Over unsweetened coffee and sweetly unexpurgated company, she asks me, ‘If I could grant you any wish, what would it be?’ I wonder if I should tell her my heart’s tacit part in this pact. My desire’s been given to me already, in fact, I asked for her and payed my price in full the minute she materialised. My soul in whole laid at her feet like some chivalrous throwback aimed at spare her spirit from the muck of the world. I smirk and tell her, maybe I’d like to be invisible, but she already sees right through me.
We bowed below the Meiji Jingu gates, held hands as we threw our wish in tandem yen into the well. I wondered long after if I’d prayed hard enough, revenant or pious enough. Now I look at photos of then, see her absence, and know prayers aren’t answers and wishes won’t build horses. I know it. I have gained knowledge through action, gnosis in practice. I know it. But what I wouldn’t pay to wish again, pray again, wrap the facts in faith again and fling them far as hope can go. What I wouldn’t pay again for love.