Viia Rosella & Him
It had always been summer.
The fresh scent of wildflowers and mowed grass dancing in hazy evenings filled with hope and laughter. Walking barefoot along the beach, hand in hand and her toes curling in the crashing waves. She had never considered herself foolish or immature but knew that her older sister often frowned at her actions. She was just young, and havin' fun.
Why hadn't she listened?
It was like they had been designed for each other; her hand perfectly fit in his, his sense of humour matched that of her own. She'd spent hours preening herself in the tiny bathroom of her cupboard-designed home before meeting him, breathless with excitement and anticipation.
He'd devoted himself to her, wrapped them away in a secure bubble of sheer happiness and lust in a lonely cottage overlooking the blossoming town gardens. They'd slept with the windows and drapes open, limbs all tangled up and hands still joined together.
She was sure she'd fallen in love that first night, right there in the pale moonlight shining through the open windows, highlighting those handsome features she had spent hours admiring. Autumn bronzes changed to bare winter, the gardens captured her attention less and less. But she never felt the evening chill; he smothered her in cuddles and his sweatshirts, smiling that seductive smile as she inhaled his intoxicating cologne. She'd learned to cook, albeit briefly, offering pots of homemade stew and roast dinners on those freezing winter evenings. The windows were eventually shut, keeping out the forbidding demons of the outside world.
She hadn't breathed his name to anybody else, especially to that overprotective sister of hers. She'd started to excuse herself from sisterly gatherings and riding shows, not feeling an ounce of guilt before climbing back into her happy bubble. She loved the cottage, it was their happy place.
It was theirs.
Winter began to fade, as did he. The loneliness had crept up so suddenly, she hadn't even noticed at first how secluded she really was in the cottage. He had work of town, he'd be back as soon as possible - she understood that he loved her, right? She slept with his pillow buried against her chest, feeling nothing but an empty hollowness inside.
The storm had been gathering for days, representing the darkness inside her. Her sister would be scared; booming thunder scared her, yet she'd still sit out in her garden shed all night reassuring all the stray pets she welcomed and cared for. Usually, she would be right there too by Callixta's side, but she couldn't leave this cottage. Not yet.
Summer had always been her favourite season, her favourite time - her favourite everything. Then she had met him, that handsome stranger with the knowing smile and wicked heart. Her time in the cottage made her appreciate winter's beauty, the value of privacy and peace.
The echo of thunder was prolonged, swirling inside her head until her shaky legs gave way. She slumped in the bathroom, feeling the thunder swirl inside her stomach. The innocent white stick still in her hand, two lines still glaring back into her watery eyes. What. The. Hell.
Summer was over, and winter was gone.
And so was he.
His eyes had given the pregnancy stick a mere glance before a stunning array of words fluttered out into the silence. She remembered the smash of something, had she thrown it or he?
She was stupid and careless, had she trapped him on purpose? She'd remained silent and kept the tears inside where they belonged, until he uttered those devastating words.
"What will my wife say?"
Change wasn't always a bad thing, she'd always believed that. Things happened for a reason, even if she couldn't work out the reason. Within the month she had lost the most important person in her life, she'd lost love. But she'd gained something else; something created from love, even if she wasn't sure she was ready for that level of adulthood.
No, change wasn't always bad at all.
That's why she was tagging along with Callixta and her other half, moving across the pond and living at some rundown old farm none of them had ever seen before. She couldn't stay, with the painful reminder of him and his unknown wife. And the cottage - oh, the sweet homely cottage.
Winter would be different here in England, that's for sure.