I'm not entirely sure what I want to happen next- maybe, because it hasn't yet, I can't make that decision. Perhaps it is not my place to decide. Love him.
It was a beautiful morning. The lane was silent, only the click-click-click of the paperboy’s bicycle cut through the crisp perfection, as he avidly back pedaled, for his own, secret delight.
The only place I found solitude was here, the gentle rush of breeze filtering through the skyline wrapped around my sides, a giant blanket, comforting even. I ran my fingers along my wind-chilled face, tracing the contours, slowly deepening with each day. A map of my past, the only treasure of my childhood, so beautiful, that still remained.
Once again it was that morning, the dew drops, like glass footballs, clinging to each single blade of grass, every stem and unfurling leaf. The sun, splattered across the meadow by the branches, burdened with fresh leaf and new blossom. Through my bones ran that feeling, the one you get when you are so beautifully in love, the one that makes your heart slowly wither, gradually die, without constant nurture and unbridled affection.
This is what brought me back, me being so vacant, so empty.
Glancing round, my pounding heart overpowered any feeling left within my delicate body. Perhaps that was a good thing, the only other sensation I would have felt would have been of my paper thin heart, so carelessly torn in two.
A Polaroid remained. The sheer sadness in his face as I ran. The desperation, perhaps even, a glimmer of unbeknown love.
My legs galloped on, unthinking, unaware. He just stood, unable to move, as if with each step I took, his heart followed, pulled further from his gaping chest cavity. Attached to a selfish unraveling string, an invisible wire, reluctantly and uncontrollably severed. His face, a Polaroid.
Just a snapshot. I had albums at home, stacked upon one other, gathering dust, untouched since the day they were categorically filed, by year, then month, then day. His was the only imprinted in my mind, not really a photograph at all.
I was just seventeen when I decided to record my life. I told myself I would only do it for a month, two at the most. It would be a little project. It grew. It went on for 7 years, to be precise. Seven years yesterday. A photograph a day, like a diary, a catalogue of my life. Each Polaroid, dated and labeled, for what reason I do not know, perhaps I knew I would not be able to remember these times without prompt. Unable to recall events, recite quotes and remember secret glances. There were none. Empty years, as transparent as an empty bottle of sparkly stuff. That bottle of beauty, surrealism, the exact one we consumed that beautiful morning. Apart from that didn’t have a label.
I ambled towards the gate, a beautiful, rustic rouge, stumbling in the long grass, my sense of balance corrupted by the wicker basket cradled in the crook of my arm. Our gazes met, his red chequered shirt, loosely buttoned, and perfectly fitted, like netting around a punnet of beautifully ripe strawberries. An indication, perhaps, of his emotion, all bundled inside this metaphorical net, unable to escape. We lay in the grass, so wild and overgrown that we existed in no other world than our own. Essence of almonds permeated the crisp morning air, croissants warming our hands and the effervescence of the wine encapsulated our spirits and drew them up, towards the sky.
Naïve. Innocent. Utterly unimaginable. To you, not me. Now though, this would hardly cross my mind. I wouldn’t dream of doing it. Well, I would, I just don’t. I won’t. It was our thing. Just us. It still is.
His face drained, white, slipping away from everything, his eyes devoid of anything but pure bewilderment.
After that day, I only ever saw him once again. I was on a train. He always liked trains, not that boyish fascination, but the fantasy of inexplicable romance. I studied the passing landscape, the train slowing, studied in more detail. A familiar figure, a pensive stance. That profile. The strong jaw, thick eyebrows and three days worth of stubble. Those were the things that gave him away.