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Sunset Blossoms

JD, Staff Writer

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“Come on Marco, ” she called out, “You’re too slow!”

Marco stopped to catch his breath and called back, “Cheryl you’re in too much of a rush! Would it kill you to slow down a bit?'”

“I don’t want to miss it.”

“And we aren’t going to,” he assured her, “Look, we left with more than enough time to get there before sunset. We didn’t need to run halfway across town to get there.”

“I don’t care Marco, I’d rather be early than miss it.” Cheryl snapped, “Now are you going to keep yapping or are you coming with me?”

Marco let out a sigh. Figures. He knew Cheryl since they were 6. Once she had her mind set on something, she wouldn’t stop or slow down until she saw it through.

He cracked a smile and said, “Should have known,” and he sprinted after her yelling “Hey, wait for me!”

He caught up with her at the traffic light near the bookstore as she said, “How much farther is it?”

“Should be just up ahead. That big hill on the edge of town.”

“Got it,” she said, prepping herself to sprint across the road when the light turned green.

“Hey, Cheryl,” Marco started.

“Yeah,” she replied, staring at the other end of the street.

“We have about a half hour to get there before sunset,” he said looking at his watch, “And I’m kind of at my limit. Do you think we could maybe walk the rest of the way?”

Cheryl sighed a bit and closed her eyes, but after a second or two, she stood up and gave him a reluctant, but endearing smile, “Sure Marco,” she answered.

“Thanks.”

The light finally turned green and they started the rest of their journey to the hill. For a while, the air around them was surrounded by nothing but silence and the occasional car whizzing past them. Every now and again, some familiar faces would pass by them and say hi, but it was very short and sweet.

After a little bit, Marco finally broke the ice and said, “So, how’s everything been?”

“Good. You?”

“Eh,” Marco said with a shrug, “Could be better.”

“Oh really? How?”

“Weeeeell, I may be a bit behind on my school work.”

“That’s what you get for taking a trip to Utah in the middle of the week,” Cheryl said with a nudge to his shoulder.

“Well, when you’re right, you’re right. But you know my dad. ‘Now’s the best time to go if any’ am I right?”

She chuckled and said, “How was it, by the way?”

“It was nice. A little hot for my tastes, but fun anyway.”

“Hot? For you?” she asked with a laugh.

“Yeah. Don’t see how that’s so funny.”
“Well, it’s you. You not known to get hot very easily.”

He laughed alongside with her and said, “I guess you have a point there.”

They walked the rest of the way, chatting about this and that, and when they finally got the base of the hill, Marco started climbing it and stretched his hand out to Cheryl. She smiled for a bit and grabbed it as they climbed the hill.

Once they reached the top, she asked, “How much time do we have left?”

Marco checked his watch and said, “About five minutes.”

“Five minutes?! What are going to do for five minutes?”

“I dunno,” Marco replied while he sat down on the grass, “For someone in such a rush to get here you never once thought about maybe just laying down and relaxing?”

Cheryl sighed and said, “Ya know, it just slipped my mind,” as she sat down with him. For about thirty seconds.

“Ya know,” she said, “This is pretty boring.”

“Well, what do you want to talk about then?” Marco asked as he stared at the sky.

“Why did you go to Utah? For real.”

“Well,” he said flustered, “It’s not often my parents decide to take me on trips and I just thought…” He stopped short, feeling her gaze piercing through him. Cheryl new he was hiding something.

“Marco, I know you love your family, but you wouldn’t do this in the middle of school unless something was important.”

“Well, it’s kind of hard to talk about. I needed a lot of time to think about this and I…”

“Marco, it’s me,” she assured, “You can tell me anything.”

“I know. But like I said, I needed time to think about it.” He checked his watch and said, “Speaking of time, it should be happening in 3, 2, 1.”

As he finished his sentence, flowers all around them bloomed, releasing a glorious blue hue that danced and mingled with the red sunset on the horizon. Marco sat there and smiled at the familiar sight he saw when he first came back and turned to Cheryl. She was taking this all in for the first time, and her amazement was beyond description. Her jaw looked like it was about to drop down to the ground. Marco smiled. She loved it. She really, genuinely loved it. He was worried she wouldn’t enjoy the view, that it may not have been enough of a payoff for her. But he was glad to see he was wrong.

“Guess you like it?” he asked, just to be 100% certain.

“Like it? Marco I love it! It’s just beautiful.”

“That’s great,” Marco said, blushing, “Because I was thinking…”

“Yes.” Cheryl said as she turned to face him.

“I… What?”

“You were going to ask me out right?”

“What…” Marco said, taking aback, “What makes you think that?”

“Well, you disappear for a week, don’t meet up with me for a few days after that and then decide you’ll take me here of all places. Plus you said you had to think about something. And  there’s the fact that you’ve been a lot sweeter than normal.”

“Alright,” Marco replied putting his hands up, “Alright I get it. You can read me like a book, Cheryl.”

She took a step closer and said, “So? Isn’t there something you want to ask me?”

Marco sighed, took a deep breath, and said, “Cheryl, we’ve been friends since we were kids. You’ve been an incredible friend to me, closer with me than even my family at times. And I’ve been wondering if it could maybe be more than that. So if you want to, maybe we could-”

Cheryl kissed him, cutting him off from his words. When they stopped she said, “Took you long enough. Yes Marco, I would love to.”

They smiled at each other and embraced once again on the hill where flowers bloom in the setting sun.

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William Paterson University's Official Student-Run Newspaper
Sunset Blossoms