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Photographs and I Love You's
The night is clear in my mind, like a photograph, frayed and yellowed with age. I replay the events in my mind over and over from time to time. Within the moment, everything became right. I am suddenly transported to that cool spring night.
The breeze blew gently on the water, creating soft waves that shimmered from the moonlight. I moved past the lake front and wandered towards the forest. Lush green, tall trees towered above me, while small, budding flowers surrounded below my feet as I walked. I wandered deeper into the grove while I waited for the curly-headed boy. I finally reached deeper into the forest, finding our tree wrapped in a silk-like ribbon. My fingers felt the rough bark of the tree and traced over all the grooves. I soon found the ornate carving I had been searching for. Engraved deep into the heart of the tree was our initials inscribed in a heart with wings, with his Swiss army pocket knife four years ago.
The sweet, floral scents of the forest smelt divine, yet not as much as his letterman jacket, that I was wearing and smelled of him. I was so lost in the nature around me, I forgot that the love of my life was supposed to meet me at this very spot. I squatted down and faced our tree. I observed the flowers that surrounded it. I looked at the moss that coiled up the tree which held so much life within it.
“You look beautiful in the moonlight, Luna,” whispered the deep voice that belonged to my beloved.
“You came!” I exclaimed, as I turned around and wrapped Hayden into a warm embrace.
His soft face glimmered in the moonlight as he spoke.
“Always,” he whispered, his voice as soft as silk. He held me securely in his arms and kissed the top of my head. He swayed me back and forth.
Hand in hand, we strolled across the serene land, heading back towards the lake as we chatted away. As we reached the lake, we sat down and looked across it, viewing the expanse of endless trees. The rows of green reflected across the water and we were the only two out there. We were the only two who got to marvel at the beauty of this time at night. This precise moment wouldn’t come again and wouldn’t be recreated.
“It’s nice being here so late. It lets you truly enjoy the beautiful view and peace without the presence of people,” he voiced both our thoughts aloud.
“Mhm...” I hummed and leaned on his shoulder.
I saw a flash of light and heard the click of the shutter from the small Polaroid camera he carried everywhere.
“You’re wearing the jacket I gave you,” he said in a hushed voice.
“And you’re wearing the shirt I got you,” I replied.
The way he smiled lopsidedly in the photo made me beam more myself. I snuggled into his arms and soft fabric of the shirt. It meant a lot to even be in his presence, and it meant more that he was wearing the gift I got him.
“Photos really capture the most perfect moments forever,” his voice trailed off.
“And that’s just how long I want to spend with you.” I whispered to him.
Yes, we were young and may have been naive and yes, we didn’t have life all figured out, but I wasn’t scared to confess my true feelings. Hayden had captured my heart at this very spot long ago, and he was still the keeper of it now. As I rested on him with our fingers interlocked, I could feel as his heart began to race, and his palms began to tighten around mine. I looked up into his emerald green eyes with flecks of dark green to try and gage his reaction. Moments parted before the words that went unspoken were finally said aloud.
“I love you,” he finally said as he broke the silence that lulled the lakeside.
I captured his lips in a gentle kiss before I gave a reply to his statement. “And I’m in love with you, Hayden Parker.”