Taylor looked around him. He was unfamiliar with his surroundings. He had let his thoughts lead him to who knew where – there wasn’t a house in sight! There were only trees. Tall green trees. And it was peaceful here. A place where he could sit and loose himself in thought.
Taylor wondered around looking for a place to sit. All of a sudden he felt tired and his eyes began to be heavy with sleep. He sat down with his back against a tree and he closed his eyes. It had been such a tiring morning and it finally caught up with him.
Crying. It seemed to be near. Taylor opened his tired eyes and looked around. He stood up and scanned the landscape – nothing. The crying continued. It was a muffled cry. A cry that was being held in but was trying to come out.
Taylor turned his head from side to side trying to figure out which direction the crying was coming from. He circled the tree where he had been resting twice before he knew in what direction the crying was coming from. He walked slowly and cautiously towards the weeping.
Approaching a circle of trees, Taylor stopped, uncertain if he should intrude. What if this person wanted to be alone. Taylor decided to see who it was before he made any decisions. He stood behind a tree and carefully peeked around it. He saw what he least expected. Sitting Indian style among the trees was Leela, his future bride.
He stood there silently looking at her. His heart ached to see her weeping. He watched her delicate hands as they wiped the tears that slid down her cheeks. His heart went out to her and before he know what he was doing he stepped out from his hiding place and walked towards her. When he was near to where she was he stood there looking down at her.
Leela felt she was being watched. She slowly tilted her head upwards and gasped at what she saw. “Oh” was all that would come to her lips. She tried to say more but she suddenly felt afraid. After all, Taylor was a stranger to her even though she was expected to marry him.
Taylor saw the fear that crept into her pale face. He reached out to her and said, in what he hoped was a comforting and trusting voice, “Don’t be afraid. I didn’t mean to scare you. In fact, I was just about to introduce myself . You see I heard someone crying and didn’t know who it was. I was sitting just beyond those trees and I wanted to see if there was anything I could do to help whomever was crying.”
Then more gently he added, “Is there anything I could do?”
Leela listened with annoyance. Of course there was something he could do; he could leave and never come back. But of course she couldn’t say this. Instead she just nodded her head “no”.
Taylor felt like she was excusing him but he didn’t want to leave. Something in her face made him want to stay and talk. Instead of leaving, Taylor knelt down beside her.
He looked into her young face and said, “Isn’t this place peaceful? When I left your house I just walked. I was deep in thought and when I came back to reality I was here among the trees. They seemed to be calling to me…wanting to comfort me. I never felt anything like it…”
Taylor’s voice became dreamy as he described the trees and the feeling they evoked. Leela looked at him critically. What if she had met him in a normal situation; would she then be able to like this man? Maybe so, but as things were she despised him and what he was doing to her life, her freedom. She turned her face away. She rose from her sitting place and looked down at him.
“If you will excuse me I have better things to do.” At saying this she turned around and was about to walk away when she felt her hand being grasped.
Taylor, who was stunned by this sudden ending to their conversation, grabbed Leela’s hand. He quickly stood up and with a surprised expression on his face said, “Wait. Don’t leave now. I was embarrassed to mention this earlier but, “and here his face turned beet red, “I don’t know my way back to town.”