Elisesofia Petlykov stopped to splash cool water on her face, flush from running, streaked with mud, scratched from brambles. She was three days of running, hiking and hiding, into the forest. She paused to listen for a minute, hearing only the calls and scuffling of the critters in the forest. Stepping into the cool water she waded into a small pool, about waist deep on her small frame. Her dark hair hung in a tight braid over her shoulder, and she slowly untwisted it, laying back to rinse it in the calm, clear water. This was the first time she had truly stopped in three days.
The message had been simple and clear. “Travel West. Find Kitra. She will help you.” It was thrust into her hand as she was pushed onto a horse, pointed west and told, by one angry, serious Everest, “Run, child, RUN!” Scribbled on a scrap of paper that was likely older than she was, torn from some ancient map, with the edge of a vast forest shown only in a hint of green along one of the torn edges.
She had been in the forest for three days now, setting out each morning, away from the sun, and ending each day by following it. At night she climbed high into the canopy, listening for those who hunted her and waiting for the first glimpse of light.
Kitra. She knew Kitra as Everest’s mother, who had helped her, and her parents long ago. But Everest was an old, old man now, surely Kitra was no longer alive? Perhaps the name was passed down? Or was this a glimpse of the magic she knew the forest held?
The moment arises,
as moments sometimes tend to do,
from a place full of beauty,
rich like chocolate truffles,
fragile as a dragonfly's wing...
into a place of general shabbiness,
comfortable enough for our needs,
a perfectly ordinary place,
late, late into the night.
and takes me by surprise, of all things.
"I love you, you know."
and, almost startled by the revelation I struggle to find words, when I do they spill quietly, jumbled and incoherent --as if stuck together with peanut butter and honey-- from my lips
I tried to say it.
Of course, you already knew, know, my opinion on the subject. The words were screaming in my mind-- I love you too, I always have, I always will -- and all I could manage was a feeble, mumbled, near to silent whisper,
As if this was something I had known for ages, accepted as fact and even, somehow, expected.
Of course, my eyes spoke volumes that night, although I'm not certain the message was properly transmitted. My eyes sang of adoration, trust, and at moments awe in the beauty you could create, the passion you carried.
Nothing every came of it. Words uttered in late night establishments are rarely, if ever, remembered.
But these, these words. I had waited so long to hear them. Part of me was furious that you chose to do so at this place. Most of me was delighted. They were not uttered as some drunken afterthought, not a ploy to lure me back to your bed, not a game. It was simple truth. You did not elaborate. I didn't push the subject. Instead I committed the moment to memory, where I could play it over and over in my head. You took a drink. Turned you head. Looked at me. Smiled for a few seconds. I love you, you know. And without waiting for a reaction of any sort, turned your head away and went back to your drink.
Of course, I sat there for what seemed like eternity, perhaps only one minute, if that. Stumbling.
And that was ok.
Still. I haven't heard it again. I don't expect to. I no longer wonder, but I dream.
Not sure what I like more, so I'll keep both.
The moment arises by surprise, of all things.
"I love you, you know."
startled, I struggle and my words, they. . ..
they spill quietly,
jumbled and incoherent from my lips
Of course, you already knew.
And, just a feeble, mumbled, near to silent whisper,
As if this was long known, accepted, fact--somehow, expected.
My eyes spoke volumes, but the message did not translate.
They sang of adoration, trust, awe.
The beauty you could create, the passion you carried.