Eulogy of a Missing Person
The funeral was small, just a simple eulogy in front of a plate. A few lawyers, Yurika, her husband, and a few would-be doctors who were observing for some college project and some law student from Japan, though Yurika didn't understand why a law student whould be there. Yurika started to speak. She didn't really have a speech planned, but it came from her heart. She owed that much to her missing niece, who had been declared dead.
"She never knew what it was like, did she? After it all happened, I suppose that even after I left her behind, I should have expected her fate. Always searching, always acting differently. She could never find anyone that she could love, even though there were people around her that loved and admired her spirit and nobility.
"So... can I say, on this seventh year after she went away, never to be heard of again, to be declared dead that she is truely not alive? Alas, Babylon! That would be a character from a book would declare in dry humor. Alas Babylon! The regal girl who held impossible dreams is vanished! Lo, she has vanished, yet now her spirit is singing! I saw her resolve to answer the questions that had haunted her since a child.
"...though I do admit that even though I raised her for years after her parents died, I never knew the girl that was Utena. Even after I married in Amsterdam, I could not forget my strange niece. I found myself trying to gain some insight, to put myself into a creative endevour I could call purely my own. Most women just had children, I started to paint still-lifes of roses and fairy tale figures in unique situations.
"Perhaps it was just the free, unhibited spirit of The Netherlands. Always free, always liberal, even in the face of Facism and the exile of her beloved royal family. I myself have grown to love this city, for in it, I have found my Utena. My own will to save myself. To turn my life into something unexpected and brilliant.
"Here is to Utena... you are not here, you are in and of our dreams. You were a real lady prince... even if it was just to me, Tenjou Yurika. If you are alive, then perhaps you are really saving people, just like in your dreams." She finished. She left a single white rose on the clip of the name plate and went outside and sat on a bench.
The law student sat next to Yurika. "So your niece was Utena Tenjou. I knew her when I was young. I had some problems with a friend of mine at the time and I didn't really appreciate her then."
"Who are you?" Yurika asked pointedly.
"My name is Arisugawa Juri. I was more known for my fencing than any interest in law, but the ideal of order appealed to me since before I knew her. She actually inspired me to instead of focusing on hating what wasn't logical, to focus on the just and perhaps undo it or try to set it to right. I got in on a scholarship as did my friend, though she switched to psychiatry." The student had such bright orange hair and lovely green eyes... she seemed very mature to Yurika.
"I appreciate hearing this. It really makes me happy to know that Utena did some good in the world like she had always hoped."
Juri smiled tightly. "Your neice helps a great number of people. Your detectives didn't search long for your niece. She seems to go from place to place. You will be happy to know that she found what she was looking for. Maybe not what she was hoping for, but she decided to wisely rely on herself. I must go. It was nice meeting you."
Yurika watched her go, curious. A young medical student now sat next to her. "Your neice... I didn't realize it was her." The woman was toffee-skinned, brown-black haired and had shocking green eyes. "Not until I remembered what she said about growing up with an aunt. I knew it had to be you. People are talking about the new prince in the world, you know." She stated. "I tried to be with her, but she had already helped me start to help myself. That's where she's different from the last one, you know? She lets people heal themselves. I think... you are going to be okay."
"...but who are you? How do you know my niece?"
She smiled enigmatically. "I was the one who gave her roses."
Yurika considered a moment, remembering the post card that made Utena stay in Houou-shi. "Wait! I need to know where she is!" She yelled, but the woman was gone, just as the other was gone.
She walked home, looking down until she got into the nice little cottage. Her little daughter was playing with a ring. Even at five years old, she seemed to understand it was not just a plaything. A post card was on the table and a white, almost double rose with an unusual heady scent was on the table. It had a simple picture of a woman in a black dress, picking out a section of pomegranate seeds that had the caption 'Winter cannot last, nor can spring'. She picked it up and turned it over. It had just one message. "Once more perhaps forever." She didn't understand what it meant. Even when her daughter put on a ring big enough at the moment for her thumb with the crest of a rose.
"What happened today, my dear girl?"
"Daddy had a visitor. He was so nice, but so sad! He gave me this."
Yurika looked in askance. "Who was it, love?"
Her husband shrugged. "It was just one of the counselors at the new academy getting built here. He used to be a part of Ohtori, but he spent the last seven years building a new one. He said that we might just get a special scholarship for Mihoshi. She is a genius, you know? She would do good in school, especially if I know the man who is going to run it."
For a moment, her blood ran cold but she shook her head. It was just nonsense. Utena had disappeared after getting expelled, not before... right? "I don't know... we will just have to see."
The little Mihoshi picked up the rose and looked at Yurika with her beautiful violet eyes as a knocking came on the door. "I think he forgot his jacket." Her husband smiled.
He let in a tall dark-skinned man with brown-black hair in a pony-tail. "So it begins again, eh?" He chuckled.
"So be it." Her husband replied.
Yurika fled to her studio room and tried to ignore the chatter as she painted and she tried not to think even as her daughter started screaming. She rushed out and found nothing but the three talking of music, Mihoshi dancing with her eyes closed, singing quietly as she often did.
"What do you call that piece, Mi-chan?" She asked.
The girl smiled, her eyes seemingly empty as she spoke, her voice flat, even with the smile.
"The Rebirth of the Rose Bride."