The Purity of Spring

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Amidst the chaos of the city there was an oasis. A park, with vibrant green grass and trees strong and tall. The park overlooked the lake, which glimmered and seemed to stretch out infinitely towards the horizon. In that park there was a bench. It was a simple bench, made of stained wood that you might see on a church pew. The bench sat alone, a place to relax and escape a day’s insanity.

The winter had been especially harsh that year, making the spring to come even more rewarding. The snow had finally melted and there was an undeniable warmth in the air. The day she came was unique in the way that every day is, being that every day will only ever happen once.
The sky was blue, no clouds to be seen. It was like something out of an old movie, with birds chirping in the branches and the sun providing a warmth onto her skin like a soft blanket. The flowers bloomed and expelled their pleasing aroma into the air.
She walked along the path, enjoying what seemed like the first warm day in years. She was tired, and so she sat to rest on the bench. She looked out at the lake and smiled, sighing deeply at the astounding beauty that lie before her. She sat for a moment just to take it all in, the purity of spring.
He was enjoying his lonesome stroll through the park when he saw her. She sat on the bench, her dirty blonde hair shifting in the breeze. Her yellow dress seemed to sing with color, gorgeously complementing the spring shades around her. He was filled with an overwhelming warmth when he saw her, and felt almost as if his whole life had been leading him to this moment.
Now he was never a very outgoing man. He was quite simple, actually. He was not the kind to introduce himself to some random girl in a park. Yet that is exactly what he did, because he could scarcely resist the urge to speak to this girl.
He crossed over to bench and took the open seat next to her.
“Beautiful, isn’t it?” He told her.
“Stunning…” She responded.
They took a moment and just shared the view together, then he spoke again.
“You know, I come here everyday. It’s my escape; my oasis. Yet every day I am shocked at the sight in front of me, and that, in all the rush of this world, there is this, this serenity here… It’s almost unreal.”
“Like something out of a dream…” She added.
He looked over at her, and when her soft blue eyes met his he felt his heart jump in his chest. They locked eyes for a brief moment, and he introduced himself.
“Harold.” He shared.
“Rose…” She replied, with a smile brighter than the sun itself.
They sat in silence for a bit, soaking in the warmth as he built up the courage.
“Rose, why don’t you meet me back here tomorrow, same time?” He asked.
There was a slight pause, then she responded.
“I would love to.”
She gave him one last smile then got up and left. He sat alone on the old bench, filled with utmost happiness.

***

The next day he returned five minutes prior to when they planned on meeting. He sat in peace, waiting her arrival. Out of the corner of his eye he saw her approach, today in a baby blue skirt. She smiled and took her seat next to him. He locked eyes with her and offered her the red rose he had in his breast pocket.
“A rose for my Rose…” He said with a cheeky smile.
She took it with a bright face and let out a soft, sweet laugh. To him it was the most amazing sound in the whole world.
“Thank you…” She replied with grace.
They sat together and talked, about nothing in particular. Seconds turned to minutes turned to hours as the breeze of the season drifted past. When it was time for her to depart, she left him with a kiss on the cheek and a heart full of dreams.
The park bench on the lake continued to be the spot of their meetings. They would sit, side by side, for hours and hours and just talk. They connected in a deeper way than either of them ever had before. In the purity of spring they fell for each other, and as the flowers bloomed and the days grew longer they grew closer together.
Spring turned to summer and the days were full of life in that park. Children romped the fields playing games as they do, and elderly couples walked the paths. He sat on that bench in his thoughts, and for the first time in his life he had truly found happiness. Somehow he found her, and she made his life worth living. He could not describe the love he felt for her, except that she was his oasis, his escape, his glimmer of hope. She was his star in a vast cosmos full of stars, his love, his life, his rose.
So the day came when he knew what he had to do. They met at the park and shared the bench together. He looked into her deep blue eyes and took her hands. He got on one knee and held out a rose.
“Rose… Will you marry me?” He questioned.
She smiled a smile, her smile, brighter than ever.
That was all the answer Harold needed.

***
Marriage did not slow down the love that had formed between these two strangers those days at the park. Each and every day they fell for each other even more, and they sat at the bench, that old, worn bench, and talked and laughed and even cried. They made each other who they were, and it was as if one was not whole without the other, as if they in a way, completed each other.
It was a brisk fall day when it happened. Something had happened earlier and she was not happy with it. It started small, but like a snowball rolling down a hill it escalated. Tensions rose and words flew, and suddenly the purity and love they had shared felt broken. They loved each other so much that the words they stabbed with were a million times sharper than the ordinary. It broke her heart just as much as it did his when she told him she needed space and left him there. He sat on the bench, their bench, alone. The cold wind attacked his face and as much as he wanted to, he would not let himself cry. He sat in solitude, looking out at the lake, and wondering how he could’ve lost his rose.

***
Months passed and still she did not return. He went and sat on the bench every day in hope that she would, but she never did. Fall turned to winter, and the snow and cold returned. There wasn’t a day he didn’t return to the bench, because he loved her so.
She returned to her life, trying to leave him behind. Until one harshly cold day when she walked past the park. The world was white, snow coating the world like a blanket. In the stark white of the ground there was red. She looked into the park, curious, and her eyes filled with tears at what she saw.
The bench was there, covered in thick snow, with a single rose carefully placed on top. At the sight of it she rushed over to the bench only to find, he wasn’t there. So she sat in her familiar place and waited.
A while later he showed up, as he did every day. He was stricken with disbelief at the sight of her and she embraced him in a hug. He held her tighter than ever as her tears fell into his shoulder. This time, he knew, he would never let her go.
Soon enough Winter had ran it’s course, and has the warmth returned and with it,  the purity of spring. With each passing week their bond grew stronger, never to be broken again. They still returned to the bench now and again. It was their place, and it was a monument to their love.
Months turned into years but still to that bench they returned. He sat with her on his left, her shoulder on his, as they grew old together. Time passed on and seasons changed, but nothing could keep them apart. Days went by but not a single one passed where he did not love her with all his heart. As leaves turned oranger her hair turned gray, but he did not love her any less.
But then came a time when they did not return.
Seasons passed and the older, more worn bench seemed almost lonely without them.
Snow fell and rain poured, leaves drifted down from trees and colors turned and changed. It seemed they may never return, but one quite winter day, he did.
She was not with him.
He was older now, and slower and more tired. He took his usual seat and looked out at the lake. A moment later, he pulled a single red rose from his pocket and placed it on the seat to his left.
A lonely tear made it’s way down his cheek.
The purity of spring was gone, and nothing could bring it back now. He had lost her. They’re bond was broken by the only thing he could not control, and she was lost forever. No number of roses could bring her back. The tears continued to fall and he was filled with a deep sadness.
He knew then he would miss her for as long as he lived.
Because his love, his life, his rose, was gone.






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