Katarzyna’s Proposal

Katarzyna’s Proposal

It was a mid-March morning, yet a winter chill lingered palpably, and the trees lining the streets were smothered with a thick frost. He walked through the muddied salt path, eyes fixed on his new shoes, and hands pushed into his wool coat pockets. By the Capitol building steps, the Denver skyline was hardly recognisable in the fog, with just a couple of polished tips figuring out how to discover their way through the apparently unending scope of white and emptiness. A city-wide shutdown for the Covid-19 had been announced a week ago by the Governor not far from these steps. The world was shutting down.

Images of the previous month, despite everything that had happened, flittered on his brain. However, he felt to some degree disconnected, similar to an assortment of detached minutes falling off a giant clock. Strands of beautiful golden hair. Fingernails rimmed with stripping varnish. Lips that at first appeared to be sweet, however, that soured immediately, bound with the bitter tastes of lip-gloss and coffee. He didn't care. He regretfully craved that he hadn't asked her more he had wished to know, just so that, in years to come, she may take more of an unmistakable character in his memory than he was left. That, when analysed, could bring out a feeling in him - regardless of whatever it was, he wouldn't care then. In any case, from this point, she would simply be the lady in the blue jeans and grey sweater outside the cafe inside Union Station, smiling at him straight under the glint of two beautiful chandeliers.

When he arrived at Katarzyna's apartment, the haze had, for the most part, lifted by the time he'd thump on the door. It was in a Victorian house turned into apartments near Capitol Hill, with yellowing paint and a chipping exterior suggested tiredness around an aged neighbourhood. Her window, as usual, shone out against the vacant lot, aglow with the warm shimmer of candles and Christmas lights. She embraced him at the door and leaned her head against his chest, her pulse exciting against his heart. Her eyes, as usual, were saturated with naive enthusiasm, faithful in its wildness, similar to the eyes of a deer gazing intentionally down the barrel of a hunter's weapon. He embraced her back, kisses her delicately on the neck. Her cheeks flushing as his hands folded over the little of her back and descended down her navel. Afterwards, they sat in front of the TV on the old sofa in her room, she slipped her fingers into his and crushed his hand until her knuckles went white.

Towards noon, they go for a social-distancing stroll through the little section on the south side of City Park. The city is under a few new rules to quarantine the spread of the virus.

Confine yourself to your home, don't attend any public gatherings.

In public spaces, social distance yourself by standing 6 ft. apart from others and cover your face with a mask.

You are not allowed to attend school or work unless you were essential personnel, provided no symptoms of the illness developed.

The light was depleting from the sky under clouds as they plunked down on a bench beside the pond. He watched the lilies as Katarzyna kissed his neck. The peaks of their petals stroked against the water's surface, tinged by the quieted shades of life. They had a bright papery look to them, rendered practically translucent by the environment, which shared a dim shading that was both substantial and delicate. A honey bee circled vainly around a melting flower not far away. However, its vitality appeared to dull dramatically, and in time, it chose a blossomed bulb with its shaky wings, landing on its side. He gazed at the honey bee, wondering about its life - it epitomised a quality that was faultless in its nobility, yet intrinsically unassuming in its captivity. Regardless of whether it spoke to a yearning or an unthinkable absolute, he didn't know - yet whichever way, it grounded him. She kissed him harder, and with more earnestness, catching her hands around his neck and accidentally diving her fingernails into his skin until beads of blood rose to the surface. He saw the honey bee get itself together, shake the pollen off its worn-out little body and fly once more; soon, it would discover its nectar, appreciate it, and be euphorically renewed.

It wasn't that he didn't care about Katarzyna. He did and had the time with the pandemic to find out more of his heart. There was something innocent to her dedication to her PhD. and confidence in him. How she would sit quietly for him with glasses of wine. Even after quite a while into the night, harbour no hatred or envy, jealousy of space in his mind, just a love for him, and a wanting of his children. Regardless of whether the approach of nightfall came to an end, and he was still no place to be seen; she sits quietly for him with glasses of wine.

She would sit before her mirror, twists wrapped by hair rollers, painting her toenails as a miserably sentimental playlist drawled in the background. Fantasies took flight in her mind; she was a queen, dressed in a gown of gold and black silk with a flawless ostrich crest. He was her noble Knight. Their romantic tale would rise above the lonely walls around her, would transcend the messiness and the disarray of dating life, and would permit them to make their own little heaven, in which no one but they could live. She would gather her bags and abandon the way to her imprisoned apartment on the edge of life. He'd thump on the door while the sun was still up and whisk her to a house with an adorable nursery and honey hardwood floors. They would travel the world on ends with their family when permitted, drink wine under oak trees in Europe, like couples in the way lifestyle magazines did. She would have the option to hold his hand immovably yet serene, without wanting to grasp onto it for dear life and white knuckles. She was now a queen.

He cared about her, yet he realised that he would want, before long, to be back outside the cafe inside Union Station, sitting opposite the woman in the blue jeans and a grey sweater, smiling at him straight under the glint of two beautiful chandeliers.

#Denverwriter #Covid19ShortStories #Semifiction #FlashFiction

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