Across the sky tinted with fading magenta and blushing peach upon the darkening blues, separating from the circling above, the silhouette approached and with a flutter of wings, the dove was at the windowsill.
Quietly, the flame flickered a welcome, observing how her eyes seemed to shine with an exuberance imbued from her adventures in the sky, reflecting the light of the flame.
The flame said to the dove, 'Tell me, O Dove, why do you return here each night?'
The exuberance in the dove's eyes dimmed. Her heart seemed to have stopped breathing, the smallest flicker of doubt, as the memory of another time when her heart had seemed beyond repair returned, a time when he had asked the same question.
The flame quietly said, 'I wish for you so much more than I can give. I hold you down, I cannot fly. I am wingless, bound to the earth by my reality. I am not able to soar with you, see the same dreams from the height at which you dance happily upon the clouds. Tell me, Dove, why should you be also shackled to my reality? With the winds, you rise high, and yet in the same one gust, I extinguish and am lost.'
The dove had stilled, her heart brimming with emotion. Her beak, she opened, yet knew not what to say. The flame flickered, for he knew her heart, had known it even while he had given her his own.
'You come here each day happy after spending hours with your friends, laughing, flying, with stars in your eyes. I cannot be like them, I am not like them. I am element; you are creature. For all our love, we cannot be. Why do you want to come here to me, why do you wish to be with me? Surely you know this: we are different, we cannot be.'
The dove refused to look at him, instead looked upon the sky. Her sky. The sky where she danced with joy at the pure joy of the knowledge of the one she had to call her own. The sky where she soared high and far, glimpsing the beauty of colours which burst upon the horizon, bright and orange, reminding her of the one in her heart. Where her fellow birds teased her, making her blush and laugh, for they knew not who her special one was, but knew it made her fly higher, stronger, faster, putting a light and confidence in her that never existed before. Where in dark times, stormy nights, charcoal clouds and gusty winds, she had only to look down to see his constant reassurance alight below; her oasis of calm, her sanity. The skies where her fate had assigned her but where she had always felt lost within and alone. Always alone. Before him.
The dove turned her gaze from the inky indigo, whispered, 'Shall I go then? Is that what you wish?'
The flame stilled. Why should want be distinguished and so different from what was practical? Why had the questions of their differences come up to spoil their little time together, and more so, why had he voiced them? He hesitated.
'I cannot be with you because I have so little to give. I am who I am and it is beyond my ability to change. Everything I touch becomes ruined, destroyed. Surely you, O Dove, you of all most know this best, you the one I have hurt already once with who I am.'
'Once?' The dove whispered, with her eyes glistening.
'Once surely you recall that time I burnt you - I should never forget, for I regret it each and every day. It makes me pause each day when I consider you soaring above, so free, why I am in every way wrong for you.'
'Not only once, dear flame. Not only once you have hurt me, and the pain of your fire is the least of them all. You do so now; you have so much that you give me, so much more within you that you dare not show. And tonight, you pain me most.'
'See, dove, how then I am not for you. I say not what you wish to hear. I cannot soar with you upon the clouds to join with you in the dreams you embroider.'
A silence fell, like no other before. Bittersweet, filled with unspoken words, falling hopes. Without another moment, she took off from the sill, and disappeared in the night.
The day had dawned, yet the flame shone on
Its wick still yet alight
It scanned the skies with tired eyes
Looking for his love in flight
Nothing passed, as hours passed
Only a passing cloud
And he sighed, for he knew
His beloved was too proud
But soon had gone too many a day
And worry made him grim
my foolish dove, though I love
Without her I grow dim
In the distance, a keening call
Echoed as dusk fell
A mourning song, of love's lament
The dove had yet to tell
Written in continuation to Moral of the Story, posted here.