Autumn’s Mist (2016)

She had his heart, probably always would. They met in a park next to a fountain as they tossed coins in wishing for only God knows what. He introduced himself and they hit it off immediately. All within the space of twelve months, they’d confessed their love for one another, late night romps were stolen between ten and one. They drove themselves crazy thinking about each other; he found himself pining away during his work hours. When they weren’t in bed, they were in his kitchen sipping coffee. She pranced around in her nipple bearing white tee singing and swaying like the gypsy she was. He should have known she was too good to be true…

He wanted more than this intoxicating game they were playing. He craved something concrete like marriage. He needed them to be official with babies, lots and lots of babies. She was a whirlwind he allowed himself to be swept up in. She said and did all the right things. When she smiled at him, he felt as if he could make it through the day, or smash the keyboard against his boss’s face and lament to hell with it all. He just wanted to be with her.

They hadn’t seen nor spoken in three days and he was feeling overdue. Ready to give the world the middle finger, he went out and bought an engagement ring in hopes to claim this gypsy for his own. He would slide this ring on her finger and they’d go, wherever, anywhere, it didn’t matter. Ditching work, he drove to her apartment and climbed one step after another until he stood before her door. He knocked and waited.

No answer.

He knocked again… Silence. He scraped his knuckles against the door, then pounded a little harder until the neighbor across the hall opened her door. An older woman stood in her pink pajama gown and a lime green roller secured around her bangs.

“Can I help you, young man?”

“I didn’t mean to disturb you. I’m looking for the woman who lives in this unit.”

“She moved out four days ago, at night. Who moves in the cloak of darkness if they aren’t running from something?”

“I think you’re mistaken. Sure we haven’t spoken in a few days, but she would tell me if she moved. You see, we are in love.”

“I’m sorry son, but I own this building and she surely did leave. Would you happen to be that guy she mentioned to me, Blaine?”

“I am.”

“She left a letter for you. Wait here and I’ll get it.”

This couldn’t be right. Why would she leave like this? He waited listening to the old woman shuffling through papers. She stood before him again with the note in hand and gave it to him then shut the door.

The letter read: I can’t. Don’t ask. Goodbye.

Stunned, his vision blurred and the pain of betrayal branded his heart. Autumn came and went in the blink of an eye. I still go to that fountain chucking coins in hopes of a wish granted like in fairy tales. I spend my nights outside in the dark sipping mugs of tea visiting all the places that she and I made folly. I can still feel her around me, in the dark. She’s probably watching me from the cloak of night, or at least that’s what I allow myself to believe. In some perverse way, I get pleasure from it. Maybe if she sees she’s left me torn asunder like a derelict building, she’ll release me from all that she was.

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