I decided it was about time for me to do another random word story. For this task, I use a random word generator to produce 3 nouns, 3 adjectives, 3 verbs, 3 adverbs, 1 interjection, and 1 preposition. Then, from this list of words, I write a piece of flash fiction.
Today's story will use the following words.
Nouns: mud, dignity, postscript
Adjectives: ancient, hollow, loving
Verbs: flow, capture, devise
Adverbs: officially, heavily, infinitely
Then, for fun I created a Wordle out of these words. I like Wordles, so that's a good enough reason to do it.
Now, here's the story. I hope you enjoy it!
Falling into Love
As a young girl, I wrote down almost everything I saw and felt in a worn little spiral notebook. They were almost a kind of postscript that helped me organize the information I couldn’t otherwise decipher. I wanted to devise an explanation for everything.
Let me be clear. Curiosity and exploration are wonderful things. There’s nothing wrong with analyzing the world in order to understand it. It’s a desirable thing. Yet a list of facts, of cause and effect relationships, can’t touch what it feels like to be human. You need real life experience to get the whole picture. Call it practical experimentation, if you will.
I’ll never forget the day I learned this crucial lesson. I was eighteen. Officially an adult, I applied my infallible (to my mind anyway) logic to everything with renewed confidence. I heard about the so-called beauty of love from all sources. Despite all the fans of love, the idea of loving someone for life seemed ludicrous to me. I judged every couple as I saw as delusional and doomed to failure. So the idea of leaping into romantic entanglements seemed ridiculous. Of course I wouldn’t waste my time with such nonsense.
It was our last day of high school. I walked home with my friend Jesse that afternoon. I’d known him since his family moved to town halfway through Kindergarten. He was easily one of my oldest friends, and he loved to argue with me about my outlook on life. As a writer, he investigated the world through literary means, and he had a decidedly romantic perspective on the world. While we didn’t always agree, I enjoyed our debates.
The rain had fallen heavily through most of the day, but by the time we set out for home, it was barely a drizzle. We tromped through the damp streets discussing the nature of string (it was his day to select the topic of our debate). I stuck to issues such as tensile strength, functionality, and material. He focused on its ability to hold things together. “If we tied a long enough string between us when we both leave for college, we’d have that one thing in common. Each little movement one of us made would have an influence of the other.”
In retrospect, I understand his reason for taking the conversation in that direction. Yet at the time, I jotted down his latest argument in the notebook I reserved specially for our post-school discussions. “Perhaps, but the string would also wreak havoc on traffic patterns,” I noted.
At this point, we were approaching a downward slope that led to a small creek that flows through the middle of town. My house lay just beyond that, so we usually cut across to save time. On this day I instinctively turned to go down the slope.
Jesse’s hand gently captured my wrist. “It rained a lot today. Maybe we should go around the long way. You don’t want to get your shoes soaked.”
I looked down. The water level didn’t look that bad. “It’ll be fine,” I insisted as I took a step.
At that precise moment, the mud gave way and left me struggling to get a foothold. Jesse automatically tightened his grip on my wrist as he attempted to hold me upright. In the end though, gravity prevailed, and as a result of his efforts, received two falling bodies for the price of one misstep.
Well played, gravity. Well played.
Dignity evaporated as Jesse and I tumbled one over the other down the mucky inclined plane. He held me close to his body all the way down, as if that would somehow shield me from the fall. Soon our momentum brought us to the bottom, just beside the water. He came to a rest on top of me.
That’s when it happened. My head spun slightly from the dramatic tumble as I looked into Jesse’s face. Mud plastered his cheeks and hair, and a twig stuck out from behind his ear. Yet through all of that, I saw the concern on his face. He leaned down slightly so he could get a good look at me, and I couldn’t avoid the intricate details of his green irises. Something warm, something wonderfully unexpected seemed to echo infinitely in his eyes. My chest suddenly felt hollow, and I realized something was missing from that moment.
“Oh!” That single word escaped me as the enormity of it all sank in. He’d been in my life all this time, yet now, for no explicable reason, I saw him in an entirely different way.
He seemed confused by my monosyllabic utterance. “Amie, are you okay?”
In response, I slid an arm around his neck and pulled him even closer. When I pressed my lips against his, I did it wholeheartedly. I intended to savor the warmth, the pressure his lips exerted against mine, and the way my body reacted to all of it. My chest no longer felt empty as a glowing feeling swelled inside me. It felt like something ancient and scarcely understood was at work, pinning us together in a cloud of feeling. I needed to know every detail it.
Gotta love biology.
When I pulled back, Jesse looked bewildered. “Did you hit your head?” he asked.
I laughed. “I don’t think so.”
Satisfied by that answer, he leaned down and kissed me again. I accepted the kiss with fervor, anxious to feel more.
Never underestimate the power of practical experimentation.