Author's Notes: 100 word drabbles are all the rage these days. This isn't 100 words, but it's probably one of the shortest pieces I've ever written.^^; In fact, I'd better be careful and not ramble too much up here, or the notes might wind up longer than the story.:p
So. A short summary: The more things change, the more they stay the same. And though we suffer losses in our lives, memories linger on, to be cherished and never, ever forgotten.

He walks out of the bookstore, and takes no more than two steps before a small figure runs smack into his leg. The child falls over, and the picture book she had been clutching tumbles out of her tiny hands. He bends down and retrieves it for her. “Be careful.”

A beam, like a single ray of sunlight. “Thanks, mister!”

He resists the urge to pat her on the head and leaves. His walk down the busy streets is slow and leisurely, he is unhurried and serene, strangely detached from the hum of daily life. The shop windows reflect a tall slender man, face unmarked by age, short dark hair precisely trimmed in the back, longer bangs falling over sedate sunglasses.

He opens the door to his apartment, steps through and closes it soundlessly behind him. Walking through the hallway, he steps into his living room, ignoring the simple but expensive furniture, stopping before the coffee table.

The hand which reachs up to remove his sunglasses are graceful and clawed, a non-human hand. As the dark lenses fall away from the pale smooth face, eyes glint gold, and dark hair lengthens, bleaches to white. He folds up the sunglasses and places them with precision on the coffee table, then turns golden eyes, a predator’s eyes, onto the wall before him.

There is a staff with two heads, supported in its position by strong pegs. There is a pair of swords, one uncovered, its broad blade glinting like a bared fang, the other safely protected by a polished wooden sheath, the jade hilt so fine it holds its own inner glow. Then there is a glass case.

His reflection in this glass case reveals the prussian blue crescent in the center of his forehead, and two red marks tilting upward in twin smiles on both cheeks. He does not dwell on this reflection. His eyes look past it to the child’s yukata, protected from time by the transparent shield.

Red and white checkered silk, with leaf-green circular patterns sprinkled throughout.

He sees a beam, like a single ray of sunlight. He stares and stares, statue-like, for a long time, until the light filtering through his windows turn soft gold and red with the oncoming dusk.

Then he goes into his kitchen, makes himself a steaming mug of coffee, and sits before one wide open window, to watch the sun go down.