The smell of the woods wafts through the air, of fresh soil, and sweet sap. Breathe in. Sigh. Hear his footsteps up ahead, the leaves crunching under his feet. The trees cluster together like a maze of rough bark and thick, soft leaves. Not that it matters, it’s so dark the trees are hidden in shadows. He looks back, sky blue eyes twinkling in child-like delight. He has the most breathtaking eyes. Wish for eyes like his. Wish for him. Shut up, shut up. He calls out.
"Hurry up! We're almost there," he bounds ahead. Grin, force a smile. It's cold, bitter cold, the kind of cold of late autumn nights. He's like a late night autumn night. Pretty and freezing. Shut up. Focus on following him. Past taller trees, bigger rocks, mossy soil. It's the same. Where is he going? It's too late for this. Wish for home, hot chocolate, and a book. A cat curled up on your lap as the fire crackles beside you.
Doubt. Doubt. Follow him blindly. His hair is like a sheep, soft, and blonde. Watch sheep bound through the trees, happy to be out of the pen. Black sheep. Skipping towards the slaughter. Why are you here?
Rub your hands together. It's so cold, so angrily cold you think you can't stand it. Just a little more. A little further. Why am I here? Doubt. Snap a twig, flinch back. He turns around.
"A little further," he assures. A little further, a little longer, a little faster, a little harder. Rub your hands together. Watch his breath fog up. It mingles with yours, entwined together in the frozen night air. Shut up.
"Here," he says, stopping at a cliffside. It overlooks the lake. Gasp. The stars hang high in the sky like lanterns. The lake gleams with freckles of light, reflections filling it's murky black waters.
"Beautiful, breath-taking," stutter. Doubt. He grins. His blue eyes glow like the stars in the sky. If he is the sky, your heart is like a great, black, murky, lake. His sparkling eyes reflect into your murky, muddy brown ones. Shut up. Shut up. Reflections of stars on the surface, twisting, grabbing seaweed underneath. Shut. Up.
He sits. Sit next to him, bare calves pressing against the cool stone. He talks about old times. Better times. Please don't mention the embarrassing thing. He mentions it. Laugh, face flushing red. It is so cold, so terribly cold.
"Do you like it?" He looks with his star eyes. Look away.
"Absolutely," Be more enthusiastic. Smile wider. Wish your heart was on fire, instead of this mind-numbing mud. He smiles, takes your hand. Blush, look away. Shut up. Calm down. It's so cold.
"You'll come back with me tomorrow, right?" he leans in closer, his star eyes reflecting off of the murky dark. It's so cold. Go inside. Be warm. Be happy.
"Of course," Smile. Come back tomorrow. Be cold, don't be alone. Stars touch the waters, his lips press against yours. Try not to think that stars are already dead when you see them shine, and lakes hold more secrets than their reflective surface.
Go Inside. Doubt. Or... Keep warm in the brilliance of an already dead star, and content with the surface of a filth-filled lake.
Choose the latter. Repeat cycle.