Leah Pikoulas, Grade 9, Marian College
Finalist in the 'Summertime Fun ONLINE' competition
The repetitive dismay of the street brought him a serene sense of hope, nothing had differed. It was no surprise the pristine expanse politely greeted the white frost mounted beneath the tree branches, and the streetlights lit due to the gloomy and disconsolate atmosphere brought by the weather. It was peaceful, the same way it had been this time years ago. The timeless season he recalled to himself. Yet, he understood that he certainly knew the time, the place and the hour. He had been an annual visitor of this exact time, yet someone who was monotonously forgotten.
The door to her office was painted sage green which he believed complimented her personality suspiciously well, due to her strong, yet comforting presence. He understood the absurdity of comparing a wonderful woman to the colour of a door. One that could not be forgotten. Yet, he is a writer and procrastination took the best of him, quite a reasonable excuse for the comparison, he thought to himself.
He was expected, of course. He had booked an appointment with the publisher decades ago for this exact time. The same story is clasped in hand’s grip, similar feedback and minor changes made every year. “A quite compelling story, your use of analogies are superb, yet, you have not properly ended the story.” Or the most common sentence used throughout the years, “beautifully written, but bring it back to me in a week with a different ending. I adore your story and I do not say this often, but the ending is not as captivating as the start.” He came to fonder the feedback because he understood that his story was acceptable or was it that she could remember?
As he finally gained the courage to enter the hallway of his unconfirmed hope he knocked on the door awaiting her. The love of his life. She opened the door within seconds and welcomed him in with a pronounced grin. He reciprocated her positive ambience while he agreed to a cup of tea. She then gestured the way into her office and to the grey armchair placed in the corner between the fireplace and an array of books. He understood the layout quite explicitly yet followed her guidance to the armchair as if it was the first time their paths interlocked. It was all an illusion.
“What do we have here?” she had asked him.
“A novel, but if you prefer, you can read the first chapter now. It gives insight into what the story is about,” he answered in a weary tone.
As the publisher read through his piece he wondered if she thought that the story sounded familiar. “Her hair withered with mystery” or “her eyes glistening similar to the way the sun meets the sea”.
She approved the first chapter and then completed the last. She believed that the ending was lifeless yet could not grasp why. It ought to end someday, maybe in another lifetime, he thought to himself.