So this is my first Light and Shade challenge, brought to you by two very enterprising Trifectans, The basic idea is to take the picture and quote provided, and do an entry in under 500 words. The prompts are included below. Here goes!
A dream has power to poison sleep
– Mutability, Percy Bysshe Shelley
I paused and turned my head surreptitiously over my shoulder to check whether anyone was following me. Satisfied, I let out my breath before rushing towards the edge of the woods, just behind the outhouse.
He was waiting for me, forehead wrinkled just between his eyebrows, sweat pooling in the little crevice just above his goatee – just as I remembered him. I rushed into his arms. Smiling, he led me over to the old wooden picnic bench.
“How’s Amsterdam?” Gary asked as soon as I’d sat down, his smile touching his eyes. “It’s been so long; I’ve missed you.”
“Amsterdam’s great,” I enthused. “Work’s picking up too. ‘Soon as I put enough by, I booked tickets for home. It feels like forever since I’ve seen my parents and my little sister. And you. How’ve you been?”
“Eh, same as always,” he replied nonchalantly. “How long are you home? No one told me you were coming.”
I grinned despite myself. “I kinda wanted it to be a surprise.”
“Well it worked,” he grinned back. “Hey, listen, I just…,” Gary began. I looked up at him and saw his anxious expression before he continued, “I just wanted to know if you and me….if we’re still…you know…” his voice trailed off, unsure.
“Of course!” I exclaimed. “Why would you -”
“You’re still hiding it from your dad and all – I mean, I can appreciate how hard this is for you, but, it’s been awhile. I need to know we’re on the same page.”
“We are,” I said resolutely. “Tomorrow. I’ll talk to him tomorrow. Him and my mom too.”
“Baby, that’s so great to hear. I was afraid…,” he stopped midsentence, his face solemn. Kneeling down, he took my hands in his and said, “Baby, I love you so much. More than anyone in the world. I want to love you all my life,” he paused, opening a little velvet box. My heart was a million butterflies. “Alexander Murphy, will you marry me?”
My heart leapt into my throat full-force. I’d face my family later. I loved him. “Yes,” I whispered. “Yes, I will.” My eyes welled up.
“No, baby, don’t cry, we’re together now,” he started, but before he could go any further, my lips were on his, and we were kissing passionately, endlessly. And then I heard the gunshot.
I could feel Gary’s hands loosening their hold on mine, yet I couldn’t understand, wouldn’t understand. I spun, stumbling, as if in slow motion and saw my father holding his rifle, eyes filled with something I couldn’t fathom. Minutes later, I felt my father’s fingers prising apart my own and leading me back inside. Half-walking, half-stumbling behind him, I slid a little gold band onto my ring finger.
Gasping for breath, I woke up to find myself tangled in sheets, tears streaming from my eyes, the silhouette of a kiss imprinted behind my eyelids.
“Hello, this is Alexander Murphy. Yes. I would like to cancel my flight tickets. Flight number…”