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Fatal Flaw (standard:Creative non-fiction, 1520 words)
Author: CloudBreakChickAdded: Sep 20 2004Views/Reads: 2412/1172Story 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. 

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