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literature

Make the Memory Last

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Blue.

That was my new favorite color.

As I stared from across the room his eyes connected with mine. They were like diamonds, shining with grace and so pale in color. The gray—really a blue that seemed to be fading—clouded around his pupils like fog over a pond.

Music drifted into my eardrums, snapping me from my gawking. Embarrassed, I peered down at my hands as they were folded on my lap.

People talked and laughed and danced all around me. I just sat there on the wooden chair that was set up against the wall. My bottom was aching from sitting there so long. I gripped the sides of the chair and fidgeted in my seat.

The smell of peppermint filled my nostrils and I glanced up abruptly.

Piercing my soul like a flaming spear through the thickest ice, his eyes were fixated on me. I couldn't utter a single word. My mouth fell open slightly and my eyes, large and glossy, were looking at his handsome guise. It was as if a seraph had come and blessed this man with the most perfect features. He was so beautiful—yes, beautiful.

There was not a single scar on his face; it was as smooth as silk. The only thing that interrupted the downy texture of his holy appearance was the rugged shadow that decorated the lower half of his face, up under his nose.

A smile warmed his face as he came up and greeted me. His voice about killed me. It was so soft, yet low, and it was like an angel was speaking to me from Heaven.

I could only mouth a simple response in return.

I noticed his brown locks, cut just short enough to where someone could push their hands into them and stream them through their fingers. It was soft looking and looked feathery enough to lie upon. It was wavy, almost in curls, and I felt myself falling in love with every last detail of this guy's body. It was the simple things that I found myself falling in love with.

The few short moments I'd known—well, noticed—him I've already had that magical feeling swamp over me in a flash of raw emotions.

"Care to dance?" he asked suddenly.

I stared and shook my head shyly.

He lifted a brow then smiled nicely.

He reached down and grabbed my hand. Pulling me to my feet, he led me through the thick clog of folks, and whisked me out the front door.

"Ya know," he began gently, leading me to the garden, "Christmas seems so . . . Well, it seems to me it's all about the money. Everybody wants money, everybody needs money; the fret is over money! The specials they show on TV don't even give the same feelings they used to. Now that I'm older, I have this nagging tug in my mind that tells me, 'what's the point in watching this this year? It doesn't make a difference. You still know this holiday is all about profit and finance. It's not about the magical emotions you used to have as a child. It's a lie—a charade. It's not like it used to be. Special.'

"I know that seems insane or ridiculous," he paused and said after a long sigh.

He sat me down on a bench that faced the fountain. The white lights that twinkled dully decorated the outline of the fountain. They hung from the top as water cascaded under them and waterfall-ed down into the shallow pool below.

I watched as he walked over towards the fountain. He had his hands in his pockets and he peered down into the crystal-clear water.

"But," he pressed on, "I can't help but think that. Nobody has to purchase gifts; gifts that won't have much meaning in later years.

"I feel that if people just do good and share this holiday with one another, things will calm down and that special feeling will return."

"I know what you mean," I finally peeped up. I stood and walked over to him. The crisp air blew at the two of us as I continued, "Christmas should feel unique and wondrous, but it feels like a sham. Like it's sucking away every earning we get. I wish people would only get one really special thing for the people they loved and then just spend this time of year wrapped up in each other. But that seems too out-of-mind to ever work."

His eyes bored into me as I walked along the sidewalk that led me deeper into the garden.

I heard his footsteps follow after me and we started walking side by side.

I felt at home and warm on the inside as he walked next to me, his arm touching mine every now and then.

"People are too worried about the issue of money and don't realize their teaching the young ones to be that way when they're older. It'll just be another commercial holiday. It seems like it's already come to that, but I think we can save it. We can just try and spread the word that it shouldn't be about gifts that you buy, but gifts that come from the heart; memories that can be shared and that should never fade away. Things like toys and jewelry may have significant value, but not all of them do.

"I used to have this toy car that I'd play with all the time when I was eight. It was so cool! Now, I could care less about ever having it. It has no value to me now. But do you know what gift I have that still has value?"

He turned to me and halted in his tracks.

I stopped and looked back at him. I shook my head slowly and he said, "My life. It was a gift from God and I'm still very thankful I have it. It's important to me. Of course, I still have some things at home that I like having, but when I die, it really won't matter if they come with me or not . . ."

His eyes trailed over to some flowers. There were several different colors of them: red, white and pink. His fingers reached over and stroked the petals. He gripped the stem of one of the red ones and yanked it out from the ground.

He handed it over to me and gave me a hearty smile.

"This won't mean anything later. The flower will die. But the memory doesn't need to and it's worth keeping alive, right?" he coaxed gingerly.

Smiling, I gave a brief nod.

He handed over the poinsettia and I caressed the petals just as he had done.

They were soft and delicate and they felt like velvet.

My eyes glanced at him as he leaned down and put his mouth close to my ear. "Sometimes, you just have moments during this time of year where you think the magic was there all along, but you just had to find it again," he avowed in a low whisper.

"The magic would probably be here all the time if people just focused on the love and not the material things," I commented, staring down at my poinsettia.

Chuckling, he pecked my cheek.

His lips were tepid and supple and I felt my cheeks warming up at the touch of his kiss.

As he pulled away, I found myself gaping at him. I realized my mouth was hanging open and I closed it quickly. I looked down at my flower and pretended to be more interested in it than what he'd just done.

"I'm Matthew, by the way," he revealed after a moment's silence.

My eyes finally managed to look back up at his gorgeous face. His eyes, the color of rainy day clouds, struck me like a wildfire.

I felt suffocated as I couldn't tear my gaze away from his.

"Camille." My voice was cracked and I mentally scolded myself for that. I felt so humiliated that my cheeks flushed a deep crimson shade.

Matthew gripped my hand unexpectedly and made me follow him back through the garden. I clutched my poinsettia in my free hand and Matthew halted near the fountain again.

He let my hand go, much to my disappointment.

Pointing towards the sky, he made me look at the stars. They glittered the sky with elegance and they were shining brighter than ever before. The moon was casting a light down upon the water. It was sparkling like the ocean when the sun hits it with its rays.

I felt myself becoming hypnotized by the water in the fountain as it trailed down over the top and splashed down into the extra large, concrete bowl underneath.

Matthew glanced at me as he turned his attention away from the nighttime sky.

He looked at the water as he noticed I was staring at it.

"Even the conversation we had earlier about the feeling Christmas used to bring seems unimportant now," he claimed.

"Why don't we just live in the moment?" I responded, taking my gaze away from the water to look back at him.

A grin glazed across his face and he nodded.

"And worry about material things later?" he suggested with a gentle nudge to my arm.

I chuckled gently and nodded.

"Let's just be together for right now. That'd bring some feeling back into our souls."

Matthew snatched the flower from my grasp. He snipped off the stem by cutting it with his finger nails. He placed the large part of the poinsettia into the fountain and we watched it float around as water decanted from the pinnacle.

I felt his hands grip my arms as he pulled me into his body.

We stared at one another for a split second before he crashed his lips against mine. I felt my knees become weak and I had to lean into him more so that I wouldn't keel over.

My heart just about burst with joy and I was so overwhelmed that I closed my eyes and started to dream of a better life.

Melting into him, I kissed him back as he embraced me.

His arms were slender and long and he had them wrapped around me as our lips broke apart.

I knew I was blushing, I just knew it. But I didn't care. Matthew smiled down at me and I knew I was giving him a goofy grin in return. I was just so wrapped up in him that I didn't mind that I must've looked like an idiot.

The moonlight bathed us as the music from the building grew louder and I could just make out the sounds of Vivaldi.

"I hope this memory can last," I whispered, not meaning to blurt that out at all.

Matthew smiled and said, "I'll make sure it does."
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