Chapter 40:

I love you. [Hanji's epilogue]

Light of my darkest eve


The lock of the front door to our small two-bedroom house opens with my key. The house is near-silent, but I know they’re both here. I take my key from the door and close it, before walking into my husband’s study.

“Still workin’ even now?”
He turns his head to look towards my voice, and shoots me a bright smile.

“Prez is working me to the bone, but she always has been a little singleminded.”

“That husband of hers doesn’t help. Still at her side at every moment, even now. That boy is hopelessly in love.”

“Well, I understand how he feels.”

That smile of his never loses it’s lustre. Twenty years later and he’s still the lovestruck idiot he was back in Yamaimura.

“She in her room?”

“Yeah, sound asleep when last I chekced. Didn’t wanna wake her.”

That explains the silence. My husband isn't the loudest person in the world, but that girl certainly might be.

“Gonna dip in and check on her for a bit, haven’t seen much of her these past couple days.”

“If she’s awake I’m sure she’ll appreciate that. I’ll join you for dinner in a little bit, just gotta finish this up.”

“Sure thing, hun. Love you.”

I kiss him on the cheek and leave him to work in peace. I continue up the stairs, into the pink room just past the landing.

On the bed lies a five year old girl, sleeping as soundly as could be. Her face resembles mine, but those slightly open eyes are her fathers.

I silently take a seat on the chair in her room and watch over her. Seeing her calm makes me feel calm.

Even all these years later, it’s hard for me to tell if what I feel for my husband is really “love.” It’s not a concept I understand like others do. But as I look at the pretty, peaceful face of my daughter in front of me, I know, without a shadow of a doubt.

“My darling daughter. I love you, Akina.”

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