The Beacon

No one really knows when you're going to end up when making a decision.

Whenever she drove up, the light was always on.

There was never an evening when the light was not on.

It was the same thing every day. The sun would go down - the day would darken into a rich twilight, and she'd take the car from work back to home by the road of the hill.

Around the bend of the hill, a white house would come into view.

Its picket fence was neatly kept, always painted and without a chip in sight. The grass was evenly cut, leveled and smelling fresh even though it had been trimmed in the wee hours of the morning.

The house's door was a navy blue - the kind you'd see on a ship's porthole. The windows were large; bay windows that let in light during the day. Behind the glass panes of the windows hung white lace curtains.

The curtains were crisp and glowed brightly with promise of cleanliness and order. It was an image that brought back the memory of spring cleaning and the smell of newly-washed bedsheets.

She only saw it for about half a minute every day, but she had been living here for over four years now. She had seen it so many times that even the tiniest detail of the quaint house that imprinted itself into her mind.

The same applied for the figure that sat behind the lace curtains and beside the oil lamp, holding a book in his hands.

He was always sitting in a large sanguine colored Victorian armchair, completely absorbed in the world only a book could offer. Sometimes, she found herself wondering what in the heck that book contained - he seemed so utterly detached from reality.

She noticed over time that his hair was a dark brown. She never was too close enough to see his eyes and so forth, but it intrigued her that someone was actually living in that house alone.

So, you can imagine her surprise when she drove past the house one day and there was no light.

That's correct. No light.

It didn't softly illuminate the curtains from beneath, nor did it cast shadows of the laced patterns upon the symmetrical lawn.

The window was dark and desolate.

The sight itself was enough to make her heart clench. Her foot instinctively came down on the brake as the car slowed to a screeching halt.

Without knowing why, she got out of the car, solely for the reason to stare at the absence of light in the bay window she was so used to drawing comfort from.

"Excuse me!"

The voice nearly made her jump onto the car in fear. Luckily, she didn't and had the sense to turn around.

"Oh, good."

She was very, very astonished to see the book man walking up to her. Ah, his eyes were brown. A fitting combination.

"...Can I help you?"

"In fact, you can!"

"...I can?"

"Do you have a spare box of matches, perhaps?"

She nodded dumbly. "Uh...actually, I do. They're in the front seat. Would you like me to get them for you?"

"If you would be so kind as to."

She bent over to search for the matches as he explained.

"You see, I'm quite old fashioned...I still use an oil lamp to light my living room. Every evening, I sit down to - "

"Read?" she finished his sentence, handing him the matchbox. "I know, because I - "

"You drive by, don't you? That's what made me ask for help in the first place."

"What if I hadn't offered it?"

"Well, then...I'd be rather stuck. Say, would you like a cup of coffee?"

"...That'd be nice."

                                           ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

"And that," she finished, drawing the child up to her knees, "is how mommy and daddy met."

"Sounds good to me," the little girl replied, munching on a cookie. She laid her small head on her mother's chest, continuing to eagerly nibble at the cookie.

"Honey, it was."

The End

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