The clouds of the night sky rolled past the moon quietly, bits of moonlight scattered across the forest. It was bright one moment, then dark the next. It put Amaya and Janai in a nervous state as they quietly made their camp. When the clouds covered the moon, Amaya would perk up, eyes darting around the camp for any surprise attacks coming for them in the darkness. Janai kept silently working, but listened hard for anything out of the ordinary. Once the light from the moon reappeared, the two would ease a bit, but would still be wary.
As they worked, Janai began to hum to herself as she gathered logs to make a fire, which soon turned into softly singing to herself as she made placed a few sticks in the shape of a small square and built it up, placing kindling in the middle and covering it with with more sticks. Singing to herself quietly has been a habit of Janai’s for as long as she could remember, and habits are hard to break.
Just as she was about to light the fire a small wave caught her attention and she turned to look at Amaya, who looked back in confusion.
‘What are you saying?’ signed Amaya. Janai tilted her head, then her eyes widened in realization.
“Oh, sorry,” she began, standing and coming to sit on a fallen log, “I was only singing.”
Amaya nodded, but her face fell at this. She slowly sat down next to Janai and looked up at the sky, the clouds moving to cover the moon again. Amaya sighed.
Janai’s eyebrows furrowed, and she touched Amaya’s arm gently. Amaya looked down at her in curiosity.
“What’s wrong?” Janai asked.
Janai smirked, “You can’t lie to me, Amaya.”
Amaya smiled, and turned to face Janai, ‘I wish I could hear you sing, she signed, ‘I’m sure you sound beautiful.’
The two of them blushed at this and Janai turned away, thinking to herself, then looked back at Amaya.
“Maybe you can.” Janai said after a pause, her face feeling warm.
Amaya tilted her head in confusion and began to raise her hands to ask her what she meant when a hand was suddenly snatched by Janai. The two of them could only stare in shock at the sudden contact. Amaya’s heart began to pound in her chest and Janai’s breath sped up as they looked up at each other, before she slowly put Amaya’s fingertips against her throat.
Amaya could only stare at her hand as Janai cleared her throat and swallowed. She could feel it. She could even feel Janai’s pulse beating rapidly under her skin. Or maybe it was her own, she couldn’t tell. But she was sure her face was red, she could feel the heat on her cheeks.
Janai could only stare at Amaya. Slowly, she removed her hand from Amaya’s arm and dropped it to her side. She was sure that Amaya would pull away, perhaps uncomfortable with the sudden contact, but her hand stayed. Janai’s hand went to her lap, where she clinged onto the hem of her skirt for dear life. She blinked and took in a deep breath, and began slowly.
“The night was mighty dark so you could hardly see,
Autumn moon refused to shine.”
Amaya’s eyes widened as Janai sang. A small smile graced on her lips as Janai continued.
“A couple sitting underneath the willow tree,
Oh, Lord, they pined.”
Amaya’s eyes glanced back and forth from her fingers to Janai’s lips. She could see her forming the words, and could feel them as she spoke. It felt odd, but it was as close to hearing the words as Amaya could get.
“Little maid was a little ‘fraid of darkness,
And so she said, ‘I guess I’ll go.’”
Janai’s eyes never left Amaya’s face. Her heart was pounding hard in her chest, and her words a little shaky, but she kept on.
“I began to sigh, I looked up to the sky,
I told the moon my little tale of woe.”
At this, Amaya looked up at Janai in wonder as the moon reappeared from behind the clouds, shining down on the pair brightly, bathing them in a silver light.
“So shine on,
Shine on Harvest Moon up in the sky.
I ain’t had no lovin’ since April, January, June or July.
Snow time, ain't no time to stay outdoors and spoon,
So shine on,
Shine on Harvest Moon,” Janai’s eyes roamed over Amaya’s face, the two of them getting closer to each other as Janai sang. Amaya stared into Janai’s eyes, not even the thought of someone stumbling onto their camp could make her turn away.
“For me and my gal.” Janai finished softly, almost quietly. They were barely an inch apart from each other, Amaya’s hand drifting from Janai’s throat and onto her chest, where she could feel Janai’s heart pounding.
It was silent. The clouds had blown away, leaving a clear and starry night sky in its wake. Amaya’s eyes fluttered, and Janai’s breath hitched as they became meer centimeters apart.
A twig snapped, and Janai pulled away, grabbing her sword and standing in front of Amaya, looking around for any sign of danger. Amay’s eyes snapped open as Janai’s warmth suddenly disappeared. Her heart fell as she looked around for her. Seeing her standing at the ready behind her made her heart jump in fear, and she reached and grabbed her weapon as well, looking around for any movement.
“Is anyone there?” Janai asked angrily, “Show yourself!”