Note: For translations, see bottom of text. Hopefully I got all my Spanish right. Please forgive me/correct me if I didn't. Thanks! :)

A wind blew by, ruffling the leaves and his shoelaces. His sneakers, below the cuffs of formal black slacks, showed the creases of age, of a youth fleeting that juxtaposed every bit of the rest of his attire. Between the creases rested the dust and dirt from the years of wandering on dirt roads and through uncultivated brush.

The sun was hot and beat down on his white clothed shoulders, sending a pink blush to his cheeks. His dark brown locks fell across his forehead, innocent, passionate poetic prose. He held his Gabriel García Márquez in a slender, tan hand and with the other, fingertips smudged from a schoolday's worth of black ink, reached up and tugged the tie around his neck back and forth, loosening enough to allow him to undo the first two buttons of his starched cotton.

He was early, and so he took his time, slipping through the overgrown vines in the languid strides that he had used for everything else in his life.

That is, everything in his life he had treated languidly, letting all pass by until—until he had met her.

She was the reason he had suddenly taken a breath of the sultry air, the reason he had allowed himself to stop and realize the beauty that enveloped him. She'd come to him like a dream at midnight: light, precious, and always with the threat of ephemerality. He wanted to dream her to the fullest before she faded away.

He stopped when he reached the ivy doorway of their secret sanctuary, pausing to slow his beating heart.

She was already there.

He took a breath, soaking in the beauty of dark brown curls that tumbled down bare shoulders, save for the thin strap of her white dress. She was barefoot, her feet on the pedal of the aged piano under the white-columned gazebo, the gold carvings on the stone peeling away from the years under the hot sun.

A breeze swept through the garden, teasing at her hair and the edges of the dress around her knees, dancing with the white sheets of piano scores scattered around her. She was nature's lover, music's lover, his lover.

Her hands stroked the piano keys, and music drifted towards him—Liszt. A Love Dream. How appropriate.

Her fingers drifted farther up the piano, farther—farther—and suddenly he was kissing her, his lips touching the smoothness of her skin, her shoulder, her collarbone. Gabriel García Márquez eloped, Liszt faded, and he felt her breath turn ragged as her lips caressed his, her musical fingers playing between the curls of his hair and with the knot of his tie…

And it was night again, the silver stars tangoing against a blue velvet backdrop, the lonely moon casting its light through the air thick with the scent of paradisiacal flowers.

He lay next to her on the piano, his body tangled with hers, sticky in the night's heat. It was silent, save for the low intermittent hums of all that was nocturnal and dared to speak in such a fragile moment.

"¿Por qué?" She whispered, her pink lips tickling his cheek.

He stared at the top of the gazebo, blinking as he felt the weight of night slowly overtake him. "No sé. Pero…"

"Pero…" she echoed, raising herself on an elbow, her lips finding his in silky darkness, as though to draw out the words balanced on the tip of his tongue.

"Pero…no quiero que vayas."

She smiled sadly, the tips of delicate fingers tracing his lips, running across his cheek, and wiping away the silver teardrop that shone in the dark. "Entonces, no cierras tus ojos."

"No los cerraré."

His wet eyelashes fluttered against flushed cheeks, everything spoken flying away on the breeze that swept through the garden.

The words twirled with the moonbeams, fluttering the pages of Liszt lying in the grass, and uncovering the forgotten tattered text by Márquez.

He became silent and so did she. His mind was awhirl with blurry reflections and unanswered questions, hopes and fears that seemed so alive in the darkness. He wondered how many lovers had lain here before them, who had known that for this moment, their own ties and smudged fingers wouldn't matter until the magic of their midsummer night disappeared.

For the night… His fingers wrapped around the hand by his side and he brought her to his lips.

He sighed, and the wind echoed it, kissing away the water on his skin. He felt it settle fleetingly in his ear, whispering to him life's answers, ones he would only remember tonight, and forget tomorrow.

No, it wouldn't be gone forever. But she might…

It slowly twirled away, fluttering through the trees, leaving the gazebo and parting, never forever, from the young lovers that lay below it.


"¿Por qué?" "Why?"

"No sé. Pero…" "I don't know. But…"

"Pero…" "But..."

" quiero que vayas." "But…I don't want you to go."

"Entonces, no cierras tus ojos." "Then, don't close your eyes."

"No los cerraré." "I won't close them."