The Sugar Quill
Author: Scout  Story: Description  Chapter: Default
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Description

Description

 

 

 

Disclaimer: I forgot to add one to my last story, but of course none of the characters belong to me, only the words that I use to express them.

 

Authors Note: My favourite description of Love has long been a passage from Guy DeMaupassant’s “Our Hearts”. It inspired me to write this. Many thanks for those who read, and of course review – you are every writer’s dream J

 

I must thank my lovely beta Aurelie, who writes me very entertaining emails to read at work when I’m bored out of my brain J

 

 

“To love “very much” is to love poorly: one loves – that is all – it cannot be modified or completed without being nullified. It is a short word, but it contains all: it means the body, the soul, the life, the entire being. We feel it as we feel the warmth of the blood, we breathe it as we breathe the air, we carry it in ourselves as we carry our thoughts. Nothing more exists for us.

 

It is not a word: it is an inexpressible state indicated by four letters….”

 

-          Guy DeMaupassant

 

 

PART I

 

“What is it about snow that makes everything so….white?”

 

She smiles inwardly, at his bemused expression, and at his words, that are so inexplicably him.

 

“Well actually”, she says easily, “snow is just…..”

 

“Stop.”

 

His brisk interruption startles her, but when she looks over at him, he is grinning.

 

“Imagine if you will, a world where science doesn’t exist. Don’t faint.”

She rolls her eyes, yet looks at him expectantly, which he takes as permission to continue.

 

“How would you explain snow then?? I’ve stumped you haven’t I!!” His excitement at the thought is evident.

 

“You know, just because I have a brain doesn’t mean I’m short of a heart.”

 

An answer untypical of her, and it throws him.

 

Unmoved, she continues.

 

“I would say snow is rain that comes from the moon. Maybe there’s someone powerful and good up there, and he sends snow once a year to remind people that everything is beautiful…..” She trails off, as she notices him make a grand show of suppressing his laughter.

 

“Fine,” she snaps angrily. “What’s your explanation? You started this ridiculous conversation, so please, enlighten me!”

 

His laughter rings out merrily in the cold. “So there’s really a man on the moon?? No, wait, wait… a snowman on the moon!”

 

Her face is burning now, and she is shaking, not because of the chill in the courtyard where they stood, but because she is humiliated. He had tricked her into revealing something of herself, of her dreams, and all he could do now was laugh.

 

She breathes out, and a trail of mist escapes to dance with the late afternoon air.

 

Turning, she inhales and strides away from him, wanting to cry but not knowing why. It was so immature, because they weren’t children anymore, and she normally would never, except that she had so wanted him to see something inside her, something that wasn’t books and homework.

 

Something that would show him her soul was alive.

 

Yet it was absurd of her to even consider it. It didn’t matter, and she most certainly didn’t care, and she was annoyed with herself for even thinking for a second that she did, because she didn’t. And now that she had discussed the matter, she could close it, and lock it away, deep inside her where all the most secret things hid.

 

He is calling her name, she can here it on the wind that is chasing her. Or is it his voice chasing her? She slows, because she must, even though she wishes she could will herself on because wouldn’t that just show him?

 

She whips around to face him. Sees him swallow nervously. Makes sure her presence weighs him down like a storm in the summer.

 

“Um..” He is unsure how best to approach the volcano that is Hermione. Should he tread lightly and escape the fire? Or throw himself headfirst into the flames?

 

“Look, I don’t know what your so mad about, I just got the picture in my head and it made me laugh, that’s all!”

 

Lava surrounds him. He is sinking at an extraordinarily fast rate.

 

“I…its not your answer really, its more the image…..and it just sort of came out of nowhere you know…?” He clutches wildly at the burning rock, trying to climb out of the pit before its too late.

 

“Ok, I’m sorry! Really, but it’s a compliment that you make me laugh! Its not like many people can!”

 

He is exasperated, and doesn’t really think about the weight of his words. He has just admitted something strange and powerful, that he had never, ever wanted to let her know.

 

That she delights him.

 

Because it would catapult their friendship into no-mans land.

 

A dangerous place to be.

 

Shaking himself out of this disturbing reverie, he dares to look at her. A smile plays on her lips.

 

The rock he was clutching for before evaporates, and suddenly he is on dry, un-volcano like land, and it feels very good.

 

“And,” he says, trying quickly to move past his earlier slip of the tongue, “your description was much better than what I was thinking of.”

 

“Which was what?” She asks softly.

 

“Oh.” He is suddenly embarrassed. “That its actually white coloured fairy floss being pumped from a huge machine in the sky. And you can, you know, eat it and stuff…”

 

He wishes his ears wouldn’t go red, because it will show her that hers was actually quite a nice sentiment, and his….well, his was just plain old stupid Ron at his nonsensical best.

 

This time it is her turn to laugh, and laugh she does. Yet it is a kind laughter, because she is kind, he thinks, and unexpectedly wants her to know it. That he thinks she is kind. And that standing here, in the snow, basked in a pale light that is so characteristic of winter, she looks as lovely as he could ever imagine a girl looking.

But he pushes that thought aside, (they’re best friends for goodness sake), and they head inside, and he hopes there is no more talk on descriptions for a very long time.

 

 

PART II

 

Summer creeps slowly into the windows at first, without causing much ado. The heat rises without hurry, clouds stroll by, and its gentle pace is undisturbed, until without warning, the cymbals chime with glorious crescendo, and radiance and colour are everywhere.

 

It’s a summer when you just know something is going to happen. When time ticks loudly in front of your face – a countdown begins. All the fun is in not knowing what for.

 

Nevertheless, this is just background. He knows it.

 

They are sitting together, as they always do, because together is so much better than alone, and they both know this even though they are a little afraid of what it all means.

 

It is still so humid out, and she can see his clothes are sticky with sweat.

 

“Isn’t it great the holidays are almost here?” He asks. For some reason there is an awkward silence, and he is grappling for some conversation.

 

She shrugs. “I guess.”

 

She is distracted, he can see. But only she knows why. And it’s awful. How, how did she get herself into this horrible mess, where her brain is fuzzy with half formed thoughts and feelings, and a dreadful, burning desire to ask him if he felt the same way.

 

“Are you ok? Hermione? Cause you look a bit sick.” He is frank, and she stumbles inside her head to explain herself.

 

Blankness.

 

She turns and looks him right in the eye, and wills herself to be brave.

 

The ticking stops, and she knows that right now, in the middle of all this heat, with the grass pricking her legs and the late afternoon sun making her face red, is the moment. Sometimes, she realises, it just hits you right in the stomach - that feeling that if you don’t say it now, you might never say it, and that, unbelievably, is even more frightening than trying to get the words out in the first place.

 

“What do you think about love Ron? I mean….how…how would you describe it?”

 

He seems frozen. And petrified. She’s ruined it, she just knows that she’s ruined it. Could she have been more blunt? Now he would run away from the whole thing, and she might never get a glimpse again.

 

He clears his throat, and her eyes widen as she realises that his mouth has opened to speak, to actually speak.

 

“What makes you ask that…? Not that I think it’s a stupid question!” He rushes ineptly, and she realises he doesn’t want to offend her, or embarrass her, and its strangely satisfying.

 

“I suppose…” She stops, and shyness overtakes her. There’s that burning again, but she doesn’t think it’s from the sun after all.

 

Deep breath.

 

“I suppose I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately, and I just thought maybe you had some…..thoughts” she finishes lamely.

 

“Ah. Right.”

 

Tension swoops down, and tugs unmercifully at their clothes and hands and feelings.

 

For a while, neither says anything, and she begins to think herself insane for even attempting to bring this up, and fear grips her.

 

When she thinks of love, her core seems to explode with meanings and words, things that she herself has felt because (and in an instant it all makes perfect sense), she is in love! With him, Ron, her most wonderful friend in the whole world, who sets out purposely to nag her and tease her and cause her all sorts of trouble, whose opinion of her matters over everyone else’s, whose hand is the only one she can ever possibly imagine holding when she is afraid, and who is looking at her now as if he hasn’t got the faintest idea of what love could ever feel like.

 

Because unlike her, he’s never felt it.

 

To him, she realises suddenly, she would always be just Hermione, who’s kind of fun to hang out with, when she’s not yelling at him to finish his homework, and is exceedingly useful at getting them out of critical, possibly life-threatening situations.

 

His friend Hermione.

 

Friend.

 

And of course their friendship is important, she admonishes herself, choking on her breath and tears, and shock, and she’s lucky really, to have such a great friend as he, whom she knew always looked out for her, as a brother would.

 

“Why are you crying?”

 

She has forgotten he was there. He asks the question as simply as Wendy does the boy Peter, in a fairytale her mother used to read her long ago. The thimble-kiss always made her heart jump.

 

She can only shake her head, even though she wants to scream at him that her heart is breaking, couldn’t he hear it?

 

“Love.” He says.

 

For a moment her brow creases in confusion. What?

 

“What?” She asks stupidly.

 

“You’re crying because you love someone.”

 

Oh. He always sees right through her, and she hates it.

 

“But I think we should get back to our conversation. You were asking me to describe love.”

 

She is taken aback.

 

“I guess the only way I’d really be able to describe love is….” Suddenly he looks hesitant.

 

“What?” Her voice comes out in a whisper, she is unsure if he even heard her.

 

He brushes her chin with his hand.

 

“You.”

 

For a second she is stunned, because sometimes one word is all it takes to make you feel like that, as if the wind has been knocked out of you by some sort of strong and invisible force.

 

One word.

 

Love.

 

You.

 

Love You.

 

The revelation turns everything upside down, and she thinks she hears something swelling, like music, or her perhaps heart, as her face breaks helplessly into a smile.

 

“I knew you’d like that one.”

 

He is grinning too, and all that tension is gone and everything is light and weightless.

 

She is dizzy, and puts her forehead against his shoulder to rest, and he plays with her fingers, and in the end, the only description that really matters is this one.

 

And it’s beautiful.

 

 

The End

 

 

 

 

 

 

//
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