May 14, 2011
I spent the next week either at my parents house or at Evies. I was trying to keep myself occupied so I didn’t feel the urge to walk to my tree. I walked around my parents farm a lot, but nothing compared to my little sanctuary.
Every time I closed my eyes all I could see was his face. I dare not say his name either. Saying his name conjurers up feelings that are dangerous. Charles’ family and friends are all around and I cannot even begin to comprehend what he would do to me if he found out I had feelings for someone else…. Oh my goodness, I have feelings for him.
It’s been a week now since I last went to my tree and met Johnathon. I’m hoping that he thought it was a one off, my being there that is. So today, after a particularly uneventful day I have decided to take a walk out to my tree. Luckily nobody was there.
I sat down, leaned against the rough trunk of my tree and closed my eyes, the bark of my tree digging itself into my back. I liked it though. I figured that it being uncomfortable was my punishment for my improper thoughts. I could feel myself relaxing as each second breezed by. The smell of the grass filled my nose, the birds chirped in the tree tops above, the lonely bumble bee collected necter from the flowers. I allowed myself to relax so much I could hear all this. I lost myself in the freedom of being there, digging my feet into the grass when I heard a crack. I looked up, my heart pounding as there he was, Johnathon. Smiling down at me.
“I thought you’d never come back,” he said, smiling at me. A look of relief on his face.
“I thought you would have given up by now. I thought I made myself clear Johnathon,” I said, my voice sounding harsh, not the way I had wanted to sound.
“May I sit with you Esme?” He asked,
I wanted to say no, I wanted to be left alone. I ended up just shrugging.
Johnathon sat down next to me and smiled. “I’ve been here every day waiting for you to return Esme. You kept me waiting a long time.”
“Johnathon, I thought I explained myself last time, this is not a good idea. My husband is serving in the war at the moment. His friends and family live close by and I am certain he wouldn’t be pleased with me for speaking to you.” My voice quivered as I spoke. I winced, remembering the abuse I had endured whilst Charles had been here. Johnathon must have noticed the wince, he sighed and mumbled something under his breath.
“Excuse me?” I asked, part of me wanting to know what he had mumbled and the other half afraid to know.
“Look, I’m sorry Esme, but I’m not stupid. You don’t know me but I have seen you around for years. I’ve wanted to talk to you for a long time and just as I had plucked up the courage to talk to you I heard you had gotten married. So I decided it was probably best not to bother you.”
“Johnathon? Why are you telling me this now? Why didn’t you just leave it once you knew I was married?” I asked, intrigued by his story.
“Well, like I said, I was going to. But then I saw you with him, and I knew right then and there that something wasn’t right…”
“How?” I was extremely intrigued now.
“The light had gone from your eyes, you looked scared… terrified actually. I knew then what he was doing but I wanted more proof. I didn’t see you for a while after that, then all of a sudden you were walking towards me on the street. You were looking down, trying to shield yourself from people looking at you, that’s when I noticed the bruise on the side of your face. It looked like it had faded. I knew then I had to help you. But I never saw you again, until that day at the tree. It was pure chance I saw you there. I was just taking a walk thinking about things and there you were, freezing. And then yesterday when you spoke about him you started shaking.”
“Oh, Johnathon… I ….err…. don’t really know what to say.” I was lost for words, for some reason I felt close to him and I could feel myself opening up to him.
“There isn’t much point in me denying it is there?”
“No, but you also don’t have to explain anything you don’t want to. I just want to see you happy again. Esme, I have feelings for you but I would rather you were just happy than put you in danger by perusing my feelings for you.”
I was speechless, I didn’t know what to say, no-one had ever been that nice to me.
“Esme, You don’t have to say anything. I know it is a lot to take in. I just want us to be friends. If that’s okay? I know we can’t be seen in public and I understand that. But I want the chance to make you happy, even if it is only being your friend.” He smiled at me, parting his lips slightly, showing off his perfectly straight teeth.
Still I was speechless. Suddenly all I could hear was my heart beating, so fast. The desire in me building up so much I was really struggling to control myself. My dream replaying itself over in my head.
“Johnathon, I’d like to be friends, what you’ve just said was so nice. But please understand we can only be friends.”
“That is all I am asking, for a chance to be your friend, and hopefully take away some of the hurt from your eyes.”
“Okay, well in that case ‘friend,’ can I ask you a question?” I smiled at him, enjoying the banter that already felt so comfortable.
“Of course,” he replied smiling back at me.
“Why aren’t you serving in the war? You must be, what early 20′s? Forgive me if I am being too nosy?”
“Yes I’m 22, and no it’s fine honestly. I was serving in the war, until 6 months ago. I was injured and returned home.” As he said this he lifted up his shirt to show an angry red scar on the right side of his stomach. I couldn’t help noticing that he had an extremely attractive physique.
“I want to go back, I feel like a fraud being here whilst all my friends are dying out there. But because of my injury I have been discharged.” A cloud of sorrow covered his eyes as he said this. I placed my hand on his, hoping that he wouldn’t take it the wrong way, I just wanted to comfort him… as a friend.
“Johnathon,” I started, trying to find the right words, “Even having the courage to fight for our country is a noble thing. The fact that you were injured is not your fault. You could have died.” He looked at me, the pain still in his eyes.
“Thank you Esme, for listening. I haven’t spoken to anyone about this. It’s nice to get it off my chest.” He intertwined his fingers around mine and pulled me down onto the grass. I didn’t know what to do about his hand. It felt nice, but at the same time I knew it was wrong. We lay on the grass not saying anything. I couldn’t tell you how long we laid there for, time seemed to stand still.
My mind kept drifting back to my dream. I wanted to lean over and kiss him, maybe just say something. But I’m married, I have to behave myself.
It was starting to get dark now. “I think we should head home,” Johnathon said standing up and pulling me to my feet. Our hands parted and we started to walk towards the village. Once we were on the outskirts of the village I stopped walking. Johnathon stopped to and turned to me.
“Is everything okay?” Johnathon asked
“Yes, it’s fine. I just don’t think we should be seen together. Please don’t be offended.”
“Esme, nothing you could ever do would offend me. I told you earlier, I don’t want to make things difficult for you. We’ve always got our tree.” He smiled at me, I could feel my heart beating so hard again.
Johnathon looked down at me, gazing into my eyes. He lifted his hand up and pushed a strand of hair away from my face, still gazing into my eyes. He placed his hand on my cheek and pushed another strand of hair away with his other hand. He took my face in his hands. I wanted to say something, to tell him to stop. But I couldn’t breathe let alone speak. Johnathon bent his head down towards my face. Thoughts were running through my head now, was he going to kiss me? I have to stop this. I can’t let this happen. He brushed his nose against my cheek and whispered in my ear.
“Esme, I’ve never felt like this with anyone else. I think I’m falling in love with you.”
“Esme, you don’t have to say anything, I know.”
He pulled his face away slightly so our noses were touching.
I’ll continue again soon