Romantic Flash Fiction:
Senna closed her eyes and grinned, playing along.
“Listen,” Dalton said. “Now don’t peak. Just… listen. What do you hear?”
As her bare feet rested gently in the cool water that flowed over her ankles, Senna listened intently to the babbling brook. The water dribbled over rocks and tumbled down tiny falls as the current moved with soft intensity and gentle impulsiveness. High in the trees of the forest around them, birds sang their sweet melodies that Senna probably wouldn’t have heard over the rushing water of the brook if she hadn’t closed her eyes. She felt the cool breeze dance through the forest and brush against her cheeks as she breathed in the fresh air.
“I’m listening,” Senna said, opening her eyes after several minutes of quiet meditation over her surroundings. “The forest is truly alive, isn’t it?”
Dalton reached out to hold her hand and scooted along the rocks to sit next to her. Senna could feel his warmth nestle up against her, and her heart swirled with delight.
“Long winters fray, etching away,” he whispered close to her ear. “The forest dreams, its sound a charm that rings through every stream.”
“Mm,” Senna moaned, her cheek resting on his. “Your words touch me like nothing else can. Or was that a quote?”
“I just made that up. For you.” His lips kissed her gently on the closest cheek, making her whole body tingle.
Senna giggled, leaning into it, not wanting it to stop. Ever.
“Didn’t you hear it, Senna?” he asked her. “When you closed your eyes.”
“I heard a forest that inhales and exhales through a babbling brook and a soft breeze,” she replied, matching his mood for poetic diction.
“That,” he explained, “is the sound of love. Every time the water rolls over rocks, the brook continues on, the bird chirps its song, you hear three words from the bottom of my heart – I love you. And I do, you know.”
She turned to face him, her smile glowing in the sunlight that broke through the trees from high above. “Do you really?” she teased with a lift of her eyebrow, snuggling closer, her lips inching towards his.
“That’s why I brought you here today,” he said. “To let you hear it for yourself, not only from me, but from the thousand witnesses of nature all around us. To give you this gift.”
Their lips brushed lightly before Senna melted into his kiss as he cupped her hands in his. It was a kiss that for just a brief moment pillaged all the vitality out of the forest, and if it could be harnessed, it would black out a city and light up her whole world in that one touch of his lips.
When their mouths separated, he grinned at her with sparkling green eyes. “Now open your hand,” he said with a mischievous, mysterious grin.
She felt nothing there, and she almost thought he was joking. Until she opened her hand. When she did, she caught her breath. She looked back at him in disbelief. He was still grinning as if he had planned it all along.
Senna suddenly closed her hand, clutching it so tightly that she imagined that if she didn’t, it might disappear as magically as it had appeared. She felt the diamond against the palm of her hand and shut her eyes tightly, now unable to control the tears that trickled down her cheeks.
“The other message of the brook,” he said. “Marry him, Senna, it said.” Choking up with emotion himself, he fought to get the words out. “Marry me, Senna.”
When she opened her eyes, they were glassy pools gazing into the eyes of the man who would father her children and give hope to her life in old age.
But then, just for a second, doubt suddenly crept in like a poisonous asp on the slippery rock. “But what about…?” she heard herself saying.
He shook his head. “I don’t care about that. I’ve never cared about that. I only care about you.”
She sniffled, fighting back her emotions. “I love you,” she said, mouthing the words, no sound coming out, but nearby a babbling brook echoing her heart.