Chapter 2


"Darling, I've been thinking. You are not in your right mind." Mr. Frog stated while digging up some little pebbles in the water under his toes.
"How so?" I wondered aloud, watching him raise the mud from underneath the pebbles and dim the water.
"Well…" he began but he stopped in search for words. He sighed and continued: "You just sit there. You have sat there for 182 Koi-fish cycles… you don’t seem to want to explore this place… What's more, how come your back doesn't hurt?"
The thing about Mr. Frog is, he never – more like very rarely looks me in the eyes when he talks. He is always busy doing something, which is odd because one would think: "what could possibly be done in a place like this?"
"You are right. 182 cycles did pass…" only now as he mentioned it did I realize that 182 koi-fish cycles passed. What one would call time doesn't exist, but a measure most related to time does in fact exist - the koi-fish cycles. "But Mr. Frog …" I was going to say how my mind is perfectly alright, but I wasn't really sure myself if it was true.
"What do you mean when you say that?" I wandered.
"My back would certainly hurt if I sat for 182 koi-fish cycles." he concluded and stretched his back as if it already hurt just from thinking about it.
"I like it here. It is, indeed, very different from where I used to live." I noted even though it had no relevance to his realization of the pain he would have in his back.
He looked puzzled, still digging in the dirt, he must have had amazingly sensitive finger tips since nothing natural could see, let alone find anything in the dimmed polluted circle of water around him. He struggled to avoid the dirt that nonetheless began piling on his rough skin. He moved too much, he splashed the water – he disturbed the peace. I slid off the rock and into the water – it was just above my knees, but still enough to soak the ends of my dress. I walked over to him. He froze in place when I laid my hands on him and tried to help him get rid of the piled mud on his back. He stood still for a few moments as I went on with the cleaning. When the water had calmed down a little and the tiny grains of sand and mud dropped back on the water bed, he went back to his pointless digging.
Time passed. No. time didn’t pass – the moments did; the wind did; Mr. Frog and the koi-fish did; but time never passed. I tended to is rough skin, as a mother to an infant; careful not to harm it. When I was done I moved backwards in appreciation of my work and washed my hands through the cold water. By now my dress was soaked waste high and it stuck to my body.
“Help me dig here.” A halfhearted command was given out. I turned to face Mr. Frog, but he wasn’t looking at me. By now I have realized that these halfhearted commands were a sign of gratitude, as I was allowed to do what he was doing – or much rather, help him with what he is doing.
Mr. Frog never stayed much around. He would come and go, as if to check up on me. I think he truly thought I was mad. What a sweet thing to think of someone. Maybe I even was mad, who would know; who could judge and declare my sanity. How could a talking frog, four times my size, be the judge of my sanity? What were even his criteria of sane and mad?
“Well, seems like there is nothing here…” he interrupted the argument in my mind. “Ah! I didn’t find anything! This is really unimaginable!” speaking of unimaginable, he has been burrowing in that same spot every time he was here and only now did he notice there was nothing. I kept silent.
“There was a koi-fish cycle not too long ago, was there?” he asked reassuringly, looking at me with those big glassy black eyes.
“Yes there was.” I nodded looking down at the water.
“I will be going now.” He said very calmly, it almost sounded as a goodbye.
“Will you?” it came out more or less like a little girls reality check.
“I will. But darling, you should too. It’s coming. After all it’s been 182 koi-fish cycles! How can you wish to stay! You mustn’t!” his voice amplified with worry and fear. Could there be something weirder than a 3m tall frog?
“You mustn’t…” he repeated again, this time much more composed; “this will be your first, but you cannot stay.” He looked at me, pleading me to go.
“I will.” I exhaled the words; “I will. I will go. Which way do I go?” I repeated lauder this time.
“Oh!” He sighed a big relief sigh; “That way. That’s where the koi-fish travel.” He pointed with his eyes to what was his left side.
I nodded once and a mutual gaze was exchanged. And again, Mr. Frog was gone. Gone with his light; gone with his splashes; gone with his presence.
He once mentioned a something that passes here every 200 koi-fish cycles. Or at least that’s what he thinks, Mr. Frog has proven on occasions a rather bad mathematician, so his counting should only be taken into consideration with a great deal of room for possibilities. I sat there - propped by my hands behind me – gazing into the black, for all I knew my eyes could have been closed.
My mind began twinkling; my imaginary stars spread across my sky and I felt my back n head hit the rock as I fell back and into sleep.

- Iwa K.