“Let me tell you a story”, she said.
He was sitting in his chair, with eyes fixed on the minutiae of some random listing, ever the distracted workaholic. It often felt as if she was the only one in the room, and he was merely a statue. This companion served solely to fill up space while the real self went off on extended vacation.
She walked behind him, very close. It always felt such a daring thing to want to touch, but this time she did anyway, running soft fingers across the back of his hair. It felt like the silk of his shirt; as soft as the subtle scent of his cologne catching at her senses.
He didn’t notice. So boldness became her friend, and she pressed on.
“It’s a different story this time”, she said as she stopped right behind, “I’m not sure what you’ll think of the plot. It’s a little out of character”.
He cleared his throat, and she felt that she had found his attention at last. Unspoken electricity was always their calling card to each other, and she had begun to feel the flow. He said nothing, but his body stiffened and she knew he was listening now.
She pressed into the back of his chair and placed her hands softly on his shoulders. Her cheek rested on the top of his head at a right angle. Then she closed her eyes. And told her story.
“It’s about a girl in a garden”, she said. “This girl has been very naughty, staying out much too late. The sun is very low in the sky, it’s a long way back to the house and she’s behind her time to finish chores.”
“She’s no more than a serving girl in the house, well cared for, but kept under strict supervision. The Master of the place won’t be pleased at her disobedience; off chasing butterflies all day with her work not yet done.”
“She knows all this. He’s a kind man, despite the severity of his distance. She would never want to contradict his authority or be a disappointment. But the sun had been so high and the scent of the flowers strong. So her willful spirit had won out over better sense.”
“Even now, with evening fast approaching, she was distracted by two squirrels chasing their tails. Too enamoured in that moment to realise she was no longer alone.”
“He had actually been watching her for quite some time. The Master himself. Marveling at the gold in her hair and the swell of her curves. The easy spring in her steps as she danced through the grass. The sweet sound of her voice humming a favorite tune.”
“He wasn’t as mad as she feared he would be. Not really. Surely he would need to punish her. But for now he simply watched. And smiled.”
“Then suddenly, just as she was turning to continue following the squirrels in their play, she caught his shadow in the waning light.”
“At first she stopped dead, terribly frightened and badly ashamed of herself. But as she stood there frozen he never moved, and this made her wonder more.”
“Where were the expected words of correction. Why no sound and why no fury. All she saw was him watching her, and as he did she felt a kind of bold audacity rise in her heart. And a new thought.”
“Maybe he will play with me.”
“This seemed a crazy idea. Masters never played. They had heads full of unknowable things. Responsibilities to fill their days. A small girl with too much time on her hands would surely be nothing but one more bother.”
“But somehow she felt not anyway. He wanted to play. She just knew it. So with a courage she never would have thought to have, she ran to his feet.”
“Dearest Master”, she said. “I think you’ve worked very long and hard. And I know I’ve been a naughty girl, neglecting my duty, but I see you here watching me and I wonder if you might let me show you something.”
“He did no more than nod quietly, but this was more than enough. And she smiled very wide. “Come”, she said. And she took his large tanned hand in her small white one, pulling him toward the deepest part of the garden.”
“This is my secret place”, she said, pointing to an old weathered tree in a back corner surrounded by wild flowers. The tree looked ageless but the flowers were all brand new. Yet it all seemed seamless and perfectly matched somehow.”
“I wanted to show you. I thought you might like it here too. It’s very calm and my mind knows how to think. Or how not to think when that’s what’s needed. That tree listens to me sing. And as I saw you standing there watching me, you reminded me of it.”
“You remind me of that tree often my love”, she said. I love to sit at your feet telling my tales. You rarely speak. But you always listen.”
With that the reverie was broken, and the garden was gone. It was just the two of them, in a simple cluttered office with a blinking computer screen.
But as he reached up to hold the hand on his shoulder, it felt as though the garden wasn’t really gone after all. All her stories weren’t actually different. They were all just the same story really; and this their only ending.
“Tell me another”, he said.
Copyright @ 2015 Borntodance