“He loves me. He loves me not…” The petals float gently to the ground around her. She is marvelous and perfect and lost in her love for another man. He, the one who loves her, watches in agony as she obsesses away her day with false dreams. She is young, perhaps too young for her age. Her lacy white dress flowing out around her like a cloud, her innocence surrounding her. He loves her. Now he is hiding behind this hemlock tree watching her. Hoping she sees and praying she doesn’t. This is how it begins. Boy meets girl and falls hopelessly in love. Girl meets boy and asks to be introduced to his friend. The one all the girls like.

“Oh please love me. Just notice me and want me for a moment. That’s all I need. I know I can captivate you if you only give me a moment.” These thoughts plead through her daily. She can’t get him out of her head. Tall and glowing like the sun. A god all her own. “What about his friend?” The thought flits through her mind like a hummingbird, hovering for a moment, then darting away. She shakes her head. Why did he venture into her daydreams? He, not quite as tall, not glowing but dark like a shadow. He seemed to be the almost to his friend’s everything. “But at least he talks to me and cares about what I say.” She realizes this is true as soon as the thought forms. The golden one merely glances her way every now and again. Even when she tries to pull him into conversation, it’s his darker friend who answers. She doesn’t like his eyes when he answers. Intent, blue and watching. They seem to stare straight into her soul with a sort of sadness. Where that sadness is rooted is something she doesn’t want to think about. She waves her hand in the air above her head as if to chase off the thought. Instead going back to daydream of the next witty thing she will say to that golden glowing god.

SNAP! Adrenaline rushes through their veins. His hiding place discovered, and her daydreams broken. “Who’s there?” Her voice quakes, but its musical cadence is still there making his heart skip a beat. With a sigh he relinquishes the safety of the tree and steps into her line of sight. “I didn’t mean to frighten you.” His voice seems to fill the quiet field and fills her with a hot anger. “Why were you watching me?” Her voice still shakes, but now there is a sharpness to it. Like a winter breeze across the summer sunlit field. He scrambles to explain himself and make her happy again. Anything to take away that edge in her voice. “I was out walking when I saw you sitting there and I didn’t want to startle you so I waited to see if you were leaving.” He wants to hit himself for that pitiful lie, but her face seems to soften and her gaze shifts from accusatory to curious. “Would you like to sit with me then?” She isn’t sure why she offers, but supposes she may as well let him. He begins to move toward her, the sun glinting off her hair and lighting up the green in her eyes as she watches him approach her. Slowly, as if he may still frighten her off. “And where is your friend today? Not up to walking?” She prays the disappointment and longing in her voice isn’t noticed. “He had a prior engagement. I simply could not let this gorgeous day go to waste.” He sees the disappointment mask her face for a moment before it is replaced by polite interest. “Oh yes, I felt the same way.” She smiles at him, but she is already thinking of an excuse for leaving. Then his hand brushes her shoulder. A chill rushes through her and her eyes shoot up to meet his. “There was a petal.” He offers as an explanation. He can’t believe he just did that and panic begins to set in. Then her eyes meet his and everything stops. She holds his gaze, refusing to look away and lost in the emotion she sees there. Disappointment, longing, that sadness. But for who? She thinks to herself. For me? She blinks and looks at him through eyes not veiled with comparison. She sees his dark curly hair for the first time and notices the way is falls across his eyes. Those eyes that tell no lie and that hold her now. Maybe. Just maybe… Her mind reels with the possibility that this man, who she ignored and thought of as lesser, could be someone entirely different. Someone who would listen and was obviously in love with her. Perhaps this man could be something more. Something different and right.

This whole time he has been drawing himself closer to her. Pulled in as if by gravity. Watching the change come over her eyes and an understanding begin to glow there. Understanding and something else. Affection for him maybe? He lets the thought bathe his mind in warmth and tries to fight the smile that is readily at his lips. Maybe...

He feels something light as a breeze touch his hand. It is hers. She lets it rest there and a small smile lights up her face. He offers a small smile in return. These smiles impart the same message. Understanding, hesitancy, a little fear, and a quiet promise of love.

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