The bed piercingly creaks beneath me as I ease into a comfortable position. I gingerly rest my head on my new pillow. It reeks of memory foam synthetic nonsense and as a result, I crinkle my nose. Apparently, this pillow was designed to help induce sleep. Whoever bought it for me should ask for a refund because it is 3 am and frankly, it isn’t working. Finally, I close my eyes and wait for my pills to assist me. I wait and wait, and ever so slowly I feel my mind beginning to unwind. The pain subsides and my thoughts begin to unravel as I begin to drift into yet another dreamless slumber. But as my consciousness dwindles, I can feel myself begin to smile. I smiled…because I thought of you.
I awake to silence. I always do. Sunlight streams in my bedroom through the gap in the thin, cotton curtains. Gently, I ease my legs to the side of my bed and stretch them out. Sliding my blue slippers on, I shuffle into the kitchen to begin my day. The color yellow pervades my vision and I squint at the intensity. I never cared much for the color yellow. Although the only exception would be daisies. I adore them and it’s your fault.
I sit down at the table and I wait for my coffee to brew. The sputtering of the platinum coffee machine echoes through the hushed room. I release an impatient sigh. Time passes slowly. The ticking of the wall clock agitates mocks me. Life passes slowly. Days blur together, making their distinction obscure. Days always appear to repeat themselves. One day leads into the next, yet seems like an exact copy of the previous.
Humming to myself, I try to make the time pass. My restless gaze shifts over various household items: old newspapers that I probably should recycle, books that I’ve read countless times, and multiple medications all clutter my granite counters. Pictures cling to the lemon walls and waves of nostalgia crush me. No matter where I look, your face haunts me. However, I can feel myself smiling at the memory held in the rusty, bronze frame.
You led the way; I scampered behind you. Fear must have been evident on my face because you slowed your pace to match my own and you entwined our fingers. My anxiety vanished; just your mere presence seemed to extinguish any uneasiness I felt. That was one of the things I loved most about you. Naturally, I was a withdrawn girl, but around you I felt so at home, so comfortable.
With that stress lifted off my shoulders, I was able to appreciate what you had attempted to show me. On both sides, I was surrounded by lush tall grass and every now and then I would feel the wisps brush against my tanned calves. Branches and twigs crackle melodiously beneath our mud splattered hiking boots as we follow the winding dirt path. Nature and I never got along well. I despised insects, bees mostly, and pollen tended to make me sneeze. However, I, being the rational woman that I am, allowed you to state your argument, which then led to this little adventure.
We finally reached the top of the hill. In my 25 years of life, I had never seen a more placid scene. Acres and acres of vibrant, lush land extended as far as I could see. Wildlife roamed free, never ceasing their frolicking. The sun warmed my already flushed cheeks as I gazed at the cloudless blue sky. Seeing how beautiful nature could be made me feel like I was at peace. I turned to you so that I could share my newfound feelings, but you were preoccupied. As always, you were fiddling with your camera and tripod. I know I should not have minded, considering you are a photographer, but I couldn’t help but feel slightly agitated. You brought me to this beautiful place, yet you won’t spend any time with me? I planted myself on the base of a tree and rested in its shade. You began to make conversation as you set up the tripod.
“What do you think so far?” you asked.
Once again I observed the stunning sight. “It’s amazing.”
You looked up to grin at me but began working again. “I knew that you’d love it.”
Although slightly upset, I couldn’t hide my smile. “That’s a load of bull. You know I usually don’t take to nature.”
Chuckling, you replied, “But I knew that you’d come if I asked you.”
You knew too well that I would do anything for you. But I guess that’s how love is. I could only hope that the shade of the tree was enough to hide my crimson face. You dropped the topic and I sat in silence.
“I came here with you like you wanted. But what’s so important about this place?”
You winked at me. “I’ll show you.”
Internally, I moaned; I assumed that you wanted to take candid shots of me in your photographs again. You surprised me, however, when you took a seat beside me. Reaching into your pocket, you pulled out a small, black box. I eyed it warily as you placed it into my hands. As a photographer, you never made much money and I was worried that you had spent money needlessly on me.
“Open it,” you murmured. Your hazel eyes bore into my own and I couldn’t help but obey.
Inside the velvet box sat a ring. A small cushion cut diamond ring glimmered at my puzzled face. I looked at you. There were two clicks simultaneously. The first click was of your camera, saving this moment for eternity. The second click was my revelation. You brought me to this wonderful place to express your love for me, not your love for photography. Slowly, as if to make sure this was truly happening, I slid the ring onto my smooth finger. It fit perfectly, just like us.