Golden Azalea

Golden Azalea

Golden Azalea

Amelia French

As I walked through the brush and the lush of the field, I looked behind me to see the boy with dark golden hair following behind my path. Though we had walked this path in the woods before, this time felt different. It was a place we’ve been before and walked through what feels like a million times. 

“Where are we going? This isn’t where we went last time.” I laughed as he raced in front of me and went off on a different trail. I saw the trail once before, but it had overgrown with wildflowers and moss. But it was now freshly mowed through, like it was new and had been patted down with the feet of the people before us. Sun peeking through the trees and the song of birds that I haven’t heard since I was a child. 

“I’m not sure, but this looks nice and we have plenty of time before I have to go home,” he replied. Though I couldn’t see his face, I could hear the smile forming in the corners of his mouth when he spoke to me and laughed. I hurried my walk to catch up to him and we walked alongside each other, me occasionally looking over to see his expression and him doing the same. We approached a large field with yellow and green grass that had been newly freed from the snow that had fallen the previous month. This was the first time in months I was directly seeing the sun with no clouds warming the ground beneath me. 

As I admired the lush grass and the flowers that were budding and blooming, I looked over to see the boy already laying and rolling over on the soft bed of earth. I laughed and threw myself next to him, and we laid there in silence for a bit, enjoying and appreciating the warmth of the sun and the company of one another. I never felt the need to fill the silence with him. It was never awkward or strange. For once, the silence felt nice; it felt meaningful. It wasn’t empty silence because he was there filling it with his presence alone. I turned my head to look at him, and to my surprise he was already looking at me. We still didn’t say anything, but I felt like I could read his eyes. Could he read mine? Does he know that there’s something I want to say? 

His eyes, blue like hydrangeas; yet uneven, scent like lavender mixed with his boyish musk, his nose carefully carved to fit his face with a bump—I could lay here admiring him for hours. I traced his face with my eyes, trying to commit to memory every little detail of his face just in case I forgot. The scar under his right eye from where his cat had scratched him and another on the left where a dog had bitten him, the beauty mark on his chin that mirrored the one I had on mine. Or the cowlick in his hair where one strand strayed from the others in front of his face. The little things about him were so beautiful to me. 

I suddenly snapped back to the reality of where we were, and I realized he had taken hold of my hand. Though it was larger in size compared to mine, our hands still managed to fit perfectly together. As he rubbed my hand with his thumb, I watched his expression as it changed. He had something on his mind and he wanted to say something. 

Say it.

 Is it the same as what I want to say to him? As his lips parted, and he looked as if he were finally to let the words escape him, I rushed in to say my thoughts first. It might have been a mistake, but it felt like if I didn’t say it now I would deteriorate and explode. 

“I love you, my golden azalea.”

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