Ashley and Keith sat smiling at each other, ignoring the beautiful ocean views in front of them. He had finally asked her out, and she had said yes! He believed that this was going to be a great love for them both.
She thought that there was so much going in her life right now, and a new relationship was not feasible. Her career had to take precedence over falling in love. She had to admit that there was chemistry between them, but just not the right time.
She told him, “I think you are a great guy, and if we had met a few years from now, the timing might have been right. But, this is not a good time for me. My work requires a lot of my attention, and I am afraid that I will not have much left for anyone else.”
His smile faltered, but he said that he understood. Standing up, he reached for her hand and pulled her upright. He folded the blanket that they had been sitting on, handing it to her when he was done. He reminded her that life is short, and you have to grab every ounce of joy while you can.
Ashley stayed silent, secure in her decision. When the time is right, love will find her again. She was confident that would be the case, so she would not allow him to try to change her mind with platitudes and cliches. They parted ways at her mailbox.
It must have been a year later when Ashley, disillusioned after losing her job and her latest boyfriend, decided to look Keith up on Google, to see if they could reconnect. She was ready for something meaningful in her life.
She was horrified to learn that he had died of a rare blood cancer just nine months after their encounter. He had not been spouting platitudes, he was expressing his truth. She wished that she had listened!
Fictional story written for The Three Things Challenge, February 9, hosted by Paula Light at Light Motifs: chemistry, blanket, and mailbox.