ROMANTIC FLASH FICTION 5:
The desert sands whirled about like spinning cyclones as the winds picked up in squalls. A hazy sun hung somewhere above the dusty overcast sky as I fought tooth and nail to charge through the storm and reach my destination. Through the tempest, granules of the desert blasted against my face like pins and needles. I held my arm out in front of me to shield the oncoming blasts, and through the dust, I could make out the outline of a tent. I could make it. Only five more minutes, tops. But as my feet sunk into the dunes with every step I took, the sand became a heartless, relentless taskmaster and pushed me back. I was running, but my steps were cement. As I squinted through the whirling sand, the tent appeared even farther away. With every last ounce of energy left, I pushed through the storm.
I simply had to make it. This was no longer about my job. This was my life. I had come on orders from the top brass to fly over the desert to survey the land. Then things got complicated. I hadn’t planned on crashing my plane near the palace, or breaking my leg and being rescued. And I certainly hadn’t intended on spending the week in recovery in an opulent room with a view of the city, getting nursed back to health by her. One week was all it took. No, not even two days, and I had fallen in love with her. But that was the past. Now she was gone from my life forever – her to her life, me to mine. She was a princess, after all. And princesses don’t associate, much less fall in love with someone like me.
God, how I missed her now. The sun was always shining on her gentle face, her black resplendent eyes; high cheekbones; and smooth, rounded features that I’ll never forget for the rest of my life. I couldn’t take her with me, but there’s a photo of her in my heart and when I close my eyes, I see all of her – every single detail – in living color.
Finally reaching my tent, I pulled back the curtains on the outside, stepping in, grateful to be back to my temporary home and out of the sandstorm. But then… my heart almost stopped and refused to start up again, the overwhelming shock of seeing her there, lying on the carpet with a drink in her hand, offering it to me. She was like a vision that I thought I would only ever see in my dreams.
“You left without saying goodbye,” she said, that smile capturing me once again.
“You’re a princess,” I said with a heavy sigh. “And I’m…” I was about to admit that I had given up, not just on pursuing her, but believing in my own heart. That was when she hit me with the message she had come to declare.
“The one I love,” she said.