Little Paper Boats
The music floats above him softly as he gazes out over the lake. The sun casts it in hues of orange and gold, making it shimmer. Cherry blossoms continue to fall from the evening sky, dancing in the gentle wind that brushes his hair out of his face. He could stay here in this moment forever, for once truly serene.
A family is down by the lake. The children are still shouting and laughing, playing with each other in the tall grass. He smiles softly. His mind goes back to a time when it was just him and his friend at this same lake, playfully shoving each other into the water but not caring at all that their clothes ended up soaked. Every time, before they left, they would make paper boats and set them out over the lake. He would always watch, transfixed. The little ripples, tiny white boats on a backdrop of pink and orange. Something indescribably comforting.
The family is leaving now. The children whine and complain, but they follow their parents. They leave him in silence, the only sounds now the chorus of the birds and the crickets intertwined with the distant melody still scattered in the air.
His friend would mock him for being so sentimental, but the flowers, the sunset, the lake, they remind him of when he was happy without burden. They remind him of the laughter that used to ring out from the both of them, and the bright smiles only his friend could pull from him.
He’s learned to be happy now, too. It’s different, it’s harder, but he likes to think his friend would be proud of him for carrying on. Maybe he’s watching the same scene from beyond. Maybe the wind is his gentle touch on his shoulder, the song his voice trying to reach him. He likes to think his friend is still by his side at this lake, just like when they were younger. Maybe he understands what he feels when he looks out at that lake, shimmering in the golden light of their shared past.
There’s a fleet of little paper boats floating across the water.