Sunday, November 28, 2010

Don't Hide Your Face From Me

This is part of a short story I wrote last year for my creative writing class.

Probably the first time Ram saw her he was seventeen. He was examining the way his hands looked in the light of that hour, which was about eight on a warm August evening, while sitting on a red bench just outside the library. He thought August always had the best light of the year. Its light was the orangest, or the pinkest, or the deepest blue, or the most golden, piercing yellow at any given hour of the day. And though he had never been out of Turlock, he was sure it was the only place the sun ever shown in its most dazzling colors.

Probably it was the colors that the sun made on her skin that made his breath catch. But he would swear later it was her beauty and not the sun’s. He had never seen her before. The city’s two only public high schools couldn’t boast ever having taught her. Its strawberry fields had never been picked to satisfy her cravings. Its cobblestone streets downtown were never sorry for tripping her, or had ever tripped her, for that matter.

Ram went to her where she was surrounded by a deep marigold light in front of the library, sudden drops of sweat gathering on his tanned forehead, recalled that poem by Walt Whitman (To a Stranger) and, defying it, said “Hello.”

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