This is a regular column featuring original poetry by and for high school students, provided by Figment.com, an online community writing site for young people.
We walked hand in hand through the wet grass. We were both quiet. Neither of us needed to speak since the post-rain shower aroma wafted around our heads. Wandering through the forest behind the train tracks, we discovered an old barn. I looked at him and tugged him closer to the overgrown building. “Can you imagine?” I whispered.
“What it must have been like in its day?” He finished for me. “It would have been beautiful.” Stepping up next to the vines, he reached out to the barn, his callused fingers stroking the old wood. “Do you wonder how old it is?” He looked at me. That twinkle in his eyes reminded me of the time we first met. Years ago, I had found an old train car in the woods behind my house. Sometime later, he was new in town, so he was figuring out his route to run. When he saw the car, he had to investigate and found me sitting in it, with a lantern and one of my favorite books. He was grinning from ear to ear, and that smile was contagious. We spent the summer there together when we could. It was college, so it became our escape.
“I bet it’s as old as our train car.” I answered.
He looked at me again, but this time it was different. Fondness, I think. “I bet so, too.” Walking back to me, he took my hands and kissed them. He caressed my cheek. “I wasn’t sure how to do this, or at least the plan in my head didn’t turn out like it was supposed to. . .” He took both my hands in his and studied them.
“Neither of us was going to plan on finding this barn.”
“Well, yes, but that’s not what I was going to say. Look, I. . .” He watched my eyes search his face. “I love you. You know that. You knew that as soon as I found your old train car. As soon as I found you. And now we’ve found this old barn together. . .”
I smiled, and leaned over to kiss him on the forehead. Gazing back at the barn, I stepped closer to it, and he dropped my hands. “I wonder how long this will last. If we could last that long, or longer.”
“I know we could.”
“Well, humans have already lasted much longer than some of the buildings they made, but think of the pyramids and the great wonders. Those will last forever, don’t you think?”
“I still think we could, too.”
I turned around to smile at him, but I stopped. My mouth dropped.
“Will you marry me? So we can last forever?” He was on one knee, and the wet grass and dirt were already smearing into his jeans. “I know we could outlast that old train car and this old barn. I promise to love you forever, until the pyramids fall down or until Heaven does. Humans made the pyramids, and like you said, humans can last longer than the things they made, but no human built love.”
“Oh, my God.” I never thought that I was the kind of girl that teared up over such a thing, but I felt my eyes water.
“So, will you marry me, please? I want to last forever, as long as I have you with me.” I noticed his eyes had tears in their corners, too.
“Yes! Absolutely yes!” I held my hand out, and gawked at the ring he slid on my finger. It was beautiful. He got up from the grass, and wiped away the tears that had accidentally rolled down my cheeks. He ran his hands through my hair, and we kissed. It was different, somehow. It reminded me of that floating, tingling feeling I got when we had first kissed. This was another first kiss, in a way. We were engaged.
Pulling away from his lips, I saw him smile again, and he pulled me into a hug. “God, I love you.” I mumbled into his chest.
“I love you, too. Forever.”
He let me go, and nodding, I glanced back at the barn. “Forever.”