Fiction Park

Fireflies

  • She frowned and hesitated at first, and then broke into a smile, as if a happy memory or the desire to make one had just struck her. She chased the fireflies and let them lead our way
- Tushar Subedi

Nov 26, 2017-Fireflies remind me of her. We had been laying there for a while under the shade of a maple tree. The grasses were thin and translucent, glowing in the sunlight. The clouds floated like birds–swiftly under the bright blue sky. Warm winds blew from the west, delivering invitations to the sun for the night. And I transcended into a slumber.  

When I woke up, I turned to her. Her eyes were closed against the rays of the sun making their way through the canopy of the leaves. 

“Wake up, let’s go!” 

“Where?”

She asked. I could see her eyelids open slowly revealing the most beautiful pair of eyes I had ever seen; eyes which intoxicated my soul. I remember smiling at her. “Where?”

She asked again and I continued to just observe her. The freckles on her nose looked like a constellation of distant stars.

“I don’t know,” I answered extending my hands to her. 

As my fingers filled the gap between hers, we started walking in a matched pace. We only took tiny steps, as if we had all the time in the world. But, we didn’t. One could see the western sky in different shades of red shifting every minute. We kept on walking through the meadows which bathed in the humid light of a sinking sun until we saw a forest. 

A flight of ravens flew into the sunset. There was a lighthouse in the sky to guide us home, a string of music hung in the clouds weeping over us, and the sands of time slipped out of our hands. And then there were us, straying. It was getting darker by the minute. And before we knew it had gotten pitch-black. 

I looked at the sky. The clouds were thick, and had blotted out the stars. We couldn’t walk any further so we rested somewhere around for a while. We could feel the cool breeze pass through us. 

Out of the blue, a group of fireflies appeared. One of the fireflies came towards us; its bright neon light splitting the darkness.

“Do you want to go deep into the woods? We have these fireflies guiding us.” 

She frowned and hesitated at first, and then broke into a smile, as if a happy memory or the desire to make one had just struck her. 

She chased the fireflies and let them lead our way. 

“Let it be! It’s dark and you don’t want to hurt yourself.” 

But she was stubborn. She wouldn’t stop until she got hold of one. Hadn’t she tripped on a stone, she’d probably chase the firefly to eternity. 

“I told you to be careful! Are you okay?” 

“I am okay, but I feel sad now. 

I lost the firefly.” 

“Come on. Get up.” I extended my hands again, and helped her up. The fireflies were already way ahead of us. I called out for them at the top of my lungs in hopes that they’d understand my language. In hopes that they’d come back just to paint her face in a smile one more time.

As we walked further into the woods, we were welcomed by a flock of fireflies again. We couldn’t tell if it was the same flock, but what it did mattered. 

Tall trees and leaves waved at us. We could hear the faint sound animals in distant. The bushes swayed swiftly and the crickets played hide and seek.

As if pulled by the gravity of reality, she held my hands tightly, and asked,” What if we get lost in the woods?”

“We are already lost. But this is the way out. We have to keep going.”

She seemed a little scared, but her eyes had their own vocabulary which hinted at her excitement. 

At that moment, it felt like the universe understood just what we wanted out of the night. The fireflies had then encircled us, suggesting they were ready to take us out of the here and now. 

“This is so pretty,” she kept saying and no matter how many times she said it, it would never be enough.

We had to move, so we kept walking on the damp ground. With the night, our feet were also getting colder.

I let out a frantic cry when I suddenly felt a sharp, unbearable sting on my right leg. 

“What’s wrong?”

It felt like somebody had poked a knife into my leg and then twisted it. The fireflies stopped, as we stopped. And as she stooped over to check on me, they swarmed over my leg, to show her just enough light to figure out what it was. 

“This is oddly beautiful,” as she pulled it off my leg she exclaimed, “It’s a crystal—it’s an Amethyst!” 

I was in pain. I was in so much pain. And yet, something about the look in her eyes gave me an odd comfort. Her obsession with the crystal enchanted me.

“What is an Amethyst?” 

“It’s rare and has healing powers. They say an Amethyst can heal even a broken soul.” 

I broke into a smile. 

“What are you smiling about?” 

I didn’t say it to her then. But all I could think of was how I didn’t ever need a crystal now that she had walked into my life. All I could think of was how I couldn’t wait to spend the rest of my life with her, even when I couldn’t move an inch.

.................

Fireflies remind me of her and how powerful I felt that night. They remind me of how much I believed in the healing power of love. They remind me of how I believed she would be the one to save me.

 

Fireflies also remind me of my naivety. I feel more broken since her departure. 

Published: 26-11-2017 09:17

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