Mila

Mila

A Story by Samuel Dickens
"

By the lake, by the wondrous lake

"

 

This is my world, now: grey skies and cold rain. How fitting that this rock upon which I sit is grey and cold, too. The lake below reflected a breathtaking kaleidoscope of autumn colors a few weeks ago, but now it lies lifeless. All color and warmth has departed this world, and I sit here in misery. It wasn’t like this the day I met her.

 

No, that was a brilliant autumn day, the kind that lifts spirits and instills hope in a man’s heart. Yes, I, the always sad and lonely, was exalted on that day. Taking full, deep breaths and walking briskly along the lakeside trail, I felt positive and upbeat. When she passed, I actually smiled at her and said ‘good morning.’ It was so unlike me, but I swear the words just spilled off my tongue on their own. As soon as I’d spoken, I felt that old, familiar sense that I had offended another pretty girl with my unwanted attention. Embarrassed, I whispered, I’m sorry, and tried to move on down the trail as fast as possible.

 

“Excuse me, sir!”

 

Oh, no. She’s going to tell me what a creep I am. I turn around and politely answer her, “Yes?”

 

Instead of lowered eyebrows and a clinched jaw, she came towards me smiling and stood no more than 18 inches away. So Close! I noticed her beautiful, red cheeks.

 

In the sweetest, most soothing voice, she said, “I’m sorry I didn’t say good morning back to you. I was lost in autumn-thought, I guess.”

 

I was stunned, and could only mutter, "Oh, th-that's alright."

 

She outstretched her arms, spun around, and said, “Just look at all of this! Isn’t it just gorgeous?”

 

“Why, uh, yes, it is. It’s gorgeous and fabulous and-and…”

 

“And the autumn air, it smells so marvelous!”

 

I smiled at her like an idiot. There she was, this pretty young woman with shimmering brown hair that bounced and danced with her every move. (There were gold highlights!) I noticed her hands with bright red nails, so colorful and lovely as she flitted and fluttered them about like butterflies. And her eyes! Those amber, gold-specked eyes, like the lake, were deep, reflective pools of beauty. When she ever so briefly cast those eyes upon mine, I felt my heart flutter like a leaf.

 

Standing with hands on her hips and the breeze in her hair, she said, “There’s supposed to be a great lookout point in this area, but I can’t find it. Do you know where it is?”

 

I pointed with my finger, saying, “Yes, it’s down that way. You go to the fork in the trail, and then turn, uh… and then turn… ” 

 

She laughed. “You'll know when you see it. Take me there, won't you?”

 

“Okay.” Walking ahead of her, I tried not to wobble like a drunken fool. “Come this way. It’s not too far.” Before I knew it, she walked beside me. People would think she was my girlfriend. God, if only it was so!

 

Soon, we exited the trees, walked over a small rise, and there was the lake before us, sparkling-blue and ringed with the most magnificent autumnal array of blazing colors.

 

Pure delight showed on her face as she took it all in. Bouncing on her toes, she squealed, “Oh, thank you!” and gave me a big hug. My arms were not my own, and they wrapped around her.

 

“Look! Look at that big rock down there! It’s a perfect spot to sit on and enjoy the lake! Will you help me get to it?”

 

“Yes, of course.” 

 

She grabbed my hand and said, “It looks rough going, so you might need to hold onto me.”

 

In truth, I was the one who needed support. “No problem, I won’t let you fall.” I had never walked beside such a desirable girl before, and found myself wishing the rough terrain would never end. Helping her down from one three-foot embankment, I held her by the waist and gently sat her down in front of me. As I did, her face almost touched mine, and I dearly wanted to kiss her. Perhaps she knew my thoughts, and smiled knowingly. Continuing on, we soon reached the large rock and I held her hand until she was securely seated upon it.

 

“Well, here you are,” I said, and started to walk away.

 

“What are you doing? You can’t just walk off and leave me here. I need someone to share this with.”

 

“Sure,” I said, and planted myself beside her, but not too close. I would be a gentleman and not get out of line. She was much too beautiful, too fine and precious, and in no way did I deserve her. Certainly, I could not even imagine having her.

 

Taking my hand, she said, “I’m Mila. I should have introduced myself sooner. Sorry."

 

“I’m Jeff.”

 

“Do you love nature, Jeff?”

 

“Yes, I do, Mila.”

 

She nudged close. “I especially love it this time of the year.”

 

I gazed out at the lake, then back at Mila. “I can’t imagine more beauty than that which is before my eyes at this moment.”

 

Mila smiled and kissed my cheek. “I like you, Jeff. When I first saw you back there on the trail, I knew you were special.”

 

“H-how did you know that?”

 

“You're unpretentious, warm and... well, I just knew.”

 

Speechless, I sat gazing at her amazing beauty. How could I, a guy who doesn't play sports or have a tattoo, be sitting beside her? I’d been so blown away that I hadn’t noticed her old, dilapidated shoes and clothes. Perfect, I thought. With her brilliant hair that flashes gold, sparkling eyes and rosy cheeks, she's all the beauty that is autumn, and more!

 

We sat here that day and experienced something special. Holding hands and sharing the contents of our minds and souls, we remained  until the sun went down and a big, orange moon rose over the lake. Finally, when the night air became quite cool, we walked into the forest and found a warm bed of dry leaves between two large, fallen trees. No feather bed with silken sheets was ever more luxurious, and we made passionate love there until absolute contentment filled us, and we fell asleep.


That was the last time I saw Mila. When I awoke the next morning, I held no beautiful daughter of autumn to my breast, but only twigs and leaves. Happiness was mine, but only for a few hours. Never will there be another Mila, and never will life be the same without her. Indeed, I have no desire to exist in a world where she is not. I know who Mila is and what she wants me to do, for the answers are imprinted deep within my core. The lake is deep, and it will take me, like the falling leaves, into its dark, serene places. There, my body will be reborn. Fish and crayfish, I shall become, and when caught by the eagle, my remains will feed the forest and its leaves. Yes, those wondrous leaves that flit and flutter in autumn. like Mila’s sparkling eyes, glistening hair and colorful hands, they fly!

             

                              

 

© 2015 Samuel Dickens


Author's Note

Samuel Dickens
I was tired and wanted to take a nap, but this little story demanded to be written.

Update. It's Autumn again, and refreshed the story this day, October 3, 2015.

My Review

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Featured Review

As always with your writing, the sensory details are singing HOWL-alujah! You do a great job of showing us the persistent feelings of not-being-good-enuf & too-shy-to-own-this-moment, all exhibited so tentatively & convincingly by the narrator. These feelings of inferiority lead logically to the ending, which is a little vague, but understandable . . . I love endings that are a little nebulous. I thought I'd reviewed everything of yours, but luckily you featured this one, which I hadn't! Thanks for sharing your stories which entrance so realistically (((HUGS)))

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Samuel Dickens

4 Years Ago

Thank you. Your powers of perception are awesome, dear friend, and I always place great value on you.. read more
barleygirl

4 Years Ago

OK . . . I'll keep digging! This dumb website should have a way to let us know which pieces we've al.. read more



Reviews

Was she a sprite? Autumn is here again, maybe you'll see her again :)

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Samuel Dickens

4 Years Ago

Thanks. A sprite? Maybe, but whatever the case, the narrator believed her to be not only the embodim.. read more
D Connolly

4 Years Ago

That's what I thought. When he woke up holding a bunch of sticks instead of her, it made me think o.. read more
Samuel Dickens

4 Years Ago

I'm quite pleased that you enjoyed it. Have a great day, my friend.
As always with your writing, the sensory details are singing HOWL-alujah! You do a great job of showing us the persistent feelings of not-being-good-enuf & too-shy-to-own-this-moment, all exhibited so tentatively & convincingly by the narrator. These feelings of inferiority lead logically to the ending, which is a little vague, but understandable . . . I love endings that are a little nebulous. I thought I'd reviewed everything of yours, but luckily you featured this one, which I hadn't! Thanks for sharing your stories which entrance so realistically (((HUGS)))

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Samuel Dickens

4 Years Ago

Thank you. Your powers of perception are awesome, dear friend, and I always place great value on you.. read more
barleygirl

4 Years Ago

OK . . . I'll keep digging! This dumb website should have a way to let us know which pieces we've al.. read more
You are a superb story teller Samuel. I already miss Mila and the perfect setting for your story. Thats the thing about a great short story, when theyre right, you wish they would become a saga, to get updates on characterss you brought to life so well. Maybe I will start a petition to demand ,more Mila :)

Posted 5 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Samuel Dickens

5 Years Ago

Thank you. I may have changed Mila's name and used her in other stories where men are consumed by th.. read more
This story took my breath away Sam, it's simply stunning! His sense of wonder and bewilderment is palpable.
His low self esteem runs through the story and makes the sad ending regretable but inevitable.

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Samuel Dickens

8 Years Ago

Maybe others have noticed, but you're the only person who's ever commented about his low self esteem.. read more
This was so dreamy to read....I was right there in the woods...smelling the earth and bark of the trees...
I find your stories so easy to read..they hold me....not stopping till the end...which was a little sad but very romantic...I had wondered if it was the mans booze vision :( ... whichever... he would never forget and die happy with this memory. Thanks for beautiful share xx

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Samuel Dickens

9 Years Ago

Thanks Seashell, I'm glad you enjoyed it. The man was completely taken in by the girl who was really.. read more
Wow wish my mind would work like this when I am sleepy ! Fantastic story Sam ! The ending was one I didn't expect or seen before .. Becoming one with nature..a little sad and yet fulfilling .. Loved ever part of it !

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Samuel Dickens

9 Years Ago

I'm very glad you enjoyed it. Sometimes those ideas that come when I'm half asleep turn out to not b.. read more
Renée

9 Years Ago

No perhaps about this one Sam.. ( :
This is a great story Sam, interesting to read from a man's prospective, very emotive, a day of joy and a happy memory, beautiful picture too. Thankyou.

Posted 9 Years Ago


Do you live like this? I hope so.
Of course, like all your stories, I was reeled in from the very beginning.
But as much as I enjoyed it, I found it less believeable than some of your others - even I like soup! I think because of the rapidity with which the two characters "fell in love" ... it was like a film; Mila kissed the cheek of a man she had known for less than five minutes.

Having said that, I adored the bright autumnal colours, and enjoyed reading. How could I not? You're a wonderful yarn-spinner ;-)

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

What a fabulous story. I really enjoyed it. Too bad the moment couldn't have lasted a lot longer of Jeff.

Thanks for the review you did for me!! {:)

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

You write the best of stories...isn't this the dream of any nature lover? To find another out there who shares the beautiful view? Oh, a dream come true even if only for a short time.

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on October 26, 2011
Last Updated on October 3, 2015

Author

Samuel Dickens
Samuel Dickens

River Valley, AR



About
Greetings, all. I'm a seventy-three year-old father of three sons who enjoys writing, art, music, motorcycles, cooking, and a few other things. From 1967 to 1988, I served in the US Navy, where I trav.. more..

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