Bullfrogs on Boulders

He had a voice like no other. Her bullfrog.

It was always full of laughter, just like his eyes. And when he sang for her, she used to tease him saying he sounded like a bullfrog – throaty, deep and slightly off-key.

Bullfrogs are not the most appealing of reptiles, at least not in a conventional sense, and certainly not for most people. Neither was he, with his awkward braces, his lanky, swaying walk, and his perpetual case of pimples which he only aggravated by picking at them persistently. But she found her bullfrog to be the most beautiful creature she had ever met. It took years for her to see him without the rosy goggles she had on every time she looked at him. To admit that she had never been able to see him quite clearly all the while.

Bullfrogs are safe. Sure, they might be slimy and weird and they might startle you by suddenly swelling up like a hot air balloon, but they don’t hurt you. They may not be particularly attracted to you unless you’re a juicy fly, but they don’t go out of their way to cause you any pain. Unless they wear glasses. If they do, watch out. You’re just a fly. She wished she had realized sooner just how much of a fly she was to him.

Bullfrogs perch on boulders, watching the world go by, apathetic. They don’t plan ahead, they don’t harbor regrets. Little moves them, and they don’t worry about anything but their next meal, their next siesta. Which is ideal, in a way. Bullfrog men don’t age as fast, and their hair stays black longer thanks to the stress-free lifestyles they’ve curated for themselves. Their beard will never be salt-and-pepper because they can’t grow any. Her hair, on the other hand, gave up their tenuous hold on her scalp in alarming numbers.

Bullfrogs are great. They are fun to love, they make you laugh. but ultimately, they just leap away into the mud, leaving behind nothing but a bitter taste of disappointment. A longing that you cannot begin to explain. A boulder weighed down by sorrow that can roll over and crush you any second. As it crushed the breath out of her once he left. As it crushed her soul without him to check the damage.

Bullfrogs forget fast, so they never look back. So they never see you going back to the same muddy banks and waiting for them to show up once more, and laugh with you again like nothing happened. They don’t know the number of dew drops you drink while your eyes wander the places where their footprints disappeared, hopeful and hopeless at the same time. They don’t know the fireflies that sign with you as you while away the lonely nights, still waiting, still hoping for something you know cannot be. She stopped counting the days and nights, hope slowly replaced by numbness.

Bullfrogs don’t understand human pain. This is not to say they don’t feel pain. In fact, they feel many emotions, ranging from happiness to bliss. But they seldom succumb to the darker feelings that plague humankind. They don’t know how it feels to have their hearts crushed under the boulders they rest so peacefully on. As far as they’re concerned, life is idyllic. They do as they please, they leave when it suits them, they never give explanations, they are not accountable for anything. As they leap into the unknown, they are blind to the bleeding mass of muscles trapped under the boulder that launches them. As he leapt, he staunchly refused to look at her bleeding on the ground.

It must be great to be the bullfrog for a change, she thought, as she watched the grey horizon and made more dew drops for another dreary day.

She wished she could leave her boulder behind and disappear into the tall grass.


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