She owned her late father's bookstore. The walls were packed with books, ancient she calls them. They were always old and dusty, but today she cleaned nearly every one. He was going to visit. Him. She knew this man since college. His stunning dark hair and blue eyes, his steady demeanor, and that deep voice of his exceeded the expectations of her wildest dreams. He often came to the bookstore to pick out a new book, unlike any other he always chose the oldest, the longest, the hardest to read. She liked to read short stories, often fairy tales filled with soft, mystical romance. She’s chased after him for years, at least in her thoughts, but one of these days she was ready to accept the facts of her love for him and confess. And today might just be that day. She tied her hair back into a loose ponytail that ran down her back and took a deep breath. Here he comes. The bells jangled, signaling someone had arrived. His tall figure, broad shoulders, and stern but gentle expression. It was him.
“Welcome.” She said, her voice slightly quaky with excitement.
“Pleased to be here.” he said, giving her a soft smile.
She could feel her worries melt away as he walked closer to her, maintaining that smile. She wanted to be with him. Forever. She wanted to see that smile everyday. She wanted him to hold her close, she wanted to feel his warmth, his body, all of him. She loved him. But reality didn’t always give us a choice.
“I ordered a book last Wednesday, is it in?” He asked.
“Ye-yes! It’s right in the back, just give me a moment!”
She sprinted off towards the storage room, where she kept her most prized books, his books. Flustered she almost tripped on her skirt, but she managed to keep herself up. She reached for the book, one of the largest she had ever seen, and picked it up carefully. She scurried back and handed him the book, his cool hands sliding past hers ever so delicately. She felt her face turn to red and she turned away.
“Um, there you go, I hope you like it!”
“Oh are you in a hurry?” he asked.
“No, not at all!” she said, her face growing redder. His every move, his strong jawline and his pale skin. He was too beautiful. She could barely keep a straight face.
“Well then if you're free you should come with me, I’m taking an errand, and I think you would enjoy the company.” he asked, putting the hand with the book behind his back. With that expression alone, she felt she could breathe again. If she ever wanted to be with him, she would have to let him in, his smiles, fears, and quite frankly his voice.
“I would love to,” she said, tucking a loose strand of hair behind her ear.
“Alright, if you are ready, lets go!”
She smiled and shyly walked out from behind his desk. He helped her into his car and they drove for a little while. Then they arrived. It was beautiful. An orchard. Large and luscious, filled with dozens of trees, each having a large supply of apples. She loved apples, the bittersweet taste reminded her of him. Back in school he would always buy an apple from the cafeteria before leaving for the library. She would smile, from her table on the other side of the room, then she would claim she was tired and she’d head to her dorm. All so she would get the chance to pass him on the way.
“This way,” he said as they both exited the car. She walked behind him, following him up the short path. She enjoyed the walk, the crisp Autumn air, nipping at their cheeks, the leaves crunching beneath their toes. They reached the end of the path, then he turned around, his dark hair settling over his eyes, his hand reaching out towards her.
“Watch your step, the ground is slippery.”
Hesitant she reached for his hand, and he pulled her towards him, his hand settling on her waist. She gasped, his touch was warm and his hand fit perfectly in the slight curve of her waist. He touched her. Did this mean he loved her too, was this the start of a sweet romance? Or was he just bracing her, so she didn’t fall?
“You remind me of Winter,” he said.
She looked into his deep blue eyes.
“I don’t understand.”
“You have a wonderful season, but like Winter, you are still waiting for the sun. You desperately want to melt, and to let the warmth in, but you're too scared to say so.”
“I-I think you might be right.”
He placed one hand on the side of her face, under her hair, and he pulled her closer. Their lips touched and she put a hand on his chest. They kissed. Under the apple tree.The crisp wind. The warmth. His lips on hers. Her sun. She pulled away.
“But y'know, the sun always comes,” she said, “how else would we have Spring?”
He smiled. Again. The warmest smile she had ever seen. It was friendly, genuine, loving, and bright. Just like the sun. She needed this. She waited for this. And she got it.
“Your right,” he said, just before leaning in for another kiss.
Hours passed full of picking apples, holding hands, and exchanging loving looks. Hours passed of the sun, the Autumn, the Winter. Hours passed of love. Of hope. Of light. Hours passed of new opportunities. New beginnings. New lovers. Hours passed. Each holding a basket of apples, and each holding the other's hand, they made their way towards a hill. They gently sat down, and she inched closer to him, her newfound lover. And he held her close, his newfound lover. It was the end of the day and they both sat by as the sun set, but it didn’t matter, for they both knew, the sun would rise again.