The Boy In The Forest

Summer - ClearingThe boy sat alone in a clearing in the forest.  He was about 10 years old with short brown hair, sad brown eyes, and big black glasses that look like they weighed down his head.

The forest was quiet and well lit by a warm sun that seemed intent to watch over him, as if it worried about this little lad being all alone out in the middle of nowhere.

He sat on a log exactly in the middle of the clearing, and faced opposite of the way from which he had come.  It was hard to tell if he was studying woods he had yet to travel, or if he was turning his back on the world he had left behind.

The boy had a book with him, and after taking one quick look at his surroundings, he let out a soft sigh, opened the tome, and began to read.

The absolute silence in the clearing didn’t bother the boy at all.  In fact, he seemed almost comforted by it.  The longer he sat there reading, the more relaxed his body became.  A smile even danced across his lips, but perhaps that was simply because he’d come upon an amusing passage in his story.

After what seemed like an eternity, the silence was finally broken.  A figure rushed into the clearing from directly opposite where the boy faced.  She was about his age, had long brown hair, and big brown eyes.  A look of extreme worry covered her pretty face.

When she saw the boy, she stopped in her tracks, put her hands on her hips, and let out what sounded like a low growl.

“Where have you been?” she asked in a tone that was both accusatory and tinged with worry.  “I’ve been looking for you everywhere.”

He didn’t even look up from his book.  “I’ve been right here the whole time.”

He continued to read, but something about him changed.  His body tensed, but not in a way that made it appear he was frightened or stressed.  More the way a body reacts when its heart starts to beat five times faster and butterflies flutter around in its stomach.

The girl approached slowly, as if trying to determine how close she could get without scaring him off.  With every step that brought her closer and didn’t cause him to run, the girl gained a little more confidence.

“Why would you come out here to the middle of nowhere?” she asked.  This time, there was only concern in her voice.

“This is where I end up whenever I start to miss you too much,” he explained as he finally closed the book and looked up at her.

When their eyes met, they smiled simultaneously.  Her smile revealed an adorable dimple on her right cheek.  His caused his giant glasses to move a little higher on his face.

“I don’t choose to come here,” he continued.  “I just always find myself here.  I used to be so scared because it was always dark and cold, and there were weird animal noises out in the woods, and I didn’t know which way to go to get back home.”

The girl looked around the sunny, silent clearing, and saw the clear path that led back into the woods behind where the boy sat.

“It doesn’t seem that way now,” she said and stopped directly in front of him.

The boy looked up at her, and the way the sun was positioned behind her made it look as if she had a halo.  “I’ve taught myself to feel more at home out here.  I even remembered to bring a book this time.”

He held up the book to prove his point.

“Do you remember when we used to come out here on our lunch breaks?” the girl asked as she sat next to him on the log.  She was so close that their arms touched, and the boy looked down to study the goosebumps that instantly appeared on his arms.

“Of course I remember that, Sweetheart,” he answered as he took her hand in his and they interlocked fingers.  “How could I ever forget that?”

“I really do miss you.  You know that, right?” she asked as her big brown eyes welled up with tears and she rested her head on his shoulder.

He just nodded and let the tears roll down his cheeks.

When he woke up, the boy from the dream was now a man.  He put on the same pair of big black glasses, but his brown hair was now tinged with gray.  He reached for the clock next to his bed, which told him it was 4:15am, but the clock was not what was making the noise that had awakened him.

That’s when he realized it was his cell phone, which was chirping because he had a new text message.  Only one person would dare text him at this ungodly hour.

It was her, of course, and the text read: “Just had the craziest dream. We were little kids, and I was searching everywhere for you because you were gone and I was scared. I finally found you in the middle of a forest clearing, reading a book.  You were a cute kid, btw.  Love you.  Miss you.”

He smiled, wiped away his tears, and read the text one more time…

About Austin

Native New Yorker who's fled to the quiet life in Maine. I write movies, root for the Yankees, and shovel lots of snow.
This entry was posted in Humor, Love, Philosophy, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to The Boy In The Forest

  1. markbialczak says:

    Beautiful story, Austin. Thanks for the Sunday night poignancy.

  2. Mark Aldrich says:

    Very sweet. Thank you.

  3. Very nice Austin.
    A little romance on a cold winter night.

  4. Very nice! Your romantic side is showing…

  5. stephrogers says:

    Oh that was so romantic!

  6. Awww. There was a beautiful sense of symmetry in this.

  7. Aussa Lorens says:

    Aw, that was sad to me. Go to her, gray haired man!

  8. Awww! (wiping tear from cheek)…

  9. E. says:

    such a sweet little romance. love it.

  10. ksbeth says:

    a wonderful ending

  11. gimpet says:

    Wishing this were real….

  12. Pingback: Jumble Spoiler – 01/23/14 | Unclerave's Wordy Weblog

  13. User 136789 says:

    So touching for so many reasons (that you’d never even think) and beautifully written, as always. Please ignore the User ID, I haven’t had chance to look into it since I’m not on here too often. 🙂

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