A very short story written for a Wattpad contest.
| She sat in the firelight, her short chestnut hair reflecting the blaze. He sat across from her, legs folded, mouth shut and indolent. He burnt marshmallows over the flames and offered them to her, but she declined these blackened tributes. She did not like to eat.
The others had left. When they had had their fun, they sardined themselves into the vehicles of one or two drivers, to return to warm hearths and soft beds. These two remained, silent, comrades in a sense that it was the end of the line for them. There was nowhere to go, so they ought to just enjoy this and the remnant scraps of party foods.
He ate by himself, while she picked at a fray on her pant leg, and the fire began to die. Overhead a full moon listlessly peeked out from charcoal silver clouds. He tossed the little bag of sugary treats to the hungering flicker. The fire swallowed these before breathing its last, and in the pale moonlight both their tears were invisible.
She stood and walked away, not acknowledging his presence, not uttering a word. It was as if she believed he was a ghost, or perhaps that moniker belonged to her. As her footfalls were met with snapping twigs, a duet of steps harmonized; he had followed her.
They went on together like this, crickets setting the mood with their tune, and the distant coyotes yipped in play. Somewhere over the hills a train whistle blew, but it could not silence the natural ambience. This was an orchestrated play, a predestined drama, and it would not be interrupted by externalities.
The overhang at the reservoir was a familiar sight. She sat again, now sticky from the heat of a summer night, legs kicking playfully over the iridescent ripples. He sat next to her, his eyes forward, his face absorbing the gentle breeze. Together they watched, their slender frames an eerie dual silhouette, as the fireflies danced about in the moon's ballroom.
His hand found hers, and her hand found the strength to grasp his. Under the shadow of the trees, smiles creased their hollow faces, unbeknownst to the other. Consciousness waning, they leaned against the shoulder of the other, recessed cheeks touching.
He whispered, "I love you." It would not have reached her ear, if his lips had not been grazing her lobe.
In response she squeezed his hand a bit tighter, and the salty stream on her face pulsed anew. It was all she could muster.
It was the best night of their lives. It was the last night.