“You know how you count your blessings, you count each step here, each one of it; each step is what you owe to the rhythm you hear,” her master was nagging again as she was trying to get her lyrical moves right. “You miss one beat and all you are left with is restlessness; it kills you. Do you hear me?” he yelled again as she missed one slight note of the tune playing. Her eyebrows twitched and frowned each time she heard him harping the same old nag. She tried focusing again but God, wasn’t that hard given all that was going on in mind. Her mind, so rich, so colorful had lived its own bliss until that one image, one instance where she could neither help her gaze nor her thoughts or her annoying mate who didn’t seem to get the damage her friend had done to herself in that trifling instant.
She had taken the less trodden road that day, and that made all the difference. Clearly her mate hadn’t approved of that and thus the constant huffy muttering she had to bear disapproving of all her life’s choices, typical of a sincere friend. She had smiled inwardly and looked up and there all her heavens met. Under the thick foliage near the light stream, struggling to keep his hands warm in his long coat pockets, lost in deep thought, staring at the flowing water and gauging its stillness. Cold breeze swirled around to disturb his hankering contemplation but not an inch did his thoughts drift. In that fraction of a second, he turned his head and his brooding gaze met hers.
“Are you even listening to the violins being played here?” her master hollered while struggling with his temper and her absentmindedness. That woke her up. “Fie on your mind, Tennessee,” now it was her turn on self-rebuke. “Let go already, it passed. It was just a momentary, unintended, particularly unconcerned gaze.” She tried to bring her rather sensible self to senses but in vain. “Could I take a break here, master, just a while,” she pleaded as she knew it was her loss not his master’s if she hadn’t practiced. He gave in and granted her half an hour repose. She headed towards that passage again. She had to get rid of this constant refraction of her mind. “Only if I could see him again. Just once.”
On her way, she couldn’t stop appreciating the beauty around. She had always loved living there. A small town, with greener pastures, woods and moors. Her dwelling was near the white water stream. The clean water and clearer reflection had never failed to delight and bemuse her wits. She started to dance. On her toes, lightly swaying with the breeze, hands in the air, eyes closed, reveling in that fleeting moment of elation. And someone held her by her shoulders, ceasing the bliss. She froze there; eyes still closed and jaw clenched with imminent sense of danger around. “Do you have any idea how gracefully enchanting it is looking at you right now?” That voice, it sure went with the brooding stare. Her mind whispered and that was it. She couldn’t keep up with all that self-inflicted infliction and fainted. The last she remembered was someone’s hands around her, holding her. It had to be him, and her mind drifted off with that thought.