Ben could feel his heart racing as he walked to the small window. His knees trembled with excitement. Though usually clearheaded, his mind at the moment was a jumble, every thought, idea, and unexpressed feeling jostling for expression. He felt he wanted to cry with joy, laugh with pleasure, yell with disbelief; and his face reflected this inner struggle of emotion uninhibited. That is why he avoided turning around. It didn’t matter though, whether he turned around or not; she had come. And she had entered. Elizabeth, the most beautiful girl Benson Skyler had ever imagined and seen, was inside his treehouse.
Near the small window and outside was a very fragrant plant. Yesterday, today and tomorrow, that was the name of the flowering plant. It had flowers with white and purple petals. At the moment, the plant must have realized the precious moment inside the small treehouse, for it gifted the air with its heavenly scent. Ben closed his eyes and drew in a deep breath. The moment was timeless. He opened them slowly and placed trembling hands on the windowsill. His senses pleasantly hyperactivated by the flowery scents, he let his eyes travel beyond his immediate vicinity. The whole scenery was basking in the generosity of the warm summer sun. Flowering plants unashamedly permitted their flowers to exhibit their natural beauty. This the flowers did with confidence, displaying petals with endless hues of the color spectrum, which was pleasing to the eye, as well as the nose owing to the scents that accompanied their reflections. Not even the birds wanted to be left out; they chirped, whistled, and twittered, their tuneful songs adding to the perfection that was this summer afternoon.
He could see their house in the distance. He was still to get used to seeing it unobstructed by trees and bushes since the treehouse was built higher than the house’s roof. It was a beautiful house, he felt with emotion. Painted blue on the sides and a rusty red on the roof, it had an attic from where he would gaze out through the window, and especially on nights with a full moon.
Behind the house was the farm, stretching endlessly, like a badly- spread tarpaulin, the way it had bumps all over it. The freshly upturned soil formed an uneven surface all over. He chuckled softly- the imagery reminded him of how he would stomp on those large but soft blocks of soil, and how they would yield to his feet by crumbling. It was so satisfying- had been satisfying.
“Ben,” he heard her call softly behind him.
“Yes, Beth?” he still didn’t turn around. His uneven voice as he answered her carried with it the emotion though, for when she spoke again, her voice was softer.
“I like you.” He heard the whispered words. His whole being responded to those three words instinctively. Reason fled, leaving him at the mercies of joyful tears expressed through heaving of the chest and more trembling of his limbs.
“I… like you… too... Beth…” he was able to blurt out, “I like you…” a sob completed what he had meant to say. Silence took over for a moment, but it respected the atmosphere inside the small treehouse, for though no one said anything, unspoken feelings were able to pass between the two of them quietly.
He sensed every rustle of her dress as she stood up. He heard her soft footsteps as she approached. His sense of touch was quick to let his giddy mind know that she had placed a hand on his shoulder.
It wasn’t that his mind was far- it was still inside the small treehouse. It was aware of the small space, the painted walls, each side a different color, the low roof which had taken nearly three days to make waterproof, and the wooden floor which had also taken time to ensure that it was steady and would hold- on which she now stood, and so close to him that he could feel her breathe. Giddy with pleasure though he did not turn around, he couldn’t believe that she had actually accepted his invitation.
Suddenly, he noticed a change come over the scenery outside. The sunlight was gone. Dark clouds had taken over, imprisoning the sun, without a care as to what part it was playing in the precious moment being created in the small treehouse. Ben felt the special moment dissipating with the disappearance of the sun, leaving in its place a void that felt empty. Would she leave too soon? Would she stay longer? What if he was the one who left her first? Would she be hurt? What if they became bitter enemies later? It was known to happen, and especially between two in love who tended to invest too much of their emotions. He shook his head to evict the thoughts and to remind his mind that she was there, in his treehouse. The moment was then, not before, not after.
With that reasoning held firmly in his mind, Ben turned around. Once again, silence allowed the magical moment to reign as the two gazed into each other’s eyes quietly. No verbal communication would have been necessary at that very moment, but so much passed between the two of them. He held out his hand without breaking his gaze. She placed hers in his, without breaking her gaze too. It was soft and warm. Not even the laws of nature could have protested as Time stood still to let the two with a youthful love create a timeless moment inside that small treehouse. It would have been impossible to speculate how long it took as the two remained as they were, hands held, gazes held, emotions freed and the senses taking it all in. Love yearned for an answer though, and it got it, just as the sun was freed from cloud prison. To celebrate, it unleashed its afternoon warmth without holding back, and the birds and flowers answered, giving Love the timeless answer.
“How long has it been?” Elizabeth Skyler asked softly. He held his breath and hoped that she wouldn’t notice his hammering heart. He gazed into her eyes and with all the emotion he could muster, replied.
“Fifty-seven years my darling,” he whispered softly, “Fifty-seven years of marriage, and finally, you have accepted my invitation.”