Posted by: Phil Anderson | February 10, 2014

Happily Ever After?

A year ago I wrote a post suggesting that romance is fiction. This year I have a little piece of fiction about romance. Enjoy!

Happily Ever After

The adventure was over, everything was getting back to normal, and Fred couldn’t have been more glad. He didn’t enjoy action and excitement. Danger didn’t thrill him. There was only one good thing to come out of the chaos of the last few weeks: Sarah.

She was beautiful. Her long hair was dark and wavy with curls on her shoulders. Her bright eyes sparkled and her wide smile melted his heart. She was brave and kind-hearted, and she brought out the best in him; he had only gotten involved in this mess to help protect her.

The two of them had spent a lot of time together, sharing risks and dangers and enjoying victories. They had been through a lot, and Fred knew they had really bonded. There hadn’t been much time for personal conversations, but he had connected with her and he hoped she felt it too.

Everyone around him was busy now, rebuilding and setting things back to normal. Fred searched and found Sarah working next to her father. She smiled and waved, and her father stopped to see who she was looking at.

“Well, my boy,” he said with a friendly pat on Fred’s shoulder, “I guess you’ll be moving on soon. Where do you think you’ll be headed?”

That wasn’t the way Fred had imagined the conversation beginning. “Well, I… I don’t know,” he stammered.

“The southern coast is beautiful this time of year.”

“Uh, yes it is. I was headed that way before all this began…”

“And now you want to be on your way. I understand.” Fred was bewildered as Sarah’s father shook his hand. “Thanks for all you’ve done. We really appreciate it.”

Fred looked over at Sarah and she smiled back. He couldn’t read her expression. Was she bravely hiding her distress at his departure? Was she glad to see him go? Did she even remember his name?

He was crushed, but tried not to let it show. “I’ll see you all again next time I come this way.”

Sarah’s father grinned and nodded, then turned back to his work. Sarah waved. Fred turned and trudged away, glancing frequently back over his shoulder and hoping that she would come running after him, begging him to stay.

The next few days passed slowly. Fred traveled, seeing new places and meeting new people, but his thoughts kept going back to Sarah. What was she doing? Was she safe? Was she happy?

One of the people he met was an old acquaintance named Bernie. “Where have you been keeping yourself, Fred?” he asked. “Did you hear about all the ruckus up north?”

“I didn’t just hear about it,” Fred said. “I was there.” He proceeded to tell his friend all that had happened over the past month. It was a long time in the telling and he included a lot of details that might not have been necessary. When he was finished, Bernie nodded and smiled knowlingly.

“It doesn’t sound like this adventure is completely over for you,” he said. “There are a lot of loose ends, unanswered questions. You’d better go back and resolve these things or you’ll wonder about them the rest of your life.”

“Do you really think so?”

“I know it.”

Fred didn’t need a lot of prompting. He set out again, excited to start a new adventure. Or perhaps he was finishing the old one. Either way, he hoped this time it would end with a happily ever after.

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