I tried to write again. I hope I did well.


Heartstrings

Something was tugging at Caleb's heart strings.

And it was a girl. It was a girl by the name of Beatrix.

Caleb, an introvert though he may be, had this tendency to seek her out – merely to observe the casual, fluid movements that came with her, he'd tell himself. He'd stare at her, take note of the little things that simply made her beautiful, and wait for her to notice him. And almost always, she did. Sometimes he would receive nothing but a glance from her, other times he'd receive a smile, but most often of those times he'd have her staring back for as long as he himself did. It wasn't the length of time that they stared at each other that would make Caleb's heart flutter because the seldom glances she'd give him would often have the same effect as minutes of staring would. No, it wasn't the time, the eyes, or even the smile. It was the ever-present, unresolved question behind them all.

And as usual, he'd have no clue as to what the answer could be. However, even with the mystery still left boggling his mind, he'd turn his attention elsewhere, and maybe watch the clouds.

The park is where he spends most of his time. So on a fine, summer day that wasn't too hot for his tastes, he slowly trudges through the streets, book held in hand, and heads toward the park.

The people that spend their time there were usually the same. Caleb would peer at them from beneath his lashes with his dark eyes. It was his eyes that defined him – eyes that his friends admired, eyes that seem to be able to gaze at something far off in the distance that no one else could see, eyes that held knowledge and a fair bit of wisdom and inevitably, eyes that demanded their fear. For with his eyes, Caleb sees, and understands.

There are fewer people in the park than usual, Caleb notices. He recognizes all of them, and tries to hide his smile as he passes by a boy his age named Ben, who entertains his girlfriend Magenta, with a few cards. Magenta laughs and teases Ben that he could do better, while Ben just shrugs and smiles wider than before, a blush staining his cheeks.

He sees how they interact and smiles, though it doesn't escape his notice that Ben's green eyes were unusually puffy and red, and Magenta's laugh was slightly higher in pitch than normal. He carefully notes in the back of his head the way Magenta's hand would tense and shift towards her chest, and the way Ben's movements would seem just a little jerkier, a little more desperate. He thinks that maybe they just got here at the park, laughing to escape from the silence that would have suffocated them.

He reaches his favorite spot by now, and sits under a large mulberry tree near one of the end corners of the park. There was a bench not too far from his tree, and seated there was an old man who he fondly calls 'Johnny'. As Caleb opens his book he subconsciously notes that Johnny was the same as ever, staring at nothing but the vast sky above him. There are hundreds of reasons why a person would gaze at the sky, and Caleb does in order to observe and admire the beauty in it. Somewhere in the back of his head he wonders, not for the first time, if the old man had the same reason as him. And maybe he does. But Caleb also wonders if the way Johnny always clutches a small object that seemed to be silver was related in any way to his reason for staring at the sky. And not for the first time, he wonders, if that object was indeed his wife's ring, and he gazes at the sky to seek her out there – in the vastness of it.

Caleb drops his book on his chest while lying down and mirrored Johnny's actions. It was late afternoon, and the sky was a tantalizing mixture of red, orange, blue and pink. A shade of salmon, perhaps. Wisps of clouds traveled through the sky, slow and lazy, as if seeking to entrance anyone into a deep sleep. His mind travels along with the clouds then, and he marvels at this omnipresent feeling he had – at this omnipresent feeling that the sky gave off. He briefly thinks for a moment that surely, surely Beatrix was looking at the same sky, before disposing of the thought. He thinks it absurd to have his mind wander on such futile thoughts.

He nestles further into the ground beneath him, and feels the soft but sharp blades of grass gently graze his nape. He closes his eyes and faintly smells the distinct scent of nature, the musky scent of soil and grass mixed in with a bit of the tiny number of dew drops left after yesterday's drizzle. The wind shifts, and he then detects the delicate aroma of lavender and vanilla. Without opening his eyes, he whispers her name.

Beatrix.

Ah, you know who I am. She says.

He doesn't say anything for a moment, just smiles, as he lets her voice caress his ears. It was sweet and light, pure he'd call it, with a hint of sadness that should not be there. No, not who you are. Just your name.

She laughs then, soft and carefree, and he plays with the thought of being a clown. I guess so.

Why are you here? Slowly he opens his eyes, and looks at her curiously. As soon as he asks the question he almost regrets it, seeing the nervous and embarrassed look upon her face, if not for the pleasure of a bit of pink tainting her cheeks.

Does it – does my presence bother you?

No. He smiles again, he himself embarrassed. I rather enjoy it. He looks at her at that moment and takes in her appearance. He carefully stores in his head how her light, chestnut brown hair reached below her chest and played with the wind, how each strand looked of silk and soft to touch, how the sun glinted off her creamy white skin, how the sun glinted even more brightly off her hand. He committed to memory how dark a blue her eyes were, bordering on violet, how a light blush stained her face, how such a small smile could light up her whole countenance.

Thank you. She whispers. I haven't heard that in quite a while. He gazes at her for quite a while longer, before shifting his eyes to the sky. He briefly wonders what her reasons for staring at the sky were, then relishes the moment of being so close to her, and seeing that unresolved question flutter in her eyes. He swipes his hand at a passing cloud, inwardly wishing that he could wipe away her sorrow right now just like that.

I – I wish to stay here for a while. Beside you, even for just a little while. She smiles at him once again and then rests her head on her knees, between her arms.

He grasps a few thin strands of her hair between his fingers and gently places it behind her ear. He wonders then what stops him, what hinders him from trying to charm her – even though, being an introvert, he does not actually know how – when she is already so close, when it is clear to him that his heart aches at the sight of her.

Slowly, her head turns, and he sees how her eyes are just a little shade darker than before. And it was one of those moments again, where they just stare at each other, and for all that Caleb is, he couldn't look away. Not this time. Not until she does.

Then she smiles that soft, warm smile unique only to her, and Caleb felt that even for just a brief instant, he could indulge himself in that sense of peace for as long as he lived.

I want you to be my friend. He hears. And inside, his heart breaks.

It floods his mind then - all his observations of her. And the unresolved question suddenly does not seemed unanswered. Along with her hair and her eyes and her voice and just her entire presence and character he sees and he understands. Gripping his book he burns into his memories of her this particular day – how her light, chestnut brown hair reached below her chest and played with the wind, how each strand looked of silk and soft to touch, how the sun glinted off her creamy white skin, how the sun glinted even more brightly off her hand, how dark a blue her eyes were, bordering on violet, how a light blush stained her face and how such a small smile could light up her whole countenance, and his.

But he even more deeply etches how her eyes always seemed to be a little too bright than anyone else's, how deeply she breathes every time, how her eyes always seemed to glance far beyond what anyone could see, how the sun glinted even more brightly off her hand because of a silver ring, and how her muscles were always slightly tense, as if – as if she was waiting.

He understands her then, and he feels that he has fallen for her even more, despite himself. He knows now what the question she always carries with her is, knows that she knew the answer all along, knows that she knew far too much for a girl her age.

And despite that, she insisted on waiting.

So he quietly wishes again that her deep blue eyes were more like the sky with clouds, because the clouds travel and pass on, slow though they might. But within her eyes is a deeper blue, and a sorrow that does not travel and pass on, but stays.

I will be. He whispers fiercely. For as long as you want.

Because something was also tugging at her heartstrings.

And it was a boy.

But it was definitely not Caleb.

----333 END 333-------

A little disappointed with how it turned out. But it's okay, I hope. You can tell me what you think, please. Advice, anything. I'll love you and give you cookies! Leave a review!