The Willow Bridge
I want a bridge to her, said the girl who is painting under the willow tree
What do you mean?
The pale woman who used to sit where I sit. I guess it was her last sundown. She never came back.
That is a weird place to go, Dalmin thought. But that IS elsewhere and offworld, so he guessed the bridge can take her there.
He met her at a county fair not so many days ago, that girl without fear. Dalmin was so scared of her when she gave her handkerchief to him, saying that he is too disgusting to be around with that wet and seemingly damp nose. He didn’t know her before, but she seems to know what he got, and that is more reason he’s so afraid of her.
She has been around since that day. As if Dalmin cannot escape from her even if he wants to — not that he actually wanted to. She is as pretty as a doll, with an attitude of a queen. Her long, brown, wavy hair matches her eyes and cream colored skin, and the way she walk and talk tells the world that she is a strong willed girl. When Dalmin asked her ‘aren’t you afraid that I might get angry, the first time you gave me that handkerchief?’, she said that fear is an assessment of danger. She sense no danger in him — As she shouldn’t have.
They talked a lot, Dalmin and her. With the absence of romantic thought in both of their minds. She is more interesting to him as a big sister with long age difference (despite her definite youth), or a young mother who worked as professor somewhere in a distinguished college. She is not though, when he asked, and he will never knew what she does. On the other hand, She can guess that Dalmin is an attorney within the first 10 seconds of their third conversation.
And just recently, she texted him to go to the biggest willow on the most beautiful park. He knows where it is, what he couldn’t understand is how did she texted him, as he is quite sure that she doesn’t have anything electronic.
Who is she?
I don’t know.
Why do yo want to go to her?
Why do you need to?
She hold great importance to someone who held great importance to me.
What a complexity.
Dalmin was about to put out his bridge, but he just need to know one more thing.
But why now?
What about now?
You could have asked me, or forced me, to lend the bridge even from the start.
You were afraid?… The girl who knows no fear were afraid?
Of… The bridge?
It could have let me farther from her instead of closer.
So… Of her.
In the very core, yes.
Dalmin then lend her the bridge. She put her hand in his pocket, and pulled out a ladder. He is confused, but he is a smart guy. His suspicion of the bridge as a more figurative term is right. It could have been a plane or a hola hoop for all he knew, and that little Imp would have still call it a bridge.
Then she left, going up to a ladder with no more than 19 steps. And as she reached the 20th, she is no longer here. At least not the ‘here’ that Dalmin can see with his naked eyes. So he put back the bridge back in his pocket, and going to put it out again exactly 3 days from now, on the second road from her house, right below the second biggest tree of that street.
And that is what he did.
And that is where she came back.
So, who is she? What’s her name?
I don’t know.
But you did found her, right?
Yes I did, otherwise we would have to start doubting those Imps don’t we?
But you still don’t know her name.
But I know her, I went to her, that’s what I asked to go, that’s where the bridge took me. And I don’t need her name. Well, nobody actually needs anybody’s name. What they need is to understand.
And you did?
And I did.
And so she left, just like that. Without saying much to Dalmin, without taking back her handkerchief. Surprisingly even to himself, Dalmin knew that this is going to happen. So all he did was putting the now black and tall bridge back to his pocket, and wiping his nose with her handkerchief. One that is now written with words ‘Thank you!’