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The Sunset that Never Came

The sunset that never came

Sunsets are a mystery. Though as certain as the rising of the sun (duh), it is still so utterly enigmatic in its ways. It seems to take forever to come, as if testing the patience of those who would await it - but when it appears, the moment is a split second that holds within it the fullness of an eternity. Unlike accomplishments or memories that fade with the passing of time, the vision of a magnificent sunset lives forever.

The conditions today were perfect. The skies were cloudy but the horizon was clear. I had only seen it happen a few days before: the fiery reddish hues of a sunset lighting up a cloudy sky.

Only this time I stood ready, camera in hand and tripod all set for her arrival. She slowly disappeared into the clouds, the game of peekaboo we’ve played since the beginning of time. The many of us who stood there knew that she’d come out from under the clouds and hover over the distant mountains in a most brilliant display. So we waited.

And we waited. We scoffed at those who left thinking the sunset was over. They’d only see her blushing in their rearview mirrors and moan in regret. We waited, because we knew better.

Or so we thought. She never came out from behind the clouds. The skies drew dark and the headlights of a thousand cars lit the cold hard earth below.

I left, still clutching my camera, feeling betrayed, half expecting to see her in my rearview mirror. I’d pull to the side of the road in an instant. But she never came.

Eastward, the skies were lit a weak synthetic pink - the product of the city lights. We headed home.