“truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; truth isn’t.” -mark twain
despite her best efforts, yolanda could not shake the thought of the handsome young man. she stood beneath the hole in the roof, paying little mind to the hammering and assorted grunts and curses her father made. who is he? the girl wondered. dresden attracted its fair share of pretty boys and handsome fools on the merchant caravans. yolanda always made sure to seek them out. a girl could only flirt and fool around with the same village boys so long before the game grew boring. but it had been a while since any merchants came plodding through the village with pretty and handsome faces in tow.
“yolanda, blast it! i need more straw. what are you doing, girl?” greggor’s cantankerous tone drew yolanda from her reverie.
“sorry, father!” she said, grabbing some straw. Stepping on the stepladder, she reached up to hand it to her father.
“where is your mind today, daughter?” greggor asked, taking the straw.
“i don’t know, solid truth…” yolanda said, trailing off as her father resumed his work above. she let out a silent sigh. yolanda loved her father, but she certainly had no desire to speak to him about the handsome young man. not that she would have truly discussed it with him, but she was glad at that moment for his tendency to avoid discussing anything beyond surface things with her.
yolanda quickly forgot her father’s shortcomings, however, when a knock came at the door. without waiting for a response, the mayor entered.
“hello, mr. mayor,” yolanda said. “my father is nearly finished with your repair.” she pointed a finger upward. her father’s grunts and curses could be heard through what remained of the hole.
“very good, very good,” the mayor said. “no rush, of course. but pardon my interruption. i’ve a note here for you, yolanda.” stepping further into the room, the mayor extended to her a folded and sealed piece of paper.
“me?” yolanda asked, a curious frown on her face. “who is it from?”
“one of the lads with the merchants, i believe,” the mayor said, with a knowing wink.
yolanda grimaced. oh gods! if the mayor knew of her fun and reputation with the boys, she ought to be more careful.
“uh, thank you,” she said with a thin smile.
the mayor nodded and left. throwing a quick glance upward at where her father worked, yolanda hesitated. could it be? carefully breaking the seal, she unfolded the note:
dare i say i believed this stop to be a bore, yet then our eyes met and you stole my breath.
would you grace me with your presence in the woods by the large sycamore at dusk? i shall be waiting, breathless.
so it was the handsome young man whom she saw. yolanda reread the note. jaykim. what a peculiar name.