The Girl by the Lake

Hey friends! A totally different blog post today. I wrote this short piece a few years back and have been so hesitant to share it with the world. For whatever reason, at 9pm on a random Monday night I decided it was time. Enjoy this short piece of fiction and be on the lookout for more regular blog posts soon!

 

The Girl by the Lake

She looked out at the setting sun, watching its reflection distort in the ripples of the lake. A single tear fell and trailed down her nose as she looked down, watching her skirt blow in the breeze. A piece of hair blew into her face and she tucked it behind her ear while discreetly wiping away her tear. Her arms went back to being folded across her chest, as if squeezing herself tighter would somehow keep things from falling apart. Her breathing was shallow, and her heart hurt. She closed her eyes and bit her lip, feeling tears well and a jerk in her chest, but she did her best to take a shaky deep breath and keep from bursting into sobs.

She heard him shifting on the gravel behind her. She didn’t know if she hated him or not yet. All she knew was complete devastation. She stood looking down at her shoes on the sandy gravel of the lakeshore, biting her lip and feeling him just a few feet behind her. Why is he still here?

What more could he want from me? She didn’t want to turn around and see him, hear his voice, or ever think of his name again; and in the same moment felt the overwhelming urge to run to him, wrap her arms around his neck and let her sobs loose. She wanted to slap him in the face and walk away, yet craved his hands around her waist while she cried into his shoulder.

His hand reached out and touched her lightly on the shoulder. Eyes now full of tears, she whipped around suddenly, throwing his hand off of her. “What?!” she sob-screamed. “What more could you possibly say to me?” He was at a loss. He never meant to hurt her. But wasn’t a promise a promise? He had promised himself to another, long before he had ever laid eyes on the girl by the lake. Was that really all that kept him from her now? He was torn. Who was he as a man? He had taken time out to dedicate himself to the word of the Lord, and it was during that time that he had promised the other, that when his dedication was over, they could be together. She took it as God’s will, and agreed. But before things fell into place, he had met the girl by the lake. The girl that stood before him now. The girl that made him laugh like he never had. The girl that made him question it all. They had shared experiences together that were thought of as dirty and sinful in his previous life, but he enjoyed them all the same. He stopped short when that thought entered his mind. His previous life. Had he really changed all that much since he met the girl by the lake? They had loved together, laughed together, and sinned together. She scared him, and he loved her for it.

Goosebumps raised on her arms, and the spot where he had touched her shoulder felt like an icy burn. She was shaking, standing there before him, completely vulnerable. All she wanted was him. She didn’t understand why he didn’t see the wonderfulness in their long days and even longer nights together. Why his faith didn’t allow him to full enjoy how magnificent it was when two people become one. Why he was leaving her for someone else. His words cut like ice, “We should stop seeing each other.” She felt like a dirty little secret that he didn’t have room for in his life full of church groups and keeping up appearances. Everything had seemed fine before. He had pursued her, for God’s sake. But suddenly something must have snapped, and brought him to his Catholic senses. Something that was said in church, something that the other girl did, or simply a period of reflection where he realized he had been caught up in lust. Something had happened, something she would never find out. Nothing would ever be the same.

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