A boy. A mysterious girl. A field in the moonlight. And a silver maple.
The moon was shining high in the sky by the time I sneaked out the window. It was in its full form tonight, an orb of light that shut out complete darkness.
I ran quickly, pushing against the strong wind that brought many goose bumps to my arms and legs. It felt good to run, and leaving home meant I was free from my life. The realistic one. The one that I didn’t want to be a part of.
I didn’t spend any time mourning my situation while I was out at night. Night was my escape.
Free. The word felt refreshing on my tongue.
I moved quickly, hoping nobody was able to lay their eyes upon me. Soon I had reached my destination. Eagerly, I took a small stone and threw it at the house I had approached, only so it would lightly tap on her window.
Then I ran.
All the way to the field, as far as my legs would take me. I didn’t stop until I had run the half-mile and was gulping in big tufts of air. I was glad the night was bitter cold.
I sat down on a large root of an maple tree that stuck out of the soft soil. The long green grass glazed with dew was a beautiful under the pearly white moon. I laid back and closed my eyes. The only peace I was able to reach in my life came from this field.
Only three minutes had passed before I could see the small outline of her body, sauntering up the field at a slow pace. As she came closer, the moon lit up her face, and her eyes twinkled with the same kind of light carelessness I had seen in Carla two years before. She came running when she saw me.
“Hey, Owen,” she smiled as she plopped herself down beside me on the roots of the old tree.
“Hey,” I replied, not laying my eyes on her.
We sat for hours, not talking, just listening. Watching. Though we didn’t talk much, it felt like we were old friends. Leila looked beautiful in the dark of night, her eyes hazel eyes lit up with the bright white light of the moon. Her long, wavy black hair looked silver in the light. The moment I looked over at her, I couldn’t take my eyes off her. Maybe that was why I avoided her gaze.
Just for a moment, she looked at me. Into my eyes. “Owen,” she whispered.
I waited, but she didn’t continue. I looked at her, and realized that she was what her name meant, “dark as night.” In a beautiful way. Her hair, and even her eyes, beautiful hazel eyes, were as dark as night. And she had a soft way of speaking that made you want to laugh and cry at the same time.
“Leila,” I whispered to her.
I lost my voice. I couldn’t say it. But my hand brushed lightly across her chin, and Leila knew what I had meant to say.
She said it for me.
“Owen, how could it be that I’m falling in love with you?” she whispered softly, her eyes locked with mine.
“I don’t know,” I replied, barely audible. “Maybe it’s because you’re not the only one.” After I said it, I wanted to take it back. But Leila didn’t seem to mind that it was corny.
She smiled a small smile, and before I knew it, she was running. And by the time I registered what had happened, she was gone.