The Willow and The River

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
A romantic-tragedy modeled after Romeo and Juliet, like many other romantic-tragedys.

Submitted: March 01, 2008

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Submitted: March 01, 2008

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After the sun set, the early evening transformed into a cool, autumn night. The harvest moon was out and about, shinning down upon a lazy river that calmly flowed through the entire town. A weeping willow tree stood beside, stretching its long, limbs over the river. A light breeze gently shifted the leaves of the tree. An orchestra of insects and frogs along the river created a melodic atmosphere that could sooth the soul.
The sounds of leaves crunching broke into the night as a young man journeyed towards the smooth moving river and mighty tree. He walked carefully, so he would not trip over the uneven landscape. The moon provided a helpful light that made his late night outing easier to see. In his hand were two blankets; one rather large, and the other smaller. As he reached his destination, he sprawled the larger blanket on the ground underneath the mighty willow.
The young man walked towards the river bank. He looked up at the glowing stars cascaded across the sky, everyone a shimmering piece of perfection. The moon was a palette of orange, yellow and red; thin strips of cloud cover flew by quickly with the calm evening breeze. He listened to the sounds of the nightly creatures sing their songs of life. With the light of the moon, this young man focused in on his image in the river; messy medium brown hair, dark eyes, a slight smirk. He admired it, but with a quick jump, a mosquito landed and scattered his image like a broken piece of glass. The ripples expanded and traveled until they too, dissipated. The boy sighed.
A sound was heard, coming from behind him. He cocked his neck back in order to get a brief sight. A lovely young woman, curly brown hair to her shoulders, hazel green eyes; that was only known by the light of day, a small backpack was hanging on her shoulder, was seen. He turned his head back around. She walked alongside the tree and placed the backpack carefully on the ground. From there, she admired the young man who still stood quietly like a statue, staring into the river. Slowly, as he had walked before, the young woman stood beside her male companion.
“It’s beautiful out here, isn’t it?” she commented in a soft delicate voice, staring out at the river along with him.
“Yes, very much so,” he answered. “The night has always seemed beautiful to me. I’ve always connected to the evening more romantically, then I did with the morning. Nature has a unique way of coming alive in the afterhours. Too bad most people miss the loveliness of it all.”
“Um-hmm,” the girl responded. She took a deep breath of the air; the smell of the river was drawn in. Her eyes drifted toward the sky, looking at the moon and the stars. How she loved it. For a brief second, she turned towards her partner, who stared blankly towards the woods on the other side of the river bank.
“Did you have any trouble getting out?” the young man asked.
“Not at all, everyone was asleep. It was easy to get out. How ‘bout you?”
“Nah, it was simple too.” He had yet looked at her. As if hypnotized, his eyes stayed pinned to everything in front of him.
“Good, I’m glad,” she said softly.
He turned his head towards her and gave a delicate smirk. His arm wrapped around and pulled her towards his body. She leaned against his body as he held her. Comfortably, she nuzzled her head into his shoulder and gave a sigh of happiness. “C’mon, let’s go sit down,” he suggested.
With that, they turned away from the river bank and walked towards the willow tree, where the blanket had already been placed and still rested. The young man kicked and cleared away loose leaves and twigs that had fallen from the tree. Now clean and presentable, he allowed the young woman to get situated first, joining her soon after. They both rested against their heads against the rough tree bark and stared out at the moonlit landscape in front of them.
“I used to love this tree when I was little,” the girl stated. Her partner turned and gave his full attention. “When I was a little girl, there used to be a swing right on that branch. My dad put it up and took me here every weekend so he could push me on it.”
“I have a special connection with the river,” the young man reminisced receiving the girl’s attention. “My parents taught my older brother and I how to swim in the lake where the river empties into. We went every weekend of the summer from the time I was four to the time I was eight. It was the greatest part of my childhood. On that dock over there, my grandpa and I went fishing twice a month in the summer. Even though the river and lake are filled with fish, we barely caught anything, but it was just great to be able to spend time with him, before he died.”
“Under this tree, when I was 12, is where I got my first kiss.”
Surprised, he turned toward her and with an anxious tone, “Who?”
She giggled and patted his leg. “Don’t worry, it’s no one you know or even need to care about. It was a kiss that brought nothing except the thrill of a girl’s first kiss. Nothing in any way happened afterwards. I promise.”
He began to relax and laid his head back against the tree. The young woman’s giggle continued as she watched him. She inched her way closer to him, her body fitting perfectly with his. His arm moved around her back as she tilted her head onto his shoulder. They sat there in the cool, moonlighted air.
“Are you sure were doing the right thing?” the girl asked.
“Huh? What do you mean?”
“I don’t know, do we really have to do it this way? There’s no other way that we can be together?”
“I’ve told you this is the only way to escape everything.”
“What if we tried talking to them again, maybe they would accept us and then we wouldn’t have to go through with it.”
“Our parents would never hear of it, their stubborn and hard to persuade. It’s a fruitless attempt to even consider. Besides, I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if your step-dad hurt you again because of me. I just couldn’t, the guilt would be too much.”
The girl pulled away to stand up and moved towards the river. She continued, “What if we ran away where they could never touch us? We would be free from everything and best of all, we would be together.”
The boy stood and walked up behind her, wrapping his arms around her waist. “It wouldn’t last long. We’re 17 years old; we have no car, no money, no shelter, and no way to survive. We wouldn’t last long before they found us and we were brought back to this God forsaken place. We’d be back to square one with stricter rules.”
“What if we stole one of our parent’s cars?”
“Then when they catch up with us, we’ll be in even more trouble. The car can only get us so far before we have to fill the tank anyhow. This is the only way.”
She turned around in his arms, a tear, glistening in the moonlight fell down her cheek. “I don’t want it to be this way though. I don’t, I’m scared.”
He pulled her close, and embraced her tightly. Her single tear shortly turned into a storming sob. She pushed her head into his chest as she continued crying. He did his best to console her; scratching her back lightly, running his fingers through her hair but most of all just held on tight. “I don’t want it this way either. But let me tell you something, not only will we be together, but we’ll be scared together as well. I won’t leave your side, I promise. I’ll stick with you through it all.”
He rocked her in his arms, as she was regaining control of her emotions. They swayed together into an unsynchronized dance, under the moonlight; the insects as the evening ensemble. She moved her hands up and behind his neck and began to join in with his movements. The dance was eternal; a joining of their spirits that would last through time. They felt uplifted, as if they were dancing on a cloud. Each others heartbeat was felt by the other; both in time with one another’s.
He lifted her chin with the tips of his fingers and stared deep into her eyes. Sympathetically, he said, “Are you ok now?”
“A little bit. I’m still scared though.”
“C’mon let’s go sit down now.”
They separated and walked back to the blanket together. Once they reached it, the young man bent down and swept away the stray leaves again. Once cleared, he invited the young lady to sit down again. He joined her and allowed the young woman to rest her head against his shoulder. “How do you think life would be if our parents accepted us and we didn’t have to go through with this?”
The boy thought for a moment as he watched the fireflies flutter through the sky. “Happy, that’s how it would be, no doubt about it. We’d have our parents around to enjoy everything joyous that goes on through our life. Plus, we’d be together, to actually experience life’s gifts. It would truly be great.”
She smiled. “That would be nice. To bad it will never be that way.”
A cool breeze blew through them, with an autumn chill that sent the spine into a shivering spasm. The girl shuddered at the wind, which gained attention from the boy. He questioned, “You cold?”
The girl giggled, “Only a little.” She continued to shiver.
The boy pulled from the side of the tree the second blanket he traveled with. He opened it up and pulled it over both their bodies. “This better?” he asked.
“Yes, much better. You think of everything don’t you?” she smiled.
The boy smiled and wrapped his arm around her back. She laid her head and hand on his chest, listening to his breath with her ear and his heartbeat with her hand. She looked at him; staring at his blank expression. He seemed to be concentrating on a thought that was bouncing around in his head. All he did was stare out at the woods on the other side of the river.
“Do you believe were doing the right thing?” she asked breaking their silence. He turned his head towards her. “I don’t mean not to go through with it, but, how do you know someone else isn’t going to come around for you? What if we were only meant to be a fling and someone great will come around for both of us? What if were truly not meant to be together?”
The young man thought hard on the subject before coming up with a response, “I believe were meant to be. I believe that the moment we met was suppose to be the start of something beautiful and that we were to hold on forever. Whether or not someone else will come around in our lives is unknown, but, if we wait to find out, only to regret our decision in the future. What if only one of us will find happiness with someone in the future? I’m happy with you and I know I was meant to be with you for eternity.”
“I know there has to be someone out there better for you than me. For me, I don’t know who could possibly be better than you. No one has been nicer, sweeter or more romantic than you have. I just don’t want you to throw your life away---” the young man interrupted her by tipping her chin up and pulling her in for a passionate kiss. After a few seconds, she returned the kiss, placing her hand gently on his cheek and pulling him closer. The tender kiss seemed to have gone on forever, as time stood still.
They both pulled away at the same time and were greeted with each other as they opened their eyes. The boy looked deep into her eyes, “I know you are the one I was supposed to be with, there’s no doubt of that in my mind.  My feelings for you are as infinite as the number of stars in the sky. I have no regrets of what we have done and will soon do, as long as I’m with you, I don’t care. Despite my parent’s objections, I love you. I have loved you since the day we met and will continue to for the rest of time.”
Stray tears fell from her eyes. She jumped into his arms, wrapping hers behind his neck. “I love you too. I love you so much.” She had dreamed of the day these words would be muttered between them. Sweet words of commitment had finally been uttered, making her heart beat faster. She finally knew what it meant and felt like to be in love. At the conclusion of their hug, she tenderly kissed her partner; holding him tightly as she did, never wanting them to part. The kiss, however, did end, each with a smile on their face.
She returned to his arms; her head laying on his shoulder again. They sat in silence, staring up at the moon, listening to the insects sing and the river flow. Silence was golden to them, a chance to just appreciate each other’s company. They learned that the best moments they shared were when they were quiet right in this very spot; listening to the countless, ear pleasing sounds that surrounded them, the many and the appealing visuals that entered and exited their sight.
Their escapades had been going on for nearly a year now; two days out of every week. Soon they would be together forever. A cascading pink slowly crept across the canvas as the early morning sun was making its appearance. Both of them knew that it was time. They separated as the girl retrieved her backpack. The boy pulled out a piece of paper and a pen and began to write:
 

You refused to accept our relationship due to a senseless quarrel.

Now you will learn that you should of let us be and live our own lives.

Just because you are enemies with one another doesn’t mean that we have to be as well.

So long and realize this all could have been avoided if it weren’t for your selfish and stubborn attitudes.

 

He signed both their names, folded and placed it in his pocket. He looked up to see his companion waiting for him with a large glass bottle and several orange, plastic containers. She passed him one of the containers and together began to swallow its inhabitants, which was washed down their throats with a flash flood from the bottle. They continued to devour the entire substance and tossed the containers behind them, which was quickly accompanied by the now empty glass bottle.
They each gave a sigh and rested against the tree once more. The boy invited his companion into his arms, which she graciously accepted with a smile. His arms wrapped around her stomach as she leaned her head onto his shoulder. Time never moved more slowly for them as they waited for the inevitable, but they both new it shouldn’t take that long. They looked in each other’s eyes once more, wishing they could stay locked this way forever. A tear leaked from the corner of her eye, which was quickly and gently swept away by the young man.
He moved his fingers under her soft chin and lifted her head. He placed a long, passion filled kiss on her lips; the last that they would share together. With this he proclaimed, “I love you.”
With a smile and another tear trickling down her cheek she responded, “I love you too.” As the sun rose, their last kiss and words to one another had been shared. They each took a deep breath and closed their eyes for the last time, encased in each other’s arms.
 


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