THROWBACK FICTION: The circle of love

This is the first time ever I’ve ever posted a first draft. Happy Valentine’s.

***

She was walking down the path with her head down. In a place like this, time was insubstantial, physical boundaries were a dream, and all that mattered was the presence of another person sharing your space.

He saw her from afar, noticing her light brown hair that he always liked on a woman. He walked up to her from behind and spoke to her with wavered confidence.

“Hi … ” His eyes were beaded with awe of her presence, his dilated pupils betrayed his feigned casualness. “What’s a girl like you doing here?”

“Nothing.”

She looked at him and smiled.

“Wanna walk with me?” he said.

“Sure.”

They paced a reasonable distance. With each step, he worked up the courage to hold her hand. It took longer than both parties would have liked.

He pointed at a building that had many windows. “I used to work there,” he said.

“Oh.”

As his hand fell, it grazed hers, and sensing her comfort, he took it in his.

She smiled and gave him a kiss.

“Here,” she said. “let me show you what it is to be loved.”

He looked at his feet, feeling hot in his cheeks.

They walked on, growing familiar with each step. Occasionally, he’d pick her up and spin her around, and she’d laugh and all his troubles will go away. She’s the one, he said to himself.

They walked through stormy weather, they walked through sunshine. They walked through autumn leaves and what spring had in mind. Sometimes she’d keep quiet, sometimes he’d talk back. Sometimes the both of them thought that it was all a drag.

“I think I need to walk alone,” she would whisper, and he’d fall back, giving her the space she needed.

Still, they’d walk together, and he’d catch up again.

“Hey there,” he’d smile, and she’d do the same.

Both of them would continue on this journey, until she’d fall behind, little by little, and finally halt to a stop at a crossing. He’d look back and say, “Aren’t you coming?”

She would stare at the crossroads, and then she would look at him. “I’m afraid not.”

“Please,” he’d say. “Don’t go.”

“I’m sorry,” and she would walk on, leaving them both to walk their own paths.

Why? he’d often wonder. We were meant for each other. He would walk, and walk, and not find an answer. He would try to be strong, wondering if he’d done anything wrong. Was it something he lacked? Should he have doubled back?

He walked on, and suddenly from behind, someone called out to him.

“Hi,” a blonde girl, beady eyed, said to him. He still preferred brunettes. “Watcha doin?”

“Nothing.”

They walked together for a distance before she pushed him onto the side walk.

“Look! There’s a nice dress,” she’d say as she pointed at a store’s window. As her hands fell, she would brush against his, and take his hand.

He smiled. She deserves to know the meaning of joy.

“Here,” he said. “Let me show you happiness.” She blushed.

They walked together, sharing stories and hugs and kisses. They reached a street where the junctures linked to a spot in the ground.

She looked back and asked, “Aren’t you coming?”

He looked at her and understood. He saw the whole picture now. “I have to go now. You’ll be fine.”

“Please,” she said. “Don’t go.”

He knew that his departure was the only way for her to realise the circle of love. He would have loved to stay.

“I’m sorry,” he said, as he turned onto another path.

Tears streaked her face, and she looked at her feet and remained on her journey. She doesn’t know it yet, but it wouldn’t be long before footsteps followed her, and she’d hear someone say:

“Hi.”

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