A glorious and heavenly light shone through the airless clouds as the sun parted its way through the light denim washed sky. The very sight of it was spectacular, holding a feeling of simplicity and peace within its reach. The rolling blue of the sky reflected in her wide and youthful eyes as she lay camouflaged in the wheat field surrounding her, whisking over her like a weightless blanket of gold. The space itself was vast, stretching out for infinity over her head and below her small, fragile body. She could feel the warm embrace of the yellow sun above her, encompassing her body fully and igniting her white A-Line dress in every corner. She felt the world move with her as she rolled to her side to look back at the faded red barn behind her, standing tall in the wheat and glowing under the sun. She rolled back to look up at the tumbling clouds, but they were gone. It was now only her, the sun, and the wheat surrounding her. Her hair seemed to almost dissolve itself in the wheat, blending into its magnificent golden color the sun provided it with, and she sat up, her eyes now tired from their strain.
Her small shoulders arched forward as she looked towards the barn and pondered as to where her lover had wandered off to. Beginning to stand up, she could catch a glimpse of him standing over at the barn and waving over at her to come join him. She swayed side to side, and hollered, “It’s quite a lovely day now isn’t it?”, stretching her arms above her head and up to the sky, turning away from him again. She dug her bare toes into the soil beneath her and sighed. He perked up, and replied, “Why yes it is. The sun is up, the sky is blue. It’s beautiful- and so are you.” She blushed as she stood, her skin radiating and glowing from where she stood. It almost reached out to him and encompassed him in her light.
“So you’re a lyricist now aren’t you?” She giggled, and picked up her large sun hat from the ground to protect her delicate face from the now harsh sun.
“I believe so,” He said, beginning to strut towards her, ego in hand, “But I wouldn’t know, I’m a better dancer than I am a singer.” She turned around, facing the field forming away from the barn and silently smiled as her once porcelain cheeks reddened at the sight of him.
“Come ‘ere” He boasted, picking her up by her waist and spinning her around as she laughed and pulled her hat down to cover her face again. She eyed his bright smile, accompanied by his dark eyes and dark hair. His eyes were as bright as hers and the world stood still for a moment, the air warm and tender, waiting. Their faces were within inches of one another, and their smiles became one as the two committed their lips to one another and laughed. He let one arm off her waist and patted the wheat around him, picking up a bundle and constructing a small doll from it.
He stopped and looked up at her, his eyes glistening with the kind of shine that couldn’t be dulled, and pushed her hat off with his hand.
“What are you hiding from me for? I want to see your hair, and your face, and your beautiful eyes.” His dark skin warmed in the sun, and his transparent white tank top allowed her to peer down and see the outline of his body, strengthened by the labor he put into her family’s barn. She looked over his shoulders, only partially covered by the thick straps his shirt provided, and she raised her eyes only partially to look at the barn. She bit her lip and smiled, “I don’t know,” she mumbled, “Maybe because we have to hide from everyone else.” He picked up her head and moved her hair behind her small ear, and looked into her now deep blue eyes.
“Then let’s run away.” The tone of seriousness he carried in his voice made her head perk up. Her eyes were now shining again, as bright as the iridescent sun above them, and she allowed a wide smile to creep across her face as she lifted her foot and began to run. She ran, as fast as she could through the tall wheat surrounding her. The strands hit her with a force that almost reddened the skin beneath her white dress, but she couldn’t feel it.
“Caroline!” He called after her, attempting to run as fast as her in the golden mess she was now drowning into. However, his shout only became drowned out in the wind encompassing her body as she let her feet carry her ahead. She ran and ran until everything around her became a blur. The wheat was now a forest, filled with trees as tall as skyscrapers, and grass filled with shades of iridescent emeralds and flaxen gold. The trunks reminded her of the mahogany table resting in her father's parlor, and the texture of his hair. She could breathe in the purity of the space, and set her eyes upon the light that danced around her in patches, for the trees only allowed the purest of light to emerge.
Then, she stopped abruptly. The wind settled, and everything that was once in motion died. She spun in circles looking through the trees, and she could now see her fondest memories. Over there, the tree with the knot right in the middle, she could see her father pushing her and her brother on the swing set he built for them when she was seven. And over there, she could see the last moments she spent with her mother before she passed, knitting a blanket for her brother. She could turn and see the moment she laid eyes on him in the barn, when her family first hired him as help around the property. She could see the days they spent under the willow tree, lying down and reading Hemingway while drinking lemonade. It was all rushing through her mind, and she could hear the wind picking up again. And so she ran.
She sprinted to reach the edge of the forest, and she could see the trees diminishing in the path in front of her. She stopped at the edge and looked down, she was atop a cliffside. The ground beneath her was no longer soft, like the soil of the wheat field. It was now jagged and mineralistic, grainy and colorless. She looked down to the crashing waves of the ocean beneath her, the slight sprays from the wild water hitting her face like shattered glass. It was calling her down; the waters below were coaxing her into its repetitive reality. Crashing and crunching underneath her, she prepared to fall. She saw the light in the waves, and as she began to fall towards it, about to fall off of the edge, she was jolted backwards and brought back to reality immediately.
“What in God’s name did you think you were doing Caroline? You could've killed yourself! You woulda ran right off that ledge and killed yourself!” He pointed down at the Cliffside and shook her again. She slowly came to, and looked at him. Absolutely nothing was going through her head, she had no idea what had happened. She stood up and gracefully touched her porcelain hand to his coffee colored face, and brought her lips towards his. She felt warmness in her heart that made her eyes flush out what was once cold. As she looked into his eyes and mouthed I’m Sorry, it was then that she heard a shot.
The shot itself was not as loud as she had anticipated, but the force was far greater than she could ever imagine. She never saw the bullet behind her, but she could feel it whizzing through the air before it hit him between his dark mahogany brown eyes. The metal fragment destroyed his forehead, and pushed him backwards onto the grainy earth beneath them, where he lay paralyzed and cold. She raised her small hand up to her face and felt a warm liquid dripping down her nose. His blood has splattered onto her porcelain body, wrecking its glow entirely. She instantly fell to the ground, collapsing in her own disbelief, and stared into his lifeless eyes.
“What have you done?!” Caroline shrieked as her tears washed the crimson stains off of her porcelain cheeks. She turned around to discover a group of familiar men, trembling where they had once stood so proud. It was her father holding the revolver, and he stepped up to confess to his daughter what he had done. With an absence of remorse in his voice, her father grunted,
“You have shamed this family Caroline. Falling in some sort of childish love with a colored boy while you have been wed to a man of station. Nothing hurts more than to see my own daughter become swine. Your mother would be so disappointed.” Caroline only wept where she knelt over his body, and wept a beautiful tune of remorse. She spotted her brother, standing behind her father, his eyes grazing the ground below. Caroline bit back the tears in her eyes and stood, filled with rage. She never spoke a word as she picked up her lover and slowly made her way to the ledge. The strength she gained was almost unfathomable; a girl of her stature picking up a dead body as if it was nothing. As she began to drag herself and his body over to the ledge, she drowned out the commotion beginning behind her. Right before anyone could grab them, she fell willingly into that watery grave.
The world was not rushing by in the blur she had expected, rather it was like she was back in the forest, running through her memories. Every moment of her life surrounded her and brought her comfort as she fell. The world around her was becoming a mass of shades of gold and blue. She felt suspended in time, as if she was time herself, moving slowly but surely all the while. Then, there was the impact. She felt her bones shift in her body, becoming tangled within its own casket. The blood seeped from her argent skin and flooded the waters with warmth. She looked like freshly fallen snow upon a blanket of blue, and then she faded.
She awoke to a harsh and burnished light shining through the heavy clouds as the sun hid behind the colorless grey sky. The very sight of it was depressing, holding a feeling of loneliness and melancholy within its reach. The rolling grey fog of the sky reflected in her tired and sad eyes as she lay camouflaged in the wheat field surrounding her. She could feel the cold embrace of the harsh wind whisking the wheat into her eyes, leaving her small nose reddened by the cold and her eyes irritated by the constant blows. She sat up, holding her leather bound journal in her hand, and looked up at the white circle in the sky that hid behind thick grey masses. She looked over to her left, and laid her eyes upon her husband lying next to her, sleeping peacefully through the storm, blanketed by the wheat. He too was camouflaged, his flaxen hair could have easily been mistaken for the wheat itself, and the freckles that lay upon his sandy face reminded her of the clumps of sand in the soil below them.
His eyelids fluttered like butterfly wings as he awoke and looked over at her, pawing through her journal and looking for the pen he held in his pocket.
“Looking for this?” He pointed out, pulling the silver pen from his pocket. The smug smile on his face made her laugh and swiftly grab it out of his hand.
“Yes, where did you get my pen?” She said with a tone of laughter in her voice, all the while looking out towards the barn and studying him closely. He lifted his hand towards her face and turned her face to look at him.
“Well I got it from your dress pocket of course. I just thought it would be fun to hide it from you that's all.” The two laughed as he lay his head in her lap, falling back asleep. Again, her attention diverted to the barn- to him.
He appeared so graceful as he emaciated the logs beneath his axe, swinging the giant weapon up and down. The connection between the metal head and the wood elicited a loud crack that made her shudder where she sat. She admired his strength, and as he looked back at her, his dark eyes flashing, she blushed. She looked down quickly at her husband, quietly pulled out her journal and began to write;
“I’ve spent every day since you left me, crawling and slithering between dictionary pages and looking for words to describe you. But there is no word for the pain I feel now. There is no word for the way a heart explodes silently within my ribcage, splitting every bone like a nuclear bomb my body will never forget. There is no word for the way my stomach dropped like a parachute when you said goodbye, and there is no word for the realization that we could never be. There is no word that can describe what it is to become someone’s regret, just the same as there is no word to describe what it is to lose a lover whilst you are still in love. There is no word sad enough, or empty enough, or desperate enough to describe my pain. Except for your name.”
She looked towards the west where the wheat field began to show a sea of gold, meaning the sun had come out from its hiding, and she closed her book. Lying silent underneath the rolling golden blanket, she faded again.