Beauty in Everything

Submitted into Contest #99 in response to: Begin your story with somebody watching the sunrise, or sunset.... view prompt

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LGBTQ+ Happy Romance

The rays of dying light filled the land, turning the grains of sand between my toes a warm yellow. It bathed her skin in warm hues, her pale arms illuminated and golden. Her red hair was like a fiercely burning flame, flowing elegantly over her freckled shoulders and past the crystals hung on her neck that she absentmindedly fiddled with. I looked away before she could catch me sneaking a glance, a small smile on my face.

I let my matted brown hair fall like a curtain past my face so she couldn’t see the way I blushed under the heat of her closeness. I buried my feet under the sand, building up a castle just to watch it crash back down to reform the sandy floor of the beach. 

The sky was exploding in a medley of pinks and oranges. Next to me, I heard her suck in a little breath, going to lie down and watch the sky with such awe. 

How could I tell her or explain that when I looked at the sunset I saw her in it? The beauty and brightness of a thousand colours working in cohesion? 

“There’s beauty in the sunset,” I murmured, Eric Carmen lyrics from one of my mother’s favourite songs. It had always stuck with me, and now I finally understood it.

She smiled and her hand reached for mine as we lay under the darkening sky. I felt my heart increasing my blood flow, beating over time to become a loud pulsing in my ears as our fingers intertwined. Sand layered itself upon my hair, smelling of ocean and seashells, just as I had always imagined her. To me, she had always been sunset on a summer’s evening, staring out at the waves rolling into the sand. She smelled of fairytales and mystical things; adventures. She was simply everything good in this world. I wanted to run off into a forest and get lost with her, living off scavenged fruits and swimming in lakes. Or discover an abandoned castle with secret hallways and play hide and seek till the end of our days, painting and writing for each other to display things we could not say out loud but could only hint at through symbols and actions.

She curled into my chest and my body was 50 times more alive than it had ever been, brain firing urgent messages to cool my heart, lest she notice just how fast it was pounding against my ribcage. It wanted to rip itself away and cuddle her own heart; no matter how gross that may sound. Her hair pooled under her head, a puddle of ginger waves across my chest. Hands shaking I wrapped an arm around her, she leaned into me more. 

She fidgeted and changed position, sitting up and looking at me through those innocent eyes, mascara on her lashes. I smiled up at her, moving to a seated position that left our faces barely a foot apart. I grew shy and moved to give her room in case I was wanting too much too soon. 

“Wanna go for a swim?” Her voice was soft and enthusiastic, filled with the excitement of a little puppy. I’ve never been great at swimming, but I’d do anything she wanted of me. And the ocean was calling to me, whispering that it would be cold but calming to bob around in an expansive body of water with this mermaid of a girl. 

I nodded eagerly.

She got to her feet, pulling me up and once again I felt that electric shock run through my body where our hands met, a sizzling in the air between us. She stripped her shirt to reveal a swimsuit beneath. Not for the first time, I blushed and turned away to give her privacy. She laughed at me and dropped her shirt into a pile, clear quartz crystal encaptured in her necklace, still hanging at the hollow of her throat. I removed my own shirt self-consciously, already wearing shorts that showed off how pale my legs are. I ran down to the water with her, each step imprinting on the sand. I marvelled at the way they showed us walking together, breathing together; being together. She was here with me. Here to be with me

She was absolutely gorgeous. I could see every curve on her figure and I know it wouldn’t have mattered if she were overweight or not fitting “perfect” ideals, her soul shone through and made me fall for her more than looks could ever achieve. Her being the prettiest thing on the face of this wild world was just an added bonus. Or maybe it was just that I saw her as pretty because of how kind and caring she was, how clever and funny and adorable. 

She delved her head under the water and even when her fire hit the water, it was not extinguished. Her curls were bright and rebellious against the sea. I waded into the water, going to her side and cupping a nervous hand around her waist. 

“Is this okay?” I asked, barely above a whisper.

I could never pressure her, would never want her to feel unsafe with me. I just hope that she wouldn’t be too polite to tell me the truth if the answer was no.

She smiled, water dripping down her face, leaving streaks in the sunscreen we applied hours ago. It made her skin glisten as the first of the stars littered the night sky. Her hair flowed around her as if suspended by magic, looking like a true mermaid’s. Perhaps she would drag me down to the seafloor and drown me. But perhaps I wouldn’t care if she were to do so. To hear her sing to me, her voice like silk, and hold me in her arms as she swam to depths I could never return from. That would be a peaceful way for it to all end. I would die happy and isn’t that what we all want in life? For our deaths not to be terrible and agonising?

Her hand moved to rest on my cheek, water trailing down her fingers and I could smell the salt and remnants of her perfume, could smell also, the sunscreen, worn off by now. Not that it was needed anymore. Every nerve in my body was alert to her presence, gaining the courage to put my other arm around her waist and lean into the hand against my cheek.

And then she kissed me and it was as though fireworks had exploded below the velvet of her lips that I would never get enough of. It was clumsy and new, but it unlocked every secret of the universe, and I finally saw how much beauty there was in the world. Beauty in everything.

In the icy water, I let my hands tangle themselves in the fire.

June 21, 2021 21:28

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