Maybell Fairweather was the girl of my dreams.
Always smiling brightly, she kept going, despite the names her classmates called her behind her back.
She was completely my opposite in every way.
Because this is the story of how I ruined her.
Based on a true story. Standalone Romance. No cliffhanger.
“It’s so peaceful out here,” she whispers.
“Yeah … I love it.”
“I just wish I could get up and stand under the trees. Just for a little while.”
I sit up and look at her, waiting until she opens her eyes. “Just standing or more?”
She smiles as she cocks her head towards me. “And maybe dance a little. If I could.”
The left side of my lips perk up into a smile. “You can.”
I get up from the bench, stand in front of her, and hold out both my hands.
“What are you doing?” she asks.
“Take my hands.”
“Why?” She looks at them tentatively.
“Just take them.”
It takes her a while to agree, probably because she’s scared. But there’s no reason to be. I won’t let her fall. I never will.
I pull her up into standing position.
“Hold onto me for support,” I say, and then take a step back until I’m so far back she has to come to me. “C’mon. Don’t be scared. I’m here.”
One, two, three. Hop. Her leg sways, but she stays put, putting every ounce of weight on my arms.
“Again,” I say, taking another step back and tugging her with me.
She goes along with it, taking another step of blind faith.
I never take my eyes off her as she continues to hop closer to me. Not even when we reach the center of the field. Leaves are scattered all around us, and when the wind blows a cascade of more leaves follow. Some drop on her head, making her giggle as she brushes them off.
Still, I can’t stop looking.
I’m no longer afraid or embarrassed about it.
I simply am … in love.
“What now?” she asks.
I pull her as close as I can so I can wrap both my arms around her. “Put your arms around my neck.”
She complies, her fingers lacing behind my neck. I can feel the warmth of her skin against mine, and as I soak in the heat of the sun I feel invigorated, strong. Strong enough to carry her across the ocean and back.
In one go I lift her up, her cheerful squeal creating goosebumps all over my body. Then I start to move my feet, one by one, until I’m no longer just walking … Until I’m dancing in a whirlwind of leaves … dancing with her in my arms.
The beauty of this place fades in comparison to her.
And even though I adore every inch of her presence, I do not deserve her.
But that doesn’t mean I can’t fulfill her dreams.
Her smile is wide, her teeth sparkling in the light of the sun. She looks so happy. Happier than I’ve ever seen her, and it fills me with something I’ve never experienced before. Hope.
After spinning and circling around for so many times, my head is getting dizzy, so I slowly come to a stop and admire the renewed look on her face. Her rosy cheeks. Her tousled hair floating in the wind. She leans away and grabs my hands as I pull her back to the seat once again.