┋The gust of wind had caught him by surprise. The fresh scent of April had, at first, teased him with a joke. Being in that place, though, made the joke from being about his life to the times he had spent there in his youth. The laughter, the games, the picnics, the friendships, all coming together in what was most likely the last breath of his innocence.
He remembered her, and … her. She, who had charmed and entranced him as soon as they met. And then she, who had pushed her way into his life, only to brutally assault and eventually murder any teenage hope he had grasped on at the time. She, who had been bright and vivid and skipping, who washed over him with her laughter and joy. And she, whose incessant stabs in the back had left him wondering where his toga had been. She, whose emotions he had sacrificed a limb for and she, whose joy he had sacrificed himself for.
He remembered their friends, mates with whom he had broken bread with, cried with and laughed with. Their rehearsals, right there, between those cherry trees. Their looks of arrogance as they searched for a reason to take him in. Truth be told, most had probably never liked him, but he had been the happiest then.
He spread his hands. They had all gone on living their lives, becoming better, grown versions of the kids he once knew. And like the cherry petals slipping through his fingers, he had felt them slip then. Now, they had all moved past those times and changed and he stood there, a lone, unchanged beacon of the joy they had all adorned.┋
✠ Thank you to my wife, Ryanna, for the support.