There was a woman who lived by the beach, just at the edge of town. Spoilers for KH and KHII, but only if you know what you're looking for.
The girl who passed by the house each day on her way to school was curious about her---she was young and a little too kind and a bit too compassionate for her own good. One evening, she decided to be brave and stopped by, and she found the woman sitting on a chair on her porch, humming to herself. The melody was sad, just like her eyes, and the girl decided to say hello.
Hello, said the girl, and the woman turned to look at her and smiled.
Hello there, said the woman. Would you like to join me and watch the sea? It seems like I've made a little too much iced tea for today.
The girl hesitated, but she nodded and gingerly sat on the steps. The breeze was warm on her skin even though the sun was already skimming the horizon. She looked around the porch---it was sparse, a little bit like the woman sitting on the chair; sparse but organised and tidy. There were a few potted flowers here and there, and a wind chime hung directly above her head. An old surfing board was leaning by the side of the house---it looked like it hadn't been used for some time. In a box tucked in the corner closest to her was a kite, ragged and obviously not flown in a while, a skateboard, and a wooden sword.
She picked up the sword, admiring how sturdy it was. Oh, she said, I always thought you lived alone. She spun the wheels on the skateboard, imagining a child with bright eyes and an easy laugh gliding on it along an empty sidewalk. Do you have any children living with you?
There was a boy once, said the woman, but not anymore.
Oh, said the girl. Your son?
Yes, said the woman.
What happened to him? asked the girl, even though she knew she shouldn't, and the woman looked away from the sunset. The breeze picked up, and the tinkling of the wind chimes sounded achingly familiar.
He died, she said, in a storm during a very dark night a long time ago, and I can't remember much about him anymore.
The next day, the woman woke up from a dream about Sora. Sora, she remembered it now, that was the name they chose, for the bright blue sky that had gone on forever that day. She sat up on her bed and stared out of the window, unable to sort out the jumble constricting her heart. The tiny island in the cove was still and peaceful in the dawn that was just beginning to glimmer in the distance. She thought of her child and wondered where he was, and she covered her face with her hands and wept.
Sora's room was still the mess he had left behind. She had not had the heart to clear up his personal belongings. Besides, for the longest of times she could not even bear to think that she had had a son. She had almost forgotten him---not the fact she had a child, but the little things that made him who he was and who he could have grown up to be---and she had no idea how that was even possible.
She carefully tread her way through his scattered belongings. Everything in the room made the memory of him clearer to her; the odd and ends that were his fishing equipment, the stray plush toy or two that lay on the floor. Half-read comics were still open on the bed, and his schoolbooks were neatly stacked on his desk. She picked his things up: leaning the fishing rod against the wall and dusting the toys before putting them back on the shelves, arranging the comics by his notes, smiling a parent's fond smile at the untouched school work.
She opened the window to let the sea breeze in, and the assorted knick-knacks Sora had hung above his bed whirred, and she told herself that she had not forgotten anything after all.
How are you doing today? asked the girl, hands clasped behind her back and a curious, hopeful light in her eyes. The woman was watering her potted plants on her porch with a bright red watering can, and she set it down to greet her. The flowers are very beautiful this morning, the girl observed.
The woman had to agree as she snipped a bloom from its stalk and handed it to her. The girl slid it behind her ear, brushing her hair aside as she did so. It's something to keep me occupied, she told the girl. At least, until . . . .
Until? the girl prompted, her voice very gentle, shaking the woman out of her reverie. The question held a note of apprehension, but there was still that touch of hope reflected in it.
Until Sora comes home, she said after a long moment, believing her own words. The girl nodded, a smile spreading across her features. The smile was lovely, just like the girl. She wondered how she had missed watching her grow up.
Why don't you come in, Kairi? It's been a long time since we've had breakfast together.
Kairi accepted the offer, as graceful as ever. She was still smiling. Yes, she said. It's been a very long time.