Wait (500 words)

"True love is when you are willing to wait."
500 words for the flash fiction contest.

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1. Hearts

I recall a girl. Her azure eyes so wide, blessed with the innocence of childhood, yet the bags that grew beneath them were like that of a widow, sleepless with the knowledge that part of her spirit would be taken far away. To a place she didn't know, with the only man a young girl is taught to trust. 

This girl taught me what trust is.

Standing at the gates where he deported, though her mother sobbed away the pain of a broken family, I saw her shed only one tear. Her eyes were then dried.

The girl waited. 

A year passed, and she had turned ten, and as she wished on her candles she did not have to breathe a word for her friends to know what she wanted. 

Two  more, and she was in high school. Children wore charitable bands and crimson poppies in support of men and women fighting injustice far away, and instead this girl came home and she prayed. She prayed not that our army would succeed in their efforts but that this war in the papers had never been triggered t all. She prayed that this loneliness, this empty space that she felt, could be erased entirely. Through dwindling hopes, she told herself that soon, it would be. 

Months later, and the girl did not pray any more. She did not whisper words into the air, to the grey sky that did not help her, and instead she battled with these unspoken wishes as they bounced around her mind. Still, she was convinced. Her heart was iron, however rusting, from being left in the cold. 

Four more years, and the girl was sealing her future, though he was not beside her. She could not run home to show him this A, and this B, and this career within her reach.

Years and months and days were poetic to count, however as her life blurred before her, she stopped counting. 

Though when she found love, she waited still for his approval. Though when she drove for the first time, she waited for his congratulations. Though when she married, she waited for his arm in hers. Though when she held her child, she waited to know if he would love them like she did. 

And though he lay with a cross above him and honour to his name, his honour was truly mirrored in the fact that she waited

While his name rested on her lips, and his face - though fading - imprinted on her mind, he was never dead. Merely absent. She waited an entire 'forever', and this trust in him guided her through life, to those gates where they might be reunited after the life he gave her was up.

So when her heart went still, and light engulfed her, she walked with him once more.

Poets favour the idea that 'hearts together, and hearts apart' describes loss. But is it hearts together, and hearts apart - Or hearts apart, and hearts together?

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