It is good to have an end to journey towards, but it is the journey that matters in the end.
- Ursula K. Le Guin
You are five and the ice is home: her hard embraces when you fall, the slippery surface, the dazzling whiteness, like your Momma's pearls, the cold that rises, undulating, from the ground like a mist. It feels like someone carved a hole in your chest when you go out onto the ice; carved a hole and filled it up with sunshine.
The ice is home to Yuzu too, though you do not know him yet. He is eight and each time he practices he is taking great gulps of knowledge from his coaches. His thin limbs vibrate with desire. He can't wait to be a junior, and then a senior. He can't wait.
And the ice is home to Javi, who you also do not know. Javi is twelve. He is haywire and scattered, but still lands his first triple, air whooshing around him at what seems like an impossible speed.
You do not know what the universe has waiting for you, for all three of you.
You are lying on your bed trying not to cry. You know it's just a Challenger series medal, but you still want to show Javi and Yuzu. You want them both here, now, so you can say: look. Look what I did all by myself, without a coach. You want to feel their warmth: Yuzu's cooler heat and slender limbs, Javi ember-bright and firm, strong.
Disregarding the time, you put through a Skype video chat. Javi picks up, with a yawn.
"Mi amorcito, it's early ."
"What's wrong?" Javi asks.
"I miss you both."
You hear your voice crack and rub your eyes.
"I just wish you were here. Or we were together."
"We will be. I'll see you in November and then December we will all be together for Japanese Nationals."
"That's two months away."
You know you sound childish, but you are tired and sad and lonely.
Yuzu bleeps into the chat.
"What's going on? Skype woke me."
"Hi Yuzu," you and Javi say.
You feel relieved. You three are together in at least some manner.
You chatter until night falls on Nagoya and the sun rises on Madrid with Javi. When the chat closes, you feel peace, like the stars blooming outside.
You can only vaguely hear Higuchi-sensei making a toast through the translators. You're feeling the heat of clasped hands and watching wedding bands wink in the amber light.
It's real, you think. You are really married. After all those years of being fragmented as a splintered glass, you've come together, and now find yourselves here.
You exhale and see the moon glowing through the canopy. A silver finger, curling, beckoning you to the future.
"It's our dance," Javi says.