The man kept mostly to himself,
reticent in his nature
He went to work daily,
his argent-handled briefcase by his side every day
and every day he would find himself passing a statue

This statue was sublime in creation,
it was a woman
draped in a cloak
with a hood that shadowed her face
and ringlet curls that originated from under her cloak
Her eyes were eternally closed

They gave her a pensive, wistful expression

Beguiling

He became enchanted
By serendipitous chance
That this statue was the one that he would pass every day
And he did
He stopped and looked upon her every day,
charmed by the statue
He returned without fail even on his days off
for three years
One could say that he loved the statue
maybe even more than he had ever loved anything
or anyone

One late evening he realized that he had forgotten his argent-handled briefcase at the office
and so he passed the statue for the third time that day
and then for the fourth on his way home
He felt faint
and so he laid down on the park bench beside her
The air was becoming less gelid as winter turned to spring
No one was around
He had never been alone here before
He put his feet an inch from her cloak
and his head at the opposite end of the bench, looking upon her
from a side wherein he could not see her face past the draping fabric of her hooded cloak
He felt as though he was in a state of simple reverie
as he closed his eyes to regain his strength she became enchanted

Her voice was one crafted for melodic lullabies
"why do you come to see me every day?"
His eyes opened and she was still a statue,
the same as she ever was
He stood up and walked in front of her
thinking that perhaps he had imagined the voice
Her eyes were open,

her expression as dulcet as her voice

He narrowed his eyes in suspicion
She did not move or say anything more
but her eyes sparkled with enchantment
He raised his hand to her face,
caressing her cheek

He shut his eyes
feeling the stone
as it began to move under his palm

He dared not open his eyes
worried that she would return to her previous position
He could feel her face smiling beneath his one hand
He felt stone fingers slipping between his own fingers on the other

"How come you have never spoken before?"
the man asked her,
his expression surprisingly serene under the circumstances

"I had never before tried to,
I was unaware that I had the ability."
He lifted his lids slightly, trying to sneak a glance at the angelic composition of her face

He realized that she could not move when he peered at her
she was a statue, not a person
She need not breathe
and she need not feel
and she was not made to love a man
but she was gifted all the same
and she did love him
as he loved her
"Your name?" he asked, resolving to keep his eyes closed for as long as the daydream allowed
She shook her head,
"I have never checked, although I am certain that it must be somewhere,
perhaps on the plinth below me?"
She lifted her other hand to his face,
reflecting his previous motion
"Would you please check for me?"
He knelt to her base stone and his eyes opened once again
Untitled was all it said, not even the artists name followed.
He repeated the word to her.
when he stood back up to look at her she had returned to her original pose
and she was a statue once more.
The rain cascaded from the clouds above them.

She never spoke to the man again
but his loyalty never faded or waned
every day
without fail
he returned
until he became an old and lonely man
having only loved this statue for his entire life

And every day the rain became more acidic, she became more worn
less and less detailed and defined
There was no more distinction between her features
with the exception of her lips, which seemed to never decrease in elegance
He wanted to speak to her one final time
knowing that she may never speak again
and he may not live much longer
and so he made his final return in the middle of the night
argent-handled briefcase in hand
just like the times before
so that he may have no regrets when it came time for his passing
He then laid his eyes upon her grisly appearance
"I love you" he said
closing his eyes and kissing her lips,
"And I love you" she replied.