Stuck. Trapped. Ensnared. Chained. 

She heaved a sigh, and decisively yanked the headphones out of her hears. If she heard Celine Dion’s quiet croons about lost love one more second, she’ll scream. Taking a deep breath, she tried to remember the words of the Dalai Lama. 

Live in the present. Live in the present. Live in the present. 

The past has already gone, the future is not yet here. Why worry about what is already gone? Why fret over something as indefinite as the future? 

Stop. Stop. Stop thinking. 

Live in the present. Live in the present. Live in the present. 

Did she make the right choice? Did she make a mistake? Should she have let him go?

Stop. Stop. Stop thinking. 


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It was breathtakingly spectacular. 

Her arms ached from the heavy load of groceries. Her feet, already complaining from being forced into the three inched pumps her office required of their workers, nevertheless slowed from their hectic pace, prolonging its pain. Her head pounded, slightly; remnants from a hard day’s work. But despite all that, a smile blooms quietly onto her face for a moment, just a moment, at the sheer beauty before her. 

Yet, even as her eyes hungrily drank in the explosion of colors against the cotton candy clouds, memories—happy memories from long ago—flitted across her mind, dimming those eyes, and killing that smile. His face flashed across her mind. The tilt of his lips, always half smiling and half smirking. The way those strong arms wrapped around her, gently, quietly, protectively. The flash of sweetness in those eyes, even as he confidently proclaimed: 

"You know, an orange sunset is a promise for beautiful, sunny weather for the next day."

It had been his way, aware as he was of her deep loathing for the rain, of making her look forward to tomorrow. She, in turn, had always intended to Google whether that little “fact” of his was truth or myth. And yet, she never did. There was always something else distracting her, something more urgent, or interesting, or important. Or, perhaps, a small part of herself (the enduring romantic still within her even now) had been charmed by that fanciful line. She wasn’t sure. She supposed, she’ll never be sure.

But she did know, however, that she would now never confirm the validity of that statement. Just as, she knew, no matter what the future brings, spectacular sunsets would always connect her to him. 

And perhaps, that’s enough. 

Perhaps, that’s proof enough that they had once loved.

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It wasn’t a flash, and there was no burn. Her heart hadn’t pounded, and the butterflies didn’t…fly. Everything was just so clear-cut and logical.

Her mind fully understood. She should be falling for him. She should love him. Everything about him is great. He’s near perfect. So why? What’s the problem? What is he unable to give her? Why can’t her heart follow the logic so readily presented by her brain and just…fall? Plop at his feet?

The breeze felt absolutely wonderful. The warmth of the sun quietly soaked into her. Somewhere nearby, a bird chirped a greeting, and another answered in song. The resounding crash of waves filled the air with the subtle scent of salt and fish and sea. Mixed in with it was the faint, musky scent of his soap. Caught, she quietly closed her eyes, leaned forward, and breathed.

The familiar scent of soap, laundry detergent, and a faint hint of sweat filled her nose. Letting go of the handle bars, thoroughly unable to resist, she sighed as she snaked her arms around him and gently rested her head against his broad back.

It was so comfortable together with him.

This comfort, couldn’t this be love?

Maybe it’s love. Who’s to say love has to be the flash and burn? Can’t it also be a gentle and steady warmth?

"Tired?" He asks, voice softly amused. "Should we go rest?"

I need to fall in love with him. "No, I can keep going."

She struggled against the desire to sigh. 

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