I watched her as she sat there for a while, pen in hand poised above the blank sheet of paper. her face was lax, her mind far away from the blank stare and the empty lines. I wonder what has triggered such a journey, as her eyes gaze in the general direction of the pen, unseeing and unmoving as her fingertips. She blinks and partial thought returns as she pushes the pen to dance along the page in loops and lines forming words and thoughts, even though I can tell by her absent minded smile that portions of her mind are still far away.
"Did you need something, Commander?" The flourish of scribbles halts as she turns her face to look up at me. She's taken to speaking only in Japanese to me, my native language rolling off her tongue with an ease I can't fathom after years of English.
"No." I respond simply -- harshly, even when I know it's a lie. I need more than she can give . . . more than she knows.
"Oh, okay." She returns to her scribbles, looking over the patterns of words as if they will impart the truth, but even they seem to be lying to her today. She bites her thumb as she contemplates adding more words to the rows of letters and after a brief smile, she puts the pen back to the paper and begins to write again, my presence mostly forgotten in the flurry of ideas and explanation. I want to ask her what she's writing that's so interesting and is growing so rapidly down the page, but I don't and instead watch her for a moment more before kicking myself and retreating back to the relative safety of my office across the hall.