Well it's summer again, Misha. The streets of the old city are teeming with people, animals, bugs and disease. Summer always reminds me of how very much life there is here, how very many things live and breathe within these walls, and how very big this world is.
You always used to say the summer felt dead.
I never understood why, and I suppose I never will.
Yes, Misha, there is a reason I am writing this letter you will never see. There is a reason, though you told me that letters are wastes of quill and ink, tears and breath. I am only now realising, as I write this, how very irritating you are, little sister. It seems I cannot look at the world with my own eyes anymore. Your voice is always there, you tell me what to resent that I would never resent on my own. Even now, you make me ashamed to write this, ashamed that I am disregarding your wishes to the last. And I know that you would hate this letter, hate how long I took to get to the point.
I sail tomorrow.
I keep my promises, you know, whatever other faults I may have. And this is a promise I will carry out at dawn. I write to tell you this, because I believe you are in a place beyond seasons, a place beyond time. A place beyond life.
Because you kept your promises as well, little sister.
And how else could this have ended otherwise? If you live, you would know it is summer, if you live, you would know that it has been two years.
You turned away, pack on your shoulder, grey hood pulled over your head. Eyes already set on the open road. In your mind, I knew you were already gone. Already climbing the next hill. Dust on your travelling boots.
I caught your hand, you turned, face hidden beneath your hood, and I knew then that I would never be your shadow, or your mirror. Nothing you looked to. You were mine. But I would be only a silent echo in your life, crying into nothingness, over and over again.
Two years, I promise. Wait for me. Then sail.
If you do not return.
If I do not return.
So you said it too late. And I knew you never planned to come back.
You were never one for goodbyes.
I shall make a paper bird, I shall send it soaring into the sunrise. I will sail. The bird will fly.
And you will never know.
There is nothing left to say.