The Faces of Summer
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Ever wonder what the future looks like? Face it, we all want to know what the future holds. We want to take a peek, no matter how small right now to see if the decisions we make would be for the best. Life doesn’t work that way, however, as we all know.
But it doesn’t keep us from imagining…
The First Face of Summer: PAIN
It was unintentional. That much at least, he knew. Like another cruel joke of Fate, he just found himself here. Or is it coincidence? Or is it a mere random act of life?
Those questions are no longer relevant. He was only aware of the dull ache that embraced his heart as he watched them from afar.
Even from the distance, he could recognize her. She might have grown a few sizes from the time he last saw her but her figure was unmistakable. He will always recognize her, no matter where she was. Even when he could only see her back, even when his eyes were blurred from the pain of his memories.
That was how much she meant to him. How deeply embedded her memory is in his mind and as the tightness in his chest reminded him, his heart.
She had her back to him, which he was thankful for. If she turned, she’d probably see him rooted to the floor staring at her. That would be awkward…
She was in front of the playpen, a small boy fidgeting at her side.
Her son… he mused with a twinge of envy. He closed his eyes and banished the images that came into his mind’s eye. The ache of his heart became much more pronounced and it took a lot of strength for him to reopen them.
She was focused in the group of kids milling about the slides. He followed her gaze and immediately picked out the object of her attention from among the giggling throng. The silvery eyes were unmistakable in the sea of black and blue.
Those eyes planted a thousand daggers in his heart. He tore his eyes away blinking away dry tears and stifling a gurgle in his throat. He wondered about that dream – daughter he once imagined. Would she have had the same eyes? That image felt like a caricature now… He never had a chance, that much at least, he knew.
Yet still, he often wondered about that daughter he never had…
“Hey…” The voice suddenly intruded into his thoughts jolting him awake. The voice was hesitant, he belatedly realized. His vision was mushy and he discerned a haze in front of him. He blinked clearing it and promptly found his breath catch in his throat.
She had turned and she was looking straight at him, a shy hesitant smile on her lips. For a moment, he wondered if he was imagining things. He smiled and managed a hesitant wave.
“Is that you…” Her voice trailed. He couldn’t remember the last time he heard that voice.
He nodded and slowly approached them, a smile plastered in his face. He hoped that it didn’t betray the pain inside of him.
“Just visiting some friends…” he gingerly extended an arm, instantly regretting it. She took it and the sudden jolt of electricity that raced in his body as she touched him was the same from many years ago. It took all his strength to keep from falling.
He avoided her eyes and settled instead on her son, who looked up at him quizzically.
“Your eldest?” He asked.
She nodded, a sense of pride in her demeanor. Did he see a hint of pain there? Maybe not…
“He looks like his dad.” He laughed and crumpled the little boy’s hair. He knew of course who her husband is.
“With his stubborn nature” She joined his laughter.
“Hi mom, who’s he?” he turned to see the blonde girl with the silvery eyes walk up to them. He smiled. Save for the color of her hair, she looked just like her mom.
“A friend of your mom, dear…”
He didn’t hear the rest of her introduction. The little girl had extended a hand and he shook it, smiling through his sadness. She was not his daughter but a greater part of him wished it… and once again, he remembered his past and cursed himself for the tragedy of his never ever trying.
The Second Face of Summer: JOY