Jin slowly pulled into the driveway of the old cabin. Switching the car off, he sat for a moment and looked at the house. He felt nostalgic looking at the familiar building. It was as if time had passed the building by and changed nothing. The resistance to come here had worn off and he couldn't think of anywhere else to go in order to get away from his work. His parents and employees knew how to reach him at his apartment and being a popular figure in public didn't help his search for private locations at the park for peace and quiet. Without telling anyone, he had quickly left messages for his secretaries and employees of his short vacation and packed his suitcase. He had left specific instructions for them to not worry about his wellbeing and to contact him via email if there was an emergency. His parents must have heard by now and probably notified the management department to take care of the day to day jobs. Despite the initial guilt for worrying his parents, he now felt that they could handle the company for a few days without his presence while he took a short break. They would keep his disappearance quiet and simply say he was in a conference or on a short business trip where he couldn't be contacted.
Five years had done a lot to him. He had gone on to succeed his father's company and even own a smaller interior design company on the side. His parents had been surprised by his sudden desire to own a company of his own on top of the family business but they hadn't protested after he explained his love for design. The work was busy, but he found the obstacles worth his while. His small company was productive and within the year the small team of twelve employees he had hired was readily being called for new large assignments every month.
With his busy schedule, he had remained unmarried but had met a charming woman named Laura. She was a petite woman he had met at a dinner party the year before and they had gotten along well. He later found out that she was the daughter of a man who owned a company selling electronics. The two had met a few times to chat and just be friends but he knew after the first four months that Laura had hoped for marriage in their future. Their relationship was very public and the two respective families had hopes of a potential marriage if things continued going well for the couple. He felt happy when he was with Laura but he also had no love for her. He had meant to tell her about his feelings about their relationship but there hadn't been a good time with his work constantly building up. She must be upset with me now, he thought. Laura was a good friend but she often worried about a lot of things and hated to lose control. Jin had found her attractive but after a while, he sometimes found her to be slightly irritating with the way she often demanded attention from him during some of his busiest times at the companies. She would tell him that she missed him or she didn't get to see him often enough and then make a pass at him. At first, Jin had accepted her advances and gone along with it but after a few times, the strategy became too routine and he started to resist her advances to take him to the bedroom. Laura had taken advantage of him enough and he wouldn't put up with it any longer.
Weary from the long drive after a long day of work, Jin exited the car, pulled out his set of keys and unlocked the house. The furniture had been left as it was five years ago and nothing had changed. Walking over to the windows, he opened the blinds, allowing the late afternoon sunlight to filter in and light the room. He had quite a bit of cleaning to do before he could freely relax in his old home. Undaunted by the amount of chores set before him, he went back out to carry in his belongings and change out of his work clothes before starting to clean.
Four hours later, Jin sat on the back balcony with a glass of water. He had mopped the floors, cleaned the counter tops, stocked the fridge and pantry with food for a week, washed the dishes, dusted the rooms, removed the bed covers from the furniture and now had a load of laundry going while he took a break. The sun had already set and the moon was now rising. The night air was cool as the new spring season settled into the forests. The plants were green from recent rains and the air was just at the right temperature with a little humidity. Birds sang their last songs as the night deepened and crickets started to appear with their chirping. It had been too long since he had taken a real break to breathe and take in his surroundings.
"I shouldn't stay here too long." He said. Rising from his seat, he went back inside to finish the laundry and start a small meal for dinner. "Maybe I'll even go for a walk." He thought as he pulled together a meat sandwich. The image of the moonlit lake rose in his mind again and he quickly pushed the thought out of his head.
No. Bad idea. A walk by the lake would just bring back up old memories and feelings he didn't need to add to his already over filled plate. Maybe she wouldn't be there. She could have moved, he argued with himself. Instead of his walk, he settled on the couch after dinner with his sketchbook and began designing a new office for himself. He wouldn't necessarily build it but it was just doodling he enjoyed every once in a while. With some mixing around he soon produced a suitable result that he thought would sell well if another office assignment came up. He leaned against the back of the couch rolling out the soreness in his neck and shoulders.
"I should hire a massage therapist for the company." He said. That would probably make them feel better. He knew he would at least. Jin sat for a while and as the exhaustion set in, he dozed off on the couch. The gentle breeze that wafted in from the open balcony doors kept the room just right to lull him into a comfortable sleep. Just before his mind shut down and he fell into a deep sleep, he heard the sound of a familiar screeching in the night air and of wings.
With the experience of a professional, Lilly quietly entered the cabin through the open balcony doors. She hadn't been able to resist her curiosity as to why Jin was back. He hadn't appeared in the past five years so why was he here now? She peered at him lying on the couch with his open sketchbook sitting in his lap. Time had worn on him, she thought. Jin had grown a little stubble on his chin and his hair started showing signs of greying. By his eyes were lines like crow's feet that suggested he often spent time staring at computer screens for long hours, or she thought amusingly, smiling at the people he loved. Lilly hadn't been able to forget the man who had made her heart skip a beat or who had brought a smile to her face so easily as if it were natural. Being back in front of him again, she wanted to touch him. To stroke his face with her hands or run her fingers through his hair. But she couldn't or he would wake and see her. She wasn't supposed to be there. Stepping a little closer to him, Lilly watched Jin sleeping for a few more moments before she quietly pulled a blanket over him and switched off the lights. She would be back to see him again, but he wouldn't know that she was watching. She had to make it seem like she'd disappeared already. She walked back out to the balcony and turned back around to look at the sleeping man. Jin. With a small smile, she blew a kiss to him and then turned around to face Edward who was perched on the railing. Her companion cocked his head to the side in a question. Lilly petted him.
"No, Edward. I'm alright. I just wanted to see him again." She replied. With a sigh, she lept off the balcony and ran back into the forest. There wasn't any point to thinking about an impossible relationship, she told herself. Especially this one. Edward flew low next to her and the two disappeared into the trees as the moon rose high in the night sky.