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Falling in Fall

By Heinz Schoeman-Struwig All Rights Reserved ©

Humor / Romance


A thought-provoking yet extremely simple book that takes you to another season then leaves you at the mercy of its’ storms. It’s packed with a sequence of events about love and loss that makes you question why we do the things we do, and why we don’t do the things we should. It finds the perfect balance between what is humorous, what is serious, what is pain, and what is joy with hints of pessimism yet a cheeky sense of tongue-in-the-cheek optimism.

Wolf vs. Man

I have these moments where the blood rushes through my beating screaming heart, where no matter how fast I type or how quickly I paint, I can’t seem to get the current in me to be portrayed anywhere else but within me. There’s this raging storm in me and my mind runs for the woods and gets lost. It’s absolutely beautiful to be a lost wolf on the prowl for a place to send my storm’s lightning.”

I take a moment and put down my pen to analyse what I wrote. I have this habit of comparing things to nature, but what other way to make a concept beautiful than to compare it to one of God’s creations? It’s extremely primal, but then again let’s face it. Aren’t we all animals?

I look up to see Ms. Rossiter giving class. It looks like she’s acting out the things she says. She’s not just a teacher, she’s and actress.

“Words are meaningless little things. The letters they make up are just symbols that represent something else” she announces moving from the one side of the class to the other like a lion in a cage.

“When you hear or read the word flower you don’t just see the word or the letters it’s made up of or just hear the sound – you see what it symbolizes and you picture that flower, whatever type it may be and whichever connotations that come with it will, of course, vary.” She pauses to see the reaction in the class, her eyes wide and wild.

“Whether you think of something colorful in a beautiful garden or something wilting in a vase depends on your experiences, mood, substance, et cetera, but that has more to do with the way you are you.”

Her eyebrows move with every word as though they form a rollercoaster ride. Her eyes go wide again and then close thin.

I look next to me at Autumn. She’s eating up every word Ms. Rossiter has to say. As if languages weren’t enough up her alley, this is what makes her, her. “This is Autumn’s substance” as Ms. Rossiter would say whilst elaborately moving her arms in reference to something.

Autumn takes a lock of her light auburn hair and twirls it around her index finger once or twice and then pulls on it softly, slowly going down its length as her mouth is agape, her green eyes bright as they take in each and every word for processing.

Autumn isn’t the brightest of souls, but damn is she beautiful. She has been graced with looks that no one can deny. Sure, she may have the ability to trip whilst walking on flat surfaces, but what does that matter when you can make a total stranger trip just by smiling at them?

Autumn isn’t just renowned for her looks, she’s also known for being a kind-hearted, warm soul. How she manages to maintain that form of purity in this corrupt world is in part due to her naivety. She’s sometimes (always) a bit oblivious to external forces, which is also a blessing, because they blow over her completely.

Her outlook on the world reminds me of a kid looking at clouds, she just sees the pretty and makes of it exactly what she wants to see. It’s so pure.

Autumn and I have a functioning dysfunctional friendship. The kind where we fight to the death about how to pronounce the word “breathy”, but also bond over our first world problems. It’s a very (un)healthy dynamic, but being self-destructive is second nature to most of the world.

Autumn is at least a head shorter than I am, which is tall for a girl considering I’m close to 6ft. She has excellent posture too, something I’ve been trying to improve. Every time I see her I’m reminded to sit up.

Her auburn hair is almost too light to be called auburn, but she prefers labelling it auburn over ginger for obvious reasons, and I prefer it because I’m pretty darn certain she has a soul (a rarity in the Posy).

She has the facial structure of a Greek goddess, I’d swear she has royal blood. All she needs is a crown to be a princess.

A small face but its’ features are very distinct and well defined. A nose that starts high with a straight bridge and pointy tip which eludes uber snobbiness.

Her jaw is angled enough to prevent her from ever having to worry about a double chin (bonus) or men with insecurities (double bonus).

How Autumn ended up joining the Posy is any one’s guess, but no one’s right answer.

I met autumn beginning of high school via her mother.

I was standing outside the school waiting for my ever-late father to collect me, and in the Toyota van next to me was a lovely woman with probably thee friendliest smile on the planet.

She asked me what time classes ended and then got out of her car to introduce herself to me only for her to introduce me to her daughter and instruct us to become friends. It was weird then, but I’m thankful for it now.

“You’ll be buddies, I see it” she announced with her motherly smile, and then Autumn and I looked at each other, and that was the first time we made eye contact, and since then our eyes meet just about every day.

I zone back in to the present and try to pay attention to the class.

Ms. Rossiter has way too much energy for a Monday morning.

Her platinum hair shines radiantly under the fluorescent lights as her hipster glasses cast a shadow onto her face. I don’t know much about makeup, but from what I can tell she wears way too much blush.

Other than that her freckles shine through on her rounded cheeks and she looks a lot younger than she really is, but the little lines on each side of her always-red lips give it away along with the crinkles at her eyes that give an air of wisdom to her.

I place my hands into fists and put them together under my chin looking down at my words I wrote earlier, trying to make sense of them.

I admire all the Posy sitting in the back row, one after the other. Mathew, Chloé, Autumn and I.

The reason why I call us the Posy is because it means “small bunch of flowers.” It’s something like a bouquet from an era long before this one.

Being referred to as a bunch of flowers has a nice symbolic feeling, because not only are flowers beautiful, but they’re often used as a gift to someone. I like the idea of being a gift to the world – whether we are, well, that’s debatable.

Matthew is, well, mostly confused. His hobbies include sharing weird ‘trippy’ gifs on Facebook and being in a new band every week. He’s a fan of Arctic Monkeys and Nirvana and doesn’t understand any pop culture references at all, because if you ask him about anyone who’s not in an alternative band he’ll ask “that guy we met that time at…” and then you have to tell him it’s a celebrity that isn’t Kurt Cobain, and he will be confused.

Chloé on the other hand, she’s all fun. She’s that crazy girl you see at a party who’s having too much of a good time, except she doesn’t have to be at a party or be having too much of anything, because Chloé does not understand limits. She simply doesn’t have the capacity to know when to stop, and it’s the best thing ever. She’s a daredevil who doesn’t say or take ‘no’ and damn is she an adventure.

Me? Well I’d say I’m fairly average. I can’t measure myself based on my experiences because I haven’t dated a soul since I was around ten with that Saska girl who was a total badass for someone only a decade old.

I always said I’d never date in school because I was scared of breaking my heart, but I couldn’t help but be attracted to Saska’s adventurous livelihood, but since then I’ve yet to find the right person (or so I tell myself).

I feel nostalgic thinking of simpler days.

I wonder where Saska is in the world and what she’s up to. I hope she’s doing well and managed to keep her adventurous spirit alive in this cruel, dream-crushing existence we find ourselves in.

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