In a flash he saw his Alice at last. She looked even prettier than the first time they met. Her long hair was uncoiled as usual, while her flat and tidy forelock always covered her lovely eyebrows. The bland, pink rouge on her cheeks reminded him of her peculiar pertinacity, for she always insisted in wearing makeup however in a hurry she was every day. From her smart, vivid, mermaid-like eyes, he was able to recall everything about her, as well as between him and her few years ago. He began to imagine what she would be like when she, in her rabbit white costume, was checking the pulse of her patients.
Once she groped for his veins unexpectedly while holding his hand with hers, and explained to him in a professional tone,
“It’s quite easy to inject drugs into your arm. See, your blood vessels are more numerous and much clearer than those of the elderly.”
He could but chuckle, “Oh really?” He tried hard to stifle his laughter, “But why?”
“I think it’s just a sign of some vocational diseases,” she radiated her smile, the warmth of which was cozy and healing as always.
“By the way, I’ve never seen you wearing glasses before. Are you short-sighted or long-sighted?” But soon when he finished asking he regretted, for it seemed that a similar was asked few years ago.
But maybe, maybe it was just his fantasized déjà vu, and Alice apparently did not recall that either, or she would have reproached him half-jokingly for his forgetfulness.
“Is it called “short-sighted” if you cannot see distant objects?” she asked as seriously as a high school student.
“Yeah, I think so,” with an almost readily set answer, he began to throw another question, “but then are you wearing contact lens?”
“Yes, I am.”
“Can you still see things clearly with your naked eyes?”
“No, not really. I can only see very, very close objects.”
“Can you see me like this now if you take off your lens?”
Naively she took off her lens, as if a child who is getting curiouser and curiouser bit by bit.
“I can’t see anything,” she reiterated several times while her face was drawn closer and closer to his, and until her nose touched his, she cut a caper, “I can see you at last!” her lips brushed upon his in a lightning second.
Intimidated by the sudden kiss, he found no more questions to ask, and the couple sat in taciturn under the same white birch tree, where the sun rays were glistening and sparkling with the colour of mellow yellow. Then gradually she leaned closer to him, who felt so appeased by her unique scent mingled with that of lavender shampoo she regularly used. Everything were so unrealistic. “If only time could cease to move!” he thought. Yet as if all were acting against his will, daylight galloped unrepentantly. He recalled in vain the famous two lines of a Chinese poet:
Sunset is as pretty
as it is always,
Except dusk sets in
too soon to end the day
“Maybe, maybe what is pretty can forever never be,” he lamented, “or maybe try at least, to seize with words this tragic happiness!” He took out a piece of tiny, shattered paper from his black stuffy bag and began to write in red his tanka, also his favourite Japanese poetic form:
transcendence of time –
those are the tranquil days
during which shadows
are lovingly reflected
by the sunshine
[To be continued]
[Featured image taken by James on 19th June, 2016]
 First written in Japanese on 13th June, 2015