This is a contest entry for: "Everyone Loves a Good Love Story Contest"
(Pictures are at the end)
We skip joyfully through the snow, and even though my feet feel cold, it doesn't matter, because it's a beautiful day, and I'm free! The sun beams through the tree tops, tricking our young minds into thinking the snow is made of exquisite diamonds. I smile at Ari, look into his sparkling green eyes, and I know that we both are thinking the same thing. I bend down, and scoop up some of the sparkling snow in my hand, just to see if it actually is made of diamonds. We both gaze at the snow in my hand, and then at each other, and then at my hand again. After a couple of seconds, the diamonds melt into small droplets of water. We both laugh, feeling silly for actually believing it was made of diamonds. Ari uses the cuff of his white linen shirt to dry the water off of the palm of my hand, and then gives me a friendly peck on my forehead.
"It's so beautiful!" Ari shouts, and suddenly starts running around me, making the world spin. "Don't you think?" he asks, still running around me.
"Huh?" I reply, and start laughing because I'm feeling incredibly dizzy.
He stops. "I asked: Don't you think it's beautiful? The forest, I mean." He places his slim fingers on my waist, and smiles childishly.
"Of course it is!" I agree, and twirl, my light blue dress flowing around my petite body, just like flower petals. Ari just stands there, staring at me, his arms limp at his side. He pushes his midnight dark hair away from his face, and just shakes his head in awe.
"What?" I ask, well knowing of the fact that I'm flirting with him, even though I shouldn't be.
"You are unbelievably beautiful in that dress," he replies. "You're more beautiful than the forest, more beautiful than the snow, and you know it," Ari says, and I can feel the butterflies flutter in my stomach like crazy.
"Really?" I say, sounding too innocent. Ari steps closer to me, placing his hands on my corseted waist again.
Suddenly, he has a serious look on his face. "Your parents will soon notice that you're not in your room, and if they find us, I don't know what to tell them," he says, and all the joy I felt a short minute ago disappears, just like that. I pull away from his light touch, and turn away. I know that what he's saying is true, but I don't want to listen. My parents do not approve of us, and I know that, but I know that if they found us right now, I could just tell them we wanted some fresh air. Ari and I have been friends since forever, they'll understand. The thing is, they aren't the ones that I'm afraid will find us here. Joseph is already jealous of my relationship with Ari, and has never liked him, ever since we were kids, and I preferred Ari over him, and I know that if he found us here, things would get a lot worse. I haven't gotten around to actually tell Ari that I'm engaged to Joseph. How can I? I don't want to marry Joseph, not even one bit. My true love is standing right behind me.
"I can deal with my parents," I utter, and turn towards him again, pushing all of my fears out of my mind. He looks doubtful, but then he smiles sadly, and wraps his arms around me in a bear hug. He lets go, but doesn't step away. He hesitates, before he pushes a springy blonde curl behind my ear.
"I hate that I'll never marry you," he whispers, and looks into my sapphire blue eyes.
"Marriage isn't everything," I whisper back, and bury my face in the crook of his neck. Even though what he said makes me feel sad deep inside, I feel so secure standing here with him. He lightly lifts my chin, and my lips are only inches away from his.
"I know I shouldn't be saying this, but I am dying to kiss you right now," he admits, still with a sad look in his eyes. Then, without even thinking, I close the tiny distance between his lips and mine, before he gets the chance. I let our lips touch barely, before I pull away. Immediately guilt rushes over me, guilt because I've cheated on Joseph, guilt because I've lied to my parents, but mostly because I'm giving Ari false expectations.
"What?" he asks, a quizzical look on his beautiful face.
"We can't. It'll only make things worse. We made a promise not to ever kiss, and now our promise is broken," I sob, my eyes filling up with childish and pointless tears.
"That doesn't matter to me," he assures me, and wipes a tear from my cheek. Now he is the one to close the distance between our lips. My hands move to the back of his head, as he parts my lips with his. His hands fumble at the small of my back, and for that minute, we are the only two people who exist. Suddenly, without any warning, there's the sound of horse hooves, followed by the dreadful sound of an arrow being pulled back in a bow, slowly. This sound is again followed by the sickening sound of the arrow braking flesh, and Ari's body falls limp to the ground. Panic and confusion runs through me, as our perfect moment is brutally torn away from us.
"Ari? Oh, no! Ari!" I scream, panic clear in my voice now, as I fall down beside him. Scarlet red is staining the snow, quickly, and I know there's no hope.
"He deserved it, Cassia," I hear an all too familiar voice say, calmly.
I look up, and anger replaces the panic. "Joseph, what have you done? How could you?" I scream, as I cradle Ari's dead body in my arms. Joseph is sitting a few feet away on his black horse, bow and arrow in his hands, his grey eyes completely emotionless, as he stares at us. I hug my arms around his limp body, and when I look up, Joseph has disappeared just as quickly as he appeared. I rock his body hopelessly in my arms, letting the red blood stain my dress. His eyes are closed, and if I didn't know better, I could've thought he was just asleep.
As night falls, I am still holding Ari's body. I'm too tired to even try to keep myself warm. I don't care anymore. Ari's gone, and I don't have anything else to live for. Silent tears are still running down my cheeks, and I can't let go of his body. That would mean letting go of him, and I just can't. I can't let go of my only hope in this life, the one who made me happy, when no one else could. He was the one person I could trust, the most important. I will not let go of Ari, not before we are together, I vow to myself. As the temperature falls even lower, and the moon rises to its highest, I know for sure that I will not make it through the night. Never have I felt luckier. As my exhausted body freezes to ice, and my tearfilled eyes glide shut, I fall into the same endless sleep as Ari.