The Ballad of One Love
—Chris Joseph Stancato
The call of crickets outside Beth’s bedroom window annoyed her while she was reading a book on an early Sunday morning. She acknowledged this noise with several stares toward the window. Each time she heard the crickets, her stares at the fall foliage increased. Finally, she had enough. She walked over to the window, opened it, stuck her head out the window which now welcomed the brisk October air, and skimmed over the roof searching for this sound. It was a mystery to her that the chirping that was chomping away at her concentration, was now gone. She shook her that this sound stopped her from reading. Then she became distracted by her neighbor who was walking down the alley, whistling The Mockingjay call from the Hunger Games.
“Anna,” Beth said.
Anna stopped whistling but kept walking. She waved at Beth then started whistling again.
“Where are you going?” Beth asked.
Anna stopped. “I’m going for a walk in the woods—our spot.”
Anna folded her arms. “Why not now?”
“I don’t know. Wait for me, I’ll walk with you.”
Beth and Anna were best friends since childhood. They had many things in common and shared similar interests. People in the neighborhood called them twins, they themselves felt like sisters, and the one bond that brought Beth and Anna together happened at a community picnic…
Beth’s parents were in town to sign documents for their new home. Their real estate agent told them about the community picnic later that day. ‘It would be an ideal way to introduce yourself to your neighbors,’ she said.
They went and did meet many people, but it was the family down the street who welcomed them with open arms. Beth and Anne are albinos. At first, the two stared in disbelief, but then hugged each other with joy. Both parents were excited as well and soon became friends, taking road trips, enjoying birthdays, and dealing with the challenges their daughters received because of their alabaster skin and pink eyes.
On this walk, like many walks during their senior year of high school, they were reminiscing. Both girls were going to attend two different universities, but they wanted to go to the same school. Beth’s parents made the decision for her to attend their alma mater in a different state. The reminiscing was a way to capture the good times and bad times; the boys they dated and the boys they hated and the girlfriends who were genuine and those who gossiped about them. When it came to boys, Beth always told Anna, ‘I need someone like you.’ Anna would always reciprocate, ‘you better.’
Their albinism meant they always needed to wear clothes that covered their bodies, a large brim hat, dark sunglasses, and tenner shoes. Their ‘spot’ in the woods was located at an abandoned railroad tunnel that collapsed and now resembled the likes of a cave.
“You know how we were talking about Paul and Henry, and that stupid football player whose name I won’t mention because he cheated on me,” Beth said.
“That guy was a creep. I told you that,” Anna said.
“I know. I should have listened,” Beth said. “Well, I’ve always had a secret crush on another person. And—”
“Wait. You know the rule with secret crushes. It’s always truth or dare.”
Beth crossed her arms. “The last time we did truth or dare, I asked that football player out.”
“That’s a dare,” Anna said, smiling. “So… Truth or Dare?”
“OK. I dare you to kiss the secret crush at school tomorrow.”
Beth smiled. “Why wait for tomorrow?”
Anna smiled back.
The two stood and kissed.
“I always said I need someone like you.”
“The Ballad of One Love” a WritersWeekly.com
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This story, like all the stories that I have written, was provided to give you the joy of reading. To learn more about my other stories, meet me at the events published here on my website. Thank You!