Take this story for what you will, believe it or simply push it aside but this is something no man can ever fabricate.
I lived alone for quite some time, no friends or family to mingle with and nothing but the day to day activities of work and coming home. I myself am not anything special, I had no characteristics of what someone would call handsome, I actually looked quite plain to be honest, least that's what I believed.
As the days went by I felt like my life was just continuing on, working till a paycheck then buying groceries for my little house in the city. With all the people rushing to and fro I would have thought that even I, someone so low standard and painfully awkward, could at least find SOMEONE to talk to. But the things never seem to turn out like you hope. I was out one day, just getting out from work and needing to buy some more food, when you have nothing to do all day eating tends to fill the void of inactivity. I was standing in line at the store still wearing my work uniform, it was loud and rather busy in the store but honestly when I just zoned out it felt peaceful.
As I stood waiting a voice pulled me out from my conscious, it had taken a few tries but I finally managed to focus. When I had returned to the hustle and bustle of the store I was kinda surprised to have someone talk to me. It took me a moment to realize who it was, when I looked, when I saw who it was, I stood flabbergasted.
Standing in front of me was someone pulled out of a story book, a beautiful woman with long blonde hair and light skin, her eyes were the most exquisite part of her. Gorgeous blue eyes which seemed to sparkle in the light, her smile added onto it making my heart skip a few beats, she was like a princess from a fantasy tale. "Excuse me but I am afraid I am dreadfully lost, may you perhaps know where I may find some berries?" She asked me, I stood blushing like a fool with no words able to seem to form, least any ones that made sense. I was stupid and forgot that I was wearing my uniform still, she must have believed I was still working.
It took me a pause before I pulled myself together, "Um yes, please, follow me." I said trying my utmost to be polite. After all it is not often I get spoken too, even with my job little interactions occurred with customers.
I led her to the aisle where the berries were kept, perfectly packaged and put into coolers to be crisp and fresh. "So very kind of you, if I may ask, can I have your name?" She asked lightly as she brushed a lock of her hair away from her eyes. "I um, my name, my name is uh, my name is Miles." I said trying to speak to her without looking so much as a fool as I was.
After I had given her my name we had began to talk for a time, I had learned that she is indeed new to this city. She had come from some far off town by the sea, it apparantely took her quite awhile to get here. After some time and a short walk down to a small little ice cream cart on the corner of the road we talked more. I told her about my life which while I personally do not think is that grand she listened to me as if I was telling a tale meant for books. It was quite nice after so long to speak with someone, after all with no family or friends around things do get lonely. She told me of how she wished to open a flower shop, how her dreams were to grow old with a family, to die in the arms of someone who truly cares about her. At that point I felt a small connection between us, each of our hearts and those who even walked the streets held a small dream in theirs, it is something we all look forward to as the years pass.
As the months passed we became closer, who would have thought that a simple request to help find some berries would be the spark to start a good friendship. Hitomi was her name and from then on we only became closer. I eventually invited her over to my home, we sat and drank tea with some cakes and continued talking like we always did. As we talked I could gaze at her with such affection, it was like some angel had flown into my life, pushing away all these grey clouds that seem to wander over me everyday. Her smile filled me with a warm feeling, her laughter made me want to laugh too, her eyes filled each and everyday with hope that something good was bound to happen. Hitomi and myself grew quite close.
We took a trip down to her old home once the time came for my vacation, it was a nice but long road trip. Each day we listened to the radio and spoke about stories we loved and even made some up. Once we were there the smell of the ocean hit you, seagulls flew overhead and the feeling of nature itself swirling around you was so evident. Growing up in the city I had no experienced these sorts of things, it was a miraculous scenery to be sure. We took a trip down to the beach itself, to the left you could see the town and to the right you could see the cliffs but straight ahead there was nothing but sparkling water with the sun shining down upon it. We decided to have a picnic there.
"I have never felt like this before, I have barely had any interactions with anyone for quite a few years. It feels nice to be here, to be with you, just enjoying the company you give me has been a great gift." I said to her, in all the times we have spoken I was the one blushing red with embarrassment but this time she took that role. Her rosy red cheeks made her features just that more beautiful. She looked over to the blue sky and smiled. The wind blew and the sound of small wind chimes down from the town, the mood was quite pleasant overall.
"You know, the clouds always change shape, each day they come and go and even when they are grey they look beautiful. They are not alone, constantly moving ahead along with their brethren, Though they make seem to be alone, they never are." She said to me. Her words cut deep into me, was I truly alone all those years or had I just simply not followed the other clouds? I felt some tears in my eyes begin to form which I immediately wiped away, she moved close, her lips on a inch away from my own. "Your not alone." She said softly before she kissed me.
It had been a year since that day we met, so much time passed, so many good memories made, it felt like such euphoric moment in time.
As the day of a year came we met at the very spot we first shared a kiss, just like that first time we sat down and had a small picnic. She had brought many small sandwiches with a plate of cheese and I had brought tea with a side of cookies. It was a little colder this day then it was the last but the sun shined so brightly in the sky, it was so lovely, just like her. We sat down on a blanket over the sand, each holding a cup of tea and a small sandwich, she looked so beautiful in her yellow sundress and her beach hat, she looked like the incarnation of summer itself. So warm and friendly, kind and shining with love. We ate, we drank, we sang along with the radio. There couldn't have been anything better then just sitting down and enjoying her company.
As the hours passed and the sun began to set she stood, holding out her hand for me to follow. I grabbed her hand and held it loosely inn my own, walking down to where the waves slowly crept up higher on the sandy shore. She turned and looked to me, such love in her eyes, then she hugged me. I closed my eyes and hugged her in return, only to open when the sound of rustling leaves I heard. Opening them I was brought upon the sight of two large angel wings, beautiful much like Hitomi, they were coming out from her back. I wasn't scared, I wasn't worried, I was curious to know why after all this time she showed me what she was.
She let go from the hug and stepped a few feet back so I could see all of her, I wouldn't know how to explain it but she looked even more beautiful now. "You know before we met at the market, I watched over you. Each year passed I tried to cheer you up, sending butterflies your way, or the scent of warm fresh cinnamon rolls." She spoke softly, her eyes gazing from me up to the sky once more. "When I finally met you, you were so cute. So embarrassed and bashful, you were everything that I knew you were going to be. Which is why this year has been so amazing. So sweet, so caring, so kind. You were never alone." She told me, the more she spoke the more my eyes teared up, soon she came close and wrapped her arms around me, her wings enveloping us both in a hug. "Once every five years I can come back to see you for a whole year, it is not much I know. But you won't be alone, I will always be here for you. We are clouds and we have to stick together." She said with a smile as tears rolled down her own face.
We embraced one final time, her soft lips were the last thing I could feel before I suddenly awoke in my own bed. Hitomi no where in sight.
I returned to work, the whole year felt like a dream, each day I looked for her but I could never find her, no one had even seen her. It felt depressing but one day as I was returning home, three blue butterflies fluttered around me, the smell of freshly baked cinnamon rolls eased into my senses, then there I looked into the sky and smiled.
It wasn't a dream, I will see you in five years Hitomi, I love you.
© 2018 Thomas Finney