Scene

Gravel crunched under her shoes, the path winding around roots of tall majestic kauri and bright yellow trumpeting kōwhai. The air dripped with the sweet nectar of native bird song, pierced occasionally with the shrill sound of cicadas, basking on the limbs of the trees. Fantails flittered through the greenery, tūī cocked their embellished throats, white pearls snuggled under their chins. An eerie tranquility pervaded, the heavy breath of nature lingering in the air. Although she was in the shade the heat was almost unbearable, her shirt beginning to cling to her. Stumbling over truant roots, she kicked up small clouds of debris in her rush to reach the other end.

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Perfectly imperfect

Your cold, blue steel eyes. Colourless and bland. Your hair, or lack therefore. A shining bald spot in the middle of what used to be curls. That unruly beard, how it spikes and scratches against my skin. Your teeth, fragile and forever needing expensive work that leaves us scrabbling together cents. Your ears, almost elfin, with their broad bottoms and pointed, jutting tops.

The way you pick and peck at the food I cook, inspecting every piece for a shred of onion or leek. Yet you devour the much maligned brussels sprout and the flesh of animals, yeasty beer and strawberry-flavoured anything. The incessant rumbling and grumbling in your sleep, pounding against my eyelids. The endless fascination for mind-numbing action movies and an obsession with pointless history. Those godamn awful ‘package pant’ shorts you insist on wearing. That blue shirt.

How you hide your intelligence, beaten and bruised from years of school and being told you’re nothing more than a rugby-playing buffoon. Scarred and battered from a father who barely earned the title. The constant need to always do better than the past generation, to make the circle collapse on itself.

I look deep into the eyes of strangers, but none mesmerize me like you do. You are perfectly imperfect to me, and that, beautiful person, is why I love you.

(Inspiration: the writing prompt ‘using only insults describe the person you love’).