Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Chapter One

The weeping branches of the bent willow trees swayed as the breeze blew by softly. I was sitting on a green bench at one of my favorite parks in New York City, watching one of those beautiful weeping willows. I had been waiting for someone but at that moment I could think of no one but watch the beautiful scenery before my eyes. The autumn air was nice and crisp. Leaves of varying colors rustled by as the wind grew stronger. The sky was soft blue with barely any clouds. The water in the pond in front of me rippled as fish and turtles swam to the surface in search of food.

Then a stranger passed by on a bike. More people came along, some hand in hand and some walking dogs. But for a while, the one I waited for did not pass. I didn’t mind; I had a beautiful start to a wonderful day in a wonderful park with wonderful scenery. The breeze had picked up a bit since I had been there. I wrapped my sweater more closely around me and as the time passed, I seemed to have let my mind wander too far. I had dozed off a bit.

The next thing I knew, a young man had approached me. He was wearing a green shirt with a gray sweater. It was the person I had been waiting for. I was greeted with a warm, innocent smile. I felt a similar smile spread across my face as I stood up to wrap my arms around this person. I was warmed up in a flash in his tight embrace. I felt as light as a feather when he planted a neat, gentle kiss on my cheek. My cheeks flushed red and I hid my face in his sweater.

Suddenly there was a tug on my scarf. I looked up, only to see his kind eyes staring straight at my face. I felt my face burn bright red once again. Pretending as if nothing had happened, I managed to let out a questioning sound, “Hmm?”

A gentle chuckle escaped his lips as he said, “Oh, it’s nothing. I just thought that I recognized the scarf from somewhere.”

I pulled away a bit, just enough to look down at my scarf. It had thick, pastel green and purple stripes, along with pastel green polka dots at the ends. I smiled and in reply, said, “Of course you would recognize it. You bought it for me, silly!”

That innocent smile of his was wide across his face once more. “Oh, that’s right. I just remembered.” This time, as he spoke I examined his face more closely. He had such smooth, pale skin in addition to his dark, soft hair and beautiful lips. There was still a bit of stubble on his chin. His eyes held great promises of a wonderful future. His smile warmed up my heart. I hadn’t noticed how long I’d been looking up at his face until he had chuckled once more and asked once again, “Is there something on my face? Why do you keep looking at me like that?”

My smile widened as he spoke. “Oh, it’s nothing. Let’s sit down okay?” We sat down where I had been on the bench just a few moments before. “Really, there isn’t anything,” I said trying to sustain my laughter at his questioning look. And then all broke loose. I was giggling like a little girl.

“That’s it, tell me what’s on my face!” he demanded as he began tickling me. I was laughing so hard, that it was getting hard to breathe, but he would not stop until I submitted to telling him why I was so intent on staring at his face.

“Nothing. Really, there isn’t anything on your face,” I managed to get in between breaths. He still hadn’t let up yet and had started tickling me harder. This time, I was laughing so hard that I almost fell off the bench, but I ended up lying with my back on the bench looking straight up at him with my head on his leg.

Then, all time seemed to stop. We were frozen in that spot staring into each others’ faces. At that moment, my day was complete; the perfect guy to top off my wonderful day at a wonderful park with wonderful scenery. Nothing could’ve been better. And then, time went on, once again as he began tickling me again, saying, “There must be something on my face, you keep looking at it all funny!”

This memory of my distant past and happiness visits me from time to time to remind me of what I once had; what I could’ve held on to but had chosen otherwise. If I had been so happy, why did I let it go? I didn’t, or at least that wasn’t how it was supposed to end. It was either that happiness or family. I had been forced to choose and my conscience had won over. I know; I must be a horrible person to do such a thing, but let me explain before anyone judges me or criticizes the person that I am.

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