` ` When it was over, Akiko was gone. Hardly surprising. I feel weary. Our fight took place in my private garden, patterned after the Zen Gardens of Kyoto. It was a place of transcendent beauty, and tranquillity... ...but no longer. My garden has been wreaked, it's patterns broken, order turned to chaos, the story of my life. No matter how hard I strive for inner serenity, I screw up. So why should I even bother? Yes I am a woman but, by nature I'm a fighter, a warrior, and I seem to like it and am good at it. However, a part of me wants to change, to grow, to temper the more berserk side of me. Akiko seemed to want that too and I failed her. Worse, I failed myself. And yet, the patterns of life are as fluid as the stones I walk on. I reach down and smooth the stones. New patterns appear. What was once chaos, now becomes order. The wheel turns, and from this new order... ...peace? Perhaps that is the answer. The key is not winning or losing, It's making the attempt. I may never be what I want to be, ought to be, but how will I ever know, unless I try? The alternative is... ...STAGNATION, a safe but terrible form of death. Death not of the body, but of the soul. A man knows what he is and accepts it. A woman may know what she is expected to be but she can, question, dream, change, and grow. I loved you Akiko, you took my dreams from me... ...but only for a time. Because I am am my own woman! not your BEAST! ...a woman. You used me for your own selfish purposes. That mistake, will one day.... ....cost you.