Footsteps crumbled gravel beneath two sets of heels, one clumsy and heavy, the other gentle and full of grace. You can guess which ones were hers. I am ashamed to say the other were mine. If not for blessed light pollution, it might have been pitch black on the side of that mountain… I guess that’s a bit of a misnomer. The edge of the foot of the mountain. It felt much higher up in that moment…
We traipsed along the path… I must not misspeak. I traipsed. She, however, knows the ways of angels. Walking abreast, we began our gradual climb along the thin, albeit straight path. Low hanging, broken clouds reflected the ambient light pollution so the way was discernible, but only just. It wasn’t long, however, that my shins found a cactus in their haste. Her patience made her the Wiser, calling out the assailant only a moment too late, though she’d have caught me if I hadn’t taken an extra half-step. I promise I meant good by it. I thought it gentlemanly to go first and clear the path, perhaps springing all the traps and ambushes of the nocturnal assassins. It seems the only assassin was that which I brought upon myself.
As we backpedaled, she discovered a perfectly comfortable and scenic resting place for us. I am ashamed to say that next, instead of turning around to join her, my pride and adrenaline beckoned me further into the night, half hoping to survive another attack. Her pride and independence coexisted harmoniously with her patience as she sat down alone on that bench in the dark. I eventually turned to join her. Two strikes against the gentleman in me.
I retuned to her side as she looked out over the expanse of the city, now fully aware of the source of Illumination. For her, all must have been crystalline. For me, on the other hand, I was caught between the glistening vivacity below, placid reflections from above, and the glowing directly next to me. You can see a person’s understanding in their eyes. I could see the whole City in hers, and all the detail therein. Mine were probably filled with the clouds and a song.
Up there, above the world I wished was ours, we discussed dreams and our place in the among the lights. She wished for nothing more than to see Beauty, and I wished nothing more than for her to see her reflection in my eyes. Mayhaps it is not for me to fill the place in her heart reserved for longing, but I wouldn’t stop her if she tried to fill that place in mine.
Two lonely hearts on a mountainside in the dark… Well, not entirely lonely. Then again, not entirely filled for this reason: we are only human.