He carved her name on a cactus leaf, that way she would know just how much he loved her, would love her forever. She kissed him and he felt all his fevered hopes collide with reality. He wanted to be lost in her arms, the moment that he had daydreamed about, but he was only thinking of the spines in his fingers.
Weren’t some cactus spines so tiny that they could embed deep in the fingers impossible to remove? Couldn’t they last for years, decades even? Could he really love her longer than the time it took for the splinters to ease themselves from deep in his flesh? Just that sense of time stretching out ahead gave him chills. To listen to her donkey laugh, to pander to her petulant whims and soothe her tantrums; all the while the cactus spines would be pricking at his fingertips. Forever seemed like no time at all, but a year? A decade? He panicked and ran, leaving his love behind him.