Under the Cherry Blossom Trees

November 9, 2017
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A young poet surreptitiously asks her waitress for a cup of water, praying her request doesn't bother the busy server. She glances up from her reading, flashing an appreciative smile as the server gently sets down her drink. She parts her long auburn hair over her left shoulder and sinks into the navy velvet seat as she further envelops herself in her reading; her clever eyes curiously peruse the piece of literature finally resting their gaze on a short poem.


“She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellow’d to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.”


Her lips purse and her eyes soften, smiling as she looks out of the window onto the apathetic city street, appreciating the stark contrast of the coziness and warmth of her secret cafe and the bitter cold outside. She thinks back to when he had read that line to her. Last year, during the springtime, when they would sit together underneath the cherry blossom trees and read Lord Byron to one-another, entranced by each other's passionate and characteristic readings of the hopelessly romantic sonnets; with each word profoundly read to one another, the two falling deeper in love.


The poet hasn’t looked down at her book in quite a while now and although her gaze fixates on the cold and weary passerbyers outside, her thoughts drift still to those soft and sunlit memories of the spring.


She shuts her book, standing up and stretching, clutching her book as she lifts her arms above her head. She begins to wrap her navy scarf around her neck when she sees him walk past the window. At first, she forgets that she told him she’d be here reading until noon. With both hands cupped around his eyes pressed against the glass plane, he peers into the cafe as if he and his antics were a Television sitcom. He scans the effectively empty brasserie and light-heartedly feigns a surprised expression when he spots her. She blushes coyly and tucks her black-leather book under her arm, excitedly walking towards the glass doors. Giving up the act, he smiles and ambles towards the entrance. He stops just short of the door and waits for her to exit as if enticing her to come outside. She uses her free hand to push the door open.


He meets her eyes as she exits. Nothing is truly special or extraordinary: it's a bit colder than comfortable, she could have worn a few more layers, and they stand on the same sidewalk she travels each day to get to class; but she looks into his eyes, and he looks into hers, and the moment is transformed. The city isn't as desolate as it had seemed looking out of the sanctuary of her snug cafe.


He quickly but ardently studies her features, the sea of freckles she probably hates, the tragically stray lock of soft red hair that curls over her left face when she forgets to place it back, and leans in for a short kiss, refusing to waste another moment not in her company. With the warm touch of their lips, the stark and overcast city is vanquished to the far reaches of their collective imaginations. The only thing that exists now is cherry blossoms, warm rays of spring sun, Byron, and each other.






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