'Liberties Taken' by Emmaleene Leahy
Water sloped against rushy banks. We swayed, floating in the boat. Just below the surface flitting minnows shimmered in moonlight. We lay in each other’s arms and watched the stars glinting. Carried away on the optimism of each other, we spun stories together, predictions of our happily ever after entwined in each ending. He was all mine that night.
The seasons changed. A wind rose and whipped up a war of whispers, instilling fear about what was to be found in the distance. Leaves were torn from tormented trees and flung into a defeated frenzy. The waters we had floated on surged and slammed boats together.
Then there was her.
Her, who threw her head back in a fit of dramatic laughter. Her, who flicked her hair teasingly to attract his attention. Her, who distracted him from the tales we had told each other.
As the wind stripped the world, a hunger for him coiled in my stomach and growled with yearning. He drifted away. The distance impossible to judge in diminishing light.
I saved a sentence for him. I wove and rewove it, rehearsing again and again the news I would tell him. The world was laced with frost, when I finally glimpsed him. The air tinged a bluish hue. Our vapour breath, an indigo glow to disperse between us. I was unable to release the perfected sentence.
My news to be shared of the gift he gave me, became my secret. As spring awoke, I abandoned all that was familiar, to create my own distance, to protect the life unfurling inside me.