Submitted by Damaris Ann on Tue, 07/30/2019 - 01:14

It wasn’t okay. It absolutely wasn’t okay, and she knew it; not just deep down inside her chest but floating up in the shallows, near her eyes, too. The truth was there. And the truth was that what he had done was not okay. But regardless of that truth, that undeniable, unsettling, concrete truth, Enna found herself speaking that age-old lie.
“It’s okay,” she said. She smiled so Arlo would know she had meant it.
“Okay.” He accepted her lie. He was soul-blind, so it was easy.
Enna kicked at a pebble and rolled her head up towards the sky, squinting blue eyes at the rays of sun that bit through moldy clouds. She could feel the freckles pushing their way through her creamy skin, and she wished she had bothered to wear sunscreen. Oh well.
Arlo was watching her closely as she walked along beside him. His brown eyes matched her hair in fire and spark, but nothing else about him mirrored her. Not in any way. Except maybe the passion that lay dormant underneath the dust and cobwebs which so ungraciously decorated his young heart. But he had forgotten he had a heart, and so the warm feelings lay sleeping, waiting for some angel or demon to wake them up.
They continued in silence for several minutes. Walking lazily, while occasionally pausing to take in the scenery which nature had painted just for the two of them. Wave after wave crested below the horizon, and peppery seagulls flew around, dipping and bounding just above the deep blue-green sea. Children scattered themselves across the sand, searching for treasures and joyously exclaiming over the shells and sunshine and seaweed.
Enna was lost in the view, and Arlo was lost in Enna.
“It’s not really okay, is it?”
“What, Arlo?” Enna whispered, daring him to admit that he had broken her calm. Her hand fluttered to her heart and her cheeks rushed in warm colors.
“I don’t have to go to London, Enna. I can get a job here. To be fair, I’d take any old job if it meant making you happy.” He ran his fingers through his hair, breathlessly wondering what that quiet pulsing in his chest meant. “I just want you to be happy.” He repeated.
“I-I...” she stopped in her tracks and bit her lip, willing herself to meet the fire in his eyes. “I want you to stay. Please. I don’t know what I’d do without you.”
“Really? Really, Enna?”
“Yes, Arlo. Really.”
He laughed, and the pulsing grew stronger. He pulled her tight against his chest and held her while the seconds ticked by, turning into glowing minutes of pure bliss.
Enna smiled, and whispered softly against his shirt. “I can hear your heart beating.”
He touched her hair, and kissed the top of her head. “It only beats for you, love o’ mine.”

Author's age when written

Hey guys! It’s been a minute. I promise I’m still alive, and mostly well. My health has been kicking me, but I’m kicking back and have hopes of someday soon being able to function more like a normal human being. Meanwhile life is good, I’m happy, busy (flying out for two weeks in DC on Monday), and overall great. God is good. :) I’ve missed you guys!