At Dusk (Part Two)
They could not afford anything exquisite, for they had almost nothing. All the beauty they experienced lay purely in shared memories, those enveloped in the process of growing up and the countless sunsets they had watched together.
The one that evening was extraordinary. Rose-tinted clouds seemed to billow out of the sun in thick streams, and the sky was painted a striking pink by intense rays of the dying day. Soft scarlet shades slowly faded to a pale purple that crept in from the corners of the sky. They watched together as the sky darkened to a midnight blue.
He turned to her. “I’m leaving today.”
The terror in her eyes was evident. And he knew there were many insecurities and doubts she harboured. But she bit her lip determinedly and nodded her head. In her gaze he saw trust, raw and complete, and perhaps something more. Something he did not want to admit.
He stayed with her until she fell asleep, softly humming a song of hope and victory. In the dim candlelight, flickering shadows danced across his face, making him look older than the young boy of fourteen he really was. His voice filled the house with a sense of warmth and belonging, comforting and seemingly tangible. She was not awake for long.
Blowing out the flame, he bid the shadows goodbye. Grey smoke curled up in an intriguing pattern and soon disappeared, leaving no trace of him. She slept soundly that night.
(to be continued…)