I could feel the warm glow on my cheek where the twig had slapped me. I rubbed it. Was I going to get a welt?
Wiping away that unbidden tear – I was sure it was from the pain of the slap not something else – I continued on my way.
“Damn” was right. In fact, it felt too weak for the turmoil surging through my brain.
I pushed another leafless branch out of my way, but was careful this time that it didn’t slip and smack me as the last one had.
I was going to my little private spot on the ridge. “Private”, though it was the worst kept secret in the village.
Perhaps even worse than my love for Anita.
The way she smiled, the way she talked to me, I thought she knew and returned that love.
The little bit of woods wasn’t big, but it was dense, even in its early winter bareness. The cliff on the far side was small, only about 15 feet, but few would climb it. Between the thickets and shear drop, few disturbed me when I hid myself away for quiet reflection.
I had felt that the time was right. I had thought that we were alone.
My cheeks glowed again, this time from embarrassment.
She had giggled, but her giggle was echoed by laughter. Several of her friends came out of the other room. Robert had put his arm around Anita, possessively, and frowned at me.
I finally reached my private place as the sun was sinking below the frosty distant hills, kindling the sky into a red glow.
The sky itself was embarrassed for me…
I sat on a small rock and watched as the last of the light dwindled along with the last of my hope. When it was almost dark, I half wished that the cliff was more than just 15 feet so I could jump off of it ending the pain.
The stars burst forth with their uncaring, harsh light. I shivered, knowing it was almost time to turn back and return home.
Almost, but not yet.
Without warning, a warm presence enveloped me.
I turned, my eyes meeting Anita’s beautiful eyes. They were glowing in the starlight with half tears, but she had a smile.
I smiled in return. I knew her answer. A warm glow grew in my heart. I knew.
We returned to the village from our special, private place, arm in arm, under the beautiful stars glowing in the heavens.
This was written for Sue Vincent’s writephoto challenge. This week we have the lovely image at the top and the key word “Glow“. Enjoy!