She watched him from the shadows of the entrance. He was standing on the balcony, as he always did, allowing the cool of the new morning to wash over him. His head was bowed, in contemplation, his arms crossed, as he gazed out onto the world beyond, lost in it in a way only he could describe. His silhouette was tall, filled with an easy grace so evident in his stillness.
She approached him, joining him on the rude structure of the balcony, touching his arm to let him know she was there, and she too gazed out into the open world.
She felt him turn then, slightly, his gaze upon her. She tilted her head then, smiling up at him.
“Hello.” His voice was low, musical, a hint of surprise in it, as there always was.
“Hello.” She responded, leaning forward on the balcony rail, feeling the roughness of it against her skin, familiar and reassuring.
They stood in silence for a while, each contemplating thoughts untold.
“I love you.”
She smiled then, for all that her heart leapt then, with pleasure, with fear, with sadness.
“You love everybody.” She said, softly, not unkindly, her hand sweeping to indicate the city that lay below them. He joined her at the rail, standing still, looking down at the city that even now thrived with its customary endeavour, the sound of it lost to distance and space.
“I love you.” He insisted then, as if repetition would make the import of it more true. She stood and turned then, sadness filling her, and she reached up and touched his cheek with her fingertips.
“You are not meant for me, and I not for you. You know this. You have always known this.”
He gazed into her eyes, something silent and pleading within them, and he reached up and drew her slender fingers to his lips and kissed them, gently. She was still then, the tempest within filling her with fear and longing. Tradition trembled, cracked and held. She withdrew her hand, and turned away, tears suddenly blinding her to him, to everything, to the loss in his eyes.
He slid an arm round her, cradling her, and she rested her head against his shoulder, and they stood in silence, listening, wondering.
She lifted her head then, and the sadness filled her again. They both listened now, and in the distance came a droning, deep and low, and they stepped apart.
“It is time.” She breathed, her voice whisper soft, on the edge of breaking.
He leant forward, gazing into her eyes, and kissed her gently on the cheek, a brushing of his lips against her skin, electric, unfamiliar.
She stepped back then, her hand half-reaching up towards him, before dropping to her side. She found herself weeping silently, suddenly bereft and lost and hopeless. He had turned from her, his magnificent translucent wings unfolding and spreading, filling the space of the balcony, and with that he was gone, his silhouette rising into the cold blue of the morning, towards the sky, towards the sun, towards his destiny.