The evening is arriving quickly now, despite my shallow breathing and despreate, futile pleas.
The air is getting colder as the sun dips down behind the gray clouds, and the world is thrown into a confused blue tint.
My eyes flicker to the trees that are loosing it's leaves, and turning brilliant colors of red and orange, as if someone has set it on fire. They droop now though, as light drizzlnig rain falls from the sky.
The only sound is a million drops of water hitting the ground, leaves, our umbrella, and the cold lazy river that flows next to us. That, and the rythmic clacking of my heels against the sidewalk, and his shoes, quieter, thudding along.
There is no speaking between us, there is no comforting. My arm is wrapped around his, not too tighly, not too loosely.
I do not scream and rage like I want to. What would people think? I do not sob and fall into a crumpled heap onto the wet ground as I feel like doing. One must act composed in public.
Mother always told me that a lady never creates a scene in public. Save the drama for mama, is what she told me.
But how could I when she was the one causing the distress? The sleepless nights that worried of this very night. Worried it would come. And it did. Of course it did.
Heath will be boarding the train soon. He will be heading off to fight for our country. Thousands of miles away where his hand can not curl around mine, and his lips can not comfort me. Where I cannot see his deptheless blue eues or always untidy aenous hair that matches the stained trees.
Will he return?
I won't think about it if he doesn't.
Instead I think of memories. Memories of the neighboorhood we lived in together. White picket fences and always green grasses. 20 houses facing their twins in a precise row. Where it was safe to keep our doors unlocked, and still is, and in the cool of summer nights, if you opened your window for that sweet breeze, not a sound was made, for everyone laid in their beds. Dreaming of their perfect lives and perfect children.
Everyday was as the day before,and as predicted, the day after. And it was that way for seventeen years until I met a boy that arrived in the house at the very end of our street.
The only child of his family, he fit quite snuggly into our neighboorhood. Only little gossip was whispered, and that was only because, one, there was an absense of a mother, and two, both men, the Father and boy, were strikingly handsome.
All of the mothers grumbled about how the world never swung their way, and the girls whispered longingly for the boy with the ocean eyes.
But all of their desireful glances and longing hearts were wasted.
He told me he'd had his eyes on me the day he drove by my house. I was climbing into my older sister's current boyfriend's car, heading to Nick and Lauren's Cafe. He told me he'd never seen anything so beautiful in all his life. My long curling brown hair swaying over my shoulers, and mysterious green eyes.
He told me he swore on thay day he'd have me. One way or another.
At first I wanted nothing to do with the quiet boy that had blue eyes. He was on every girl's tongue and in their dreams. And even though I would have vehemently refused too, he starred a few spots in my dreams as well. And I hated him for it.
Yet I knew I would not be able to ignore him for long.
A year ago I'd entered the studio where I'd be trying out for a town play. The play was mostly a musical, where I'd play Angela. Not a large part, but she a lot of songs, and I'd heard my friend Betty was trying out. So why not?
I knew I would make the part, because frankly, I was was very good at singing. I wasn't egocentrical about it. Just sure of myself.
As I walked into the auditioning room, the door creaked loudly open, and a voice that sounded it came from heaven filled my ears.
I stared ahead, at the boy with Ocean eyes, wondering how his mouth is moving at the same time as the angel voice.
It was him singing.
I stood there, as silent as the rest of the hushed crowds.
That was the day I fell in love with Heath Austins.
Days passed quickly then. Days filled with the river down by Old man Johnson's house. Days in the Maple tree where we watched the blazing sun set over the fields. Days we stole kisses under my porch. Nights he snuck into my room and we sleeped in one another's arms. Moments everything was perfect.
Hours I spent fighting with mother. Times she told me I could never see him again. Afterall, I did have an arranged marriage to the Wallsons.
Yet no matter what she did, it could not keep me away from Heath. He was the other part to my soul. He was all I ever wanted.
Mother knew this. She knew I would always want him and nothing but him.
It was such perfect timing when Heath arrived at my door one day, fear in his eyes, and a package in his hand.
I didn't sleep that night. I couldn't even cry myself to sleep. People said that they ran out of tears, but I never did. I cried, and cried and cried.
I don't think I ever stopped crying.
Lamps turn on, illuminating the sidewalk and trees.
"What are you thinking about?" He murmurs, in his beautiful smooth voice. My eyes wander to the side, and he is watching me with his ocean eyes.
"You." He does not like this responce, obviously.His eyes harden and he tries smiling as well as he can. He does not want me to miss him. He does not want me to mourn.
Sometimes we don't do things we know we shouldn't do.
I try relieving the air.
"What are you thinking about?" I ask. He pauses, thinking about telling the truth or lieing.
"The rain." Lies.
I can see the train station ahead. It's getting closer. It's getting impossibly closer. I try slowing our walk, but it seems to be moving towards us.
My heart beats frantically, chugging along with the engine of the train.
I have to keep composure. I must not dissapoint Mother.
I hate her.
I know she has something to do with this. I know she must have enlisted his name. Something. I saw her taking pamphlets. We don't have any boys in my family.
It doesn't matter though.
He will be gone, and I will be left behind.
He buys his ticket and we stand there, staring into eachother's eyes. There is no farewell. There is no embrace.
"All aboard!" Someone yells in the distance. Smoke billows above our heads as men board the train. Tears gather in my eyes and with soft movement, he lifts his hand to wipe them away.
"I love you," he whispers. I know he's trying to be strong. For the both of us. But he's slipping. He's clenching his teeth, I hear it, his eyes are watering, I see it.
As if we are connected, we both move in too kiss one another. The kiss is not deep, but it communicates everything. My love for him. His worry for me. My fear, his comforting.
But it is not enough. It will never be enough.
"I'll come back," he tells me. He knows I know he's lying. I think he says it more for himself than me.
No one has returned from this war.
He steps onto the train and I think he will find a seat so he can wave to me as the train leaves. But I don't see him. The train begins moving, and I stand there long after it has vanished from my vision. I will never stop waiting.
Even when I find out he does not come back.
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