A Writer's Dream
Introduction: This story is “written” by the protagonist of A Writer’s Dream, but you do not need to read that story to understand this one.
The Face in the Clouds
The first time James saw the face in the clouds he thought nothing of it. After all, clouds could take on any shape. He had just found out that his boyfriend was cheating on him and it was no wonder he was imagining other faces in the clouds. He admired the illusion, especially the way the clouds seemed to thin for the eyes, giving the impression of bright blue eyes in a face tinted peach by the sunset. The illusion was so realistic he could trace the angled cheekbones in his mind, and admire the firm, full lips that were a dusky rose compared to the rest of the cloud.
He stared at the cloud so long the car behind him started honking and he realized the light had changed, and he stared at it off and on all the way home. Unlike most cloud patterns that dissipated when you changed angles, this one remained as crisp as ever until the night took over and the cloud faded to black.
The second time James saw the face was a week later, when he was stopped at the same light. It was sunset again and he was stunned at how perfectly the cloud imitated the previous cloud. This time he had the common sense to snap a picture of the beautiful image. He had told his friends about the previous cloud and they had nodded, but he knew they didn’t really understand how unique and bizarre the cloud was. Now, with a picture as proof, they would understand. He watched the cloud as he drove, and when he got home he lingered outside until night overcame the cloud again and the face vanished.
He brought his photo to his friends, but they couldn’t see the face even though it was clear as day to him. He pointed to the dusky lips, the chiseled cheeks, the deep, brooding eyes, and they nodded again and said there was some resemblance but hardly enough to get so worked up about.
A week after the second incident he slowed at the intersection, hoping to see the face again. It wasn’t a red light but he paused and looked up. It was a cloudy day with plenty of places for the face to appear.
A car slammed into him from behind and he surged forward into the airbag. When he recovered from the shock, he got out of the car to make sure the other driver was all right. The other driver was out of the car heading towards him and as they saw each other, both men gasped. It was the man from the cloud.
He rushed forward and grasped the man’s arms, and the man did the same.
“Are you alright?”
“Yes,” the other man said. “You won’t believe this, but I think I know you.”
Without a word, he got out his phone and showed James a picture of a cloud. It was exactly like the cloud James had seen except it was his face, not the other man’s. James got out his phone and showed him his picture and the other man’s jaw dropped.
“I was looking for you in the clouds,” James admitted. “The accident is my fault.”
“I was looking, too,” the man said. “But it doesn’t matter now. We’ve found each other.”
James hesitantly pulled the man into a hug, and the man lowered his lips, pausing as if giving James a chance to pull away. But he would never dream of pulling away, not from his cloud man. The moment their lips touched, the clouds parted and a single strand of sunlight wove down from the heavens to surround them. James closed his eyes and luxuriated in the warmth of his destiny.