Charles remembered kissing away the salty droplets from Masa’s warm back as they lay together that last day on the beach all those years ago. From the hammock slung between the strongest trees in his Oxfordshire garden, his mind had been transported back half a world and a lifetime away. The tiny beads of dew caught in gossamer threads between the branches reflected the deep greens and reds of his garden and had brought back this beloved memory. Each bead a miniature globe in which he could see mirrored both his treasured garden and this memory of lost love.
Their kisses and their love both forbidden in those times, Masa had married one of the village girls and Charles himself had been happy enough with Marjorie he supposed. Had she still been alive, she would have chided him for laying out here in the chill of the morning.
Charles closed his eyes. He had probably worked too hard in the garden yesterday but he had wanted everything to be perfect for today. The acer glowed in the early morning sun and the camellia was a tower of lush pink blooms.
He only woke to the sound of the taxi pulling away down the gravel drive. Charles opened his eyes and there was Masa, suitcase in hand, threading his way through the avenue of silver birch that Charles had tended from slender saplings. From half a world away and a lifetime apart, through the modern miracle of social media, they had found each other again. Charles watched Masa as he paused to take in the beauty of the garden and knew that everything was going to be all right this time.