The meadow was filled with the yellow and red and blue of summer wild flowers. But that is not what had caught Kagome’s attention. She had put her gathering basket down, where she had been gathering young udo leaves for Kaede’s aches and pains and had moved to the edge of the clearing, where she knelt down, having found something interesting.
“O look, Rin – lilies!” Kagome said.
The younger girl, dressed in a brightly colored blue and yellow kosode, walked over to where the miko was kneeling. The flowers were nodding in the shade of the nearby trees, perfect and palely pink in the shadows.
“Oooh, they are beautiful,” the younger girl said.
“Sakura is said to be the symbol of spring,” Kagome said, playing teacher. “But lilies like this sasayuri are symbols of summer. They’re one of my favorites.”
“I like them, too,” Rin replied. “Can you use them?”
“Not this type,” Kagome replied. “But you can use other lilies like yamayuri. These are smaller, though, and I think I like them better. My mother used to grow them in her garden.” For a moment a wistful look clouded her eyes, and she sighed.
Rin looked at her, but said nothing. They admired the flowers, softly pink, nodding in the wind. Kagome stood up.
“When I was in school,” she said, “they taught me about a woman poet who wrote many lovely poems. One of them was about lilies:
“How painful it is,
love, blooming like a lily
in a summer field,
its beauty never noticed,
unseen by the beloved.”
“Unseen by the beloved,” Rin repeated, and sighed deeply. Her cheerful face downcast and looking serious at the flowers, she said, “How painful it is.” Plucking a lily stem, she thoughtfully wandered back into the light.
InuYasha walked out of the shade where he had been watching, his amber eyes gazing at the young woman child who walked away.
“You heard that?” Kagome asked.
“She misses your brother more than she lets on,” the young miko said, picking up her basket.
He stuffed his hands in his sleeves. “Keh.”
“It’s true, you know, that poem,” she said. “ Before I knew how you felt about me, I used to recite that poem. For a while, I thought I was the lily unseen in the field, while you only had eyes for Kikyou.”
InuYasha’s ear twitched as he turned to face her, his lips in a sad, wry smile. “That was never true, you know. I...I just didn’t know what to do.”
Kagome’s blue-gray eyes searched his face, but smiled gently. “I know that now. But then, I wasn’t much older than Rin is now.”
InuYasha wrapped his arm around Kagome’s waist and looked at the young girl who sat down in the grass, looking at her lilies. “You should have seen her right after Sesshoumaru left her here. She tried hard never to let anybody know she was sad, but I’d find her in the woods. Her face lit up when he came to visit her. But then, after he left, she’d close up again. She’s really trying hard, but I know where she’d rather be.”
“Do you think he sees her as more than . . . a pet?” Kagome asked.
“I don’t know,” InuYasha replied. “I have never been able to figure what motivates that bastard. But he’s possessive.” He kissed her gently on the forehead. “I don’t think either of us are really good at telling people what’s in our hearts. But I know, sometimes, he comes by to watch her. I’ve caught his scent where he has been. It’s going to be interesting to see what happens.”
“Especially after her mogi ceremony. Already, I know of two boys who go out of their way to talk to her. I guess we should get back. I’ve got enough udo.”
InuYasha nodded, and the two of them walked over to join the younger girl.
Downwind of them, though, where it would be hard for InuYasha to scent him, amber eyes watched the three of them leave the field. Later, his mokomoko trailing behind him, he bent over to pick one of the lilies. He could still smell Rin’s scent on the ground. Walking off, his face as emotionless as ever, he thought about unseen lilies in a field and the look in one child’s eyes. Twirling the lily in his clawed hands, he sighed.
Note: Picture of a sasayuri can be found here: