ROMANTIC FLASH FICTION 4:
Sometimes if you listen closely and very attentively, and observe not with your eyes but with your heart, you can find love in the early hours of the morning on the lake. That was how it happened for Scarlet Bergamot. The serene philharmonic of calls and chirps from sparrows and larks welcomed the day, and the water that lapped the sides of their row boat was a flat surface of tranquility extending to the horizon. There the sun was timidly peaking over mountain tops, like a gentleman not wanting to disturb the early risers, and was spreading its golden rays over an amethyst sky. The natural reflection of the sunrise in the water rippled away from the boat as it silently floated over the vast surface.
The one rowing the boat held the oars like an expert and her eyes like a lover. “So my turn,” he said, flashing a precarious grin.
She raised an eyebrow and waited in anticipation for his question, feeling her heart rate surge at the thought. Since their date last night in which he had prepared dinner for her at his lake house, they had given each other the opportunity to ask one question, whatever they wanted, no holds barred. Back and forth the questions went, like smacking volleys in table tennis, until they were both spent and had found themselves with bared souls as well as bodies. She hadn’t imagined he would continue their question escapade the next morning, but she was game, sensing his wit behind the gesture.
“Ask away,” she said.
“How do you know if you’re in love?” he asked with the sparkle of the sunrise in his eyes.
She cocked her head flirtatiously as the sound of the oars moving through the water soothed her beating heart. “In general, or how do I know if I’m in love?”
“If you’re in love.”
The question took her breath away. Had she ever been in love? She had never trusted anyone, pushing away one guy after another so that her heart could never be exposed. She was a play-it-safe girl, taking few risks in the love department. But now… he was different, and she was in love.
Turning around the starboard side of the boat, she slipped a foot into the lake, feeling the cold water envelope her bare foot.
“I do it like this,” she explained. “One foot at a time. And if I’m in love, I dive in all the way. Only I’m scared that I might drown.”
“You don’t have to be,” he said as softly as the lapping waves against the wooden hull.
“Why not?” she asked, turning back around to face him, meeting his gentle eyes, blues that she could be lost in forever.
“I’ll catch you, Scarlett Bergamot,” he said with steel confidence. “I promise.”