Just like every other day. He had experienced it 16 times now in his short life. 16 days in a row, they had appeared and danced and been happy, and then they had left. It never got any easier. Every time he felt his heart shatter; every time, he felt abandoned; every time he grew more accustomed to the bitter truth. He was alone. He did know why he couldn’t go with them; why he couldn’t leave the colorful wood which was all he had ever known. It just wasn’t the right time. But would it ever
be the right time?
Even though the others left at night, the music never stopped and the colors were still as vibrant as ever. A huge stalk with a bright pale leaf hung over him, giving him some shelter during the night. Nearby, a large white mushroom would have worked just as well. A gentle wind rocked the flowered trees above him sending pure white flower petals down as he slept. A blue bird sat perched on a tree branch, singing softly, lest it wake the peacefully sleeping figure.
He awoke early the next morning of his 17th day. The entire ground was covered in a blanket of the white flower petals. He barely noticed them. He just stood quietly and faced north and wondered and imagined and hoped. He squinted his right eye as something began to irritate it slightly. He glanced over. The sun had begun to peep over the hills in the east, cascading the world in yellow and gold.
Her head appeared from behind a large turquoise colored leaf, where she hid from him. He glanced in her direction, and she ducked back behind the leaf shyly. When her head again appeared over the edge of the leaf, his arm was extended to her invitingly. She glanced at his hand doubtfully and then back up to his soft eyes. He was careful not to make any sudden movement. Slowly, softly, she began to creep out of hiding, keeping her gaze warily on him. His mouth twitched into a reassuring smile as she drew closer and extended her hand doubtfully toward his. Then they touched. With a start, she drew her hand away quickly as if she had been burned. He did not move away. Like an unmoving pillar he stood with his arm still outstretched invitingly. Cautiously, she again advanced and, this time, gingerly grasped his hand. He felt her body go tense, and he waited patiently for her to relax. And then they danced.
Twirling and jumping, they kicked up and trampled the white flower peddles, which were soon replaced as more floated gently from the branches above. Soon the clearing was again full of pairs dancing together. Lights flashed as light tried to make its way through the organized cacophony of dancing figures that lept and spun together happily. Their shadows contorted and shimmered behind them like the flame of a candle before it flickers out. It danced with them, imitating their every move. It should have been magical, but to him everything had lost its magical touch. He knew that, eventually, the sun would again set and they would leave him. She would leave him.
The day waned, and he began to feel genuinely hopeful. He danced with her as he had never danced with anyone before. Maybe this time he could travel away with them. Maybe she was the one. The light began to fade away and with a joyful smile, she grasped his hand and pulled him along with her as she ran, as full of energy and happiness as ever, north. He came with her for a time, wanting so badly to follow her, but as he neared the edge of the clearing his legs began to slow and his fingers began to untangle from hers. Than it was as it was before. A sorrowful look, a kiss on the cheek, and then she was gone.