May 20. 3:30 pm. Schuyler, Nebraska.
A few wispy clouds speckled the blue sky. Sunshine filtered through the weeping willows leaves, landing on a teenager’s pearly face. Her boyfriend stared at her. Her and her ethereal beauty. He loved the way the light made her blue eyes shine, the way the breeze ruffled the grass around her face, and the way her lips curled into her famous soft smile. Whenever she smiled like that, the whole world reacted. The birds sang louder, the sun shined brighter, his heart beat faster. He took her slight hand in his, causing her to turn her eyes his way.
“What are you thinking about?” he asked, a soft smile touching his own face, while his heart grinned.
Her eyes lit up with eagerness, but she kept her answer casual. “The future.”
This had been a common topic between them for years, but he still feigned surprise. “Really? What about the future?”
Excitement reached her voice, her smile widening ever so slightly, “I’m thinking about the travels I’m going to experience, the people I’m going to meet, the food I’m going to taste, and the adventures I’m going to have.”
He watched her sit up slowly, a long strand of brown hair hugging her bright, enthusiastic face.
“I’m going to do it all, Min, I’m going to see it all, live it all.”
Min smiled. His heart could burst every time he heard her talk about the places she wanted to see. “Yeah? Where are you going to start?”
She paused, thinking. “Hmm…definitely Japan, then Korea, then Hong Kong and Tibet before going to Europe. Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, England, Ireland. EVERYWHERE!”
She was standing now, her arms spread wide, smile broadening with each passing breath.
“And you know what?” she asked, smiling down at him.
He raised his eyebrows, pretending to think about it. “No, what?”
“I’m going as soon as we graduate. I’ll never come back.” His smile faltered slightly. Something in his chest throbbed. “And, best of all, I’ll get the chance to do it alone!”
The world slowed. He could feel his chest constrict, his breathing becoming shallow. Black dots danced in front of his eyes. He saw her laugh with delight, the sun making her white teeth glisten, and the wind blowing her beautiful hair back behind her. She was going alone. Did that mean she was leaving him forever? The pain in his chest grew tenfold. His very heart was breaking.
But Kit…he thought, staring at her glowing form.
A tear slid down his face, glimmering like a diamond on his cheek.