A Sunset's Saudade




There was once a star. There was once a sea.

Ramon saw her again, today. She walked the streets of Valparaiso, and each step she took aches his heart a little bit more. He first saw her after returning from the library, as if she was only visible to him - how can such beauty be left ignored? Oh, how he wanted to just walk up to her, and ask her phone number - even awkwardly. But his furtive heart never pulled up the courage. And so he could only admire her from a distance.

There was once a girl, born of the union between star and sea. There was once a story.

He would only see her during the afternoon, when the day is closing, and the sun dips below the horizon. Her long black hair sparkles in the sunset, and Ramon quietly tightens his heart. A sigh escapes his throat. She's too perfect for him, he thought. But how Ramon longs to walk beside her along the beach, to gaze at the stars and clouds together from the rooftops. But what is a timid, bookish boy to do? So far, all he can do is look through his binoculars from his apartment. And maybe that is enough.

Except for the fact that each time he tells himself this, a pang of heartache shoots through his eyes, and the world blurs.

The star, the girl, and the story are gone, now. But the sea remains.

One day, Ramon decided that he'd meet the girl. His heart can't take it any more. She's always headed to the lighthouse, and only there, Ramon thought upon his balcony, that he would be able to free his heart. To love is to hold one's heart hostage, after all - and he intends to show her the ransom. The sun's low on the horizon as Ramon set off, each step trembling. As he ascended the lighthouse, step by step, his heart beats so loud that he wonders if she's heard him. But when he got to the top, and saw her there waiting for him, it stopped completely.

"Ramon Ferreira, is it?" She addressed him, as the sun slowly sank into the sea. He tried to reply, but nothing left his mouth, agape. The sight of her smile brought him back to life, his beating heart furiously trying to escape his ribcage. Her white sundress fluttered softly in the wind as she walked towards him.

"I… I've always watched you." through reddened cheeks, Ramon finally whispered something. She's so close now, he can smell roses. Tears welled from his eyes. "I've always loved you."

She caressed his forehead, and took him to the edge of the lighthouse's platform. "I'm honored, Ramon. Not many could approach me the way you do." The horizon is aflame as the sun hung at the horizon. Ramon saw that the city is bathed in a golden light, and all his heart's aches painted the town orange.

"Some of them feared my father too much. Some others want my father locked up, forever." It seemed like ages passed as her translucent hand grasps his. "But you were the only one to love me like this. Thank you, Ramon." The golden light is now the horizon, and the lantern behind him, all at once. She glimmers like the setting sun, like the sea it touches. "Thank you for loving me, when I never existed. In return -" her sunset lips met his, for both the quickest moment and the longest eternity. Ramon feels his heart unravel as she leaned close to his ear and whispered her golden name.

And if one is patient enough, the story might return, and the girl with it.

The sun sets, and there are no more Ramon. Neither is there a girl. All that stood in the dark is just a lighthouse in Valparaiso.

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