“An Aging Flame” – Romantic Short Story – Unedited

I

Can he wait? Can he satiate a thirst that continues to mark his lips with the dryness of salt? In that, he is holding onto the ocean. He is washing himself in her running suds. A love as glorious as the only-believed infinity of the universe, becoming finite just when we comprehend life cannot go with it. What love in the world? It is eternal. What of life? It is never immortal.

A look. A frenzy. A love that hungers, and one that never strays far from youth. It is him, this old man, whose wife is of a similar age. Gray strands peak at their roots, and fold over her face.

She is dying.

She is a web of closed sighs, and fallen breaths. She is losing her life, moment by precious moment, while his hands are latched upon her own. Just a breath that exits a pair of her repeatedly-kissed lips, once every minute. Another pair, of his own, is pressed against her palm every two minutes.

She is for the gray love. This is a sunless pair. A spectacle of radiant flame beneath the clouds. In love, in only the blue bliss of their extended vows to heavenly entrances, makes the two.

Oh, love! Do not die. You will suffocate us, if we count the breaths until you let us go.

He is there to console himself. The rest of all, denies. The air, the birds upon ledges to windows outside of here, and the passersby, all mock the overtones of gray. They do so, by ignoring it. Gray skin. Gray eyes. Gray hair. Gray clothes. Gray shoes. Yet, a heart of gold is shining somewhere. Of them both, it is true this gold is here, and her beauty has not died.

What breath will go so soon? What beating of a heart will end so quickly? Will he notice it gone, should he blink?

It is a waiting game. For her to release the last gale, the last breeze, the last squall from her lips, gives him aches to his old bones.

Like wind, like sea, as he then places his gaze upon her face. Old as it is, though remaining as eternal in motion, in youth, as the sea is young and cannot truly be tainted. Time. For to clean, requires moments. Though, how would this man see her face, polluted, or stained, by age? By the taint of something external to have touched it, would be equivalent to the hand of another man, reaching forth. Such could spark rage, a storm of his own liking to befall that alien man.

Oh, ocean. Oh, tempest. Love is a storm that subsides, only when the worriment no longer has thunder. It can die down to a flicker. It will not fully extinguish. For love has its fear, its quakes, its rumbling and the movement that releases great waves. Though, upon this woman’s face, there are only the ripples.

Wrinkles. This is what is comparable to the sea, among its movements. Her radiance comes from the sun of his eyes. He ignites her.

Is it ever love to be cold?

Tears fill this man’s eyes, upon when he travels his gaze over her features. Her countenance, full with the emotion of the possible. The possibility of death, is this. As nothing more than a possibility, death comes around to stroke life into its wings, blackened by the night, itself.

Love rides winds. It takes us into folds. This man’s eyes looks to the wrinkles in this woman’s face, knowing her resplendence to be from the pair of orbs embedded in his skull. They travel. His eyes look over her beauty as though it shall never decay. Where shall it not? Within his heart, it will not.

For his heart holds more an ocean than the face of this woman.

An appearance is nothing, yet it is everything to a single man. Everything beautiful to a man, is something eternal for its sake, should he never release it. The disposed beauty, is the beauty by the man never seen. Whatever a man sees, whatever a man stays with will remain beautiful, only belonging to his view.

For upon that sea of her skin, of those cascading wrinkles, running in long and travelling rapids over her face, this man must take a journey. He does, by his wandering gaze over her mouth, to her cheeks, to her ears. All things he has once touched, shall now be swum through, for another time in discovery.

II

Waves. As ripples, they are long in their design. Like floral along the white tide of this woman’s face. We give the understanding that the sky above is overcast to offer that white a hint of darkness, to create gray.

White darkness. Of beauty in her tone, greater in above, lesser in beneath, and wonderful to look upon the blankness of a newest remembrance. Love holds a treasure for him, of beauty needing rediscovery. Amiable. Reliable. Pleasant.

It will become a destroyer to him, when it recedes, finally. When tears climb up to his eyes, upon the time when her breath no longer moves the waters. Tears will make new water, when no longer do the breezes come in gusts from her mouth, to move these calm ripples. When the tears dance along his cheeks, and descend as rivers that have given up searching for a new body of water, she has gone. Yet, the ocean becomes a distant memory, as he will no longer set sail upon it. Just a recollection from a shoreline.

Love leaves tomorrow behind ourselves, in the motion of itself, ahead. We pace towards love, leaving tracks, leaving our mark in the earth. It is for new buds to sprout once seeds find the crevices from our feet.

What heart mistakes what we feel? None. For that would mean the human who claims this, has merely deceived themselves.

Upon her skin, he moves upon a boat of his own imagination. He rows with oars made of his arms, towards a scenery of no sunlight. Just the gray of skin, gray of eyes, gray of hair, gray of clothes, gray of shoes to bring him recognition and clarity. No blue, and just the gold of his heart in combination with her own.

Waves are moving as ripples. They are brought forth from sighs from behind, repeated in motions of her delicate and parted lips. Sweet in gusts, for he would know both their taste, the scent of her breath, upon every kiss. Gusts so seemingly limitless, that he’d not ever foresee their approaching end. He cannot remain stranded. He must reach a shore.

Beautiful matrimony. Washed by the dreams of a sunlight only apparent in the bosom of a pair. Like a lantern, he has taken his glowing heart on the remembrance of her, in the ripples of her porcelain flesh.

No stone will be dropped. No anchor to be tossed, in this time when he moves on a rowboat big enough only for himself. He is upon the ocean of remembrance, revealing in all the memories, transparent to him by the warmth beneath him.

His arms blossom sprouts with petals that are loosened to these ripples. For such will be the case, upon the day of her death. Planted to her grave, an arrangement of youthful buds and olden blooming, of red adorning itself with orange. Then, of green of stem revealing itself with the occasional thorn.

The blue, velvet skies that could be anywhere else, would reveal a different form of bliss, not to be imagined, at all. Just the gray upon the water that smells of salt, running from the skies where nothing can be imagined except for the identification of this pair.

A recession pulls him back to see her closed eyes, once more.

A faint flicker? Was it merely a distraction?

If he could open them, he’s comprehend his own world as driven into flames. As though a desire could not return, or as though such a form of his beloved could not ever receive a burn. To his own opened eyes, buried in the sadness of the moment

As it is, the only thing he’d remembered was her youth, as an ocean so very vast, it could not age. A storm? There was never a one. A gust or two, to cause ripples? There has been the amount of those lines, those marks, those wrinkles. There has been her, before him, counted of each of them, though forfeited, for it did not matter.

Who does count the stars, in the night, in the woods? Who, besides those who somehow cannot comprehend that such a sight, is merely to be looked upon? As if the comparison could be made to the citizens of a city, and it is the same. The same limitlessness of numbers, of creation, as the void of loss cannot swallow all the light.

For one more dive, would mean the world, beaming on his shoulders. To see her eyes, to bleed into her stare the one of his own, will reveal the gold so resplendent. As though such a hue were always hidden, it could now radiate enough upon her, to make her an angel.

Love never loses its magic. There cannot be a causation without also a creation. We love, because we have light, because we hold onto what will both burn and warm us.

One more dive into the washing smears of her eyes, as sadness has engraved itself around her gaze, from years spent in pain. Himself, beside her, and his heart, always glowing, can blacken for a moment. A light can be switched off with a simple maneuver, while a candle can be put out with a breath of air.

III

Her lids.

Her eyelids. All the beauty from each fulfilling stare, resides in those eyes. Though, they are shielded behind a pair of folds. Darkness makes them concealed, in unseen shadows. What she sees, is perhaps the face of death? Is it beautiful to her?

A comfort so individualized, as death, as its essence comprehends all torture to a human, waiting for a burial. It can be comprehend, with enough ease, that death is the most patient of all things.

It’s the comfort that can know the torment, at the deepest level of an individual. For if torment weighed enough as an ocean, death would make it a feather. Death cleans up the woes of the form, and turns such to dust. Whereas, a human wills themselves to clean away dust from structure, a form, a body. Why else of this latter action, other than to not be reminded of death?

A life, always beginning. Beauty, always fading, except to the man here whose wife is, to him, eternally youthful. A triumphant aspect of her to his eyes, that no dust can be of her, by such completion.

An ocean cannot become dust. Water. The land. Only something that can be held, without slipping through, can be dust. To this man, the ocean is only there to sail upon. Then, it is to his realization that like the ocean, like attempting to hold it, makes it an impossibility.

Here, he releases her hand.

He takes himself on his feet, to look through the shield before her eyes. His mouth trembles. His stare shifts from one eyelids of hers to the other. Such nervousness is apparent, bleeding through the air, with great mass.

He runs a hand to her barely-warm skin of a cheek. He talks aloud, “I am here, and I will always be. I will not be another shadow in the corner, though the memory above your mind. We lived our lives in the dark, while find our hearts alive in the light. We held ourselves in shadows, finding warmth only in who we both were.”

Soon, when finished his speech, he motions a hand to pull back both lids. A clear reminiscent to what he’s always seen, draws his tears from the pupils like cards from a sleeve.

What can be said of this? The simplest moment to recognize life before its death, like a curtain draped over a body clogged of movement, is enough to stagnant him, too. He is frozen, to the scenery of her eyes. For this sight is nothing like an ocean. There are no tears.

There is a forest.

There is evergreen verdure.

Then, there is a released sigh from her lips, like one ocean’s breeze, brought forth like the birth of one blue sea. A calmness resides now over her. For what have we said of love, as a storm? It calms, when the thunder no longer bellows. Drawing upon her ice-cold form, is now to realize the presence of a grave. It is grief that a human feels. It is comfort that the dead know. Opposite contrasts, and this man can weep a new ocean for the world to swim, with hands stretched for the freedom that love embraces us, engulfs us.

We are reminiscent with all, being solid. We are the stones upon the shore, in life. In love, we are the ocean that only moves because it has nowhere to go, besides to find stability on those rocks.

We don’t always recede when there’s always another wave to find us.