Back to the Pond (Flash Fiction)

There is a place I’d like to go, to return to. It’s a small pond hidden away in a meadow that you find if you walk through a long stretch of trees. The trees are pine and the smell of their needles carries along with the breeze, down across the meadow, to that pond.

The banks are muddy and overgrown. Normally that would make a pond less enjoyable for visiting in the summer, but some industrious fellow took it upon himself to build a small dock that extends beyond the growth of tall reeds surrounding it. He was even kind enough to build a small ladder as well, should you find yourself in the mood for swimming. I don’t know who would do such a thing. The pond is so small and alone and far from everything, but that dock is there none-the-less, and may the Lord forever bless the man who took the time to build it. His hands truly believed in love.

As it is with all things, despite this place having its own natural beauty, there is nothing majestic about it without the memory of her. She who so playfully dangled her toes in the still water while smiling at my stories, and she who was always so happy to receive a flower to place behind her ear even though picking one only meant a few steps across those wooden planks. The sun would shine but it was her that would make it glow, and it was her that made the sky reflecting in the water seem so beautiful when she’d send out another ripple with her toes.

I yearn for the feel of worn wood pressing against my palms as I lean back and look at you and see the dimples in your cheeks form. I miss the breeze that would carry the soft scent of pines and wildflowers through your hair. I miss seeing you there, you biting your lip and throwing a hesitant look over your shoulder at the sun falling toward the horizon so fast, so fast, for there’s never enough time in the world to share with you. I long for your fingers to tangle with mine in our final moments in those summer afternoons before you would rush home to beat the night. You’d always and only give me one kiss goodbye, and when I begged for more you’d smile and say you’d keep it so I’d have a reason to see you again once more.

I wish for that pond and those moments. I feel the memories stir in my heart, but those days are gone and so are you. Gone, gone. And despite my yearning to soothe this ache, to be there alone and without you would be utter destruction. The smells simply would not be the same, the thousands of flowers there would look so homeless without the chance to be tucked behind your ear, and the ripples that would roll across the still surface of that water would only come from my falling tears.

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