(A Flash Fiction)

Jer sat alone, on the stone bench, in the park. This late in the evening, it was devoid of life. She wasn’t coming. He knew this, because he hadn’t told her. But he wasn’t alone. He had someone, or something—or both—with him. He kept it in an imaginary, glass jar. One kept close to his heart; In his heart, he liked to believe. Intertwined.

A nameless firefly.

“Love,” he resolved, at that moment.

He raised a hand to his chest. Jer could feel it pulsing, glowing rhythmically with his heartbeat. Thump thump; a beacon shining through his soul. Dimmer now, though, than just hours before. Dying.

Love never belonged to him. It was her’s to give, not his to take. A lesson of grave importance: Love deserved to be free, not caged in fear. Free to explore, learn, and experience as it may.

He took a deep breath, reached inside, and slowly twisted the lid. Thump thump; the anticipation! Love knew what was to come.

A solitary tear streamed down Jer’s cheek, as Love burst forth from what it certainly thought its demise. He sat entranced, as Love exploded and split into millions of duplicate fireflies. Dancing, lighting the night sky, each pulsed and glowed in unison; to him, the Universe.

Connected. Beautiful.

Eyes closed, star-bound, he watched them surge around the world. Her Love, his Love—their Love—free to leave footprints where it may.

More tears flowed. His beacon to the infinite illuminated anew.