Golden Autumn

Contributor: Linda M. Crate
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It was autumn, the trees were shedding their brightly colored leaves, and a rush of orange tiger lilies came sweeping in like a tide. They were freckled in small brown dots, like the ones spattered down her cheeks and arms. She pulled strands of dark brown hair from her equally as dark hickory eyes. These were beautiful days, days where she couldn't tell where he ended or she began. She could never explain that to anyone, none of them seemed to understand. Only he seemed to have that capacity to read her as thoroughly as a book.

She hoped she were a novel worth reading. She sat upon her favorite rock in the back yard, a large stone hidden in the bosom of thistles and trees, pondering the meaning of love and life and everything inbetween.

She had been married for three years already, but the twenty six year old still had many unanswered questions. Life wasn't an easy mystery to unravel. Sometimes she threw down lemons, and other times she lifted you into the golden splendor of sun star moments. Kiki didn't think she'd ever understand why things fell apart or even why or how they sometimes knitted themselves together more perfectly than a dream.

She had a life before she had married Nolan Crest. Yet that seemed like a dream borne years ago wrapped into another dream.

She didn't sacrifice her dreams for her husband. Nolan had been the only thing she had yearned for in life when she had been sixteen. She then soon flowered and blossomed burgeoning ideas of her own for what she wanted in life, but he had always been a part of it for as long as she could remember. She could scarce remember her childhood dreams for many of them had died in the chill of winter's frost.

Kiki had always wanted to be a fire fighter, and Nolan didn't stand in her way. She loved her job, but she also loved those precious rare moments where she didn't have to run into the flames. She had always been brave, but sometimes the fires scared her. As if one day, they would burn away all those attributes that made Nolan happy - that one day he would turn away from the crone that lived in the shell of her semblance. Yet when she had exposed these fears to him, he had laughed. He told her that no matter what happened he would always love her.

Autumn was magical for her, and it went beyond the pretty colors and the way she felt connected to the earth in that season. It was this month three years ago that Nolan had proposed to her - in the middle of a snow covered November's ground. She had been ice skating with him when he popped the question, and she had to admit she was impressed. She hadn't thought he had an original thought in his head when it came to things like that. Later she would come to find it was her sister's idea when Nolan begged her for an idea that wasn't so cliché as her favorite place to dine out or even a movie theater. Though, she hadn't known anyone that had become engaged there, he could have probably went with that idea and she'd have been just as happy. But Nolan was something of a perfectionist, and he always wanted to make her smile.

Kiki smiled warmly at that thought. Her husband was such a thoughtful man. He always had been a good person, that's why she had fallen so madly in love with him, and she knew that love would never die no matter how many winters came in, trying to blow them apart.

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Linda Crate is a Pennsylvanian native born in Pittsburgh yet raised in the rural town of Conneautville. She has a Bachelor's in English-Literature from Edinboro University. Her poetry and short stories have been published in several magazines.
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