A/N: No. This is in no way, shape or form related to the movie "A Walk to Remember," I just thought the name went really well with this story..that being said...Enjoy!
I was walking on a trail in one of the most beautiful gardens I have ever encountered. There were at least 3 ponds, all filled with carp and wild ducks and their ducklings. All paths were covered with multi-colored, smooth gravel. I picked up a handful. They were smooth to the touch, like the small rocks you find close to the shore; eroded over time by the fierce waves of the sea.
Today I had my camera with me, as my intended quest for the day laid on capturing nature in my photographs.
It wasn't an easy mission.
Every route beheld a new gamut of flamboyant flowers, natural lures to the hidden nature, but I always seemed to miss their arrival – birds, bees, or whatever it was that caught my eye – by a few short ticks.
After an hour of no visible progress it started raining, and I turned around to leave.
It was then that I saw them.
A boy and a girl, standing under one of the garden's Shinto shrines, holding their gaze of the lake's waterfalls, leaning much too close to suggest anything less than mutual affection. They looked to be no more than 18 years of age.
The girl was brunette. Her hair parted in a practical up do that left the bottom half of her cut to pend at her shoulders. She was of medium height, lean, and yet still, with traces of toned muscle under her outfit. She had a lovely neck and face, the kind modeling companies look for when hiring, but I was almost positive this was not the case. Her clothes revealed nothing too showy, the way a model would dress. She wore a pair of trouser jeans and a chocolate brown ¾ sleeved sweater with a simple pattern in the front.
The guy was a bit taller, passing her by three inches, at the most. He, too, was well-built. His polo emphasized his perfectly muscular chest. His hair was a rare but beautiful rich auburn.
I was certain: It wasn't dyed.
His eyes were russet, almost golden butterscotch. They made an admirable contrast between her mahogany irises. He too wore trouser jeans, but darker in color and evidently designed for a man.
They made a nice duet, I had to admit.
She turned, aware now of the light shower in the garden, and strolled happily into the rain. She stopped in the middle of the gravel road and angled her head upwards, closing her eyes, towards the sky, her palms and forearms extended inches from her body also turned up. And she stood there, serene, letting the drops caress her skin; a slight, relaxed smile on her face.
He watched her from the archway of the shrine – though I think contemplate would be a more accurate word – one arm supported by a wooden pillar, the other hand in his jean pocket. His head crooked slightly, his eyes intent, never leaving her.
She suddenly rose to her tippy toes in perfect balance and stayed there for a moment, inhaling in deeply the moisture in the air, still keeping her former stance. It was an inhumanly graceful action. She came back down the same way and glanced back at him with an angelic smile, a smile so honest and pure I was sure the heavens would melt in its sight. Then she turned back to her earlier pose, her face still tasting the rain.
He stared at her, even after she turned, incoherent and dazzled by what he had just witnessed.
I'm sure my face held the same expression.
After a moment of pure awestruck on his part, he stepped forward and drifted silently by her side so he ended up facing her.
She now looked at him with gleaming eyes as he stretched out a hand to her, bowing in the slightest. His gesture was genuinely elegant, like the kind a gentleman would present to a lady before a dance, asking for her permission.
She smiled, drifting her hand into his', slowly and lithe, and then inclining her weight forward as she rose onto the balls of her feet, her back slowly arching as her leg ascended off the ground. At the same time he motioned out of his bow, now looking straight into her eyes and grinning, happily at her expression.
Now I understand.
They're ballet dancers.
The pose was so elegantly displayed by these two, it took me a moment to frame my thoughts together, but after I did, it was clear to me this opportunity was too perfect to be wasted. So I started snapping pictures.
They didn't even glance my way. They didn't seem to mind the water droplets, now getting bigger as the clouds concentrated above us, nor did they seem to notice the world still revolving around them, alive and witty. They were too wrapped up in their own tense little bubble of bliss.
A majestic pas de deux unfolded in front of my eyes. Their movements synchronized to perfection, their eyes never leaving each other's, and their faces still beaming with pleasure; at each other's company, I connoted.
I kept shooting, not wanting to miss one moment of their sheer, free implausibility.
Then, almost as subtly as it started, they stopped. Her right leg was back and bent, forming a loop around his waist. He was standing behind her; his hands were on her waist, supporting her. This pose was just a slight variation of their beginning, I noted.
This time, they were not smiling. Their faces scrutinized the other's gaze, serious now, only breaking their connection to swift out of their stances – slowly they did, movements just as balletic.
She didn't look up again. She was staring down at the ground.
He stood, motionless for a second, staring at her dripping hair. He then twined his hand in hers. It was here when she looked up, startled, a little, but not displeased. She searched in his eyes for an answer to an unspoken question.
I could only guess her inquiries.
He reached up to touch her cheek with the back of his palm, their hands still interwound together. She glanced down once more, and another moment flickered by This one charged with the electricity of their tangible exchange. With his free hand, he angled her chin toward him and leaned down – slowly.
She closed her eyes and their lips met, parting slightly, breathing in the scent of each other once and once again.
I don't know what in my right mind I was thinking! I had not planned to see such a private exchange, but my mind and body were at different parallels now, neither responding to the impulses or needs of the other. For the moment, my hands moved on their own free will, and the camera kept snapping.
When they finally parted – to my relief – she blushed, face bright crimson, and hung her head down in embarrassment. He clutched her closer forcing her to bury her face in his soaked shoulder and a low, playful chuckle escaped his expression.
She pushed him back with one hand, lamely, her face still buried, but he only moved his pushed shoulder a fraction of an inch.
He apologized. He looked repentant enough; he hugged her closer and kissed her hair, but I could see his playful laughter was still not yet in total control, even from my distance.
At this, I turned around and started heading back from where I came from, feeling guilty at having seen as much as I did. But hey, at least the pictures will turn out great!
I glanced back one last time through the corner of my eye and saw them walking back into the shelter of the shrine, hand in hand, him leading, apparently finally aware of the fact that they were standing under a pouring storm, totally soaked.
I forced my attention away before the feeling of guilt could start washing through me again, and continued down the gravel path.