*ahem* So… I’m currently NOT writing, but procastinating. *pats self on head* To make up for my guilt complex, I thought I’d give you a taste of the rot that I’m writing. Eh, now? 🙂
The day after Big Sandy’s death I was out weeding the lettuce when I saw a grey shadow fall over me, and looking up with surprise I met Guy’s grave smile, as he stood over me. He began speaking almost immediately, in a deep baritone, almost a growl.
“I’m gain’g out ta look fer Gavin Marks. Just thought ye should ’a know.”
I stood up, dirt clinging to my hands and eyes staring;
“Where -you’re going now?”
“Now. Dad knows I’m gain’g.”
“Is it safe?”
“No Aileene. Ye ken that.”
“Guy -I – we will be missing you.”
He said nothing , and I stood utterly miserable, staring down at the toes of his boots. My eyes traveled up and suddenly focused on the butt of a pistol. “It’s that serious?” I thought, horrified. Guy seemed to read my face, for he said quietly;
It’s dangerous, Aileene. As far as I know no one else heard what you and I did that night, but you must be careful. I wouldnae go, but after the mine accident I believe it for sure. Maybe I should have gone sooner, but I had no proof that he was unstable. Now I do. And now you know that I have to go. He stopped, abruptly, and said in a gruff tone;
“I won’t say good bye, for that’s bad luck, but -”
“Au revior, then? It‘s French for ‘till we meet again”
He smiled. “That will do very well. Au revior then, Miss Aileene.”
I looked up at him, hesitating. “Au revior to you, Guy.”
He looked down at me, and suddenly, without warning, bent down and kissed me full on the lips. Then, as if he was surprised at himself he turned and went off at a run down the path. I stared after him, and suddenly wondered if I would ever see him again.
The next few days were ‘golden ones – like beautiful pearls on the strands of time’, as one great man once said, but they were days also full of turmoil, soul-searching, and fear for me. What information seeped back to us was often muddled and untrue, but we didn’t know what was true and what wasn’t – perhaps this was what was so terrifying about those days, the rumors. The mountain people wanted to know what had happened to their young hero, and we could give them no information. And always with me lingered the remembrance of that farewell kiss – and the realization that he knew he might not come back alive. Otherwise I knew that he would have waited.
A week past, then another, and no definite news reached us. Mr. and Mrs. Stewart said nothing, but I knew they were nervous, and there was many times that I caught Mrs. Stewart looking quietly out over the hills with a anxious look on her face, and many times I saw Mr. Stewart’s face bent in solemn concentration over nothing, forehead furrowed. And I too, waited. Patience, as I knew, was not my strongest point, but it was greatly increased over the next few days -for it had to be. But there were many long nights that I lay in the cornhusk bed unable to sleep.
One night – two weeks after I had seen him I lay still, unable to sleep. The cabin was dark, even the window was barely outlined. I lay still, miserable eyes staring up at the ceiling, when I became aware of a faint scratching noise at the window. I sat up abruptly, brushing a lock of heavy hair out of my eyes and straining my eyes, looking at the window. I had finally decided that I had dreamed hearing the noise when it was repeated, louder this time. I stared for a long time, then slid out of bed and went cautiously to the window, creeping on tiptoe. A shadowy form stood without, and for a moment I was torn between fear and the hope that it was Guy, returned, but this form was too short and lanky to be Guy and my heart sunk. As soon as the figure recognized that someone had come to the window, it beckoned towards the door and I went to open it, stopping suddenly with my hand on the bolt. “What if this is an enemy – not a friend?” I stood unsure for a long moment, then turned back to the bedroom and roused Colina, who followed me silently and without question to the main room, where I explained the situation. She nodded, then straining to reach over the door, took down the rifle and stationed herself behind the door, motioning for me to open it. I did, and there in the moonlight I saw the shadowy form of a man, standing silhouetted against the moonlight.
“Who are you?”