Lotus Wishes

I dare not dream of love

The "Love" that this world has to offer is a simple substance that is treated like a commodity to be bought and traded
The way the very word has been twisted and mutated is something the human race should be ashamed of.

No. The love I would like to dream of…it isn't even the kind you read about in books. The one that I see when I look past the clouds, past the sky, past time. It's the kind that cannot be spoken in any language because there isn't a word that could describe it.

I looked at the flyer in the window. And smiled as I saw the sign of the upcoming autumn festival.

That was the ideal that plagued my dreams. The stories of Change E and Hou Yi.

I shook my head and hurried past the shop.

I wasn't a child anymore. Such delusions shouldn't still hinder my waking thoughts. Being an adult and still dreaming of "it" just seemed comical.

I slowed my pace and looked to the water under the bridge. I quickly looked side to side. When I knew no one would see, I took a coin from my pocket, clutched it my hand, closed my eyes, and dropped it straight into the water.

"Ouch"

My eyes shot open, I looked around, then leaned far over the railing to see a boy rubbing the top of his head. He lifted his head to look up at me and my eyes opened wide.

A sly grin spread across his face as he saw my blatant surprise. He dropped his hand and rested it against his ore.

"Is there something you wanted to pay me for, or is this meant for the koi fish."

"No. It was meant to be a wish."

"Oh. Then I suppose, I should put it in the water where it belongs."

"No. You already touched it, which means the wish is yours now."

"Then I'll wish you get your wish."

"It won't work now. You told me your wish, so it won't come true."

His shoulders went limp, and he stared with disbelief.

"Well I can't do anything right; now can I?"

"I don’t know you, or what you can or cannot do right." I tightened my lips into a grimace. Why was I wasting my time? I started to make my way off the bridge.

"I, Fukuhara Aki, wish for the smart-mouth beauty to accompany me for the Mid-Autumn Festival this evening."

I didn’t so much as turn my head.

"Don't waste wishes!!" I shouted back.

bento box, onigiri, and festival image bento box, onigiri, and festival image

I don't believe this.

"Well if it isn't the smart-mouth beauty. I guess wishes come true after all."

My face dropped.

"If you call me that again. I'll be within my rights to break your jaw." His eyes widened and he took a cautious step backward.

"Yes, I suppose you would be." I started to walk past him but waited a moment then turned back to him.

"Why did you make that wish earlier."

He seemed surprised, but smiled and said: "Because when I first saw you. I knew you would be my lotus wish."

"I've never heard of such a thing." He smiled proudly then waived for me to follow him down to his boat.

"I'll make you a deal. If you go with me for a ride. I'll tell you all about it."

All kinds of possibilities played in my mind, some dangerous, some pleasant, and some just a waste of time. But one phrase kept playing in my head: "Fortune and love favor the brave."

bento box, onigiri, and food image bento box, food, and japanese image

"Well, I do believe I was promised a story." I said smugly. The water was glistening in the moonlight, and I could see the festival lights off in the distance. A few lotus blossoms were floating on the water and I saw Aki scoop one in his hand.

"I'm guessing you know the legend behind the Mid- Autumn Festival?"

I smiled to myself. "Yes." He smiled as if urging me to go on. "Hou Yi was a legendary hunter. The world was indebted to him when he used his superior hunting skills to shoot down nine suns in the sky, to prevent the world from being turned to nothing but cinders. He was praised as a hero, and one day a goddess gave him a special gift. An elixir that would turn him into a god and bring him to the heavens. He gave the elixir to his wife, Change E, to keep safe. A jealous competitor saw, and attempted to steal it from Change E. She drank the elixir in order to keep it safe, but it caused her to rise to the heavens. Change E held onto the moon so she could watch over Hou Yi, but when Hou Yi heard of what had happened he knew he needed to find a way to see her again. He spent years building a temple on the last sun in the sky, so when the sun and moon pass each other: They can see each other again." I looked up from the water reflections. "So what does any of that have to do with these 'Lotus Wishes'.

"You see, Change E. Well she cried and cried once she realized that she would never get to be with Hou Yi again, and all those tears rained down on earth. Each teardrop that fell produce a beautiful lotus blossom." He fiddled with the flower in his hands. "And all of these flowers hold Change E wish to be with her true love again. So if you make a wish, just one wish, on a lotus blossom in your whole life. Change E will grant it."

I looked at him full of doubt. " I've never heard of that, and I know that legend pretty well."

"I don't doubt you do, but I know for a fact it works." He handed me the flower. "What will you wish for?"

Without batting an eye I said: "I'd wish to be more than human." He stared at me like I'd grown another head.

"Why on earth would you wish for something like that. Isn't there something you want in this world? Something that a wish could give you?"

"That is what my wish would give me. No human on this green earth has ever found a love that lasts. Just like Change E and Hou Yi. Their love became legendary only because they weren't human anymore. If they had stayed human it would have never worked out."

"I have to say, that is rather pessimistic." I shrugged

"It's who I am."

"No. That…I don't believe." I looked up to him and gave a half grin. He sucked in a breath. "I thought you couldn't tell your wish or it wouldn't come true."

"It doesn't matter. It wouldn't come true anyway." He bit his lip and grabbed my hands gently around the flower.

"Make your wish. If we both make the same wish on the same flower, then that rule shouldn't apply."

"Don't you have your own wish?"

"Sure, but you'll have to put up with me a bit longer if your gonna help it come true."

We both closed our eyes. Then after a moment, we released the flower back onto the water. We laid in the little boat and said nothing as we stared at the open night sky. I stole a look at his face just as he started to doze off. There was no kismet at work, time didn't stop when I looked into his eyes, I didn't feel the world start turning. I moved a stray hair from his forehead. Then smiled when he moved his face closer to my hand. This feeling may not last, but it was a beginning, and it was one I was intent on enjoying. Even if only for the night…

bento box, festival, and food image