Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

For the Fireflies and the Weeping Willows

They had nothing to say to each other, no comfort to offer the one that they had loved unconditionally for the past year. They could not discuss their past, for the he misery they felt now tainted everything. And to discuss dreams of the future was futile-for each present moment grew more uncertain than the next. He was an educated boy- not quite a man, skin the color of cream, glasses perched upon his highborn nose. Hair perfectly combed back save a few strands that fell to his face. Eyes locked to the porch slats. She a teacher of the same age, brilliant eyes of coal, skin the color of ebony, dark curly hair that fell upon her white collar. Eyes straight forward. Bugs flitted and slammed into the lights that lit the small porch. Whispers and then shrieks escaped the inside of the house as if someone was trying to contain a wild beast.

He moved his glasses up with his hand and finally looked straight at her, which always sent shivers of joy up and down her back. She could remember when they first met at the school house, he was trying to say something about the quality of her teaching and fumbled terribly and smiled an apologetic smile so big that it slid his glasses up his nose. She had tried to restrain her laugh but she couldn't. At first he had looked confused and then finally began to laugh.

“Miss Russel, I do believe your laugh is the medicine I've been searching for.” He stated with a light in those imperious blue eyes of his. That first innocent moment made her smile at the small amount of joy they shared before everything closed in on them.

Aaron knew that his eyes were no longer held that selfish and arrogant gleam, and he had her to thank for it. He remembered the moment that he knew he loved her. Boys masquerading as men came covered in their white sheets violence and hate. They were about to take sticks to her ailing father and she had stood quietly in front of them and said “This is wrong. If you still have a soul see to its safety. Take this moment and don't do this terrible thing, for if you do this your reward will be a burning eternity of hellfire.”

They had stopped for a moment, looked at her, and then laughed, and said “Hell is going to look a lot like heaven after we finish.” She became silent but would not move. They hit her with a stick. Aaron couldn't contain the anger that was pulsating through his veins.

“Hey! Go home. These people haven't done anything to you. You are fools beating down the defenseless. I know each one of you cowards even with those stupid costumes on- Charlie, Maxwell, James, Alistair, and Grimes. I'm telling every one of you to leave now! ”

The leader at the forefront of the group spat at him. “I will be back again- Aaron Whitefield and you nor your daddy's name won't be enough to save these filthy animals from the punishment that they deserve. You have stepped over a line boy, and you cain't pussy-foot back.” They turned and left, laughing. Aaron shook for a moment and then looked at her. Her eyes were glassy with tears that couldn't be cried. Her eyebrow was already swelling to twice its original size and bleeding profusely.

“Could someone get her in the house and I can patch her up?” Aaron stated

“We don't need the white man's medicine to cover the destruction that he's brought to us.” Her brother Amos growled.

“Here-Here” voices picked up around the crowd.

“No let him help me.” Abigail muttered. Amos looked at her and then at Aaron, anger transforming his face into an inscrutable blankness. He turned and walked away. Aaron bent over and helped her to her home. She leaned against him in almost childlike manner and she was quieter than he had ever known her to be. He sat her down at the table and fished out enough medical supplies to treat the gash that stretched from her eye brow to her hair line. He gently cleaned the wound looking for signs of pain or discomfort in her eyes, but she hardly blinked throughout the painful process. He wondered if it was courage, anger, fear, or shock that was keeping her silent.

After he finished bandaging the wound, she looked at him and said “This isn't your fight, Aaron Whitefield. You should go home and stay there, things are going to get dangerous for you if you stay. I appreciate your gesture of friendship, but it's time for you to leave.” He saw the change that came over her. She was no longer the fun, fiery girl, with a beautiful laugh, She was a now a woman- burdened by the pain of her people and made strong by the love that held them together. He wondered if it had always been there or if he was just too much of a self-absorbed fool to see it. Slowly he let out a sigh, got up, and walked out the front door. He walked into the swamp that separated her town from
his parents mansion. As he walk he listened to the crickets sing, and the more he listened the more he realized that it wasn't signing- it was mourning. They were morning for all of the destruction that mankind had wrought upon himself. He dropped to his knees just as he entered his property and looked up at the palace that he had called home for the past twenty years. The lights flickered on the water and the lightning bugs began to flash their yellow glow in the swaying branches of the willow tree.

He had not thought of anyone else but himself for those first nineteen years. But now this dark skinned woman named Abigail who happened to be the complete manifestation of everything his parents disapproved of the color of-her skin, her upbringing, her poverty, and her background- all undesirable in their eyes. Yet, despite everything, she had managed to lift the disillusioned fog that had swirled around him for so long. And it was in that moment, while watching the willow tree sway in the hot summer breeze that he realized that he loved her.

The happy whirlwind of winter had passed without many more incidents and the guilty heat of summer had arrived. His parents had discovered the truth, but truly was only a matter of time and how long they could stretch their happiness until the tipping point. And now they were awaiting a verdict that would surely sever the two. There was no shelter, no protection for them from the heavy drops of hate that fell and soaked the ground. Every roof that they tried to stand under shrunk smaller and smaller, never truly protecting them.

“Aaron” she said.

Aaron looks at her. Tears glisten in her eyes and he knows whats coming, so he looks away- he doesn't want her to see the pain that he feels and most especially does not want to see the depth of her pain. When she clears her throat her voice is shaky, but determined.

“Aaron, we need to let go... We are holding on to tight to what cannot be and it's time to let go.”

“How can you say that after all that we've said to each other and all of the things we've survived together?” She walks closer to him tears streaming down her face and wraps her arms around him. She lays her head on his chest and he feels the tears soaking his shirt and holds her.

“No Aaron, you listen to me. I cherish everything about you, I love your voice, your mind and your soul- everything about you is beautiful. I don't ever want to part from you, but they are going to separate us anyway. But we should part now, while we still have the choice. I don't want to remember this ugliness when I look back. I just want to remember you.”

Aaron holds her tighter, as if he can squeeze away all traces of sorrow, but he knows he cannot. So he bends his head down pulls her chin up so he memorize every inch of her face- her dark glistening eyes, her full lips and her beautiful hair- and he kisses her- for all of the world to see. He kisses her for himself, for people of every color, for the love that is doomed to fall short in every way, and he kisses her for the weeping willows and the fireflies.





Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback