“There was another life that I might have had, but I am having this one.”― Kazuo Ishiguro
He is really thankful whenever he thinks of what he has that brief season. He sometimes wishes that he has another life, a normal human life, instead of being a “man” from another world, stuck on earth in an assignment to protect earth. Of course he has never thought that he would have been involved in any relationship with any earthling.
It was really a very brief year. She appears suddenly, not for any reason. She just happens to be a fellow lodger in that mountain lodge. The locked down order comes just as suddenly without notice and they have to live with each other. Just the two strangers on a mountain of 8000 ft above sea level.
From the start, they seem to know each other. Not in names or physically close. They seem to have a supernatural encounter that morning when he arrives. She is in the kitchen. She is making a cup of coffee for herself and makes one for him.
“don’t drink that instant stuff.” She says.
He doesn’t ask why. He enjoys that freshly brew cup.
The snow comes just as suddenly as the locked down notice. To him it doesn’t matter that he doesn’t get to meet or talk to anyone in person outside except the delivery men for food and other necessities. He can still walk and hike up the mountain as his daily routine. He talks to the trees and the wind. Oh, he talks to the small people up there too. People whom she doesn’t know. He works at night and walks in the day. No, he is not restricted by any human system. He doesn’t tell her this but she somehow watches him and knows.
What does he have that he can give her? He is one of the guardians of the four winds. He operates a security system that is beyond her human knowledge. He doesn’t talk about it. One day she sits across the dining table and tells him, I know who you are. You are a kind man. Too kind.
He looks at her in his usual calm and quiet way. Yes, she is right. He is programmed not to harm. He is very kind. Too kind.
Indeed, it has been a year of grace. A year of mercy. It is worth his life on earth. He has no regrets.
(The challenge prompts: Even though we can’t have all we want, we ought to be thankful we don’t get what we deserve.)