The Waiting Room

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
A forbidden love is passively pursued.

Submitted: March 18, 2019

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Submitted: March 18, 2019

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The Waiting Room

by Khora Bella



The dark-skinned man stared unrelentingly through the window. Time had hardened him and he was no longer the hopeful youth he once was. He watched as the snowflakes drifted down to the ground, wishing he did not feel as cold as those intricate crystals of ice. The room he was in was plenty warm with the fire burning in the fireplace, but even that warmth was not enough to thaw the frigidness he felt inside.

Years before, he met the love of his life. She was a fair-skinned lady with red hair, green eyes, and freckles and she spoke with the sweetest Irish accent he had ever heard.  She spoke gently to him in their secret meetings under the oak tree, speaking of her forbidden love for him. He looked forward to these daily minutes that flew by as he gazed into her bright green eyes and spoke of running away so they could be together forever without the torments of their society’s rules.

A mere servant who worked on his master’s farm, his dark skin and bleached hair were constant reminders of his long hours in the sun, longing for his love. He worked relentlessly and tirelessly with his rough hands so that he could escape at the end of his day’s work to meet the Irish lady under the oak tree. Every day he waited under the oak tree for her to come for their secret meeting, and every day she came to speak with him, until one day, she did not come.

He waited longer than usual that day, but she did not come. He did not give up, returning the next day with renewed hope. She did not come. For days and days he went to wait under the tree, but she did not come. Distraught, the young lovestricken man felt helpless and dejected, as this was the only way he knew to meet with his love. Continuing to believe that she would return, he began bringing pieces of wood and iron and stone as he could find them, carefully stacking his growing collection near the tree. When he had enough wood and stone, he began to build.  

A tiny shack steadily came together bit by bit under the oak tree. Just short of a year,with his project finally completed,he would sit to wait for his love within.

Inside his one room shack was nothing more than a tiny wooden table and a sturdy wooden chair, both of which he had skillfully constructed. They were situated in front of a small window facing the direction from which his Irish lady always came. The ceiling was very low, reaching only five-and-a-half feet at the highest point of the slope, under which his chair was situated. The makeshift plank door, strapped together with rusty iron plates and cross planks, was a mere four feet tall, but plenty big for him to duck through. The hinges on the door were mismatched, and a simple wooden bar latch was all that held it closed.

The stone fireplace was on the short side of the tiny room, providing ample heat for the miniature enclosure; the chimney outside was a scant six feet high, rising up from the bottom of the sloped, wood-tiled roof. The floor consisted of a number of rough wooden planks joined together underneath with bits of wood planks and old hardware, leaving it to be rather shifty under the feet, as it rested directly on the dirt beneath. There was not room for a bed, nor a need for one. The fire in the small stone fireplace kept him warm as he sat and waited on his love.  

As time passed, he became increasingly aware that his love may never return, but every day he went to his cozy shack to wait, nonetheless. Seasons passed and the man grew hopeless. Hopeless that she would ever return. Hopeless that love would ever save him. Hopeless that he would ever be free to search for his love. Despite his abjection, he continued to wait.

As he watched the snowflakes drift down to the ground, feeling as cold as those intricate crystals of ice, he thought he caught a glimpse of someone familiar in the distance, coming toward his oak tree. Could it be? The warmth from the fireplace was quickly waning, and it was dark, save for the few glowing embers in the fireplace. Yet, with this newfound hope, this vision, the frigidness he felt suddenly melted away.

The figure outside glimmered in the moonlight as it seemed to float across the snowy field. He jumped up from his seat and ducked outside of his tiny shack and shouted to the figure as he began to jog towards it, waving his hands above his head. He ran full speed toward the still-unrecognizable person. As he ran, the indiscernible being began to run toward him, shouting his name over and over!  

Could it be? Yes! Yes, it was she! She had returned at long last.

They embraced and cried with joy as he spun around with her in his arms, her heavy green cloak swinging out before falling around them both in a swirl of folds as he returned her to her feet. The long-awaited return of his love overtook him and it was then that he looked back over her shoulder at his tiny shack where he had waited daily for this moment.

His labor of love. His place of solace. His room of hope. His private space of pure longing and perseverance. His dark room of dejection and despair. He was not sorry for waiting here.

A wisp of smoke escaped from the chimney, reminding him of the warmth his room had provided during those many cold days.

Abruptly, he noticed something odd, something entirely unexpected. As he slowly released his embrace, she turned around to see what he was seeing. She watched him as he examined his shack, slowly creeping through the crunchy snow towards it. He squinted his eyes, crouching down as he moved forward. He craned his neck, and through the tiny window, he could make out a face lit by the full moon. He stopped. The face was that of an old, dark-skinned man who appeared to be sleeping with his head propped on his hand and a soft smile on his face. Who was this that he was seeing? He had told no one of his shack under the oak tree.

His confusion lasted but a moment as it was interrupted by her hand grabbing hold of his. He stood erect and turned around, looking at her youthful face, unchanged by the years. He reached up to touch his own face, quickly realizing that he looked just as young as she. His rough, working hands were now smooth and bore no blemish. His hands found hers again. He glanced back at the shack for one last glimpse, then turned his attention back to his red-haired, freckled love. With a sweet smile of assurance and without a word, she led him off into the moonlit night.

 


© Copyright 2020 Khora Bella. All rights reserved.

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