From World of the Innocent, a Contemporary Love Story
We finished our food, and I thought Marcas was going to take me back home, but he didn’t. “The stars are out, Jhoi. We have to go look at them.” And he took me out to a grassy hill overlooking a big field and a view of the lake further out, where the nighttime lights of a neighboring city were visible across the water. Marcas went to rest flat on his back in the grass, and he advised me to do the same, but I wasn’t used to being on the ground without a blanket or anything, so I sat there with my knees up.
“Lie back, Jhoi. This is nature.”
“Yes, nature is lovely. But that doesn’t mean I want it all over my clothes or in my hair.”
“Your clothes? That’s my jacket you’re wearing.”
“I know. But, still.”
Marcas laughed, linking his fingers behind the hat on his head, and he went on to tell me about the stars and the distant planet we were looking at. I wasn’t sure if he was serious about everything he was saying or if he was merely making some of it up, but it all sounded knowledgeable enough, and it was a pleasure listening to him.
“You’re such a wiggly,” Marcas sighed in the middle of his discourse about the stars. “You worry too much.”
“Do I?” I asked, not moving my eyes from the sky, knowing he was right.
“You’re most Jhoiful when you’re being yourself, you know. Not being afraid. Letting people watch you, listen to your words.”
“My words.” I shook my head. “Yes, I have words, all right. I often wish I had so much more, though.” I turned to look at Marcas then. “Words are words.”
“Yes. They are.” Marcas sat up pretty quickly. “And words are power. Words change minds. Words can dominate. They bolster faith. Inability isn’t always the only reason why we fail to do things. A lot of times, we don’t do what we should because we don’t believe we can anymore.” Marcas reached up to lift his hat a ways, scratching at his head. “Not everyone we watch has to be someone we think must have already ‘arrived’ in every way possible. Sometimes we just need to see someone who still has the faith to tell us that we can get there. We just need someone who believes.”
I stared at Marcas as he stood to his feet, brushing blades of grass from his clothes. “I think our dinner has settled,” he said. “Let’s go for a run.”
“Go for a run?” I looked out at the field. “Now?”
“Of course now. Look around! What time would be better? Come on, Ladybug. This is our world,” Marcas answered, beginning to make his way down the hill. “We own this place.”
Watching Marcas take off through the grass, I thought to remain sitting there and to call after him. Ours? The Bible says the earth is the Lord’s. But I couldn’t ignore the sudden rush of restless vigor that shot through my legs, and before I knew it, I was up and giggling, chasing Marcas down the hill.
It was possible that any one in our audience of stars or distant city lights may have been wondering what these two, laughing adults were doing, running and playing in a field at night.
I’d never seen Marcas run before.
A tale of love, enduring belief, and the meaning of innocence–based on a true story.
World of the Innocent