Short Story: I Still Remember Her...

  • Feb. 17th, 2013 at 4:47 PM
kelzadiddle: (Default)
A/N: Because I've been horrifically negligent both in my journal and in posting any actual writing, here: have a short story I wrote from a prompt posted on Writeworld.


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Sixty-five years ago today. The sun's disc hanging low in a weak yellow sky, the smell of heather soft, fragrant in the air.

I remember it so well. This was the last time that I saw her, after the final fight; she'd ran away across the field, heading westwards with tears in her eyes. I stood there and let her go, just stood there and let her run, let my heart break, desperate to follow her but determined not to let her win.

She looked back at me, just once, the wind teasing strands of her dark hair, ruffling her white dress. I still wanted to caress her just like the wind did, but I was young, and proud. And at last she ran.

I never saw her again.

Hours passed and I returned home to – well, just to sit around and be angry, really. To think over all of those furious words we'd exchanged until they drove me mad. I thought, and I paced, and I fumed until the sky went dark and the first knowing stars pricked bright holes in heaven's shroud. With night fall came sadness and longing. I wanted her back; I wanted to talk to her, to apologise for the things I had said. Because I had gone for the jugular this time, and I had hurt her. Truth be told, I'd never seen such pain in her eyes before.

She didn't come back that night, nor the next day. I forgot all my foolish anger and waited, growing ever more desperate, knocking at her home, but with no joy. If she was in, she didn't answer. I tried to talk to her friends but they refused to speak to me. The memory of her standing in that field haunted me. Days turned to weeks, weeks to months. I tried to find any trace of her in the surrounding towns. And one day her door was answered by an unfamiliar woman, who told me her family had only just moved in.

A whole year later and it was though she had never existed. I walked around like a man out of a different world; the only one who seemed to remember her - to care about her. The world continued to spin but I didn't feel it. Through the passing seasons I waited for her, frozen in mind but not in body. The years fell around me like autumn leaves.

I still remember her, and come to this field every year to remember her. In my head she's still young; in my heart she still produces that same ache; that same regret. I'd cross that field now to seek her out but the shackles of age have pinned me down.

The sun's bright disc hangs low in the sky. The smell of heather is soft, fragrant, carries me back through the years.

At my side, a voice alerts me. “A letter for you, sir.”

I thank the courier and take the note. For a moment I hold it in my hands, expecting it to be from some family or friend, still convinced they can pull me into the modern world. But this time the handwriting is different; an elegant script that jolts my heart. With trembling fingers, I peel it open. Inside, a letter; and wrapped in this, a photo. An old woman looks up at me with dark eyes – I take in her loose bun, her wrinkled, liver-spotted skin, her familiar smile. A tear lands on her image. I wipe my face and choke back a sob. Taking a deep breath, I unfold the letter, wipe my eyes and read the first line.

“Dear N_____,
It's been a long time...”

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