Romantic Short Story:
For Daffodil, the world was a dark cluster of storm clouds and billowing thunder on the day she lost her darling love. From that moment on, even when the sun shone in the sky, the pouring rain of sadness in her heart would never end. Everything that she had ever loved or would love, so it seemed, all that she had depended on, all that had made her heart flutter, had died like spring flowers in winter snow, leaving nothing but emptiness in its wake and hopelessness in her heart. He was gone, and the aching loneliness in her soul felt like a thousand horses pressing her down, forcing her into submission to give up ever searching for love again.
What she hadn’t counted on, however, was that love would come searching for her. What she hadn’t imagined was that this new love would be even greater than the first.
It was a warm spring afternoon when Sage brought her to the mountains for a picnic on the grass. A ski lift transported them to the summit where they were the only ones around for miles. Vast views of mountain peaks that reached to clear blue skies above and flowery meadows in distant valleys captured their senses. A gentle breeze wafted clean fresh scents of azaleas and rhododendrons as birds sang hymns to a new season of love and hope.
The two of them mockingly argued on the place to set the picnic blanket down and when Sage half-jokingly refused her suggestion, Daffodil grabbed the picnic basket and hightailed down a path through the fields over the green hills. As she had hoped, he gave chase, laughing as he ran, and his infectious laugh started her giggling as she escaped over the ridge. Clearing the ridge came as a shock, however, which sharply sloped down at a 45-degree angle, catching her off guard. Without any thought whatsoever, Daffodil tumbled down the grassy slope, rolling over and over like a little girl and laughing the entire way down to the nearest glade that flattened out.
She turned to gather the things that had spilled out of the picnic basket, but when she looked back up the hill, it was already too late. Sage had tumbled down after her and rolled right on top of her, knocking her back. But somehow he was able to hold onto her in an embrace that kept her completely uninjured and the two of them laughed again as they rolled about in the glade until they finally came to a halt with Sage on top of her. She was grinning wide as they both caught their breath.
“How about right here?” Daffodil suggested.
Sage chuckled. “Right here it is,” he complied.
They must have stayed in that position for several minutes without moving, each gazing into the other’s eyes, not wanting to get up. Ever.
Daffodil caught the sparkle in his eye, the softness in his spirit, the clear indication that when he saw her, he looked straight to her heart and held it there. “What are you looking at?” she flirted.
Sage replied, his breath on her lips, “The most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen in my life.”
For a second it made her uncomfortable, but she melted into it, her eyes softening, receiving it gladly. “So we’re miles from civilization,” she began suggestively, her hands around his back drawing him closer. “What are you going to do with me?”
“First,” he said, grazing his lips tenderly over hers, “I’m going to kiss you.” And what a kiss it was. Deep, soulful, soothing like a warm bath in an outdoor pool. And when his lips separated, he said, “And then I’m going to ask you to marry me.”
Daffodil’s heart skipped a beat as she sharply drew back. “What?”
“Marry me, Daffodil,” he said, “and I’ll never let myself stop loving you for the rest of my life.”
Suddenly her past posted barriers like army defense posts around her heart. Fear had the upper hand and won out. “No,” she said flatly. “I can’t do that.”
The disappointment on his face was evident, and his eyes fell. She had to explain herself. It was only fair. For the next hour as they laid out the picnic blanket and feasted on roasted chicken, corn on the cob, and potato salad, Daffodil shared her story of loss, of hurt, of pain, of heartache that she would never let herself experience ever again. It wasn’t fair to Sage, she explained.
In the end, she left it with an open question, “After all of that, is love really strong enough for us?”
He had been quiet, silently listening and waiting. When they’d finished eating, he gave his answer. “Daffodil, I can accept your reasons. You’ve experienced love and also hurt. So have I. You’ve experienced courage, but also fear. I have, too. You’ve had great gain but also great loss. Is love strong enough for us? I love you, Daffodil. If you love me back, it will be strong enough. No matter how small we start. It will grow into a field of flowers like we see here. And not just a field, but hills, mountains, strong enough to hold us together forever.”
With many such words, he tried to persuade her as they held hands and traipsed up the path back to the ski lift. She was grateful that he didn’t give up on her, even after she had rejected his proposal, and she continually pondered what he was telling her.
When her heart cried sorrow for what she had lost in the past, the hills in their desperate silent plea would cry out how beautiful her life really was. Gazing into his eyes, envisioning her future with him, she smiled and her heart melted.
Pretty soon, she thought, in spite of the past, she was going to believe the voice of the hills.