IN THOSE MOMENTS
In those moments, he could not have told you who he was, or where he was going. He walked through the city where he was, never giving a passing glance to any of the shops nearby: the grocer, the outlet mall, the shoe store, or any of the tourist places that littered the city.
He walked without aim, without purpose. He simply walked.
In those moments, she was heading to her final destination.
Her eyes looked angry to hide the tears. Her face looked exhausted, the only tell of her journey. She was empty inside, anonymous, blending into the crowd. She had a thousand dollars in her pocket, all that remained of what she had brought, what she had been able to find and take.
She got off the bus at her stop. She knew what she had to do.
In those moments, he walked. He did not grow tired. He walked and was fine.
He kept walking.
In those moments, she approached the low building with the black, spear-tipped fence. She used a hundred dollars to buy a grave, and the person behind the desk gave her a key and brought her outside to bury what she had brought.
The two of them dug.
In those moments, he stopped and turned to find what he figured he was looking for.
He walked up to the building with the graveyard-style fence and went inside.
In those moments, she put the key in the box and locked it with the one she had received here.
She threw the box in the hole and began to shovel the dirt back in. The woman from behind the desk helped her.
In those moments, he waited in the lobby, alone.
Then the person who supposedly worked in the building walked in with a young girl.
The girl asked the woman at the desk if she could stay inside until the next bus came, since it was cold. The woman at the desk nodded, wiped the dirt from her hands, and let the child into the back room.
In those moments, she sat down at the small table in the room and cried.
In those moments, he walked up to the desk and asked the woman where he was, what this place was.
She told him it was a Secret Cemetery. "It's a place where things come to be forgotten."
He asked what she meant.
"It's the place for secrets with fatal consequences."
In those moments, she stood up and walked over to the door.
In those moments, he asked what happened and how it worked.
The woman explained. "You buy a grave, you bury your secrets, you forget with time."
In those moments, she thought about all she had done in the last year: the places she had seen, the buses she had ridden, the secrets she had buried.
She listened for more, even though it was all old news to her.
In those moments, he wondered. "How do you forget?"
"The graves are magical. They hold secrets, secrets that should not be known. They make people forget them over time."
He nodded. "But then... what's that girl doing here?"
In those moments, she was mentioned.
She wondered what would happen to her. She didn't quite know.
She needed to know.
In those moments, he listened to the woman explained.
"She had to bury something here. There are thousands of these places around the world, you see. She's leaving a trail of memories, one that, if she follows it, will bring her back to painful ones. That's what she told me, anyway."
"What did she bury?"
"Another key, one to a grave far from here."
In those moments, she couldn't bear to listen. She wanted to forget.
But she listened anyway.
In those moments, he asked what would happen to her.
In those moments, she was about to have her questions answered.
In those moments, he watched the woman speak.
"She will slowly forget everything that she buried, only remember the key that she now keeps. I don't know and can't say what she buried, so I don't quite know what will happen."
"Will she be okay?"
"Most likely," the woman said.
In those moments, she opened the door to the lobby and ran outside.
She needed to forget what she would forget.
She ran to the bus stop, her blue hair waving in the cold wind.
In those moments, he thanked the woman and left, following the girl.
He walked a hundred yards or more behind her swiftly running form. She was easy to spot.
He wanted to comfort her.
In those moments, she paid the bus driver with a ten and didn't bother to ask for change.
She walked calmly to the very back and sat down in an empty seat.
She hid her face and cried silently.
In those moments, he watched from afar as the bus drove away.
In those moments, she felt the bus jerk to life, and looked out the window as the scenery passed by and the tear trails dried.
She was starting a new life.
In those moments, the distance between the two people increased.
In those moments, they forgot their sympathy.
In those moments, they forgot each other.
In those moments, they lived their lives: one a man with a boring day job, one a girl alone and homeless in a far-away city.
In those moments, the world was as it was before.
In those moments, a key was sold out of desperation. It would be melted down to make jewelery.
In that moment, all connections to a secret world were broken.
In that moment, two captured souls desired a daughter they would never see again.
(A/N): I wanted to put the last five pages of my fanfiction notebook to good use.
Now I get to start a new one. I was attached to this one while it lasted, though.
For those of you who couldn't tell, the girl that is the second POV is Coraline. This was an AU fic set about a year after the famous 'pillow-parents' scene. If you're looking for the overlap, consider that the cat was unable to get inside and Coraline freaked out and left.
I hope you enjoyed this; I believe this is the longest oneshot I've ever written (nope - not quite. A ton of my oneshots beat it) and I very much enjoyed writing it.