The summer was hot as the man thought of his acquaintance he had met while visiting back home. His thoughts wandered as he worked the oats and wheat fields of Kansas. The job was hard, but it paid well and he wanted to save up his hard earned money for a farm back in Minnesota. He had plans to start farming, marry and raise a family.
Working in the blistering heat drained him of his energy as the day passed by into evening. Contrary to the heat of the day the coolness of the night breezes on the Kansas landscape brought relief to his dry parched body. Each day his dream kept him going toward that goal of a wife, family and a farm that he could call his own.
As the days turned into months he soon realized that the season’s crop of wheat would be ending shortly. He was now in the fields of Canada taking in the last of the wheat harvest and soon he would be heading back to Minnesota and his dreams. He wondered, “Would she remember me after all these months away? We only met briefly, but I knew she was the only woman for me.” With every mile of the train traveling south, he thought only of her.
Climbing the steps to the loft he could hear the band playing softly the music that brought so much joy to his heart. “Will she be there?" He waited so long for this moment, perhaps she had found someone else? Looking around at all the people it became hard to see if Anna was at the dance. Did he put too much into a future with her, and now only to find that she is another man’s wife? Glancing in the shaded light he could see the back of beautiful woman with raven black hair. "Could it be her? Was this the moment that would change my future, or were my dreams for nothing?" She turned and the radiance of an angel in white was standing there smiling in his direction.
He mustered all his courage that he could summon and began walking over to Anna with the intent of asking her for a dance, but another man stepped into view and he was crushed in his soul at that very moment. "Have I indeed lost the lady, that I fell in love with when I first saw her years ago?" The music played on and on and he was not able to approach this beautiful woman without another man stepping in line to grab her into his arms for the next dance. When all hope seemed lost, he saw her standing alone. Now was his chance, and then it happened, the band stopped playing and his heart almost stopped as well. He thought that the dance had come to an end, but he was wrong, they were only taking a break.
In resignation he forlornly saw that some single people were gathering on the steps of the loft to catch the cool breeze rising into the hay mount. At that moment, he too wished for the escape of the night air as well. As he sat down he found himself staring at the steps going down to the darkness below. “How much was I like these stairs, heading down to no where. Only darkness waited for me now, a dream shattered by my own shyness and slowness of heart." He thought, "Why didn’t I move faster across the floor to reach Anna? My future might have been different."
Dejectedly, he stared at the floor as if trying to divine some hidden mystery when all of sudden a lady’s laced boot stepped into view. Returning swiftly back to reality, he instinctively pulled away to allow her to pass. The shoe though did not move. It just stood there in front of him. He slowly looked up only to see the raven-haired beauty looking down at him.
“August, may I sit here please?” With his most courteous voice he attempted to speak, but nothing came out. He could only helplessly gesture with the wave of his hand. He found that he had not the command of even his own voice, for it was gone. He could not speak even a whisper to her. It was then that this elegant lady looked deep into his eyes and he found himself lost in her beauty. She smiled and his heart stood still, and yet he could only wait with breathless anticipation for what might happen next.
“What is that ticking sound that I hear?” she asked. At that moment, each man reached anxiously into his pocket desperately looking for their watches, but to their collective despair, they found none. “It is my watch,” said August. It was then that he handed her his pocket watch, and he found that it was not the only thing that he gave her that night, he realized that his heart was hers as well.
August, Verna, & Anna Thurmer