A Sunset Fade to Love
I look to Jessica as we sit across from each other. The train is packed and two strangers sit across from both of us. I am unsure what to say, as this is the end of our trip. The semester is over and soon will be saying goodbye.
This was her last semester before moving to her next step. Her next step to getting her masters and I have I one more to go before my bachelors. So, the tension in my heart is very constricting. She could be moving out of state or staying here, she is unsure still.
And me, I don't think school will be something I aim for after. Maybe a job for a short while then start my own thing. But this could be the last moment, she is flying to see her parents and I am flying back home, which is where our school is.
This abroad semester has been amazing. It has been a living fantasy to be beside Jessica for as long as I have been. And looking at her, her nose is deep into her book so there is no chance she'll see...."Oh crap" she just looked up at me.
I dart my eyes down to my feet. She must have seen me looking? My cheeks become a slight flush of red. I wonder what she thought I was doing, eek, total stalker moment on my end, ha, hopefully that's not true.
Man, I make this more awkward than it needs to be. Looking down at my feet I listen to the trains rhythmic tune as it hits the tracks. I sort of lose myself to the rhythm while I think about Jessica. Its been twelve weeks and we have been at each others side almost everyday.
I can't even think of day where we had nothing to say. There were those moments of silence, but they were welcomed. You know, those moments with your best friend where you are sitting in the car and not a single word is said, but you are okay with that.
That was the kind of silence we shared from time to time. But everyday there was laughter, some days more than others. I even had the chance to really get to know her and her, me. We both swapped our life stories through out the weeks.
It was great, it was like learning about a whole new world. Where only a handful of people understood how to navigate through it. And I got to learn about hers, and man, did she have a tough life.
Much tougher than mine, but that I think is what makes her even more special, that, and her beautiful smile. I can't get that smile out of my head. Every time she smiles I get this feeling in my gut. Like butterflies but with a twist of happiness.
It is just so perfect, each smile she makes glistens like a sunset against a calm ocean. Watching her smile, I get lost in fantasy. Lost in the thought of kissing her, of holding her in my arms and telling her how beautiful she is.
How wonderful her presence feels and how she makes me feel like a foolish child around their crush. Oh, and her laugh, don't even get me started. She hates it, but is magic to my ears, it warms up my soul when its cold.
And her little quirks, those just get me. Learning quirks of another is like finding a treasure no one else has found. But a treasure no one wants but you. She does this thing when she is reading, but only when she gets to a part she is really into.
She bites her lower lip and flares her nose. Don't know why, but that is my favorite of all her quirks. I think its the intensity in her look I enjoy. You can really see she has found something she truly enjoys in the moment.
She can get so lost in a book she'll forget where she's at. Oh, there I go again, trailing off on thoughts of Jessica, but damn. How are you supposed to get such perfection out of your head? Well, my shoes are looking the same, I wonder what the outside has going on?
As I go to look outside I give myself the excuse to look at Jessica. My eyes slowly glide up from her shoes to her knees, her legs crossed, up to the book, her hands tightly gripping the pages, and up to the top her head. Since her face is buried I guess the top her head is what I get? Ha, better than nothing, I think as my eyes mover over her.
But just as I am about to look outside, I see the sun is sinking behind the cascading mountains. Now is the time to get her attention. I raise my finger to point to the sunset and jumble up a set of words to attract Jessica.
I can feel my chest ready to release the necessary air to speak. But I fail too, I am too nervous, but why now? Why cannot talk to her now? Probably because she is leaving most likely and the fact that I want to be more than friends makes me extremely nervous. What if she is not into me like that?
What if I tell her I like her, she rejects me and now I am just a fool dreaming of what he was never met have? A fool now stuck across from the beauty that is Jessica, a now pillar of rejection.
Suddenly I am bumped by the stranger next to me. He nudged his shoulder into mine. I look over at him, he looks at me then at Jessica and nods. He looks back at me again, leans in and whispers, "It's now or never my friend."
I look at him with an abrupt moment of confusion. Then I look outside at the sun. Its orange haze is fading quickly. Its golden halo is being swallowed by the horizon ever so sublimely. I can almost taste the colors.
I look back at Jessica, her face still buried, but as I look to her, she slowly presents her eyes over the edge of her book. She sees me, we lock eyes. I become instantly flushed but as I look at her, the falling sun glows upon her face.
A display of an angel sits before me. Painted in the kiss of the sun and who else right now, in this booth on this train is having this exact moment with this exact feeling? Probably nobody and here I am, the luckiest guy ever.
And as quickly as the sun is fading so will this moment if I do nothing. Looking to each other, I turn and point outside to the sun and tell her, "Jessica look, the sun is falling?!" She sits up, places the book in her lap and peers outside.
I can see in the corner of my eye her attention is now drawn to this moment. I then look at her and say, "Come over here, you can see it better." That was a total lie, you can see it just fine from either seat, but I used it as a reason for her to come closer.
She looks at me and smiles gently, the glass reflects our presence like frosted memories. I stand up from my seat and her from hers. We both stand staring out the window, watching the last inches of the sun.
And just before it fades, I blow on the glass and draw a heart. Jessica looks at it, then back at me. She then does the same, but draws a smiley face. We both smile, I then look to her with soft passion and she looks to me with her glistening eyes as the stars start to wake.
But I become frozen, awkwardly frozen, "she's till looking at me and smiling, she got up from her sit when she did't really need to. Say something" I think as I stand frozen like a fool.
Then a voice from behind us speaks, "You gonna say something or let her walk away like that sunset just did?"
We both turn around and there is the same man that nudged me earlier, looking at me with one brow raised with a look of command.
Jessica looks back toward me with an innocently confused look, but I could tell she knew. At this point I am stuck, I can't walk away now. I turn to Jessica and gently grasp her hands with mine. Our eyes as still as stones.
"Jessica, I don't know how to say this, but, I like you, well, more than like, but yeah. I mean, we have spent all these weeks together and never had a dull moment. We make each other laugh, I know you might be moving but. I don't want this chance to fade like the sun does. And if you feel the same, awesome. If not, then we have these twelve weeks to share for a life time."
During that whole speech I could feel my face become one large rose. Every ounce of blood I had rose to my face. You could have cooked a steak on my cheeks, that's how hot they were.
Now I am standing in silence waiting for a response from Jessica as I stare at her like an idiot. At first she says nothing, she turns her head back toward her sit and looks at her book then back at me. Not even a smile lays upon her lips. No real emotion what so ever.
I just keep staring waiting as my once dry hands now sweat with anticipation. Jessica then begins to speak.
The dim train lighting falls upon this moment like soft candle light. Candle light for either a romantic moment or, candle light for the somber death of my heart.
"Well....Ryan, I mean, I did have fun in all....but.....("Oh dear, here comes the pain.") But you never finished that book I recommended and if you can't finish my favorite book I don't think this would work out." A smile paints across Jessica's face.
I smile and give out a quick laugh, "That's not fair, you never told me it was your favorite!"
We both laugh and as we do, a voice speaks out over the intercom, "All passengers please be ready to disembark, we will be arriving at our final destination. Thank you for choosing Waywarks Rails, May you have a safe trip home or where ever you may be headed."
Caught off guard by the intercom we had lost track of each other, but we never let go of each others hands. The train starts to slow and with a my heart racing faster than the train could ever go, I lean in for a kiss. Jessica meets my lips with hers.
And in this moment I feel my heart slow, I feel everything in me become clothed in bliss. I feel ourselves entwine like honey upon the tongue. A combination unmet. Such a vivid explosion of feelings pours out from me.
I can only hope she feels the same, so here starts our journey of tragedy or love.
What has been a time you were to afraid to tell someone you like them or know of someones awkward story of similar situation?
Could we have more than one love or, do we have many tries but only one true love?
A Man's Traveled Heart
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