Mother Nature's Love

December 4, 2011
Carefully, he paced. Three steps and a pause. Three steps and a pause. Three steps and a pause. His Armani suit was crisper than the reflection of the flesh-toned leaves on his golden cuff links. Naturally, the sun and the moon finished their daily squabble, and eventually, the moon gently smothered the sun. Mr. Mark Hampton glanced at his moonlit silver watch. He had to leave from work now. It was time. With his robotic fingers, he typed in his password, his girlfriend’s name, to log out of his computer.

“W-i-l-l-o-w,” he hummed to the beat of each keyboard press.

Ten years ago, he never would have been able to imagine this day. Today was the day he was going to propose to his girlfriend, a day his grandmother prophesized about since he was a young boy. Now, he was the manager of a company which sold the most computer software in the world. As a teenager, Mark loved writing computer code and creating his own video games. Of course, the fish of the high school pond didn’t understand his talent and often mocked him for his eccentricity. Those days were long gone now since Mark Hampton traded in his geeky glasses for the jewel encrusted champagne glasses of a businessman. To Mark Hampton, Willow Washington was happiness and life: the binary combination of perfection.

Willow Washington was born a wealthy senator’s daughter. Some say she is actually a distant relative of President George Washington, but Willow denies these claims. She never cared for fame or politics but only for knowledge. Ever since she was a little girl, she was fascinated by the double letters in her name, and like the tall Ws of her initials, she knew she needed a partner that was as strong as her. She couldn’t imagine life as a lone W. Eventually, Willow graduated from law school and became a civil lawyer. She was tall and as thin as a twig yet wore pantsuits with panache. Willow was so perfect that she was almost unattainable, but Mark was willing to take a risk to break the rules of nature.

An electronic ping interrupted Mark’s thought process. Mark’s cell phone reminder stated that he had to go to Hearthrock Lake to meet Willow for their scheduled date. Carefully, Mark walked across the office and to the body of water, trying to keep his new genuine leather shoes from getting wet. He kept the sapphire ring in his right pocket and fiddled with it until he saw Willow’s emerald eyes illuminate Hearthrock Lake.
“Why are you so late?” Willow asked suspiciously.
“Business. I mean traffic. I mean-” Mark ineptly replied.
“Just tell me what you want to say,” Willow flirtatiously interrupted.
“Willow,” Mark whispered as softly as the gentle wind, “I’ve loved you since the day we met. Will you marry me?”

Mark performed the traditional genuflect and gazed into Willow’s haunting yet beautiful eyes. Willow wept. “Was this normal?” Mark thought to himself, “Grandma said she cried when grandpa proposed to her. This is normal. Just say the three letter word, Willow, just say it.”

A tear escaped from Willow’s eye but awkwardly remained on her cheek as if it were a dew drop.
“No, I can’t marry you, Dustin Porter,” viciously replied Willow.
“Who’s Dustin?” asked Mark with a tremble in his voice.
“I can’t believe it. You’re a liar. You’re a criminal. I was just looking through some cases today and found some files with your name on them. You were charged with fraud, identity theft, and physical abuse. You changed your name from Dustin Porter to the fancy ‘Mark Hampton’. If you can’t be honest with me, how do you expect me to love and marry you?” shrieked Willow.
“I love you,” Mark replied, secretly hoping that Willow would change her thoughts.
“That was a rhetorical question Dustin. Have a lovely single life,” remarked Willow.

At that moment, Willow yanked the ring out of Dustin’s sweaty palm and then pushed Dustin, along with his ring, into the lake.
“I hope your new shoes are wet,” she fervently replied as she walked away from the scene.

Willow could not control her weeping. She could not believe that she was fooled and she could not believe that she would have to live her life as a lone W from now on. Her sobs and crying gasps were so loud that she could not hear the pants and gasps of Dustin Porter. Dustin, despite his amazing knowledge of computers, did not know how to swim. He exhaled a breath of death and died with his only companions: his Armani suit, genuine leather shoes, and sapphire engagement ring.





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