Kara stumbled through the grass, a blindfold masking her eyes, her arms outstretched like a zombie.
“Henry, where are you taking me?” Kara asked the person who hopefully was preventing her from crashing into a tree.
“Don’t worry, we’re almost there!” Henry assured her while ushering her slightly to the right as she took small steps forward.
“We’d better be,” Kara grumbled. She had to wake up at 4 o’clock that morning for a special event Henry wanted to show her. They’d been walking for what seemed like hours, and on occasion, Kara tripped on a small object and started mumbling curses. Henry guided Kara forward for a few more minutes - the same incident occurred except that time Kara tripped on her own shoelace, twice - until he finally uttered the words Kara was waiting to hear: “Okay, you can take it off now.”
Kara yanked the blindfold off her eyes, and her eyes widened at the beautiful sight set out in front of her. A picnic blanket rested at the edge of a glimmering blue pond, which was lovely all on its own, but the most amazing sight was the sky.
It was the world’s canvas, white clouds splattered across the horizon, orange painted carefully around the blinding yellow sun’s perimeter. The light orange blended with cotton candy pink to create a stunning ombre effect. At the top of the sky, some stars were still visible, the glow dotting the canvas as if there were still parts of the white tarp peeking out from behind the paint.
Kara smiled and turned to her right, where Henry was staring at her, likely expecting a big reaction.
“Henry, did you do all this?” she continued. “This is amazing, thank you.”
“No problem,” he smirked. “Only one thing, though. I can’t create the sunset.”
Kara feigned surprise. “What? Henry, how could you keep that secret from me?”
He laughed, shaking his head, and then sat down on the fluffy picnic blanket. He patted the spot next to him, gesturing for Kara to join him. She took a spot next to him and lay down on her back, and stretched her arms over her head.
“How did you ever find this place?” Kara asked.
Henry was silent for a moment, and after taking a deep breath, he started, “Well, before my dad died, we would always go fishing here in the summer. It was pretty nice just sitting there talking, and the sunsets were amazing. Looking back, I feel like I took those moments for granted.”
Then it was Kara’s turn to be silent. “Thank you for sharing it with me.” She entwined her fingers with his own, and at first, he flinched, for it was very unexpectant, but then his grip relaxed. He looked over at her and smiled. Butterflies socialized in Kara’s stomach, and she felt her heart melt.
After basking in each other’s company for a long period of time, Henry turned on his side to face her. “Do you wanna get some breakfast?”
Kara sighed, and then replied, “Yes, I’m starving.”
After eating a filling breakfast of blueberry pancakes and hot cocoa at Le Leche Cafe, they parted ways.
Kara found herself sitting at her computer, trying to think of something to paint. She scrolled through some images but found nothing that she deemed “worthy of the watercolors”.
Instead, she flopped down onto her yellow comforter and stared at her ceiling. She could make out little designs on the ceiling - stars, a moon, the sun. She had painted them all herself.
Then a spark of inspiration hit her. I’ll go to the pond Henry took me to earlier. Then I can paint it. Henry was reluctant to show her the location of the place, but Kara had sneakily pulled up iMaps on her phone when he wasn’t looking, so she knew where to go. She packed an easel, watercolor paints, a variety of brushes, and a white canvas into her blue car and sped off to the grassy hillside.
When Kara arrived, she unloaded her car and took a short walk to the location. She immediately spotted the blue lake, where she unloaded all of her supplies and set them up.
Kara poised her brush at the point where the horizon would be and started off with the grass. She dipped her paint in Lush Green and in swirling motions, created the ground. After finishing the ground, she advanced to the sky. Then the pond. She spent quite some time making sure every detail was immaculate.
The sun was starting to set, she had been there for hours and her painting was nearly done. She was running out of the reference, for she had started painting when the sky was blue, but now it was a mix of pink and orange.
Kara sighed, and at that moment, she heard a “That looks really beautiful.”
She spun around to witness Henry, hands in his pockets, taking in every detail of her painting. At first, she couldn’t speak, but then she asked, “Y-you like it?”
“Of course, only one question. How did you know where this place was?”
Kara’s head fell in shame, “I… I iMapped it when you weren’t looking. I’m really sorry.”
It was silent for a few seconds before Henry said, “I’m actually… not mad.”
“Really?” Kara asked, shocked.
“Yep,” he responded.
“Why not? I thought you would hate it if I painted something so special.”
“Kara, why would you think that I was mad?” Henry said. “You recreated a place that I love. I can look at this and think of the moments my dad and I had here. Thank you.”
Kara blushed, and then she replied, “You don’t need to thank me.”
He took her face in his hands, and then said, “I think I do.”
Kara could feel his warm breath on her cheeks. He closed in the last few inches of space between them and their lips fit together like two puzzle pieces - meant to be. And with the moon now glimmering in the pond’s reflection, and the stars twinkling above them, Kara was only sure of one thing - that moment was too perfect to paint.