Running From Love

The air smelt of a Southern Summer Thunderstorm on the rise, freshly cut grass, and plastic fishing worms: her favorite smells in the entire world. She was lying on her back, the old wooden dock was warm; she squinted up at the sky, drawing pictures in the clouds. She drew hearts in the water with her foot that hung over the side of the dock, humming an Eighties Power Ballad, her book lay open on her stomach moving up and down with each breath.

He looked over his shoulder at her. Her blondish hair was scattered all around her, her blue eyes sparkled in the sunlight. He turned his body so he could get a better look at her. She was taking deep breaths, inhaling the smell of late summer; he knew it was her favorite. His fishing pole tugged a little, he ignored it too lost in her to care.

She looked up at him; his brown eyes flashed golden in the sunlight. His hair was still dripping wet from his swim, his shirt was balled up under her head. “What,” she asked, noticing the way he was staring at her. “Nothing, you’re just so beautiful.” She started laughing so hard she snorted a few times, then covered her face with her hands and laughed harder. Once she calmed down she said, “Okay, sure!” He rolled his eyes and sat his fishing pole down in the holder, “No, I’m serious! You look so radiant laying there. You are so gorgeous!” She rolled her eyes this time, then closed them and laid very still.

He laid down beside her and looked up at the clouds himself. Her eyes were still closed and he thought she looked like a sleeping angel. He elbowed her and pointed at the sky, “It’s a turtle!” She opened her eyes and stared up at the clouds for a moment, nodded, then rolled to her side and looked down at him. They both could have spent forever in that moment, just the two of them, no problems, no people, just them and the beauty of young love.

“I love you,” He said. She smiled, it was a stunning smile, and it took his breath away. He reached up and cupped her cheek in his hand. She rested her head in his strong hand; the most beautiful moment in the world was passing them by and they knew soon it would all have to end, but neither of them wanted that. In the time they’d spent staring, contently, in each other’s eyes the sky had grown dark and the clouds heavy. A loud resounding boom made them both jump; rain spontaneously fell down on to them in heavy sheets. They jumped up in shock and dashed under the pavilion where the rain couldn't get them. They had only been in the rain a moment but they were both soaked. She tossed her drenched book on one of the picnic tables, and then fell into a fit of laughter. He watched her for a moment and then began laughing.

She suddenly stopped after a moment and looked at him, passion filled her eyes and he knew he was staring at the most striking creature ever crafted. The passion turned to sadness, “I have to go back home next week.” She turned unable to look at him any longer. He took a step toward her, reached for her, and pulled her near; she didn't resist but didn't give in. “Okay,” He whispered, turning her and looking deep into her sad blue eyes. She leaned into him, feeling safe and okay; he held her close afraid that if he let go, she’d be gone forever.

The rain beat down around them for a good half an hour; they sat on top of a picnic table holding each other and watching the rain pour down. Neither of them wanted the moment to end, neither of them wanted that summer to end. When he sensed a break in the rain coming he said, “Let’s go get in my truck.” She shook her head and looked off into the distance. Confused, by her reaction he moved from lying beside her on the picnic table to standing in her direct sight, “What’s wrong?” She shook her head and tears welled up in her deep blue eyes, it was something he was afraid of: seeing her cry. She was a strong, independent girl with sturdy ambitions, an unshakable faith, and a solid confidence of who she was and who she was to become. Weakness wasn’t a part of her genetic code.

“Talk to me,” he begged, desperation in his voice. She continued to shake her head, her chest rising and falling in a quicker pace, she was making deep sobbing noises, and he had no idea what to do. Finally, she spoke, in a choky, sob-filled, quiet voice, “I leave next week…” she shook her head, “Tuesday!” She jumped up from the table and moved toward the other side of the pavilion standing daringly close to the rain. He took a deep breath and slowly moved in her direction, as if his movement may scare her into running away.

She turned to face him, her blue eyes distant again. “Tuesday,” he asked, that was in two days, TWO days! He couldn’t let his frustration show; he reached for her again, slowly. She walked out in the rain, the thunder boomed around her. She shouted over it, “It’s not fair! It’s never fair! Will you miss me?” He laughed and stepped out into the rain near her, “With every heart beat that passes. Now, please get out of the rain before you get sick.” She shook her head, water flew around her; she looked incredible like a Goddess of Rain. He grabbed her arm and pulled her near, “We’re leaving!”

He opened the door to his truck, and helped her inside. She cut the truck on and cranked the heat.
“Breathless” by Asking Alexandria blared through the speakers, for the first time in her life she cut off the radio. As they tore down the back roads in silence, his mind was at work trying to figure out something to say: What do you say to a girl who doesn’t believe in love and yet when you look at her you see every moment of your life? How do I put this into words? What do I say? His mind was working at a mile a minute and he was having trouble concentrating on driving.

She broke the silence, “I think it’s best if you stay away for the next few days.” Then she got out the truck and walked into the house…. before he even realized they were in her driveway.

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