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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: December 13, 2011

A A A | A A A

Submitted: December 13, 2011






“If I could have any power right now, it would be to stop time, – his words hovered in her mind while she strolled along Queen Mary’s Gardens in Regent’s Park, pressing his book against her chest as though she was clinging to her most valuable treasure – just run this minute on a constant loop.”

She could inhale the freshness of the Summer air, tinged with sparks of renewed hope. Besotted with the sweet scent of the blue delphiniums and flaming scarlet begonias, a sense of mystery and privacy overwhelmed her. What a thrill it was to be at that spot where her life had changed in the blink of an eye! In her youth, an unexpected twist of fate had unleashed an unbridled passion that distance could never wane. So there she was again – defying the seemingly indisputable power of time...Was she ready to face her destiny? She was not sure. A blast of chill wind blew from the north. She stood still; the goose pimples on her skin made her shudder, filled her with doubts. What if he did not turn up? Maybe she should go back. But, when she looked up at the brilliant blue sky, she was suddenly dazzled by a rare bright sun which she knew would soon be enveloped by the scudding clouds that were gathering in the distance. So she decided to make hay and visit the English Gardens. She was escorted by a parade of thousands of brightly red roses that seemed to be celebrating the power of love – she could never explain what this hotchpotch of emotions and sensations (adrenaline, passion, fear...) really meant, though she had always thought the word was feeble against the depth of what people actually felt. No sooner had she dared touch one of those exquisitely soft petals with her right thumb (she was still clenching his book with her left hand) than she was taken back to that -surprisingly- moonlit night when he had carpeted the bedroom floor with white and red corollas... “Wouldn’t it be nice to live in a house like this, by the ocean, where the wind sings in the palm trees and waves thud the shore at night?-... (She recalled that fairy-tale dream she had somehow urged to put into words while she lay curled against his chest) – just like a beating heart.” Living by the pen had given him enough inspiration to always round up her ideas so accurately that she sometimes feared he could read her mind.

As she ambled along the irregular path of small stones surrounded by large chrysanthemums that danced to the beat of the wobbly wind, blithe children ran at full tilt – jumping, playing, yelling -; the radiant, cheerful smiles on their grinning faces made her cherish those happy moments of her childhood... And how special he was!...He gave her that same buzz of excitement she used to get as a child – made her feel free, lighthearted, beloved. She then caught a glimpse of the yellow lilies and their edible bulbs. As she approached them, she also contemplated the unusually shaped orchids that were neatly displayed next to them. Nature was, indeed, a universal beauty nobody could deny. She could not help gaping at the narrowly funnel-shaped freesias facing the gerberas in yellow, orange, pink and red. She felt she could be standing there forever, admiring the breathtakingly beautiful art of God, which spoke for itself. But she still had to see the carnations. They had been the centre of conversation under that huge leafy tree at the Hampton Court Palace gardens on a rainy Sunday afternoon... “Did you know that, according to colour, these flowers represent different things? – She wished she had known – For example, the striped ones portray a love that can’t be shared, while those ones – he had pointed out a flowerbed of white carnations – represent pure love.” He had then gazed at her, with those penetrating almond-shaped eyes, as if he was searching for an answer to a question that had never been asked.

Her burning thoughts were suddenly interrupted by a drop of rain rolling down her face. How typical of the English Summer weather! When a heavy shower broke, people started darting for shelter in all directions. Why would everyone be so reluctant to enjoy the rain? To her, it was a natural miracle. As his book was getting wet, however, she decided to protect herself in a secluded and shady spot beneath one of those evergreen trees. She sat down on a bench and opened his book to read the last paragraph of the epilogue: “I had a terrifying thought that I’d never see her again. That I’d be nailed to this spot for ever.” Sobering thoughts hit her again. Had it all been too good to be true? Had it all been a product of her feverish imagination? She closed the book, put it down next to her and, when she looked up, her whole self pulsed. A squirm at the pit of her stomach overwhelmed her with a baffling joy; some undercurrent of emotion swept through her body. The rain had stopped and the sun now beamed with the fiery intensity of a dying star about to consume the world. There he was – walking towards her at his leisurely pace, in his black coat and with a bunch of white carnations in his right hand. 

© Copyright 2018 Clarissa Smith. All rights reserved.

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