(Continuation of story that started on June 28th.)
The sunshine made her eyes twinkle and it appeared to him as if it were a pure miracle that they matched her hair so perfectly. It had been three months since the first day by the sea.
His aunt wasn’t one to pry. She had readily shooed him upstairs onto the attic and announced, cheerfully, that she must have his room and to approach her if she ever found herself in need. He stood in shock as she procured a bunch of clothes practically out of thin air and proved herself the warmest soul in all of existence.
It was that morning that he had begun to train her to farm; she had a job, he had help. It was also the first time he had noticed how breathtakingly beautiful she sounded when she laughed and how comically disappointed she had looked when he told her that it wasn’t usual at all for farms in his town to have dogs and watched her astonishingly endearing face light up like a candle in the dark when he told her that they did, in fact, have a fluffy orange cat who owned all of the land on this side of the forest.
The sun was growing chilly and they were done spring cleaning for the day. He had just assured her that she would really have to wait until May for pretty lilacs and couldn’t help but smile at her pout-frown that might have been annoying if it weren’t for the the way her hair stuck out above her right ear when she tied it up or how she dusted her delicate and very slightly toughened hands on her pants; she had downright refused to farm in a skirt. It wasn’t convenient enough.
“It really is a tragedy, isn’t it?” he exclaimed as he let out a clearly exaggerated sigh.
“Oh, but it is! Shakespeare would surely be proud if he had thought of this one!” Her wide-eyed expression had an evident touch of mischief that spilled over and left them with peals of helpless laughter.
“There’s something I want to show you.” he stated when he stopped to catch his breath, “Follow me.”
He led her into the woods, a lovely place indeed, although not so dark or deep as one might expect. The spring had melted the frost. It was a cheerful place. Quiet, alive and cheerful. The grassy path wound around trees and through sunshine and shadow.
About six and a half minutes later, they stopped at a large, flat clearing.
“It’s cold stone.” he declared with a hint of dramatic pride, “The dungeons underneath hold all your fears and sorrows.”
“Pray, what drives you, dark creature, that you persevered to bring to being a masterpiece as this?” she asked, her voice rising and falling as she responded with increasing display of waving her hands about, attempting a pirouette and finally setting herself down on the dark stone platform, giggling.
He doubled up in laughter and shook his head in amused exasperation as he lay down beside where she was sitting.
She looked down at him “Do you-“
“Shhhh. Watch.” he interrupted quietly, pointing upwards to where the clouds painted a picture in the sunset.
She watched their shadowplay, astounded, until the sun slid behind the trees and the breeze grew chilly. He had drifted off to sleep. She gazed down at him in wonder and awe. She had never met someone so gentle or funny or warm-hearted or beautiful or, she smiled tenderly, quite so random or so absolutely crazy.
“I love you, you darned idiot.” she whispered.
“Look who’s talking…” he mumbled in his sleep, with a hint of that bewitching lopsided smile.
She ran her fingers abstractedly over her silver leafed charm bracelet, smiling blissfully as she watched the sky fade. Her shadows could wait.
T. E. Pyrus