The Bridge of Fireworks
She never saw the bridge in daylight. Their long walks there from the inn, a mere straight line through the labyrinth of the old city, always took place during the darkest hours. She felt she would remember it better that way: the feel of the stone banister beneath her fingers, the path the two of them followed across the river, the almost hidden steps that led right down to the water; above all, the burning colors on a black island and the sound of the laugh he shared all too readily.
They walked in a straight line because Kyoto, for all that it seemed home, was still a city of foreign roads and people. If his two favorite students got lost at eleven at night, Sensei would worry. Classmates would laugh. But she knew nothing would happen because they were in Japan. It wasn't like New York, where their group had switched flights holding tightly to all belongings, or Miami, where traffic frustrated their commutes to school no matte