The strong winds came in from the north. The air shifted as the humidity gathered strength. She could smell it coming. Rain would be there soon. Yet, she stayed where she was, in the moment, letting the gusts whip her back and forth. Around her, wheat was snapping, unable to resist fate. She reached out and touched one of the heads, saving it from being pushed to the ground.
The field was in turmoil. Dust kicked up around her, whipping her face, causing her eyes to sting. She would not cry today, even if she wanted to.
“Are you ready?” he said behind her.
“Five more minutes?”
“The rain is coming and I’ve got to be going.”
“You could stay, you know. Nothing bad would happen if you did.”
“But what about life, friend? What about the future?”
“It can coincide,” she said, defiantly.
He held out his hand to her. Tentatively, he touched his fingertips to hers. He could have been a pianist, if his life had worked out that way. A surge of pain hit her heart, and she looked away from him. The arrow had done its damage.
“It can’t be this short.” She said.
“You know it’s not.” He said.
“But it’s not enough time. I need more to get it right.”
“It’s not for us to determine. Our souls knew each other before we crossed paths. We don’t get to decide when they separate. It just happens.”
“Our souls are kin. How do I move forward knowing that?”
“With courage,” He said.
She crumpled the wheat in her hand. The dust disappeared into the wind, joining its brethren into nothingness. She stared out to the end of the landscape, where the sky and the ground met.
“I can’t leave this place,” she said.
“I can’t stay,” he said.
They looked at each other. He moved his hand further to her.
“Two more minutes,” she said.
The sky turned darker, and lightning could be seen close by. She turned her face to the responding thunder.
“It’s getting darker.” She said.
She cupped his hand then, squeezing gently. He returned the gesture, and gave a small smile.
“You’ll be ok.”
“I don’t think so,” she said.
“You will. My soul will always know yours. It will always feel close.”
“That statement makes me ache,” she said.
He looked off into the distance, frowning.
“The wind has picked up,” she said, her hand beginning to shake.
“Yes, and I must go. There’s so much to do, and I’ve stayed too long.”
She gripped his hand hard, pulling him toward her. “Please don’t.” Her voice was barely audible.
He released her hand, and looked at her. He smiled again.
“Remember what I said. Remember our souls.”
A thunderclap startled her. Reflexively, she looked in its direction. She felt the humidity suddenly sucked from around her. She looked down the rising goosebumps on her flesh. She closed her eyes, wishing for a different ending.
“Where did the world go?” She turned her head back to him.
She watched him walk away, the water wiping away his tracks as the sky broke loose its chaos.