• Together Again

    He was sitting there, where they always used to meet, his eyes blank as he gazed at the crashing waves below him. A breeze picked up and danced across the soft green grass behind him, but he did not move, not even when it ruffled his dark hair, tickled his cheek. A blank notebook sat in his lap, a pen in his hand, poised to write, but still he stared out at the ocean.

    Close by him was a single, red rose, a piece of black ribbon tied around the stem. It looked out of place in that field of green, like a splash of blood on a snow white field. Completely out of place, yet it belonged.

    A soft noise echoed through the blissful tranquility of that field as the man finally stirred. He brushed his hand across the blank page and suddenly, he wrote.

    It was an accidental meeting, really. I had been upset that day and gone to a place I thought only I knew… The place I am right now. It was a place that overlooked the ocean, whose color reminded so much of your eyes. I’d been running away from those eyes, those eyes that I loved so much… But I knew that those eyes would never look at me the same way I did them…

    I dropped my notebook and bag on the grass, the tears running down my cheeks as I stepped close to the edge, watching the waves crash against the rocks hundreds of feet below me. I closed my eyes tightly, the feeling of unrequited love breaking my already fragile heart.

    He paused, a thoughtful look in his eyes, before he was once again writing…

    And then there was a soft, cool touch on my cheek and my eyes fluttered open to see you standing there. I was confused for a moment, wondering why those eyes I’d been longing to see were so close, but then you smiled and I found it very hard to think of anything...

    “You ran away again, I see,” you said, taking a step back from me.

    It took me a moment to find my voice as I scrambled to get my bearings so you wouldn’t realize I was upset because of you. In the back of my mind, I was wondering how you knew where this place was, but I shook the thought out of my head as you continued to stare. “I-I’m sorry, Mr. Keston,” I stuttered, taking a step away from the edge.

    “Lathan,” you almost whispered as I took yet another step away from you. “Call me Lathan, Caldyn.”

    He knows my name? I thought, feeling the heat burning in my cheeks. And he wants me to call him Lathan? I couldn’t pull my gaze away from your dark, blue eyes, colored like the deepest part of the ocean. I felt as though you were trying to tell me something with that stare, but I couldn’t figure out what. “Lathan,” I repeated and immediately picked up my bag before I turned and ran as you smiled at me once again.

    You, Lathan Keston, were the youngest teacher at my college: twenty six. You taught numerous things, but I never found myself in one of your classes, though you always seemed to find me: Caldyn Telvon, twenty two. You were the one I was in love with, but it was a love I knew could never be returned… At least, that’s what I had thought.

    It was my senior year of college, majoring in English Literature. But I hadn’t felt as if I’d accomplished much. I was scared to leave the school, scared to go out into the real world. In fact, I was just a coward by nature.

    Once again the man paused, but this time it was to return his gaze to the ocean. It was a hard thing to do, to think about his first, and only, love. It was an even harder task to put all the passion, the fear… the sadness in words. Yet, after a mere minute, the man was back to writing…

    I had completely forgotten about my encounter with you as I trudged back to my small apartment. I had rented it the year before and had decided to come back this year as well. I remember being so tired as I walked up those last few steps to my landing, wanting nothing more than to curl up in my bed and sleep.

    Yet what I found at my doorstep made those simple human desires fade instantly. There you were, leaning on my door, that smile on your lips… that smile that made my heart flutter in my chest. I stared at you incomprehensively as I made my way towards my door, unable to fathom the reason why you would be there.

    “Mr.…” I stopped myself, the habit too strong to break so easily. “Lathan, what are you doing here?” I asked, my voice almost too quiet.

    The next few moments, I can’t really recall. I remember vaguely you saying something about how I’d forgotten my notebook at the cliff and you were returning it… Yet the next thing I knew, I found myself wrapped in your arms – inside my apartment – said notebook on the floor, your lips on mine.

    “M-Mr. Keston!” I said, pushing you away. Why had I let you do that?

    You looked at me with those ocean blue eyes, a small pout forming on your lips as you once again took me in your arms. “Don’t tell me you didn’t like that,” you whispered, your little pout turning into an impish smile. “And I told you to call me Lathan. I’m only four years older than you.”

    I was dumbfounded. Here you were, the one man I’d been dreaming about, the one man I never thought I’d be with, in my apartment, holding me… kissing me. Had I stumbled into some alternate reality without realizing it? Everything felt real enough. “I-I…” How could I say just how much I had liked that kiss?

    But it seemed as though I didn’t have to say anything at all, for I found myself leaning up to kiss you eagerly, wrapping my arms around your neck.

    I felt your lips curl against mine as you smiled, pushing me away gently. “You’re cute, Caldyn,” you said, kissing me lightly. “But you’re in such a hurry. You haven’t even taken off your jacket.”

    Nor had I taken my bag from my shoulder, but that hadn’t stopped you from kissing me in the first place. It was my turn to pout as I took my arms from around your neck and began the task of taking my bag from my shoulder, the jacket, too. It wasn’t long before everything was in its place and I could once again come to you.

    Though, this time, you had decided to play a childish game of hide and seek and it took me a good ten minutes to track you down. “Why were you hiding from me?” I asked, walking carefully over to my bed. “And what in the world are you doing in my bedroom?”

    Of course, I found out the reason quite quickly as you pulled me down onto the mattress without saying a word. Somehow, you’d gotten us both out of our clothes – though I don’t quite remember how you managed that one. “Wh-what are you doing, L-Lathan?” I asked as your fingers ghosted across my skin.

    You looked up at me – having decided to trail soft kisses down across my chest – and smiled. “I’m going to show you just how much I love you.”

    Before I had a chance to respond, your journey had continued, and I don’t think I would have been able to speak coherently had I really had a chance. But I know I didn’t regret doing what we did… it was the most passionate moment of my life.

    The man stopped, his hands clenched tightly into fists as he closed his eyes tightly. He looked for all the world as if he'd just lost the most precious possession he owned... But that was an old wound, though the pain of it was still as if a white hot dagger had been plunged into his heart and twisted.

    It was a while before he relaxed and was able to continue with his writing…

    I can say now that nothing has ever come close to comparing with that night I spent with you. I remember waking up the next day, being held in your arms, completely content with everything.

    And that was the day you took me back to my little field that overlooked the ocean… Our little piece of heaven. And we came here almost every day, just to be together.

    It was the happiest time of my life: my grades improved, I wasn’t nearly as afraid of the real world as I used to be, it seemed like my life was perfect. I never wanted it to change.

    Yet the happiness didn’t last. I thought you were getting bored of me, you had been distant for a few days, and I was worried. You assured me it was nothing, gave me that smile, and I believed you, just like always.

    Then one day, a mere month before I graduated, I woke up to find you gone. Of course I was frantic, but I found a note written in your delicate handwriting by the front door. I unfolded the paper, almost ripping it in the process, my eyes scanning over its contents.

    “Meet me at the ocean. I have something important I need to tell you.


    I reread that note several times, my heart beating loudly in my chest, before I rushed back into the bedroom, throwing yesterday’s clothes on. I ran to the front door, nearly tripping over my own feet, before turning the handle and yelping as I ran into a beautiful young woman.

    “O-Oh, Ms. Trenton,” I said, wanting to push past her and get to you. “Did you need something?”

    “Is Lathan home?” she asked, unsurprised to find me at your house.

    It took me a moment to remember that you and Kelly were coworkers at the college and that she came by sometimes to talk to you about curriculums and whatnot. “Not at the moment, Ms. Trenton. Did you need me to give him a message?” I asked, slightly annoyed.

    She sighed, looking incredibly angry. “That man,” she growled. “He was supposed to come over to my parent’s house today and talk about our engagement.”

    I froze, my breath catching in my throat. It took me a minute to stop my head from spinning, to find my breath again. “E-Engagement?” I nearly cried. I looked down at the note again, tears blurring my vision.

    Was that the important thing you needed to talk to me about? That you were getting engaged and that we’d have to split up? That you’d been leading me on all these months…?

    “That… That b*****d!” I was back in the house, opening a drawer where I knew I’d find what I was looking for, before I was out the door. I pushed passed Ms. Trenton, who yelped, and was sprinting towards where I knew you’d be. Tears made their way down my cheeks as I ran, and I know now that I wasn’t thinking clearly. I should’ve let Kelly finish what she’d been saying…

    I knew the way to the ocean by heart, so the fact that I could barely see didn’t even slow my pace. I’d dropped the note by the door in my rush to get out, but it was the small weapon in my left hand that mattered.

    It didn’t even occur to me that Kelly had found the note and was currently chasing after me. I had longer legs than her, and I was faster.

    It wasn’t long before I found you, standing by the edge of the cliff, the wind blowing through your dark hair… Those eyes lighting up as they saw me…
    “How could you?” I asked, my voice filled with anger and sadness.

    You looked so confused. “What are you talking about?” you asked softly, your brow furrowing in thought as you took a step towards me.

    “Don’t!” I shouted, raising the small pistol that I’d taken from the house. “Don’t come any closer, you son of a b***h.” I took a few deep breaths, though tears still made their way down my cheeks as you stopped in your tracks. “I loved you, Lathan. I loved you with all my being, yet you’ve been leading me to a broken heart this whole time? How could you do that to me?” I cried, my hand shaking.

    “Caldyn, I don’t know what you’re talking about,” you said after a moment. Your eyes moved away from the pistol, back to my face. “I love you. I would never hurt you.”

    “Liar!” I shouted, shaking my head. “You’re engaged!”

    Your eyes widened and you shook your head fervently. “No, Caldyn. I’m not engaged. I swear to you. I love you, and only you. Always.”

    And then you took a step towards me, your hand outstretched. But I couldn’t see the truth in your eyes, hear it in your words… And I pulled the trigger, the blast echoing through that serene field.

    You fell to your knees, the bullet having pierced your heart, yet you lived… Your hand still outstretched to me. “Caldyn, I…” But your sentence will never be finished… You crumpled to the ground, those blue eyes staring up into the sky, a small trickle of blood trailing across your chin.

    I began to shake and I dropped the pistol on the grass and I fell to my knees just as Ms. Trenton made her appearance, her eyes full of shock.

    “You…You killed him?” she whispered. “Why, Caldyn? He loved you!” I could hear the frantic tinge to her voice.

    I looked up at her, my eyes narrowed as I continued to shake. “You told me you two were engaged. He was just... using me for his own sick entertainment. Leading me on. Taking me away from my pain only to give it back tenfold…”

    “We were. He asked me to marry him two months before he met you,” she said as I let a few more tears slip down my cheeks. “He was coming to my parent’s house to tell them that the engagement was off. That he’d found someone that he was happy with. That he’d found love… He’d found you, Caldyn.”

    I stilled, feeling absolutely numb. No. No, that wasn’t true. I couldn’t have killed the one person who I loved. It wasn’t possible. You had loved me, truly, honestly? And I’d… killed you?

    Kelly took a step towards us and I shook my head. “Go away!” I shouted. “Just go!”

    She reached down, picked up the pistol… and she left. She didn’t do anything to me, didn’t threaten to call the police… just left.

    I began to cry harder as I crawled over to your lifeless body, slowly closing those ocean blue eyes, those eyes that had made me fall in love with you in the first place… I held your body in my arms, my tears falling on your cold cheeks and I knew that it was over. I knew I’d just done the worst thing imaginable… I had killed my love, the one person who knew me best… you. My world had ended all because I couldn’t understand the truth you were telling me.

    “I’m sorry, Lathan,” I cried. “I’m so sorry…”

    The place where we had first met was the very place where we parted. But we will be together again, my love. I’m here. I always will be. I’m sorry, Lathan.

    The man put the pen down, one last tear falling from his eye as he set the notebook beside that one red rose. He stood from the grass, holding his arms out to the side as if stepping into a hug, and closed his eyes.

    “I love you, Lathan,” he whispered as another breeze picked up, urging him to step into those waiting arms. “I love you. Always.” And he stepped over the edge, into the arms of his love, once again into his little piece of heaven.