She had been standing near him past half hour. As he shifted a bit nearer to her, she looked at him with a look of longing. He was looking in the wilderness. As his glance shifted towards her, she looked towards the ground, trying to conceal her feelings. 

‘Oh! It is so difficult,’ she thought, ‘to keep my senses within my control. Why am I panting so heavily? No, don’t do that. He is thinking that I am eager but I cannot do it right now. I don’t know him. This is our first meet. He seems to be righteous but may turn out to be unexpected. Be within your limits, Lizzy. Breathe in, breathe out. Now, don’t let him know your current feelings.’

“Has something happened?”, he enquired, “you don’t seem to be alright.”

“Oh, is it?”, she tried to cut the question. As she looked at him, she could not, for another ten minutes, think of anything else. She was lost. 

‘How can someone be so beautiful and charming along with having an excellent behavior towards one and all?’, she thought while looking at him.

“You are beautiful”, she murmured within her breath.

“I heard you say something. Can you be a bit louder?”, he was startled by the murmuring.

“I said…,” she reposed herself as she came out of her thoughts, “the weather. What do you think about today’s weather. Isn’t it pleasant?”

“It is more beautiful than pleasant,” he replied.

“But not more than you,” she blurted.

“Did you say something?”, he queried.

She didn’t reply. She was busy in admiring his beauty. His eyes sparkled. “Miss Elizabeth?”, he said, teasingly. 

Both started smiling. Their cheeks were colored in pink. They stared at the ground.

“When will we meet next?”, she asked.

“When the moon will be whole in the sky.” he replied. 

“Where?”, she enquired further.

“Under the shade of the big, calm, cold moon.” he replied.

They walked till the metro station. Dropping her outside, he bid adieu to her and proceeded forward along the direction of the road. His figure submerged within the border of the horizon. 

Under the Shade of the Moon

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