Summary: For my creative writing class, a short story...
Pairing: "Echo"/"Narcissus" (neither character is named, you can figure the rest out)
The road twisted on ahead of me and her footfalls crunched softly over the wet gravel. A light rain was misting over us, as if we were standing near a waterfall. Dawn was near and I couldn’t tell if it was getting lighter or darker, I couldn’t tell much of anything, I just followed her as she walked in front of me. Her thick, delicate brown curls bounced with each step, a stray curl sticking to the pearls of water resting on her cheek when she turned her head to look and make sure I was following. I didn’t know where we were going, nor did I ask. I simply followed in silent obedience, walking away from the din of the party behind us. She smiled, a curiously mischievous smile, a slight dimple gracing her lightly flushed cheek. She had a secret, she knew where we were going. I must admit, I wondered where she was taking me. It nagged at me, tugging at the back of my brain. But, I suppose, I was so caught up in the mystery of her, that I couldn’t remember to ask.
Slap, rustle, slap, snap, crunch, slap; her footsteps grew closer and faster, she was now running ahead of me, disappearing around one of the sharp bends in the path. I took a deep breath, trotting towards the curve. I stopped, my breath catching in my throat when I saw her. She twirled, arms outstretched and the first rays of morning sunlight fell over her face, catching the glistening tears of rain as they shimmied down her delicate cheeks. A giggle, child-like in nature, tripped over the infant plants, melodic fingers over the fine gold threads of morning’s harp. She’s beautiful… and I’m still not sure where we are or why I’m following her… I don’t even know for sure who she is, but I trust her… I follow her. It wasn’t until she reached her hand out for mine that I realized the rain had slowed to a stop. We were standing next to a lake, a light fog hovered inches above the water and it was perfectly still, even the fish dared not to come to the top in search of the mornings food, for fear of disturbing its perfection. She took my hand, leading me to the waters edge. We sat, silent for a long moment, a gasp in time, and I felt almost like a voyeur, Echo watching Narcissus and his perfect reflection in the pool, as I took in her splendor. The stillness of the hour overtook me in our silence and everything around me slowly sank in. There’s something about that hour, I suppose, so close to dawn yet so far from day, that everything seems sharper. Perhaps it’s the newness of day or the crispness of the air, but everything seems clearer… The sun as it peeks over the horizon, the faint chirping of the crickets as they sing their song, the fading sparkle of the stars as they succumb to the light and bow out gracefully… it’s all there, beautiful and crisp, graceful as the stranger I am watching.
“Why did you come?” her soft voice startled me in its sudden presence.
“I… I’m not entirely sure.” A blush rose to my cheeks as her eyes rose from the mirror of water to look at me. “There… I suppose there’s just something about you, I couldn’t help it.”
“You needn’t be embarrassed… I wanted you to follow me. You looked so sad and lost…” She dipped a toe into the water, watching as the ripple reached out to embrace the far bank.
“You didn’t belong back there… you were alone and going through the motions… out here you can be free and no one will care. It’s almost like another world here. You’re happier here. I can see it in your eyes.” She leaned back on her hands, staring up at me intensely.
I shook my head, this witch was casting a spell on me. “Happier here, or happy with you?” I couldn’t stop the words from leaving my lips, but there they were.
A slow smile played on her lips, “Both… but I do see fear in the happiness… are you afraid of me?”
“Not you… afraid of what lies ahead, what’s unknown perhaps.”
“No one can know what’s coming. You just have to embrace it. Embrace what’s being given to you, that is the key to happiness. There are things that you wont expect that pull you away, but if you don’t follow, you may never find what you’re destined to have.” She shifted, sitting up and closer to me, now mere inches away. “What would you have done if you hadn’t followed me? Did you expect this to happen?”
“Well, no, I—” My words stopped when her lips, still soft and wet from the misting rain, met mine.
She laughed again, the same playful melody, as she broke away. “Just follow what you don’t expect, and maybe there will be something amazing waiting for you.”
She curled close against me and I held my arms loosely around her small waist and stared out into the sunrise. Everything would change after that day, but from then on, I was willing to embrace it, and all because of her. “People will think I’m crazy…”
“So let them think. It doesn’t matter as long as you’re happy with what you are. So let’s be crazy together.”