A Scarf

A scarf was her woollen friend on that frosty morning. It caressed her neck, protecting her from the bite of the sharp air. The bright turquoise gave colour to the still dull morning as the sun rose above the fields. She tittered across the cobbles, her breath weaving patterns into the mist but that scarf, her scarf, kept her warm and burnt away the early hour.
For too long she’d been waiting for this morning. Each hour was like a day, each day like a month and each month like a year, all building up to this morning. As the time had passed, her memories had faded: his face now merged with those of others and the softness of his eyes grew hazy. She’d longed for a photograph, for something to capture his perfection, but her family had little money and as the years of rationing descended technology was long forgotten.
But her waiting was over, the war had been won and they could finally see each other after years apart. Now as she ran through the village, the stone houses flanking her, her stomach tightened with anticipation and her face spread into a nervous smile.
She’s prepared for this morning; her skirt was perfectly pressed, her best blouse fitting elegantly, whilst her coat and new heeled shoes matched with the first thing he gave to her… the scarf. Her fingers ran through the gentle material, caught up in memories from what seemed such a long time ago. He was only minutes away from her, so so close.
She moved faster.
Rounding the corner, the station came into view. A small stone covering underneath which vehicles were parked end to end. A mass of army green trucks held men climbing appreciatively out into the fresh air, stretching in the space before shaking hands and going their own ways, all radiating grins of relief and pride of survival. She ran towards, slowing only when she was within a few feet of the entrance. Her hands fixed her hair as she entered the covering, sheltered somewhat from the building breeze.
And then she searched for him. She searched until the sun had fully risen and the breeze had strengthened, but she didn’t find him. At every soldier who looked his age her hopes lifted, only to but dashed when he turned to face her. Hysteria grew but faded, being replaced by such a raw combination of disappointment and sadness that she felt her heart could never beat again. The hole which bore into her when he left began to be chipped wider as realisation set in, numbing her. So she sat, just staring, waiting, and hoping that he would appear before her. She said nothing; only let silent tears etch streams into her cheeks.
Sometime later, she left, tearing off her scarf as she fled the station. She wanted nothing more than to bury her face in a pillow and sob until she had no tears left to cry. Her throat ached heavily, her eyes puffy whilst her stomach swam with thick misery.
In the now gusty morning, she attempted to run home, but was thwarted by strong wind forcing against her. Wrapping her arms around herself she pushed up the hill, wind roaring in her ears. But a moment later she stopped: some had called her.
“Miss! Miss!” Came a voice, but she didn’t turn, she just kept walking. However the man followed, and continued to until he was within feet of her.
“Miss, I believe this is yours.” He said, catching her arm. She turned, praying he would disappear.
But then she saw him. He was there, a smile playing on his perfect features. Her scarf was in his hands and he ran his finger through it lightly, not taking his eyes off her face. “I know this is yours.” He said, moving closer to her.
She was stunned: she had convinced herself that she wouldn’t see him again, that all her hope had been in vain, but here he was. All she could do was stare.
His gaze never wavering, he gently wrapped the scarf around her neck, letting his fingers brush against her skin. She shivered. He carefully lifted her hair from under the fabric as he stroked certain strands back into place. With his fingers he fondled the wool, tracing patterns as he stared at her, his feelings mirroring hers.
Softly, he pulled on the scarf, bringing her face closer to his, stopping when their noses were touching.
“I thought you’d left me.” She whispered, still disbelieving.
“I’m here. I’ll always be here” He breathed, his fingers playing with the ends of her hair.
Then he pressed his lips to hers, bringing back memories from far away. And she melted into him, loving his arm around her waist and his hand in her hair. Every part of her came alive, all the darkness clearing because now she knew it was real.

Her scarf stayed between them, moulding them further together whilst they stood there, in each other’s arms, together at last.





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