A walk in the parkMature

"Let's go for a walk today," I suggested. "Talk about this." I wondered at my ability to hide the anxiety gnawing at me, at my ability to appear calm and collected. What could this mean?

Peter nodded. "That's a good plan." He seemed a little worried too.

So, after we'd washed up, we went out for a walk. We returned to the park which we had visited only yesterday.

Along the walk, Peter said "It's really rare for people to dream the same thing in Asteria."

"It's the same on Earth."

"There must be some significance to it. There's just no other explanation."

"The only thing I can think of is that we're trying to be told that we're meant for each other. But that's hard to accept because I love Romulus."

Peter nodded, frowning.

"Maybe when we go back, we can work it out," I suggested unhelpfully.

"But until then, we're stuck," Peter pointed out.

"Perhaps it would just be better to forget about it. Not let it make our minds run around in endless circles. I'm sure all this thinking will be bad for us."

Peter nodded in agreement. "It's never good to get bogged down with heavy thoughts."

"So... what should we talk about instead?"

Peter shrugged. "I was never really good at coming up with conversation topics."

"Me neither," I murmured. "I guess you can tell I was quiet and lonely from the amount of poetry I wrote."

"I think you'd glean the same from how much I drew," Peter said.

"You drew?" I admired artists. The ability to express oneself and the acts of doing so were things I could relate to. I liked people who put their thoughts and feelings into a physical form. Humans like familiarity and ... I had always wanted to be understood.

"That's why I was so intrigued by your poetic tendencies," Peter said, sighing slightly. "You thought deeply and translated the world into your own language."

I sighed deeply. "You were pretty much perfect for me."

"Pardon?" Peter asked. He had been gazing into the distance and hadn't caught my last comment.

I stopped and looked up at him. "Part of me's been lost, I know that. But is that part irretrievable?"

"I'm sorry, Tilly, I don't understand."

I looked up into his eyes and was filled with great sadness.

"Oh, Tilly," he murmured. And it was like he read my mind. He pulled us into the shade of a tree, put his hands upon my waist and leant down and kissed me.

So pure. So gentle. So tender.

Too pure. Too gentle. Too tender.

I pulled away and sighed. "You're too good for me. And don't try to tell me you're not because you are. Romulus has changed me - tainted me - and I'm now no longer good enough for those I would have deserved before."

"I don't care - I'd still have you," Peter murmured, leaning in to kiss me once more.

I pushed him away, gently but firmly.  

"You deserve someone better, Peter," I told him. "And you need someone better. Otherwise, your life will be ruined."

Peter opened his mouth to protest but I interrupted him.

"Peter, listen to me. Okay? Once upon a time, we could have been just right for each other and become the perfect couple, eventually marrying and having kids. But that future's disappeared now. I made a mistake - I let Romulus sweep me off my feet. And ... it's gone too far. If you dated me now, you would ruin your reputation but, and I know this is important to you, you would be going against your values. Because that's what I did when I let the dark passion rule my mind. I'm holding nothing against Romulus and I won't deny I enjoyed what I did even though it destroyed me. But I can never go back. I just know it. Peter, you must stay true to yourself. Be the pure soul that you were meant to be. I'll be okay - I've chosen my path and I'm happy with it. But you and I ... We can't be together. Ever. I'm sorry."

Peter couldn't reply. It was all a lot to take in. Even for me as I only realised what I was saying was true as I said it.

But we knew where we were now. Despite the dreams. Maybe the dreams were showing us what we were missing out on, to reiterate the consequences of my actions.

I knew for certain that my fate was now to be with Romulus. Our souls would entwine and we would be together forever. And ... I wasn't sad. I didn't feel resigned to my fate. I just felt like this was ... natural. Maybe love was just a walk in the park.

The End

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