Ahhh, the tranquility of this sanctuary – it’s definitely a popular spot for photographers and birders and lovers of nature in general. Who can blame them - an oasis in the middle the city (okay, not quite the middle but more the Southern end of things)… it’s a rare thing and most definitely one to be cherished.
I’ve happened to see people in the meronia tag wonder – at what point in the timeline Near could’ve possibly written dear Mello on the back of Mello’s photograph…and I think we’ve had the answer to this question right here, in this screenshot from episode 27!
Mello and Near reunite on November 19th 2009; the scene above is supposedly taking place in the night between October 11th and October 12th 2009 (when Sayu was kidnapped by the mafia, and Light and Near talk on the phone for the first time). Therefore, Near must’ve written the inscription during this timespan of roughly a month and a week.
That being said I suspect Near’s been keeping the photograph ever since when Mello left Wammy’s, and was probably planning on returning it to its owner from the beginning…he may as well have just delayed the moment of writing the inscription because he subconsciously never actually wanted to separate himself from it, as that very moment meant Mello would soon claim it back one way or another. It seems Near didn’t even expect Mello to personally come retrieve it, which is why he looks startled as he sees him approaching, on the HQ cameras for the first time in years.
Near might’ve considered Mello wasn’t ever about to pay him a visit, and that gives the ‘dear Mello’ inscription a much bigger (sadder) meaning than it already has. Another question haunting us (and Near too) is, naturally, whether Mello forgot it at the orphanage or left it on purpose only for Near to find it. I like to believe if that’s the latter…before leaving, Mello must’ve made sure Near would be the person to find it and guard it as only he could do – perhaps as some kind of memento, a message to read between the lines, a way to say [try and find me]. A game they’d play regardless of their distance; a challenge Near is fully invested in taking…until the both of them have to come to terms with the harsh reality that’s been putting Mello’s very life at stake, and Near lets the photograph travel back to the person it portrays. A little unwillingly…a little bitterly. (They’ll never see each other again.) But that’s all for Mello’s safety.
Why were you, unlike most other child stars, able to handle the transition from child to adult roles?
Because I keep my distance from the outside-in view of who I am. I just don’t listen to things that could bring me down or things that could boost me up. I’ve kept my ego and my happiness completely separate from my work. I don’t depend on my work to make me feel good about myself. When people invest their ego and their self-image in their work, and one day someone doesn’t look at it in the same way they do, or you grow up and your eyebrows get bushy and you don’t get parts, you fall so heavily and you hurt so bad.
But you do get happiness from your work?
Oh, I get great satisfaction. But basically I’m talking about people who are more image-oriented, people who are thrilled when they see their face on the cover of a magazine. I go into remission, shut myself out, and freak. I don’t like being out there.
— The US Interview: River Phoenix by David Rensin, 1991.
Sometimes when Sounven sings songs in the yard, little butterflies pop magically into the air. Her magic is sort of like Solas’s mother’s, full of nature and earthworms. She’s good at math and somewhat tall for her age. She likes to hang out with the pet milk cow, Martha. Whenever she whispers to the grapes on the Lavellan farm, they grow four times their original size. Uncle Ellas once (half-)joked that he wants to hire her full time in the vineyards. ☆ﾟ.*･｡ﾟ