Leaves of Autumn

19628414-young-blonde-woman-sitting-alone-on-a-bench-enjoying-the-warmth-of-the-spring-sunA gush of wind blew from the east and caused another yellowing leaf to tumble down the maple tree. It fell, rocking slowly along its course, becoming part of the blanket of golden leaves strewn at the floor of the clearing. Seated there is Anamika, silent, solemn and still. It is a quiet and serene place with towering trees lining around, grass and leaves carpeting the ground while a couple of benches were set about. Anamika is sitting on one of the benches and it happened that the clearing was feebly populated then with only a couple of children playing with a ball and a girl hugging and kissing her pup.

Anamika is all to herself. She sits calm, composed and quiet. Her black locks lay neatly straightened behind and her yellow dress blending gradually with the fair brown of her skin, giving her a tranquil charm. She leans back on the back-rest and her eyes float up, slowly above the canopy of the trees to the blue of the sky and the memory of that day blinks within. That sweet lovely day when she had met him.

A year must have passed since. It was another pleasant evening and Anamika was there, sitting on the same bench and admiring the children playing around. There were many that day. A pair of them were playing Frisbee, two toddlers were trying a tri-cycle, a girl was holding a big ball, about as big as self and bumping about while another kid was throwing stick for his dog to fetch back. She was so involved into the lively scene playing in front that maybe she did not spot him sitting right opposite, far behind the beaming kids and resting his gaze upon her.

The first time she saw him, she said to self that he was handsome indeed. He did not flinch his gaze when their’s locked and Anamika cut her’s. The quiet was thrilling. She here, conscious of his soft gaze drenching her being and he there, casting an unblinking admiration upon her. The seconds ticked for a while, then the minutes. And the notion just hung in the air that, what next!

And he stood up. Still looking in her direction and strolled straight towards her. Her heart started bouncing within. She could feel her breath heaving. He came to her and sat beside, and gazed in front at the children. Anamika did not know what to do. She just held her ground, her bench, her seat. But the feel of his presence so close, so near was steaming her skin with a persistent blush!

It was he who spoke first. He said, yes, he had said, “Will you marry me lady.” It felt not like a question, not even a request. It felt rather like a statement. Bold crisp and touching. And it had her aghast! It was quite more than unexpected. She sees a guy a moment and the very next he comes to propose her for a life together! She is too baffled to word anything. She remains quiet.

The guy speaks again, “Shall I take that for a yes”. Now the girl looks into him, his bold beaming being. He definitely was any girls dream prince. A strong figure, broad shoulders, tough chin with a soft lightness in his eyes and a subtle smile on his lips. She looked into his eyes, which looked back with admiration and charm, and she said, “but you know nothing of me.” He said, “there remains nothing to be known which shall need consideration”. She was thrilled.

She could feel something within, which she hadn’t felt all her life thus and she knew this had to be it. That this had to be her prince charming and that with him, she shall live that happy and content life, suffused with love and care that is the dream of every girl. She looks down, her eye-lids with their curved lashed veiling her eyes from this man’s view. Then Anamika says, “I shall like to marry you too.”

Then he touched her hand and held her soft palm within his two big strong ones. And he said, “Thank you”.

Something stirred within her then. It shook her being, and welled her eyes. And a sense of confidence in him filled her heart that she had never felt for anyone. She said, “There is one thing that you should know of, though. My work! I give men carnal pleasure to earn my living.” As she said this, the strong palms that held her’s lightened. He looked frozen for a moment. It appeared like he was there but yet not. Not a muscle twitched and nor his gaze flinched. Then he slowly let her hand go and walked away, not looking back.

She remained behind, lone, alone, then since on. She has often wondered if its wrong to exploit ones resources. She was beautiful, charming, sensual and she banked on it. She would make men happy and earn her bread. She could not see anything wrong about the scheme. She still couldn’t.

But from that day, she never let any man near her. She had been chaste. She kept her physical being to self. Not in guilt, not in self-reproach. But in hope! In genuine heart-felt hope that may be, someday he shall return to that park, to that bench, to her and marry her. May he shall. He should!

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