Short stories and snippets : Nuances, unspoken and the little things

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“Why do you say such words to me? What did I ever do for you? I didn’t do anything at all,” she said.

She was confused he could tell. He could also see in her the lack of faith, faith in herself. She had no idea just how much she meant to him, so much so that she felt herself unworthy of such praise.

He looked into the distance before looking back at her, smiling.

“It’s not the big things that you can see. It’s the small things that you miss out,”

“What do you mean?”

“The nuances of the paintbrush strokes you lay upon the canvas of our life together. The way you smile when you see me, the look of peace when our eyes meet, the comfort of my hand in yours, the tiny playful squeezes you put on my fingers, the way you wrap your hand around my arm, the way you rest your head on my shoulder, the way you place your nose gently against mine…”

She looked at him in silence. He continued.

“And all that while being very calm and relaxed in expressing your emotions to me, those nuances. I know how you feel. And that is the reason that moves me forward. I’m grateful for all that you do unspoken, all that you do without realisation. Natural spontaneous expressions. You have no idea how much it means to me and how I appreciate it and am thankful for it.”

He gently placed a hand on her cheek and gave her a gentle kiss on the forehead.

“Thank you. There is no need for anything fancy and material to prove your worth to me. I have received the message of your heart and accepted it wholeheartedly. I have no need for a car when you have already brought me to my destination.”

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Short stories and snippets : Love Young and Alive in Days of Old

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It hit him suddenly, like a little mischievous child who had jumped out of the bushes and pressed a soda can fresh from the freezer onto one’s skin.

He pulled his sweater tighter around him with his free hand. A shiver made its way out from within him and washed all over his whole body like a wave. It was a challenge for him to keep warm, but a bigger challenge to keep a steady hold of the object in his hand.

The cold was remorseless. It made no distinction between gender or age. It just attacked everyone; male female, rich poor, young or old.

He walked slowly into the living room, struggling with the burdens age has added on him, until someone came into view. The sight of her put a smile on his wrinkled face and he felt the cold slowly dissipate away. He approached carefully, very aware of mug in hand that had steam rising from it, dancing slowly and seductively in the cold air.

She was sitting on the coach with her back facing him, looking out the window at the falling snow outside. He peeked around the side, like how he always used to do back in the day, and saw her face. It was grumpy, a frown visible amongst all the wrinkles and tell-tale signs of many moons passed.

A sight to behold.

Clearly the old adage “men age like wine” wasn’t that accurate. As compared to him, she was still a pleasure for the eyes, even when time had taken its toll on her. He didn’t complain about the effects of age, wouldn’t have it any other way. She was beautiful to him at every step of each passing year, beautiful in unique ways with each passing number on the calender. It was a pleasent view for the old eyes, a view decorated by hanging ornaments and streams of memories.

Beautiful, like Christmas morning.

She turned to look at him, her grumpy expression still not changing. He smiled at her and slowly placed the cup in her open hands. The grumpiness melted slowly into a smile of comfort and he chuckled a little.

Old habits die hard. He knew she was not moody. It was just her expression whenever she was cold. She always had something against it. Then again everybody did to varying degrees. But they both knew that warmth came from many places, not just a hearth or heater.

She brought the cup to her mouth with both hands and took a sip carefully. It may be cold all around, but one’s tongue had to be careful when dancing with scalding liquid.

Again, another smile on her face. He grinned a little.

“Hope it keeps you warm,” he said.

“I feel warmer already,” she replied in her signature, albeit slightly crackly, cheery little girl voice.

She continued to sip on the milk as he took his place next to her. The both of them stared out the window, looking at the gentle drizzle of white outside.

Gentle silence filled the air, only to be suddenly broken by the sounds of soft stifled coughs. He got up as quickly as his aged body allowed him to, moving towards her as he did. He braced the cup in her hands in an attempt to prevent any of its contents from spilling out.

“Allow me,” he said as he took the cup from her and placed it on a nearby table.

He then reached for a blanket lying nearby and placed it on her shoulders. Her cough didn’t stop, prompting him to rub her shoulders and pat her back gently.

“Bless are you okay oh dear,” he said.

She looked at him and pouted. He just grinned in return. The nuances and hidden emotions of those words were a little secret shared between them. It was their own little language only found in their own little world.

She then let out a sigh and looked away, pouting still. But he could see the tiny smile sneaking in at the corners of her mouth.

He gently bent down and gave her a kiss on the cheek. Years have etched lines on her face, altered her frame. But she was still as adorable as the first day he had met her. She smiled before looking at him, weary mischief in her eyes.

“I’m growing too old,”

She said those words with mock sadness. He got down on one knee before her, leaned forward and nuzzled his nose against hers. He then gave her a kiss on the forehead.

He knew she was joking. Again, it one of those things from their little secret language. It was a cue that she just wanted to be pampered, and he was more than willing to shower her with the soft petals of his honesty.

“No you’re not. You will always be young and beautiful to me. No matter what,” he said.

She smiled, face turning pink. Even with aged skin filled with freckles, spots and wrinkles, the hue still showed on her cheeks. Despite the cold, he knew she was feeling warm inside.

He took her hands in his and they both stared into each other’s eyes. No words said. No words uttered. No words spoken. His hands that were gently rubbing hers did the talking for him instead. It spoke volumes and said the words in his heart, words he had said countless times but never got tired of uttering.

“You’ve always taken care and watched over everyone. So let me take care of you instead. I will always be here for you.”

Silence fell as she looked into his eyes adoringly and with a happy smile. He returned the same expression in kind.

He knew “always” was too strong a word. He knew nothing lasted forever. Time takes away a lot of things from one’s life.

But until that day came, he promised to stay by her side and be there for her. Because he knew, she would do the same for him. For so many years of short human existance, she had walked the same road together with him, hand in hand. From the day they first met and weaved the intricate knots and ties that connected them together until today, till the day when eternal sleep separated them. They would never be alone. Because he knew, they belonged to each other.


Author’s notes:

I was inspired to write this story when I came across the phrase “You will always be young and beautiful to me”.

Along with this phrase, I was also very blessed to know one particular man who is married. He and is wife are an example of a beautiful thing in a worrying world where relationship ties are as thin as paper.

Break ups, divorces, heartache and heartbreak.

There’s too much mess going around these days where people take unadulterated and true ties between two individuals for granted.

I believe it’s a dream for most people to find that right person. And be able to spend the rest / all of their lives together with that meaningful and important someone.

The imagery of two old people, living together in the flow of time, was something very warm and dear to me. To just be able to imagine being in that situation where one is never truly alone. To know that together, a couple can create a whole new different secret world only they know about.

Weekly Writing Challenge : Time for Poetry – “The Bench”

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The clear bright orange coloured dusk skies,
The voices of the people nearby,
The swaying trees, scampering critters,
The gentle winds that let out a sigh.

The old man sat quietly on the bench,
Looking at the children before him play,
He had a soft smile on his old face,
Serenity was all he felt that day.

He looked at the person to his side,
And the old lady smiled back at him,
“Beautiful isn’t it?” his eyes said,
“Yes it is”, a gentle sweet waking dream.

And slowly, his world faded to grey,
He was suddenly not where he sat,
He was instead standing far away,
The bench a distance from where he’s at.

He stood next to a wee little boy,
Who looked curiously straight ahead,
The man followed the little child’s gaze,
And saw a family walking instead.

The parents were talking to each other,
A girl the mother was carrying,
They were happy and smiling as they stopped,
And sat on the bench, the girl laughing.

The old man turned and saw the boy gone,
He saw an older boy behind a tree,
The family at the bench was gone too,
Replaced by some girls chatting with glee.

The old man smiled at the sight of the girls,
But heard someone behind him walking,
He turned to see a young teenage lad,
Walking to a lone teenage girl sitting.

She sat on the bench engrossed in her book,
Truly lost somewhere on an adventure,
She was startled as he sat next to her,
Nervous he was, in his hand a flower.

She was lost, not knowing what to say,
She stood up and quickly ran away,
The boy called out to her to no avail,
Gone like the wind and passing of day.

But she returned to the bench again,
This time wearing a different dress,
And the same young lad came once again,
A new flower held close to his chest.

This time she awaited his arrival,
She awaited in silence as he came,
No words spoken but any would know,
The lad had won her heart in this game.

She smiled and took the flower from him,
And though the world was a colour grey,
You could tell her cheeks were turning pink,
There was no need for any words to say.

And suddenly there was a loud call,
And there came running a middle aged man,
The two teens at the bench were now gone,
A young woman was there, waving her hand.

He walked up to her and gave her a hug,
She hugged back, dressed for an occassion,
He gave her a kiss, a deep felt one,
A reward for her graduation.

A gust of wind now blew from nowhere,
And the old man held down his cap tight,
As he peered beneath the cap he saw,
Before him at the bench was quite a sight.

The woman stood at the bench all silent,
The man was on his knees, looking at her,
Autumn leaves flew but it was all so clear,
Her hand in his, a ring on her finger.

And she burst out crying happily,
Hugged him tightly, and kissed him so deep,
He smiled back and held her tightly too,
“Yes!” was all she had said, yes indeed.

The old man smiled, a tear in his eye,
He let out a very heartfelt sigh,
And he then heard the familiar screams,
Of little children, of laughter and cry.

A bright flash came and the old man blinked,
Back at the bench where he was before,
He saw the old lady fast asleep,
He smiled at her, the one he adore.

A little cute child walked up to him,
And patted his lap so very gently,
“Grand papa! Grand papa!” the child called,
The child he took, lifted and carry.

A young couple walked up to him smiling,
And the woman gave his cheek a kiss,
“It is time to go home now” she said,
She called out to her two other kids.

The old man nudged the old lady awake,
And they left the bench to leave the park,
The sun was setting behind the clouds,
Soon their side of the world will turn dark.

The old man held the old lady’s hand,
The woman he had loved all his life,
From the day he saw the girl on the bench,
To the very day she became his wife.

My dear sweetheart, my very beloved,
Remember the bench where we always sat?
Do you remember what it meant to us,
In all occassions, happy or sad.

Till death do us part they always say,
I will never leave you my love ever,
Thank you for being there in my life,
From then, now, tomorrow and forever…


 

Weekly Writing Challenge : Time for Poetry