Postcard Love Songs – Ellen W 12-2

She met him in the Summer, among the cocktails and the noise and the crowds and the sunlight. He caught her as she tumbled from bar to dazzling bar, and she had the uneasy sense of being swept off her feet. His laughter was a sweet scent, his smile ice-cream on her tongue. She traced his ebony heart and thought, just for a second, with the foolishness of a romantic movie, that she could grasp it between her fingertips and tuck it away with her own. It was a rushed love of late nights and long beaches and headaches, and they danced it away in a flurry of sand and sunsets. And then he left her there, sun-kissed and alone, in the fading light.

Autumn came, tossing its colours across the shifting canvas of the sky. It painted the earth in its molten colours and she found another, somewhere on the edge of the world. This one was lonely, a drifter, and they sat together in their emptiness as the jewels fell, scattering the ground. Their minds drew their hearts into a common beat as words crumbled. Defying the world, they watched as endless lives flitted to and fro across their silent gaze. There was solace in his clenched hands and slow, steady breaths. Long walks bled into the night and days bled into months. But she knew it was but brief. He was too distant, and his life was only ever lived… in moments. He found nothing but comfort in her and she knew it. Autumn was gone too fast, and so was he.

Soon, the orange sky was dragged into a pool at her feet and she stepped out into a new world of white and Winter. Smile painted and eyes glassy, her heart was suddenly tired. The next came as a gust of hot air and the promise of strength. She found herself loving the way his arms looped around her waist and continued on, engulfing her entirely with warmth and shelter, and hope flooded through her veins once again as she breathed, as if for the first time, in his gentle shadow. He was an artist, a musician, and he made music which swelled the drumbeat in her throat and filled her mind with noise and beauty. She curled up between the notes and closed her eyes, just for a moment. It was a sleepy Winter of long talks and love songs, and her heart, hidden from the sun for so long, turned to sugar glass in her chest. They lay under the stars and she marvelled at her insignificance. Then he confirmed it.

Spring was a flash of bright, crystal cold. She was shocked from her trance and as the petals burst from their sun-strung graves, she fell in love with life and uncertainty all over again. As if drawn on the wings of some unknown longing, she stumbled towards a singing smile and found it reflected, unwittingly, on her own weary mouth. He was a child in his very nature and she was suddenly cast back to her home and her heart and her happiness. She never wanted to feel anything but young again. He breathed life into her tired limbs and she flew. The world dizzy in their wake, they ran through childhood games and forgotten years and she wondered, for the first time, why she had ever given them up. They were fools, but she was stolen nonetheless. He lead her to a cool circus of fantasies and she drank them in with awe – but, suddenly wary of a familiar emptiness in his smile, she closed her eyes and turned quickly away.

And now it was summer and she was alone in the bitter sunlight: a vintage beauty tossed, once again, into the folds of her own restless heart.