I remember the girl who is now standing in front of me in a beautiful white, ruffled dress. Her glistening dark hair is pushed back into a sleek ponytail, safely secured with a black hair-tie with pearls on it. She is radiant. You can tell that she is happy to be here as she closes her eyes and takes a deep breath in an effort to savor each fleeting moment.
When she opens her eyes, I catch a glimpse of a single teardrop welling up in the corner of her eye. It runs down her face as if in a hurry and vanishes, leaving no trace behind.
I try to remember the first time I saw her.
Fifteen years ago, she and this scrawny, little boy used to visit me all the time. She’s the one who carved this perfectly imperfect heart on my body with the initials A and M inside. It exudes so much love that I have been calling it my beauty mark ever since. If my memory serves me well — which lets face it, has been failing me quite frequently now that I’m pushing 200 — her name was Anna. But the M… I just can’t seem to remember.
A handsome man in a nice suit spots her across the park and walks towards her. This must be M. Odd… He seems different from what I remember. Puberty tends to do that to humans — transforms them completely until they are barely recognizable as adults.
He finally reaches her and holds her hands.
“I know that this wasn’t what you planned and that you would rather be here with -” he starts but she cuts him off.
“Matthew would have wanted me to be happy. And you make me happy.”
A faint smile appears on his face. I can see that he wants to believe her with every fiber of his being. In fact, he is desperate to believe her.
“My heart is forever yours,” he says and produces a small, velvet box from his pocket. He then proceeds to open it and promptly falls down on one knee. A diamond ring peeks out from the box, glistening gloriously in the sunlight. “Will you marry me?” he asks.
A few moments pass. She picks up the ring and gently places it on her ring finger. “Yes,” she mutters almost inaudibly.
He gets up to hug her, kisses her on the lips and she reciprocates.
A warm autumn breeze caresses the newly-engaged couple and shakes my leaves as I bear witness to yet another bittersweet moment in life’s natural progression.
This story was a response to The Daily Special — Nov. 22nd for the publication, “Promptly Written” created by Ravyne Hawke.
Thank you for this beautiful prompt Alyse Rowe.