He was 21 when he met her.
He was a mechanic’s apprentice in a small town in the middle of nowhere. She was only 18, a fresh-faced beauty straight out of high school.Their eyes met one night outside the biggest tent of a travelling circus and the gaze would not break.
She was a good girl; mild mannered and shy, and he was a bad boy; tall, handsome like no other, wild-eyed and full of youthful mischief. He was uncouth and foul-mouthed and a had temper like a demon’s. But he had his days. Somedays he was an angel too, and was full of love and compassion.
This was one of those days.
They hit it off at once. Hand in hand, their affections grew. She was smitten and could not understand the rumors around town. He has got into another fight? Someone lost a few teeth…? Wait, who ended up in the hospital? He was whoring again? He fathered another child ? Who’s is it this time?
But how can that be, when he was always there for her, with twinking eyes and always laughing and pinching her cheek? Always sharing his plans and dreams of whisking her away and travelling far away from this backwater town?
She fought back the tears and bore the ache in her heart. He had never been unfaithful to her or even had his gaze drift towards any other woman, even as they flaunted their assets at him in desperation at the pubs.
She decided she wouldn’t listen to them. She knew him and she loved him. And that was enough.
She grew tired of the rumors. These people had no business poking their noses into others’ affairs like it was their own.
His smile faltered gradually as the days went by. His moods grew worse and then she knew. She saw what the others meant. He grew wilder and wilder and she was scared. He would come home every night having cracked someone’s skull at a bar, or even having casually set the damn place on fire.
She was scared but she knew him and loved him and that was enough.
So she crept up to him one night as he lay, wasted and stinking like a tavern. She took his hand and whispered into his ear.
“Let’s leave this godforsaken town.”
That night he cried as she cradled him. He wept for his past mistakes and his nasty reputation and for her unwavering faith in his despicable being.
The next day they left. They left this damned town with it’s gossip-mongers and liars, it’s hypocrites and low-lives. Far away from this isolated hell hole.
They started anew in another town. They didn’t need to please anybody else. After all, it was people who despise people, and it is people who hurt each other.
And ultimately, two special people only needed each other.
And thus, far away from spite and hate, gossip and lies, they lived out their days in happiness and did not have to bend to anybody’s will ever again.
By mid-afternoon, the temperature that had been rising steadily since morning finally reached a peak. It was sweltering hot but the Sun paid little heed as she mercilessly beat down spear after spear of her golden rays on the mere mortals below. A slight breeze blew from time to time but it was just enough to disperse the heat for a little while. The sound of crickets had now reached the level of Symphony as they determinedly played their same old tune.
From the rocks nearby flowed a small stream, it’s crystal waters dancing away and shimmering like little golden lights in the sunshine . By it’s banks grew a small clump of bushes around a single tree. The spot must have been cool because underneath the tree,on the luscious green glass, lay a young man seemingly fast asleep. He was leaning against the trunk with his arms crossed on his chest and head drooped dangerously to the side. He was dressed in a pair of loose brown slacks and shirt and was barefoot. His eyes were covered by an old newsboy’s hat and the blade of grass he had been chewing now hung loosely from the corner of his mouth like some sort of cachectic cigarette. There was also an open book next to him, of which the pages fluttered carelessly in the breeze.
A small bird had settled himself on a low-hanging branch and had now struck up a shrill little tune. Shrill but lively nonetheless. A curious squirrel poked his head out of his tree hollow to check out the racket, but disappeared back into it after losing interest.
The crickets’ Orchestra and the bird’s Axl Rose- like shrieks blended perfectly with the soft gurgles of the stream which complimented them shyly. The sound wasn’t painful to the ear; it was actually a pleasant sort of noise. It added deliciously to the slow-burning, lethargic afternoon and the fact that our young friend under the tree can have a snooze amidst it was not surprising at all.
In fact, it felt nice. The day was calm and slow and it’s mild temperament largely relaxing. It was a beautiful day in Summer, and a most tranquil afternoon.
Thanks for reading! I keep trying to keep my little snippets as small as possible but it never works out for some reason ^^. Any feedback is most welcome 🙂
She trudges up the muddy lane,
Heels in hand, barefoot.
Last night was a blur…
A large one.
Too short a dress…
Chose her poison.
Danced all night.
A little too desperate.
Like a rockstar.
I’m never drinking again.
The ripples washed softly on to the rough gravelly beach. Although their force was only meagre,they managed to form little foamy fringes as they nudged into one another, and the little boy standing on the shore was just enthralled as he watched them.The miniature waves reached just up to the tips of his little pink toes, circling around them and causing such a tickle, that the young lad giggled in absolute delight.
Today was a special day. It was the 21st, and a Sunday. The weather was so perfect, it was almost mocking this occasion. The sun hung high in the sky, which was now the colour of cornflowers. A slight breeze brushed against the boy’s cheeks and ruffled his hair. The visit to the cemetery had been lovely, and he had even taken her her favourite yellow roses.
2 years ago today, when the boy was only three, his mother wrapped him up with her entire body in a final act of desperation , as the cab they were in flew over the mountain’s edge and tumbled down the rocky ravine. He was found peeking from under his mother’s shoulder, as she lay face down on top of him. He had not been crying at all, but her body was broken beyond repair. She moved on to the after life, having given herself up for her little boy.
He cannot remember her face, but he definitely knows that she was warm like a midsummer’s day and that she radiated a profound sense of comfort. She was like the blanket she would tuck him under every night. She made him feel safe and loved.
She was like a blanket. A blanket of love. Sworn to protect her little boy forever and always.
He turned to the tall and handsome young man standing next to him. The man was silently sobbing and his grip around the stalk of the single yellow rose tightened as he looked into his son’s twinkling eyes.
He doesn’t know why, but Daddy blames himself. Daddy had been working late with his friend from his office, just like he had done for so long. She was blonde and beautiful and always winked prettily at the little boy and would press her finger to her lips at him everytime he and mommy visited Daddy at the office. She was nice to Daddy, and Daddy always smiled at her.
He had been too busy with his work that day to take them home from the post office where Mommy worked. So naturally, a taxi had had to be called.
That was the last day mommy had smiled at the little boy. The last day she spoke. That day, she had tucked him under his blanket for the last time.
Her own special blanket of Love.
Ever-lasting. Sweet and untainted.
Self-less and unconditional .
His heart pounds against his rib cage like a wild animal stricken with fear. Twilight is almost upon him and he is freezing in his light T-shirt and jeans. How he got lost in the woods is beyond him. The last time he saw his friends is now nearly two hours ago.
He leans further into the tree he has been crouching under for the past hour and starts to mutter a mantra under his breath.
…..I’ll be okay… I’m going to be fine…. They’ll come to get me….
It is all he can do to keep from passing out.
Suddenly he hears a mangled howl from the distance.
Dear god….. it’s a wolf. It has got to be a wolf…. only a damn wolf would make that sound……
He is almost crying with despair now. The fear is real and his palpitations are painfully apparent.
He crawls deeper into the bushes. He can barely feel his legs and is pretty sure they are useless now anyway. It is really not like he can move from whatever safe haven this little forest nook provides him. He can feel his breath becoming increasingly laborious that he is almost panting at this point. His chest constricts painfully and he has to scrunch up his eyes as he lets out a hopeless little whimper.
Please don’t be having a panic attack now. Please not now.
I’m going to die here, aren’t I. I’m going to be eaten by wolves but hopefully not before I freeze to death.
I hope I freeze to death.
This time, he has to clutch tighter at his chest as his breathing becomes more tumultuous and he struggles to regain his composure. A few more painful minutes pass. Time is moving sluggishly slow. He knows because the same fat bead of sweat that has been travelling down his temple for the past few minutes, had only just passed the corner of his eye. His cold sweat is making him colder still. How is it even possible to perspire in this weather?
He rubs his palms together, hoping for some warmth. He knows that his shivering is only partly due to the cold. He is terrified and is about to lose it and have a full blown panic attack.
Oh god… please don’t…. please don’t….. please…..
He goes back to chanting his mantra, his voice barely a whisper ,the pitch of which increases with every word.
By now the silence is overwhelming. It is so dark and dense, it fills up his ear canals like oil on paper. It is so heavy that is makes his head want to burst.
He does not immediately realise what happens next but his breath gets caught half-way and he freezes. He swears he hears twigs breaking not 20 feet from him.
This is it. He knows for sure that his heart is going to fail here and now. He is going to be eaten.
He squeezes his eyes shut so tightly that they begin to hurt in their sockets. He is crying now, his silent sobs uncontrollable.
Oh dear Lord…. it’s even closer this time….
Suddenly he feels strangely warm.He forgets to breathe as he dares to open his eyes. He meets the eyes of his tormenter. They glint a dirty gold, in what little light the darkness fails to capture.
He is not shivering anymore. The beast circles him, his warm fur coat grazing his skin.
He feels its sickly hot breath on his cheek as the animal licks his face. There are no sounds. No growls, and no snarls. It is simply the first and last meeting between man and beast and only one of them will walk away today.
Paralyzed with fear, he comes to terms with the situation. The seconds leading up to his demise are excruciatingly long and slow, but he has not been eaten yet.
Now what are people who are about to die supposed to do?
Mom…. Dad…. I love you. I have never been the best son, but I love you. I hope you love me back. Dad…. we have had our disagreements and differences. But miss me anyway.
Sister….I know that I am the biggest pain that you have ever had to deal with. I’m sorry that I was never there for you. I did not know that he was beating you. I should have killed him with my bare hands when I could.I hope you forgive me. But miss me anyway. I love you.
Cute girl in my Economics class. I’ve been crushing on you since college started. I should have told you…. It’s alright. Just miss me anyway.
He is not afraid anymore. He has paid his dues and should get going now. Enough time has been wasted.
He hugs his knees,bows his head and smiles sadly.
I’ll miss this world even if not many people loved me.
But miss me anyway.
*image from google.