SHE HELD UP THE LAMP while he dug the soil with a trowel. The night was dying fast against the creeping twilight that lined the horizon. The moon and the stars watched over them and time stood still sending ripples of solemnity in the cold calm air. It was a beautiful night slowly breaking into the lights of dawn.
The boy stopped digging. Then, with both set hands on the box they laid the box into the hole in front of them, smiles illuminated by the lamplight.
“What did you put in the box?” The boy asked.
“I won’t tell you. You just have to wait for fifteen years to find out.” The girl replied.
“Fifteen years? That’s a very long time.” The boy said, a faint hint of impatience in his voice eyeing the fresh mound of earth.
“I guess that’s enough time to forget the things we buried; enough time even for me to forget you or for you to forget me.” She said not with impatience but with sadness. The boy could see it in her face.
“That’s not likely, miss. I will never forget you. I could never do that.” He replied his eyes on his hands.
“Maybe. We’ll see.” A smile came swiftly over her face and when the boy saw it; his heart seemed to skip a beat it almost ached.
“I am not really sure what time capsules are for, but this is fun.” Said the boy.
“Well it’s simple really. Time will make us forget. And these time capsules will help us remember one day—the things that are once important to us or even who we were.” She explained her eyes to the retreating darkness. “The most exciting part is the element of surprise and the key is to forget.”
The boy stood up and carved two letters on the bark of the tree beside them. He looked into her eyes and offered his hand.
“Promise me we’ll open time capsule together.” He said.
“I promise.” He helped her stand up, and with hands intertwined they watched the sun rise above the horizon, lifting the mist around them on its way up. It was a beautiful day.
. . .
Fifteen years flew by like a speeding train and fifteen years more like shadows running away from the light. Time flew by like a thief in the night, moving in stealth, stealing memories at will. Thirty years went by, so swiftly that it couldn’t be more than just a deep sigh. A man was digging a small patch of ground underneath a tree. He soon retrieved a box. And with a wave of discernment he finally understood what the girl had said once to him on that very same spot. He grazed his hands the initials carved on the tree that shade him from the sun as memories came flooding back. He opened a window to the past and for a moment he reveled into a different lifetime, sweet but out of reach. He was a kid again.
. . .
On a grassy slope the man solely stood, carrying a box and a white rose. The wind played with his gray hair as it did on the dancing blades of grass that surrounded him. With his head on a bow he looked like a man waiting for something that wouldn’t come.
“You are wrong, miss. Fifteen years is not long enough to forget. Thirty years had passed and I still haven’t.” He whispered with a teasing smile.
“I brought you something. Hope it could help you remember.” He laid the box and the rose by the tombstone before him. “Because it seemed like you have forgotten.”
“I didn’t open it. A promise is a promise, right?” The old man fell into his knees and broke into sobs. Time slipped by as the world spun. Lights retreated and the darkness slowly crawled over him. Everything is still and the moon and stars were watching once again. It was a beautiful night.
The old man walked away wondering what the girl had placed on the box. And he knew he would never find out. He buried his heart in a time capsule a long time ago, and thirty years after, he’s surprised to know that it never stopped beating for the little girl that taught him about time capsules. In the end, he left his heart to the place where it really belongs.
Love—you can choose to bury it deep on the ground or hide it from the eyes of the world, but it will not cease to exist. It’ll still be there, just waiting to be unearthed. For true love pierces time like it pierces the hearts of men, inflicting lasting aches and persevering happiness. It will never alter for it cuts too deep, down to a place alteration will never find.