Bliss and Remorse
Chapter1: Just another day, only different.
It wasn’t fair. This was just unbelievable.
I was crying. With my hair flying through the strongest wind yet, I ran from the clinic and straight to the inn where I live. I was running from the clinic because a very special friend I knew died. He wasn't like the normal friends you have; in fact he was like something else. Like a grandpa. His name was Mr. Harvest, but my father and I called him Tony. He was one of the kindest people in the village. He would always stop by our house and give me a little present when I was younger. Now he is dead. Just a few minutes ago he died at the clinic of a horrible illness.
The minute I touched the door with my wet fingers that I had wiped my eyes on, I realized I wanted to see his farm one last time. I dragged my body in that direction.
As soon as I got there, I opened the unlocked gate to his farm. Right there, where the magic red flower I had planted this spring was, I saw a dead, withered flower covered in frost. I hadn't taken a notice before, but the first few snowflakes had fallen. Then I knew it was officially winter. I cried out and picked the flower out of the ground, walked mournfully back to the inn, and ran up to my room. I placed the dead flower, still covered in frost, into the loveliest vase and grabbed a camera. As I pressed the button on it, it flashed like a crash of lightning. I smiled. Now I would always remember it.
End of flashback
It was July and I was walking to the goddess pond. Ever since Tony died, I vowed to myself I would never pass through his farm again.
But one thing stopped me, and its name was curiosity.
I was walking along while I was reading and unexpectedly kept going straight when I was supposed to make a turn. All of a sudden, I bumped into a sign. I looked at it curiously. To my surprise, it read:
"I only said I wouldn't go into Tony's farm." I said to myself. "It's not his anymore. Even the name is changed." I walked into the path of the farm.
Then as soon as I entered the farm, I looked at it in shock. It wasn't the change in it, or the neglect. In fact, it wasn't neglected at all; it looked wonderful! Here’s what I saw: The weeds were gone, there were two chickens in a fence made of lumber, tilled soil with turnips and other plants sprawling from the ground, and the sun shown like a glossy myth instead of a dulling pain of darkness. I looked more carefully. Suddenly, I gasped and stared in amazement. What I saw was different from everything else.
There was a guy on the farm.
He was the one watering the plants. I watched him for a moment. What was he doing here? I thought. Even though I sounded angry, I couldn't help admire his qualities. He looked so pure and… well actually…kind of cute? Cute didn’t seem right. He looked too peaceful to be cute. Admirable? Good-looking? Beautiful? Those didn’t seem right, either. But he did look nice. He also looked very much like he enjoyed animals. I always like other people who like animals. But deep inside I felt confused and maybe even a little angry. He took Tony's farm, after all.
He must've heard me, because he shouted, "Hello?" I just stood there. For a moments time, I decided I had better do some explaining and said, "Um, hi. I-I work at the inn. I needed to pick up some eggs. I thought…" The boy spoke up. "Oh, my grandpa was Tony. He… you know…"
"He died…?" I asked being careful not to cry.
"You know him?" He said, reading my mind. I nodded. All of a sudden he gasped. "I've heard of you. You won at the cooking festival, didn’t you? I've heard you are a tremendous cook." I blushed furiously. "Anyway," He continued. "The mayor immediately looked for someone to take over the farm. It took only a weeks time until he found me. I was unsure, because I've never lived on my own before, but I accepted his question. I lived in the city, so I wasn't used to this kind of stuff, either." I stared at him for a moment, trying to picture him in the city. Then I replied, "Well, I really have to go… um… I don't want to be rude…"
"…Well, good-bye." I started to walk away. The boy spoke up. "Wait!" He said. "I forgot to give you my eggs. How many do you need?"
"Uh, only two."
"All right, I'll be right back." He picked up two pretty-looking eggs and handed them to me. I looked at them, and then the boy.
"What's wrong?" He asked.
"Oh! No-nothing. It's fine. In fact, I just think it's actually better than even the poultry farms' eggs." The boy looked flattered.
"I hate to go." I said. "But I have to meet someone at the water fall."
"Oh, that's fine." I nodded and walked off.
All of a sudden, I painfully hurled my toe into a sharp rock. For a blinding moment, I lost control of my body and fell into something warm and rough. I looked up and saw the boy helping me out of my arms. I looked up at him in horror. I must've fallen into his arms. "Whoa!" he replied. "Careful! Here-"
"Um, thanks." I sputtered. "I better go…"
"Wait!" He shouted. "What's your name?" I stopped suddenly and looked back at him. "Ann." I replied sounding a bit surprised.
"Hi, Ann." He said. I melted when he said my name. "I'm Andrew."
"H-hi, Andrew." I said. "Well, um… thank you for the eggs."
"You're welcome. Bye, Ann." I walked away and waved at him. I was shaking. Andrew…Andrew… I said in my mind over and over. What a perfect name for him. Andrew…Then all of a sudden I bumped into an unpleasant voice. "A-a-Ann! You're late!" It was Popuri. "You simply don’t know how long I've been waiting! Enough. It's ten thirty, I'm going home." She stormed down the steps and shoved me out of her way. As soon as she was gone I walked over to the waterfall and stroked the water. I wondered if I wanted to go through his farm again…
Chapter2: The egg
I woke up that very next morning finding the voice of my father to awake me. "Ann! You've overslept! Come help me wash the dishes, we have customers waiting!" I ran to the bathroom next to my room and took a very quick shower. After putting on my cleanest, prettiest clothes, I ran to the door and slammed into it. "Dad! Sorry, I was dazed all day yesterday. What time is it?" I said loudly as I got behind the counter where my dad is. "Ann!" My dad barked. "You know not to shout while we're open, and especially when we have customers. I was trying to talk to Jeff." He sighed. "You have lot's of work to do, and it's almost nine. You won't be seeing Popuri today. Go wash the dishes from last night and make Jeff an egg and sausage sandwich, then you can go. Be back by noon when it gets busy. And don't you think I'm not disappointed with you young lady." He said sternly.
"Right, dad." I said wearily. I walked back and opened the door to the kitchen. As I washed the dishes I thought up an excuse I would tell Andrew about why I came there. I didn't want him to know I just came to visit. I thought for a moment. Maybe I could say I was going to the hot spring to get some bamboo shoot for one of my recipes for the inn. That's it. I continued washing the dishes and making the food.
A half an hour later, I walked out of the kitchen and handed the sandwich to Jeff. I turned to my dad. "Uh…umm…" I muttered. "Yes, Ann?" He asked annoyed.
"I'm going to cook my bamboo rice tonight as a specialty, I just need to go to the hot spring to get some. That all right, dad?"
"Sure, Ann, don't be long." He answered. I smiled at him and ran out the door.
When I got to the gate I looked for Andrew. I saw him come out of the chicken house looking worried. "Andrew!" I shouted running up to him. All of a sudden I fell in the muddy grass. I kept on running. "Hi." I said panting. Andrew laughed. "Hi, Ann." He said. "Do you need those eggs today?"
"No. I just… I need to get some extra bamboo shoot for my special recipe bamboo rice that I'm going to cook tonight."
"Oh, really? I love bamboo rice. Maybe I'll go to the inn tonight. Umm, here." He said looking shy. "You can keep these anyway if you want. They're spa-boiled eggs." I just stared at them. These were some of my favorite things. "Wow! I really like this! Thank you!" I said. I ran off so I could put them in fridge. Then I turned back. What am I crazy? I can't let him suspect I wasn't really getting bamboo. "Uh, sorry I ran off like that." I said blushing. "I-I just really like this. Hey! Maybe that can be a new ingredient! I'll see if it works. Thank you so much!" I said continuing to run toward the inn.
"Uh, Ann?" He said suddenly. "Don't you want to go the other way so you can pick your bamboo?"
"Oh!" I said startled. "Uh, yeah…right." I started to run the other way wondering why I was being so light-headed.
That night after I tried out putting the eggs in the bamboo rice (And discovering that it was terrific!) I was a nervous wreck. How was I supposed to visit with Andrew while being at least nine people's waitress? I ran into my room and brushed my hair and changed my clothes and things like that. Then all of a sudden a door opened. I jolted up from my bed and quickly ran out of the door to the restaurant part of the inn. I ran to see who it was and sighed with relief. It was only Duke. "Hi, Duke." I said cheerfully.
"Ann, hi. You look tired, have a hard day?"
"Yeah. Did you hear about our new specialty? It's bamboo rice; I had to go to a lot of places to get the natural ingredients." Duke looked confused. "But I thought there was only one natural ingredient."
"Yeah, but I have added a few more." I said. Suddenly I saw Karen and Rick come in. "Hi, guys." I said walking over to them. They greeted me and I told them about the specialty. They ordered an orange shake and a small grape wine. I walked into the kitchen and back out to give it to them. When I came back I saw two more people. They were Andrew and Saibara. I rushed over to Saibara first. "Hello." I said. He sat down. "Do you want to start off with a drink?"
"I'll have a cranberry juice." I got him some cranberry juice and walked over to Andrew. "Hi, Andrew." I said. "You can choose where to sit. Have you been to anything like this before?"
"No." He said. "It's empty here." I wilted. He hated it!
"I like that, though." He added quickly. "Usually where I lived it was totally packed with people. I like how the people are so nice here, too." Sighing with relief, I said, "Do you want anything to drink?"
"Sure." He replied. "What do you think goes good with bamboo rice?"
"Oh! Umm… probably one of our hot sodas." I said.
"Okay, I'll have that." I walked off and prepared the hot soda.
When I came back I saw Cliff and Basil sitting at the table. I gave them their drinks and ran back over to Karen and Rick. "Are you guys ready to order anything?" I asked. "Yeah, we're going to share a turkey sandwich combo." I got it for them and ran over to Duke and gave him his drink. Then I went to everyone else and walked over to Andrew again. "Are you wanting to have that bamboo rice now?" I asked. "Okay." He said. "Oh, Ann?" He added. "Can I stay a couple minutes after the inn closes so I can tell you something?"
"Okay." I said alarmed. I opened my mouth to say something but closed it and turned away to see Basil. "Can I have some red pepper sauce, Ann?" He asked. I got him some red pepper. "Um, Ann, this is barbecue sauce."
"Oh! Sorry, my mind has been all blurry lately." I went to the kitchen again to get the red pepper and gave it to him. "Thank you." He said to me. I ran around to cook and get everyone else's food and drinks and to check up on them until it was ten after twelve. Andrew was still there talking to my dad and offering to help clean up. I escaped for a minute to wash my hands and brush off all the food and stains. All of a sudden I heard a door open. "Ann?" Said a familiar voice. "Can I came in right now?" I peeked out of the kitchen and saw Andrew. I got all shaky. "Uh-huh." I faltered.
"Can I ask you something… about the twenty-fourth of this month? Um, well, Ann, can you go to the fireworks display with me? I just have no one to ask to go with me and I just really-"
"I'll-I can come with you." I said shakily and blushing. I was probably really really turning pale later on, too.
"Ann, I just- I don't know-"
"I'll come." I repeated. "I'd love to come. I've only been there a few times with my dad when I was little, though."
"Great." He said with a small laugh. "I've never been to a fire work show at all. I've only seen them on football games and concerts and things like that."
"All right. What time is good for you? It opens at six and goes on all night long."
"Well, is the inn busy that night?"
"Yeah." I said with a huff. Why did he have to bring that place up? "Why don't we go at ten thirty? I can cut out some of my work and leave it to my dad." I said hopefully.
"Okay. If not then at twelve." We smiled at each other. "Well, bye, Ann." He said putting his hand on me. I stared at him as he left the room.
Chapter3: The fireworks display.
I was trying to leave some of my work that noon to get ready for the fireworks display, but there were so many things to do! "Dad, can't I just take a day off?" I wailed.
"No, Ann." He said to me sternly. "You need to do your work today. You may only leave at eleven thirty." I sighed. This thing Andrew and I had planned was working out hopelessly. I continued working on cleaning the tables and helping with the mayor and the policeman.
As soon as it was ten minutes before twelve, after taking a bath and putting on a bright green leather top and a pair of black jeans and messing with my hair and all of that other stuff, I ran down and opened the door to the front of the inn. "Good luck, Ann." Said my dad. I thanked him and walked to Mineral beach. I looked at Rose Square. It was so dark and shadowy. Then I walked down the steps to the beach.
I was so shaky I was afraid I would fall. When I saw Andrew sitting on the dock and watching a green fire work looking a lot like my shirt, I walked up to him. "H-hi…Andrew." I said as he turned around and looked at me. "Oh, hi, Ann. You… look nice. Want to sit at the dock? That's where you get the best view."
I sat down and watched with Andrew. All of a sudden a giant, deep red fire work burst into the starry sky. "I wonder how I would feel if I were a fish and there were fire works everywhere. I would be scared, but not run away, I might probably watch them no matter what I was." I said. We watched for a moment again. Andrew turned to me. "Ann, I… I've wanted to tell you… I really like you. I mean…" He looked deep into my eyes and held my hand. I turned to look at him. His eyes were so deep and brown. He looked so perfect. I leaned over…
And then we kissed.
We kissed for a long time and he held me tight. A firework burst in the sky. It was a beautiful color. It stayed there for a long time and then faded away as Andrew and I stopped kissing. Still holding my hand, Andrew continued what he was saying. "I love you, Ann." He breathed. I stared at him without knowing what to say. Tears fell in my eyes. "I love you, too." I said yawning. That broke the love scene. We laughed and watched the fire works. I yawned again and lied down on the dock. I was becoming pretty tired. The fireworks should be over soon, if I just take a snooze that would be okay… I thought slowly falling asleep.
I woke up with a start. I was asleep longer than I thought, because everyone but Andrew had left. He was asleep, probably not knowing what to do with a sleeping girl on his lap, I guessed. For a startling moment, I moved over to get up but something horrible, terrible, scary, and exiting happened. I rolled off the dock and with my fingers slipping quickly off of the edge of a pole, tumbled into the deep water. I screamed but no sound came out. Trying to swim a little, I grabbed onto a steaming boat. I was too tired to think a steaming boat was a sign it was going to leave very soon. I screamed again, this time with only a little sound coming out. Then it happened. The boat started leaving. It was a very fast boat. I let go but to my horror my shirt got a hole in it and a large piece of wood was sticking out of it. I tried to pull away and I swam wildly around, but that just gave me a deep scratch in my stomach. I screamed as loud as I could. This time it was loud. Andrew, back on the dock, woke up with a start. He heard my screaming. "Ann!" He yelled. "Don't worry!" He dived into the ocean head first and swam as quickly as he could. Catching up with me he looked at me up and down and found the wood in my shirt. Blood was trickling down my stomach and coloring the water. "Here-" He said yanking the piece of wood and breaking half, making the sharp part scratch me but come out of my shirt. He took hold of me and swam back to the dock. "Ann, are you all right?" He asked frantically. All I could do was cough and pant. When I caught my breath, I said, "Andrew… you saved me." He looked at the blood all over me. "We need to get you to the clinic, that's a really bad cut." He said.
"No…no, that's okay, I'll be fine. Do you have any bandages at your house?"
"Yeah, but… your clothes are all wet, too. You go back to your house and put something warm on, and then meet me at my house… or I should probably wait for you instead and then walk you to my house." I nodded and we walked back to the inn, where I put a nightgown on instead of clothes since it was so late. Then I met Andrew outside and we walked back to his house.
When we got there Andrew sat me on his bed. "Here- I'll go get the bandages. Maybe I should wrap them around your stomach instead of just putting then on, because it looks like the wood had slid around and cut half your stomach." He cleaned off the blood and put on the bandages. I looked at his puppy, and I couldn't help notice it was really cute when it was asleep. "I'll let you sleep in my bed and I'll call your dad in the morning to tell him what happened. I'll sleep next to the television with my sleeping bag."
"No. You don't have to-"
"That's all right. Just go to sleep, okay?" He said. I looked around the bed and noticed that on his clock it was three in the morning. Then I fell asleep.
Chapter4: The picnic at the goddess waterfall.
After the beach episode my dad was scared to death but grateful that I was with Andrew. He was always inviting him to the inn and asking when I was going to get married.
That winter it was a dreary but joyful time. I would see Andrew all the time and we would do lots of stuff together, but it was always the same thing. Nothing exiting happened except for the dog race and when I saw Gray purpose to Mary. The wedding was next month.
I was walking along when I bumped into Andrew in Rose Square. "Oh, hi, Ann." He said.
"Hi." I said. "I was just looking for something to do, what about you?"
"That's exactly what I was doing." He said. "Do you want to do something with me?"
"Sure." I said. "Why don't we have a picnic somewhere? You can choose."
"How about the goddess waterfall?" He asked.
"That's a perfect place. I'll get my dad to pack us a picnic. Meet me there at twelve o clock." We smiled and split up.
When I was done getting the food ready I walked up to the waterfall where Andrew was. "Hi, Ann." He greeted me. "What are we eating?"
"Oh, umm…" I peeked inside the basket. "String cheese, tons of assorted sandwiches, some milk and a chocolate cake." I said with my mouth watering. We started eating when I noticed Andrew wasn’t eating much. He was all pale and sweaty like he was scared to do something. "Are you all right?" I asked. He looked at me.
"Yeah! I'm- I'm fine." I looked at him.
"Okay." I said and continued eating a highly seasoned turkey sandwich.
"Hey, Ann?" He spoke up. "If I don't die, I want you to be married to me." I looked at him. He said it as if something were to happen. I wonder what that means, I thought. He slowly started pulling something out from his pocket. I eyed it and gasped. "Ann." He said. "Will you marry me?" I stared at the feather. "I-…well… yes." I said. I trembled as I took the feather. "Andrew, yes." I repeated. "I've just- oh Andrew…" I swept him into my arms and kissed him. He was finally proposing to me. I would have a perfect life and a wonderful… what about that thing he said? I still wondered what that meant in the midst of it all.
Chapter5: The magic red flower.
I was so happy. As soon as I told my dad he became wild with joy. I was secretly planning my wedding dress in my diary; it was a pale, pale, blue and it was satin with little lace flowers on the skirt. My sleeves were peasant-style and it was so beautiful. I would have to go out of the village for the first time to get things for the wedding.
Then things changed.
It all started when I was walking to the supermarket to pick up some flour for a cake when Lilia rushed over to me. "Ann, you have to come to the clinic quick! Something terrible happened!" She said wildly. I jumped. "What happened?" I nearly shouted.
"Come on!" She said again. I ran to the clinic and burst in the door. I turned as pale as a ghost.
It was Andrew.
He was lying in the clinic bed and was coughing and he looked really pale. He was almost unconscious. I screamed and ran over to him. "Andrew!" I shrieked. I flew by the bed and buried my face on the cover next to him. I put my hand on him. His body felt stiff and cold. I shrieked again and burst out in tears. Everyone in the clinic backed away and left me with him. I got up and collapsed on the floor. I cried for a long time until the doctor came in and ordered me to go out for a while. I yelled at him and burst into my house and ran into my room. There I sat on my bed. I stared at the wall when I noticed the magic red flower I picked from his farm when it belonged to his grandfather. I took it and went back to the clinic. The doctor was talking with Elli about the medicine for him so I went over to his bed. "Here." I said to him not expecting a reply. "Have this magic red flower I planted last winter from Tony's farm. When he died I picked it to remember him by." I gasped immediately. Andrew's eyes were flickering open. "Thank you." He said. I started crying again. He continued to talk weakly. "I forgot to tell you… my grandpa had a bad disease… that got passed down to me… my father has it, too… I expect him to die soon…" I cried and put the flower on the table next to him. The doctor and Elli rushed over. "He's speaking!?" Elli shouted. I nodded. The doctor tried to wake him up again. Andrew woke up and tried to walk. "Lay down!" Elli ordered. He listened and lied down. "Thank you, Ann, everybody." He said.
"Please stay for two more days." Said the doctor. "You will be fine."
I cried out in joy and hugged the doctor, who looked quite flustered. "Uh, thank you… Ann… he will be fine now… go on…" he said. I ran out of the clinic to go to the goddess pond.
Four weeks later we got married and had a wonderful life. (We went to Mary and Grays wedding, too). Soon Karen and Rick got married.
One day in summer I went to the clinic because I was feeling funny. Soon the doctor came out. "Congratulations, Ann, you are going to have a baby."
"I'm pregnant?!" I shrieked.
"Yes." He said. I ran out to tell Andrew and my dad.