by Koizumi Shinme (恋墨新芽)
We could see the dust cloud from a long way off, and I wasn’t ready yet. Eliza kept moving between the window and my side, touching my shoulder lightly with one finger, then turning back to watch the progress of horses and wagon. Too fast. Too soon.
“Vivito,” she whispered in my ear, the old nickname, and then with a final twist and jab the maid pronounced my hair complete, braided and coiffed for the long ride. “Hurry, hurry,” Eliza said, jostling me on the arm. Those were the words her mouth formed, but the tone of them said ‘don’t go’ and ‘I’m sorry.’ “Come, suola.”