Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Story-A-Day #285: Campfire


It was a perfect night.

The campfire crackled, sending cascades of sparks and smoke up into the dense swaths of flickering stars above.

Unbeknownst to either of them, they had spent the better part of the night passing furtive glances at each other across the flickering pyre. Every now and then, their eyes would meet and they would exchange shy smiles of acknowledgement.

He saw her smile and instantly wished he had the courage to approach her and ask her name. He wished he had lucked out with the seat next to hers, but from where he sat now, it was a journey of miles to get to where he wanted to be.

She saw him smile and wished that one of the people to either side of her would retire to bed, or even dematerialize, so that he could leap across the fiery pyre that separated them and take the vacant seat.

The counselor started playing Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here on his guitar and he wished that he could tell her this song was for them. Instead, he jabbed a marshmallow onto his stick and poked it into the fire.

She watched bemused as his marshmallow burst into flames and he quickly pulled it from the embers and blew it out. She had smiled because the same thing happened to her every time.

He saw her laughing at his misfortune and quickly placed the scalding ball of goo in his mouth where it instantly seared his tongue. It took everything he had in him not to spit it out.
That was going to hurt.

She winced as he suddenly slid the marshmallow into his mouth. That had to hurt. Almost as suddenly, she was overcome by a long, unbidden yawn.

He watched her yawn and felt himself doing the same. It was pointless, he would never summon the nerve to approach her, not tonight at least.

She realized that the likeliness of her talking to him tonight was slim and decided now would be a good time to retire for the evening. Reluctantly, she rose.

He reluctantly stood up to leave and noticed she had done the same, almost in tandem.

They met at the trailhead.

"Walk you to your tent?" he managed to ask with a relative degree if succinctness.

"I'd like that," she replied in an equally succinct fashion.

They walked in amicable silence along the trail, relishing the fortuitous ease of their mutual awkwardness.

They paused outside her tent and after a brief pause she spoke up. "See you tomorrow?"

"For sure," he replied. "Maybe I'll teach you how to roast marshmallows."

He laugh was sincere and gentle and his regret over uttering such an inane statement quickly passed.

They parted with a wave of hands and the promise of untold futures to come.

It was a perfect night.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone. Please excuse auto corrected errors!

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