Romantic Flash Fiction 9:
Beyond the anxiety, tension, and fearfulness of this life flourishes a garden. Chirps, calls, and howls from honeycreepers, kingfishers, and lovebirds intermingle with the sound of gently falling rain through the trees high above. The air is mild and refreshing, and the humidity is just so that beads of sweat bring comfort as well as delight. Soft claps of thunder echo in the distance, a reminder of the power of nature, yet far away and out of reach of this haven. Somewhere nearby, a carelessly plunging waterfall meets a pool of solitude and tranquility. And she is alone. For now.
To Capriana, this garden is her refuge, what her morning routine would not be complete without. A dip in the pools of warm crystalline waters is topped off with natural sunbathing by the edge. And always thinking of him. Dreaming of him. Imagining his hands on her body, his lips on her skin. She would allow him to be with her, to hold her, to give himself to her. But she would never ever open her heart to him. For keeping him distant is her fortitude, her way of reserving what is most sacred to herself. The sentries around her heart are given strict orders to be on full alert at all times. No one is to get in. Close, but never in.
But today is to be the day that all changes. Her heart stammers and her hands begin to shake. He is coming and will be here soon.
Completely bare, lying on her stomach by the edge of the pool, she wonders if he will even come at all. No man has ever been given an invitation to this place, to meet her here on her most sacred turf. She turns her head to the water beside her and watches her reflection as if in a mirror. Then her image is distorted by tiny drops that cause ripples on the surface. Thunder claps louder as the rain tip taps over her skin, drenching her curly hair lazily tied behind her head.
“Capriana,” she hears behind her. His voice. He’s here. Her heart pounds through her chest as she turns her head toward him, afraid to look but still turning.
Then she sees him and smiles, her defenses lowering, the sentries over her heart given a leave of absence. She turns completely to him, happily finding him as naked as she is. Her eyes appraise him in a long, silent moment. Every single bit of him.
“How I’ve longed to meet you here,” he says, drawing nearer to her.
She is still shaking, fear tearing straight through her heart. But the closer he comes, the more she is disarmed. Finally, his breath commingles with hers. And she reaches for him, finding him.
And in that moment, in her garden of dreams, she finally discovers the secret of what has made the garden flourish all along.