October 27, 2010
By , Mayfield Hts., OH
There was a fountain in the center of town, framed by a paved white circle of stones and ringed with trees. The fountain was large, spouting water from its tip into three levels of stone bowls before splashing down into the base. Leaves floated gently in the water, bouncing back and forth between the ripples. Everything was silent but for the trickle of water and the gentle rattling of autumn leaves.

She breathed in slowly, letting her eyes slide closed. She wanted to remember everything she could about this place. The feel of the water as she skimmed her fingertips across it, the subtle smell of water on concrete, everything.

How many years had it been since the first time she came to this fountain? Her mind raced back through years of memories in the little park until it rested on a vague memory of her seven year old self, staring up at the fountain with grey eyes full of wonder.

Nearly ten years, then. The majority of her life had been spent here, she suddenly realized. All those days spent sitting on the edge of the fountain reading, or else curled up under a tree immersed in homework. But there had been other times as well, times when she had not come alone…

No. She told herself. There’s no point in remembering any of that now. After all, today would be the last time she saw him, as long as everything went according to –


She turned at the sound of her nickname, already knowing who it would be. No one but him ever called her by her nickname anymore. There he was, his messy brown hair covered by his hood, clutching a neatly folded piece of notebook paper.

“Ash, what are you doing out here in the rain?”

Was it raining? She hadn’t even noticed, but now she could feel the heavy drops soaking through her clothes and plastering her dark hair to her face.

“Did you read that?” she asked, motioning to the paper in his hand. Keep calm, she told herself. Act like it doesn’t matter. Act like you don’t care.

He moved forward, closing the distance between them until she had no choice but to look him in the face. “Of course I read it,” he said, “But Ash, I…are you really…leaving?”

She dropped her gaze. “Yes. I am.”

She knew what would happen now. She had been through this scenario so many times in her head. He was going to try to convince her not to leave. And she was not going to let him.

“Do you really feel like you have to - ?”


“But…there’s no reason for you to - ”

“Yes there is.”

She heaved an exasperated sigh. “Because I can’t live like this anymore. I can’t live up to everyone’s expectations, and I’m sick of trying.”

He furrowed his brow. “No one expects that much of you - ”

“You’re kidding, right?” She cut him off again with an annoyed scoff. “They want me to be some kind of superhuman, something I’m never going to be. I never wanted to change the world, not like this!”

“But no one’s forcing you into anything.” He said quietly. “You don’t have to.”

She sighed again. “I’m sorry.” She turned away with a finality that scared even her. Turning her back on this spot, on this boy…she would never see either of them again. But it was a consequence she was willing to live with.

As she started to walk away, she could hear his footsteps following her hurriedly. Before she could react, he had wrapped his arms around her, pulling her close, too close…

“Stop!” she cried, much harsher than she intended as she pushed him away. She couldn’t let him do this, she couldn’t let him convince her to stay.

She turned to face him for a split second, finally looking him in the eye again. “I’m sorry,” she repeated.

Then she turned,spread her immesne grey wings, and in a flash, she was gone.

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asongaboutme said...
Nov. 4, 2010 at 1:56 pm

I really liked this. I thought that it flowed quite nicely, except you did repeat your words a lot. Other than that I thought this was a very well written piece and I am very intrigued to read more. The title captured my attention.

Keep it up :)

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