|Fatal Flaw (standard:Creative non-fiction, 1520 words)|
|Author: CloudBreakChick||Added: Sep 20 2004||Views/Reads: 2205/1055||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|Sometimes things are too good to be true.|
I can still remember the first time I went hiking there. It was fall—November to be exact--the smell of soon-to-fall snow thick in the air, the wet leaves sticking to my shoes and filling my nostrils with the delicious scent of autumn. The woods were radiant reds, dazzling yellows, glittering oranges, with just a touch of the earthy green left over from summer. I could see deer tracks patterned intricately into the mud of the trail as I stepped over them, careful not to disturb an inch of their complexity. Every once in a while a blue-black butterfly floated by, not caring that winter was on its way and that the air would soon turn cruelly cold, but instead intent on finding the next sweet flower on which to feast. It was my favorite place on earth. I hiked those woods all summer the next year, finding new paths what wound up into the hills, exploring them to my heart's content. I loved the serenity of being surrounded by nature, the peaceful loneliness that I could wrap my being around, and the almost eerie silence that invaded my mind and pushed out my thoughts. I loved watching life around me, moving on at its own pace, unhurried by the busy world. It was here, and only here, that I could truly be alone. There was a stream running through the woods. During rainy season, I suppose it could become more of a river, but it's best when it's a stream. The clean, fresh smell of renewal possessed me here, making me whole and giving me the energy to face another day. I could see the tiny minnows swimming around, trying in vain to trap a waterbug for dinner. The birds, so many birds, peering out from their hiding places in the trees, waited for me to pass so they could have their shot at the minnows. Rocks of all shapes and sizes, green with moss, laid undisturbed as the water slowly meandered over and around, hurrying for nothing. The occasional rustle in the trees, probably some small animal climbing or jumping, was the only thing that broke the solitude I felt. I took him there, many times. My best friend—some would say my first true love—shared this place with me. We were quite a pair, the two of us. I was almost obnoxious with my character, always the life of the party, always the one surrounded by friends and conversation. He was just the opposite. He was quiet, and at first glance one would think he was shy. He always said that he didn't have much to say, and if he did, he would speak. He didn't feel the need to litter the world with meaningless words when there were plenty of people to do that for him. He changed when he was with me, though. We were always laughing, joking, truly enjoying the company of each other. Any silence that threatened to loom over our time together was quickly broken with a rush of words, spilling out of both our mouths as we found a new topic to discuss. That lasted until we walked into those woods. Then we fell silent, each of us content to be alone with our own thoughts. I always went barefoot, my shoes in my hand, loving the feel of the cool, almost cold, water trickling over my feet, the slippery rocks as my steps. He wore shoes, and walked on the bank, chastising me relentlessly for being stupid, what if I fell? I would laugh, tell him that it wouldn't be a big deal, so I'd get a little wet. He would shake his head, his shaggy brown hair falling back into its place, and continue to pick his way cautiously around the overgrown wildflowers and dirty rocks. Every once in a while I would pretend to stumble, looking mischievously at him as he jumped to keep me from falling, and then chuckle to myself at the face he made as he realized that I was poking fun at his overly cautious way of doing things. So the two of us would walk, not talking, just smoking cigarettes stolen from my mother's drawer, sometimes holding hands. Every once in a while I would glance at the rings of smoke as they climbed towards the clouds, wrinkling my nose as the smoke's pungent tang tickled my nostrils. But then I'd feel his hand slip into mine, never sweaty, just cool and soothing. My heart would beat so fast when he held my hand. It was such a gesture of innocence, not meant to be romantic—but somehow, as I look back, it was quite possibly the most romantic thing ever. Two kids, barely sixteen, enjoying the comfortable silence that many pairs never reach. Two kids, content to just be with each other, not talking or laughing or joking around, but just walking and thinking. To this day, I don't know what he thought of, nor do I care. All I know is that my thoughts flowed freely, the evils of teenage life escaped my mind for a few moments, and I could truly experience a taste of Heaven. Click here to read the rest of this story (58 more lines)
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