“Well, it’s about time,” the Oracle said upon finding them at her door.
They followed her inside. Before Neo could speak, a child had embraced his leg.
“Sati?” he asked, looking down and seeing her familiar face.
“I knew you’d be back,” she beamed. “Have you seen my rainbows?”
“You make those?" Trinity chimed in, taking her meaning. “Beautiful.”
Sati nodded. “They mean thank you.”
Neo knelt to be on her level.
“They’re perfect,” he said.
She smiled, hugged him again, and then ran along. Neo straightened up and faced the Oracle.
“She’s older,” he observed.
“This is the Matrix, not Neverland,” the Oracle quipped, taking a drag of her cigarette.
Neo smirked. “It’s good to see you, too.”
The Oracle glanced down for a moment. “Sati isn’t the only one who is grateful.”
“I couldn’t have done it without your help,” he responded.
“No. But that’s not what you came here to say.”
“They didn’t want me to remember, did they?” he asked after a pause.
Trinity took his meaning. Manifesting food was surely only the beginning of what he could do. The Oracle regarded him for a moment.
“That depends on who or what you mean by they,” she said.
A woman with fuschia hair stepped into the room.
“Angel?” Trinity said in disbelief.
Her friend smiled. “Took long enough to get you two to meet, and then you were a piece of work, weren’t you?” she said, pointing at Neo.
“You...you knew?” Trinity asked, wide-eyed. “All this time, you were helping us find each other?”
Angel nodded. “It’s what I do. I’m really glad it worked out for the two of you.”
Trinity stood stunned for a moment and then stepped forward and embraced her friend—her closest friend, who had given her the greatest gift imaginable.
The Oracle addressed Neo again: “You have to be careful, here, kid. You’re right that there are those out there who are afraid of what you can do, and rightly so. You’re not confined by a physical body anymore. If you start drawing attention to yourself, they’ll take notice. And they’ll come for you.”
Neo nodded. Trinity had turned her attention back to the Oracle, too.
“Can we get a message to Zion?” he asked.
“Is there something they should know?” the Oracle asked skeptically.
Neo was quiet. Trinity didn’t have an answer, either. As wonderful as it would be to let their friends know they were okay, how could they explain it in a way that would reassure them? The Oracle was right; there was no need.
In the elevator afterward, Trinity took hold of Neo’s arm, and he surprised her by pulling her into an embrace and kissing her. He realized, then, that she looked somewhat sad.
“What is it?”
“It’s all still real for me,” she said, shaking her head.
“It is real,” he reassured her, kissing her temple. “It’s our real. I’m glad we’re here, Trin… I’m more than glad, I’m grateful.”
“So am I,” she said, kissing him. “So am I.”
Later that evening, Trinity came out of the shower to find Neo standing on her balcony, looking out at the city.
“What do you see?” she asked.
“Everything. Everyone,” he replied. “People just living their lives.”
He handed her his cell phone; on the screen, she saw that his bank balance had been increased by several million dollars.
“Small changes are easy,” he said. And then he turned to her.
“We could leave. I could make us a home somewhere,” he said, stroking her arm. “Or we could stay. We could be Thomas and Carrie.”
“I’d go anywhere with you,” she said.
She gazed out at the orange glow of the sunset. Carrie was still part of who she was and always would be. But getting away, at least for a while, sounded right.
“A beach house,” she said after a moment.
She kissed him and he held her against his body, running his hands over her towel. Glancing down, he noticed her foot was streaked with blood.
“Oh,” she said, following his gaze, “I must have cut myself shaving.”
He moved the towel above her knee and found a gash, which disappeared as he looked at it.
“Oh my god…” she mumbled, though she wasn’t sure why she was surprised.
He took her face in his hands as if nothing had happened. “I don’t want to be apart again.”
Trinity smiled and wrapped her arms around him again, breathing his scent in the breezy evening air. “Let’s not be.”
Neo needed time to explore the full extent of his abilities and sat for a while on the sofa, unmoving. In his mind, he could see and follow the constructs of the Matrix in any direction he chose. He could manipulate the data with ease; too much ease. He could remove buildings, create mountains, erase cities, if he wanted. He found a place where they could go—a vacant space that he could paint like a canvass. Then, when it was finished, he looked into his own mind, and rewrote it, placing certain blocks and allowances and exceptions on his abilities. He wanted to move through the world as a person, not as the One, not anymore. He’d be able to take care of both of them, to heal and create money and food, but nothing too disruptive. The blocks weren’t permanent, but he arranged them in such a network that they’d take great effort to undo.
Hours passed for Trinity, and she grew anxious. He hadn’t budged. She didn’t want to disturb him, but then she noticed that a trickle of blood had fallen from his nose. Just as she started to get a tissue, a crimson torrent soaked his shirt.
“Neo!” she cried, grabbing him by the shoulders.
He was instantly awake again, alarmed by her concern, and then he looked down and saw the blood.
“I’m sorry,” she said, sitting next to him. “I didn’t know what was happening.”
He shook his head. “I’m alright. How long was I—?”
“Almost nine hours,” she said.
He looked shocked. “I’m sorry, it felt like minutes.”
He surprised her by pulling her into his arms again, and she held him, relieved that he was okay.
“Did it work?”
“Yes,” he said. “I could see everything, Trin. All of it. I could break it apart and rebuild it if I tried.”
“Could you...create an entirely new Matrix?”
“I suppose,” he said plainly. “But I don’t want that. I placed a series of blocks in my mind, to limit what I can change.”
She looked surprised.
“I don’t want to lose this. I don’t want it to stop being real. You mean everything to me. You always have.”
She smiled and kissed his temple, running her hand through his dark locks, at a loss for words.
“We have a beach house,” he added.
A warm breeze rustled the tall palm trees as Trinity and Neo approached their new home on the Sicilian coast.
She was speechless at the sight of it: a towering white ocean villa surrounded by green grass with bright strokes of colorful wildflowers. Stepping inside, she found a palace with dark woods contrasting against plush, white furniture and soothing gray walls. Across the back wall, floor-to ceiling windows offered a panoramic view of the beach.
“This is breathtaking,” she said.
He simply smiled and watched her explore.
Stepping out the back door, she found herself on a grassy hill leading down to a private pier and their own stretch of beach, framed by a cove. Gusts of wind whipped her hair, carrying the delicate scent of the ocean waves. Overhead, distant gulls cawed. It was more beautiful than any home in her wildest dreams, as either Carrie or Trinity. The sun was just starting to sink into the ocean, and the refraction of the glowing horizon reminded her of Thomas’s paintings.
Neo joined her there and slid his arms around her waist.
“You made this for us?” she asked, leaning against him.
“For us,” he nodded. “What do you think?”
She looked up at him. “It’s gorgeous. Here’s my favorite part.”
Trinity pressed her lips to Neo’s once more, and the two embraced in the warm breeze as night fell across the sea.