The girl with the pink hair came to life right in front of our eyes. Please tell me you remember her. Our favorite show was playing quietly in the background. I looked at her round face, lit by the blue screen. It’s like she could tell that the girl with the pink hair was trying to communicate to her what I simply couldn’t. Misako do you remember watching this show a couple months ago? Do you remember calling it a piece of art? Do you remember this man is your husband?

“Ring any bells honey?” Her look stroke through me. A hint of discomfort and then a shy frown. “Um… it truly seems like a good show.” Not the answer I was looking for. “Come on, let’s head out.” She lowered her head. Why was she even following this stranger at this point? Please, bear with me Misako, I can do this. I helped her put on her coat. Awkwardly she turned the other way. I was making her uncomfortable. Maybe she heard my heart drop because as I distanced myself, she looked at me again, it was a look I had seen before. A look Misako would give. Focus Satoru.

Japan is pretty. At the moment it was the only thing that gave me strength. She knew me well, and I knew her too. But I couldn’t stand looking at Misako gazing around like a foreigner. She remembered Tokyo of course, but only the neighborhood she grew up in. All the time we spent in northern Tokyo was nothing but a memory drowning and gasping for air in that suffocating head of hers. I gazed at her hand. So naked it seemed. I should be holding it. I should be holding her.

A smile warmed her face. Sakura. Fully bloomed, pink and fragrant. “Do you like them Misako?” But she couldn’t hear me. Misako was gone. My Misako at least. She was taken by the Sakura, by the girl with the pink hair. It was okay really. They can have her. The Sakura can have my Misako.

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Fuji
Fuji (@fuji)
7 months ago

I’ve been a great fan of yours since Puma, and now this story is equally good. There is so much left unsaid, great blocks of feeling and emotion never explained. To me, that’s one of the hallmarks of excellent writing – a space the reader can move into and inhabit and work with over time. I’ll be reading and re-reading, filling in the blanks for myself. Great writing!

Linda Rock
Linda Rock (@linda-rock)
7 months ago

I’ve read your story several times now Lydia, and each time it becomes a little clearer. I know all the clues are there and much more to uncover and this keeps me coming back. Another reason is that I’m really enjoying it.

Dipayan Chakrabarti
Dipayan Chakrabarti (@dipayan-chakrabarti)
7 months ago

Nice work, Lydia. The dual power of language to reveal and to conceal is being used skilfully to evoke emotions.

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Dipayan Chakrabarti
Dipayan Chakrabarti (@dipayan-chakrabarti)
7 months ago

You’re welcome.

Eric Radcliffe
Eric Radcliffe (@eric-radcliffe)
7 months ago

Hello Lydia, what is not said is still tangible, it runs through the story in a stream of emotions, forever nudging and poking the reader.

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo (@lotchie-carmelo)
4 months ago

You are a great writer, Lydia. You make me read this story over and over again to answer those questions in my mind. Excellent job, Lydia. I enjoyed and loved it.

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