Avenue. The crowds were everywhere. They spoke different languages, they dressed distastefully, they acted like a boss of the whole world, even though nobody knew their names. 

It was a gaudy and disappointing world! He sighed to himself.

But it might not be true. Somewhere should be still lovely, and someone was worthy to dream about.

He thought of a girl he met last year, before he left for New York. She was a beautiful girl, in a very traditional style. He couldn’t tell why he had noticed her. It could be her calmness when she waited for the rain to stop; It also could be her aloofness, standing there quietly, letting the lonely lavenders spread all over her green kimono. But once he spoke with her, he was impressed by her eyes immediately: They were so clear, as clear as a spring pond. They were also very quiet; he couldn’t feel any emotion in them. 

He felt that he was in love with her, but he couldn’t tell her. He kept persuading himself that they were from two different worlds, so it would be a proper choice for him to keep this precious memory deep in his soul, rather than giving it an end. He also didn’t tell her that the perfume he bought, which was combined with lavender and magnolia’s scents, was the essence of her in his mind.  

But he couldn’t avoid the thought that he might have given up too easily, even without a try.

“Does she still remember me?” He looked at the rain clouds floating in the eastern sky—They were as elegant yet distant as her, something unreachable.

There are so many people in this world, and they are busy with their own lives. But yet, they are still very lonely.



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