[Editor’s Choice: Shadows of Fallen Leaves – Love Short Story]
The morning was not cheerful and the cloudy sky was about to cry at any moment. Trees on either side of the road shed their leaves like never before, while the road was covered with dead leaves. The morning breeze gently blew the leaves forward and the leaves travelled along the road without knowing their destination.
One ripe red leaf settled down near a pair of legs. The boy gave no attention to the leaf circling round his legs. He was standing in front of the gate and staring the house for quite a while. The breeze that disturbed the leaves now rubbed his face gently. He wiped the hair out of his forehead and pushed it to one side. And then I read his expression. It was difficult to read his eyes. Anxiety, fear and desperation flashed in his eyes as he watched the house beyond.
He never went inside the house and that’s why I felt suspicious. I was on my way to my house when I saw this handsome boy standing there. I don’t know what made me go there and talk to him. My legs darted towards him and before I knew it I was standing next to him while he gave no attention towards me. I saw the house beyond where a lot of activity was going on. Something terrible had happened there. People were standing outside and crying. Someone was dead.
I never spoke to him but without even looking at me, he said
“I love the girl in that house”
I didn’t know what to speak, but I asked the question instantly that came to my mind “Is she the one, dead?”
He didn’t answer the question but his tear drops did. His girl was indeed dead.
“Why don’t you go inside and see her for one last time?” I asked.
The boy wiped the tears and tossed the drops to the ground. I was confused to watch him, when he said
“I never said it to her” and more tears fell from his eyes.
I never knew the meaning of love but as I stood there seeing the boy crying, for the first time in my life I understood how deep was love. I felt how he loved her.
“I never had the courage to say it to her” he continued.
He never spoke again.
The girl’s corpse was brought outside followed by a procession of people. We stood aside as they passed us. The boy stood like a statue beside me watching his girl go, never showing his emotions.
After the long line of people, a girl came and stopped right in front of us noticing the boy. She was her friend I assumed as I saw she was deeply depressed. She came closer to the boy and said just three words.
“She loved you” and went away.
The boy fell to his knees but didn’t cry.
Both of them loved each other but never expressed it. Now it was too late.
I said no more and walked on my way. I reached the end of the street and turned back.
The boy was not there!
Only the red ripe leaf with a single drop of tear on it was there…
That day I didn’t know what made me cry, but I knew it was worth it.