29.6.12 | By: Megan Langham


And I will tell the night,
Whisper, "Lose your sight" 
But I can't move the mountains for you
Mumford & Sons, "Timshel"

“It’s going to rain, you know.”

I peered round the door into the front garden. Dampness drifted gently in the air, settling on the birch leaves and the tops of short grass stalks. It felt more likely to have rained already.

“No, I don’t think it will. At any rate, I shall be back before the weather has had time to make up its mind. You really don’t want me to go, do you?”

“I’d come with you if I thought it would do any good.”

I stole a glance at him. Though his eyes were laughing, something sad and secret had crept in at the corners, like a wisp of grey cloud in the blue of a midsummer sky.

“Well,” I said, putting on my gloves. “At least you’ve learned to pick your battles.” A loose burgundy thread dangled helplessly from my right glove’s wrist; I tugged at it, heedless of disaster. Though my back was to him, I could feel his gaze on me.

“Is that what you’re after, then, love? Crushing my spirit, wounding my soul? God, you’re a heartless girl.”

“Don’t swear,” I said absently, though I didn’t care much whether he did; to be fair, I would have liked to swear a good deal myself just then. Maybe I would do, once we were apart.

“May I at least walk you down to the station?”

I had never seen such a stubborn thread.

“Oh, do whatever you like. It isn’t as if I could stop you.”

His eyes crinkled, merrily, mischievously. “You’ve got a firmer hold on me than you’d like to believe, cariad. Hand me my cap, will you?” He shrugged on his jacket (ghost-green, like my eyes) and took his hat from my hand with a smile. "How do I look?"

You look like a golden glowing sun-star, like a sweet steel flower, like a thing too oddly lovely to have sprung from my mind.

I slipped my arm through his. "You'll do."

For a few moments we walked together in silence. Through my haze of not caring I was acutely aware of the gravel crunching beneath our unified feet, of the chickadee thrilling with song in the hedges beside us, of the gentle yet steady pressure of his hand on my wrist like a tourniquet. 

"You can say it, you know."

I glanced up at him, startled. "Say what?"

"What you're really thinking. What you've hidden away in the dark corners of your mind like a deformed child, like a beautiful monster. You can let it out and let it breathe, whenever we're alone together."

"It's kind of you to say that." I drew a deep unsteady breath. "But I think I am already more revealing than I ought to be for comfort."

"Perhaps, but is comfort really what you want?" He took one look at my face and laughed, merry as the hedge-bird. "Dear heart, I'm not going to lecture you. Not here, not now. Besides, I'd be frightful at it. I only want you to think about what you love the most, and then perhaps to wonder whether your treasures will be worth your loving, in the end. That's all."

"Comfort is a treasure," I said, musing; and then-- "You want me to be brave, don't you. You're trying to turn me from a rabbit to a lion."

"I never said that, did I?" He stopped walking, and his merriment retreated to the corners of his eyes. "You see, I am not brave. I have no answers to give, my love; I can't help you. I can only love you, which is all that any man or woman can do for another. And sometimes I can swear at you, but that is only when I know you won't give me better than I send."

"Oh, come on," I said, laughing. "We'll never get to the station in time if we keep stopping to banter."

He brushed a raindrop from his nose and grimaced. "As you wish, always. And I won't say I told you so."

"I would have forgotten my own hat, of course." 

But I was secretly glad for the rain.

8 missives:

Joy said...

Beautiful! Megan, this really great... I mean I just love how you captured the emotions and feelings of the moment and those two characters' relationship so skillfully. Is this part of one of your works in progress?

Jenny Freitag said...

("Howl's quite heartless, you know.")

It is most uncanny how alike we are sometimes, Megan. I kept losing myself in this piece and kept having to step back out and remember that it wasn't me. As for the piece itself, it is short, but rich and sharp and sweet - like a last shaft of sunlight after a long evening of rain.

Anonymous said...

I've got that thoughtful, musing, I-feel-like-dropping-everything-and-writing-all-day sort feeling that one gets only after reading a truly beautiful bit of heartwriting. Though this piece was short, it spoke volumes; sometimes when there is less said, there can be much more felt. Megan, this is a beautiful piece of writing, flowing with emotion, soft as a summer breeze. Poignant, touching, descriptive. There were times when your characters mirrored thoughts stored up in my own heart and silly ol' bear brain, and the familiarity thrilled and terrified me. This piece left me inspired.

You're fantastic, Megan. I've always said it and I'll say it again. And I'll say it till the day I die.

Keaghan said...

That was beautiful, Megan, in every sense of the word. The images were so clearly drawn and the characters seemed as if they were breathing within the words, even though the piece was short.

The silences and hesitations of the characters told more about them than their speech.

I would love to know more about this couple.


Una Mariah said...

Are all of Abney Park's songs okay to watch/listen to? I really like your blog, just found it today!!!

Lilly said...

I don't know if bears mentioning, it's likely spammy in light for the fact that it has nothing to do with the beautiful post above, but I miss you.

Anonymous said...

Losing a thing that you need most or losing someone you dearly love is not that easy to let go. There is always a need for things to weigh and consider before you decide which one is the best one for you. However, there is always a lesson for every lost has its purpose.

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Helen Keyes said...

I love the poem on the top lines. Although I don't understand the meaning inside, they are nice words.


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