Christina shuddered when she heard footsteps further up the hill. She didn’t want anyone to see her crying. Especially not Ryu or Ulf.

She led a good life now, blessed with the childbirth she never experienced in her first life, and with far more love than she deserved.

While she had been an adult reborn, and not naive enough to believe you could experience love without hurting anyone, she most definitely had crossed a line of common decency.

And eventually I hurt them both, and Noriko as well. Come to think about it. She probably hurt Yukio and Ko-chan as well. Ko-chan. The one person she never grew used to call by her first name. Her best friend. And now she’s going away forever.

Because that was everything this trip was about. Coming together for some of them, but a parting for all of them. In a couple of days Ko-chan and Yukio would leave this world just like she herself had left hers a quarter of a century earlier.

I never apologised, or did I? She couldn’t remember what had happened after. Most of the last week of summer that year only held oceans of darkness in her memories.

Doesn’t matter. There was no way an apology could have gotten through anyway.


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