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A Cold Day in August
Her hand whispered across his chest as she breathed in his ear, “I love you.” The grass was cool on their backs from the dusk and she looked up to watch the last clouds pass by. As a heart floated before her, she smiled and asked, “What are you thinking about right now? Right this second?”
How your voice makes my heart skip a beat…your touch takes my breath away. This moment is perfect. I love you too. Inside his head his thoughts were under lock and key. He sighed and replied, “I’m tired,” and turned on his side.
Silently, a tear fell from her cheek. She stood to face the oak tree. So many days they had sat under this tree. Reading a book, taking a nap, and making quick love in a rare scene of isolation. The days had come and gone, but the face of the tree remained; staring back at it was overwhelming. “I’m done, Presley,” she snapped. Her voice was quivering.
“What did you say?” He shot up at the sound of tears touching the earth. “Did I say something that bothered you?” She turned helplessly toward him, drinking in his concerned appearance, savoring his tone. The tables had turned. She felt her cheeks turn ruby as she gained composure and stated, “It wasn’t something you said. It was what you didn’t say. You clearly don’t want to be with me, and I’m tired of loving you more than you care.” She was yelling.
He stood and moved towards her, and he saw her skin flinch. Then moving past her, he smiled to himself and in such simple manner said, “You don’t know what you’re talking about.” Taking the first branch of the tree, he climbed above her, and looked down upon her. “Where is this coming from?”
Fuming, she spat, “What do you mean where is this coming from? You haven’t told me you loved me in months! Ever since I came back from Europe you’ve been acting so weird. All this time I’ve been thinking it’s my fault. But it can’t be my fault. I’ve done nothing but be here, and be yours. Is that not enough anymore?”
His gaze was set upon her eyes, and he couldn’t help but breathe heavily. He couldn’t break her stare, and much less her heart. Isn’t that what I’m doing now? I can’t…say… His mind was racing. “You’re cute when you’re mad.” With a smile, a sigh and quick turn of the heel, she tore them apart. But before she stepped three paces, his voice changed. “Wait,” he pleaded.
He jumped out of the tree. Their faces an inch apart and the truth an inch from exposure, he was at a loss for words. He said what came to his mind. “When you left for Europe, I thought I was losing you. Then you came back, and I had you and you were here, and I’m not scared anymore and…”
“You’re not making any sense, slow down. Is there something that you would like to share with me, or not?” she retorted. He exhaled.
“Kennedy. When you left for Europe, I thought I had lost you. My world had ended when you turned around and waved the last time. You were gone for a month and I tortured myself daily in my thoughts and in my dreams and in my own self. When you came back, I was so relieved that you were still mine. But something inside of me changed. I was afraid. I let myself get so close, and I got scared, and I told myself I couldn’t care like that. I wouldn’t care like that. The thought of actually losing you is terrifying, and I thought if I distanced myself just the tiniest bit, I could save myself. But I was wrong. You’re standing in front of me, and I have no explanation, but I’m here. And I’m sorry. And I love you. I love you.” His heart was racing a million miles a minute and time stood still as he awaited her response.
“Why couldn’t you just say that? Why couldn’t you just tell me that I was everything to you?” Her heart jumped and her tears of despair turned to tears of joy. She laughed. “I know. It’s scary.” She went limp and melted into the grass, pulling him with her and leaning against him. “But I do love you. And you’re my everything, and I can’t believe you didn’t know that. We, Presley, are everything.”
He picked a white daisy off the ground and handed it to her. “I did know. And now I just believe.” The sun began to set and a breeze flew past. Fingers entwined and souls sewn uninterrupted, their hearts bled together on a cold day in August.