End of Time
Her hands delicately cradled the sundial. Her eyes absorbed its infinite time, his eyes absorbed her. He had gifted her a promise of time, a promise of everlasting love. The moon shone directly overhead, deeming the gnomon redundant, leaving the platform shadowless.
Seeing each other in the halls, they became obsessed with the fleeting moments of a secret shared warmth. All around the clock, they ran through one another’s minds. But in these confidential meetups, they succumbed to mutual fondness.
Hiding within the boarding school’s garden, time felt imaginary. The blank sundial fortified this.
Their hearts ached as the sun replaced the moon knowing loneliness would soon replace their bliss.
Boarding schools enforced gender separation, and relationships were reason enough for expulsion. However, they acknowledged one another in the slightest of ways. A mere head nod was enough to get their adrenaline pumping.
As the following night came to an end, he placed a soft kiss on her forehead before running through the frost toward his dorm.
The small gesture permeated her head all day. Her diary received periodic rundowns of their relationship and today had a particularly long entry. She planned to gift him a ceramic sundial with faint infinity signs carved along it as a symbol of their passion.
Holding the small timekeeper, she cautiously crept toward the garden. Sneaking past the driveway, she noticed a black vehicle containing two large suitcases. It appeared someone would shortly be escorted out.
Her heart shattered.
She mindlessly bolted toward their usual spot in the garden, sure it could not be true. Upon arrival, she noted the sundial was gone, but that was not of priority.
An orange sunrise physicalized the hell she felt inside. Her slow trek back to her dorm was halted by the remains of the sundial. The fragments lay on the gravel. Their time was not infinite; the promise of love was broken.
He defined her, with no him there was no her. Time stopped for them, but as her friends entered the bathroom, they found that time had come to its stop for her too.