Eternal Love

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A ghost of a smile tweaked on the dry lips of the old and fragile man as he bathed on the radiant warmth of the afternoon sun. He sat on an old park bench, smooth but comforting from use, and gazed across the lagoon. It was a beautiful sight, brilliant blue and perfectly mirroring the world around it with sharp reflections. Grass around him dappled as a breath of cool wind flowed around him, for a moment a pure white cloud replaced the golden orb in the sky.

The man turned slightly and gazed at an old, white weatherboard building. A single tear gleamed in the sun as the cloud moved away. It welled in his eye and then streaked down his rough and weathered skin. A small woman came into view as she stepped around the building, her shawl wrapped tightly around her frame but it still whipped around her head in the breeze. The man’s body creaked as he rose and stood as tall as he could, clutching a smooth wooden walking stick in a firm but faithful grip. He slowly walked towards her, a smile etching itself across his face as he approached.

He reached her and they stood there in blissful silence as the setting sun cast a golden sheen across the landscape. They gazed into each other’s eyes, conveying feelings of unspoken eternal love for each other. Their shadows danced playfully upon the weatherboards, an echo of the past, an echo of their swelling happiness, and an echo of their crushing misery.

The man’s eyes glittered as fresh tears found their way into his composure. He stared at the woman, trying to tell her about his love for her. He tried with all of his weakened strength, but no words came.

On an unspoken cue they both tore their eyes away from each other and turned away, knowing this was their last, and walked separate ways. Their shadows ceased to dance as the loss rushed up to them. After a few steps the man turned to get one last glimpse at the woman he had suffered so much for, yet gained nothing. The woman continued to walk for a few hobbled steps, but slowly turned as well.

Briefly their eyes met again and they both cried out from their hearts to each other, throwing wordless emotions at each other in the vain attempt to share. The woman turned, and looking downcast, walked away clasping her shawl.

The man continued to stand there, still as time around him passed. The faded sunset and the keen reflections in the lagoon disappeared. He stood until his legs could no longer support him and clumsily fell to his knees and wept. He wept until no more tears came but sobs continued to rack is wrecked body. He lay down in defeat and thought of nothing but the woman, Mary was her name. He gracefully accepted the darkness that engulfed him, his last thoughts of her.





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