The Fire of Miss Moffat
By the time I stepped outside, the leaves were on fire. A steady stream of burnt oranges and fiery reds; just the ticket to brighten my mood.
I reflected on my sleepy surroundings. It must have been where Sleepford got its name with endless rows of trees enclosing the town, only there was a clearing where the branches were thinner, showing the pale patterned bark of the branches.
I paused to take a peek at my reflection in a puddle amongst the leaves. I am still sixteen year old Will Kahn. I still have deep olive skin, short charcoal hair, a flat nose and keen yellow eyes, overshadowed by thick dark brows.
My face emitted rays as I thought about my old-fashioned hometown with its thoughtful, troubled trees that trembled the leaves to the ground; an echo of my troubled mind before I stepped outside and found Autumn waiting for me.
I'm still the high school loser, getting pushed around all of the time, yet out here, under the autumnal sky, I could be anything, maybe even a superhero.
Autumn with its crisp chill but with enough warmth from a sliver of sun to warm you through and cheer your heart, made me feel I could skip about; there is something about the briskness of nature at this season that gives me a rush like nothing else.
My favourite tree of the oak variety stood tall and faithful on one side of the path I had walked on many times; even from this distance, I could make out where I had engraved my name coupled with a girl's with a heart above, in hopes it would bring us together one day.
A red squirrel crossed my path, and as I watched it taking up an acorn on the other side of the path, then scurry into the bushes, Lucy Moffat came to my mind, whose long auburn locks and sea green eyes earned her the title of school beauty; she was the most popular girl in school. I wondered what she would do if she found out I was a nature freak, and then there was the child genius/concert pianist angle I wouldn't wish to go down; so it seemed like I had no chance of winning the girl I had dreamed of since nursery, who would probably laugh in my face at the very idea.
My classical music background that saw my Japanese mother become a pro cellist and my Asian father play concert piano on t.v. had always remained a secret to my other life, in high school; it wasn't exactly what the cool kids boasted about and their hostile behaviour would be more humiliating than I could bear.
In between the musings of my mind, I could hear the distant sounds of a violin concerto, as if by magic the wind read my thoughts and carried it to me to soothe away the problems Monday morning would bring with it.
A sudden u bend in the road forced me to do a sharp turn and what my eyes beheld when the road straightened out again, filled me with a trembling beyond all control; there was Miss Moffat a few feet ahead of me in all her glory, under an arch of trees highlighted by a fire of reds, oranges and browns, matching the tones of her hair where the rays of sun shone from above in a halo of light.
Is it possible she needs a place to escape on a Sunday afternoon as well?
After watching her with a gaping mouth, I allowed my eyes to rest on her hands and what they contained. She held a violin and better still, strummed it skillfully sounding out the concerto I'd heard in the distance; I stared with eyes that appeared far away until her hands rested from the crystal clear sound of her piece.
Before I could tell what possessed me, my hands came together in a loud applause and she pivoted fast, her hair plummeting over her shoulders. She asked what I was doing there and I answered in a firm voice that surprised even me, that I was probably doing the same as her.
"I doubt that. This is my secret place," she replied, her voice as sweet as the music from her violin.
"Mine as well. My favourite row of trees. I could play the same concerto on my piano."
"You can't drag it out here."
"I would try, for you."
"Do you want to bet?"
My finger hovered over my lips. "We can make like a secret pact."
"Well, if you promise not to tell, I won't tell on you, either."
"It's a deal."
We edged closer to each other, meeting in the middle of the archway, our faces searching each others.
"You're not like the rest of them. I'm the popular girl, but this would ruin everything." She lifted the violin with one hand.
"I have dreams of being a concert pianist someday, but find opposite reasons to keep it private."
She tilted her head on one side the way she always did when speaking that drove me crazy. "How's that?"
"You might have noticed popularity is not my problem. If they found out I was a child prodigy, I'd be utterly ruined."
"Being popular isn't as spellbinding as you might assume; there are rules of coolness that need to be met to keep the status."
"We're better matched than we seem." My voice trailed away and I glanced at her cherry red lips.
"Not so different," she whispered.
We rushed at one another, holding a strong embrace.
The kiss was firm and loving.
The fire of Miss Moffat ignited my bones in a way nature never could; she reminded me how important just being yourself is, taking whatever chances life throws at you and always fulfilling your dreams; how different life would be with her by my side.
Fall will always have a special place in my heart, but when the fire of the leaves dies down, and the season we will always enjoy together is no more, Miss Moffat will still be there to lift my spirit and brighten any season.