Arctic Hearts

The young boy, of about sixteen, was wearing a white graphic shirt, with a panda on the front, though it had started to fade and crack from their overuse and fondness of this shirt. It was crushed into their torn black jeans only at the front, and it loosely hung from the back, forced against their back due to the grey deformed Mi backpack being strung onto their back also. The gel in the boy’s blackened dense hair forced the front to ramp upwards, and left the rest of it to be untreated.

He walked up the buzzing high street, and confronted their friend. She cheekily waved at him, then started to rush from the wall they were leaning on and went to hug him. The girl’s arms wrapped around the entirety of the boy’s torso and the bag, though the boy’s arms were positioned perfectly outwards from his body, and a gaping smile on his face. The girl didn’t want to question this about the boy, though upon backing up she had no choice to. The boy was frozen in position, out of place from the rushing crowds roaring around them both. His eyes were closed, as though caught when blinking, and their arms continued to seem inviting to the girl. The boy stayed like this for years, frozen in this spot and this position.

The boy stayed like this for years, frozen in this spot and this position. After it was realised that nothing could be done to help the boy, he was more turned into an exhibition piece on that street. It was immoral to move the boy, as he had once done this before, and he eventually broke out of his trance. Everyone hoped that he would someday be free from it again. The girl, for the first few months, went to visit the boy every chance they could. They always brought two bottles of Pepsi Max with them, just in case he came to. He never did… Not for a while.

When he came to, the story spread itself across every page of every newspaper. After being lovingly reunited with his family, the boy went to see the girl they were originally planning to meet. It took a lot of his strength to knock on her door. It took even more strength to walk away once he realised that she had moved on. It had been over a decade after all…

Later that year, the man walked up the same high street, though this time he was wearing a black shirt, neatly tucked in behind a solid belt, holding up their light yet faded blue jeans. Their wallet was noticeably forced into their back pocket, causing an awkward indent, along with a modern watch on their left arm. A woman soon after walked up to him, and they greeted and laughed with one another. Following the trends of his boyish charm, the man held out a small batch of flowers for the woman to take. When she started to reach for them, the man started to become worried, as anyone would on showing their first act of love towards someone, and continued to hold them out steadily. The woman took them with both hands, thrusting them towards her nose and letting the fumes engulf her mind with joy. The man continued to hold out his hands…

It didn’t get as much attention this time. Even the previous time, people had little care for him, besides for the groups of people online forming conspiracies. Besides the rarity of finding a story online with them being symbolic for love, everyone started to mock him. Swarms of photoshop images spreading across the internet of the man holding different items. No matter how hard he tried, he could not love without this happening to him. He just froze for years once more…

When he came to, his family reunited with him again, even though they saw him every week where he was being kept in a hospital, having to stand in the position they originally froze in. It was a sad sight, though his family always reuniting with him with the same enthusiasm as the last times.

Though the world wanted the gentleman to give up chasing love, he couldn’t give up. He felt selfish, wanting to try again in case something changed. Twice more it happened, and two more women slipped through his grasp. The time he was frozen for seemed random, some lasting over a decade, others lasting just a couple, though each tortured him the same.

The gentleman, he had recently reached 60. This time was going to be his last try, and then he would give up with love for the rest of his days. He had lost contact with his family, given that they would always try and persuade him to stop trying. He couldn’t stop, and a small part of him knew that this wasn’t actually going to be his last try should it not work.

Once again, he strolled up the high street wearing a tattered and torn brown waistcoat, a chain in his pocket dangling loosely in front of him due to the angle in which his back declined. He was the most cautious he had ever been when she showed up. The lady was of a similar age to the man, though unlike the others did not recognise him from the papers. She allowed the man to put his arm around her, in order to take her jacket off. He never even managed to fully take her jacket off…

Not for seven years anyway, where they both unfroze together. They stood next to each other, both looking at one another in amazement. For the first time, he smiled after escaping the trance. The man replaced the jacket on her shoulders once more, and they examined the hospital room in which they were both standing together in.

Outside of the hospital, they continued to walk with one another until they eventually reached the restaurant in which they had originally booked. He was able to take her coat off, pull out her chair, and live the remainder of his life happily with her. He had beaten life’s game.

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