And her grandmother told her stories about the Stars. Stars that she loved every night, stars that shone just for her. Stars that did not disillusion, and disgrace love.
Oh, she hoped they existed for her sake!
She stood still in her garden, bending forward as if admiring a dead flower- or almost dying. The moonlight caught the hem of her dress, sparkling at the corners, giving it its own whites of melancholy. Her hair, golden as a hay, was pulled up into a knot high on her head leaving a neck as graceful as a swan’s, as vulnerable to the hunterÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s arch.
And the west wind blew.
He approached her from the west with the wind and his scent and his steps were carried with the autumn leaves. He moved soundlessly except for the winds that were carrying him forward before his steps. He brought along a faint jingle of silver-white necklaces, as a token from a parting lover. She stood along, did not seem to move but left a deep sigh, as if an acknowledgment towards him, and his weight carried in the winds. Her back was turned to him and the west winds.
His cloak was of a warrior, shining and crisp. It was as if he was leaving for a far away battle, as if this was just a temporary home for him. His hands were brown and smooth and longed for her last touch. He smiled vaguely in the moonlight, but the moonlight shone on his agony more than the pretence of his smile. Had her back not been turned to him, she would have seen the moon shine on his smile, she would have seen the light in his dark aura and she once more had been dazzled and heart-broken. She was prepared and did not turn to look, she only said, “You are leaving,” it was not an indictment.
His smile faltered, but only for a moment. They always knew that the Warrior left them alone; never before had there been one who did not beg, who did not ask in vain for him to stay. Smiling wider, he stared down at his brown, smooth hands and said, “I am leaving.”
At this, she nodded, her silver-white gown shimmered faintly in the moonlight. She closed her eyes and bowed her head, as if in approval. There was silence except for the faint jingle of necklaces and the sound of the west wind doing her part of begging and beseeching.
And the Time stood still, as if capturing the last moments of love frozen in the garden of autumn winds.
He broke the silence, awkwardly, as if he were unaccustomed to speaking, “Since you have not begged me to stay, I shall grant you a wish”. He was surprised at the tone of his own voice, tender and shaking. He added quickly, “but do not ask me to stay. I may return some day, but I will not stay.”
She smiled a strange, secretive smile, the kind that always accompanied a tear drop. But did not turn to look at him. Her voice sounded as if it came from very far and she spoke very slowly, “I ask that you never again return this place, and you never again seek me out.”
His smile fell, and he wrinkled his smooth, brown brow. He stared for a moment at the merciless back of the one who would not beg and felt a sudden loss. The arch of her neck killed him with its own bend, sharper than the swords he ever fought with. He turned on his heel and walked away, the winds carrying his footsteps farther, he thinking of moonlight and her stories, knowing that he would be, at last forgotten.