Author's notes: Well, here it is, the first chapter of the sequel to The Ups and Downs of being Ann! As I'm sure you've guessed from the summary, it's all about Nami, which I hope is okay with everyone.
IMPORTANT: In the game, AWL, the farmer character always arrives at the start of a year, but in this story he'll arrive at the beginning of fall instead. That's mainly because the story starts during the spring and the timeline of it wouldn't work otherwise. In chapter 12 of The Ups and Downs of Being Ann, Ann and Cliff visit Forget-Me-Not Valley during the summer and are told that the local farm is unocupied. They also meet Nami, so she was already there. To give you an idea of how the sequel will fit into the timeline of the previous story; Nami arrives in the spring, Ann and Cliff visit that summer and then the farmer character arrives in the fall. Erm...I hope that makes sense to everyone!
The Inner Inn
Rain was thrashing down onto the streets of Forget-Me-Not Valley as a red headed girl of around twenty struggled towards a large, two story building. Spring weather, she thought, always unpredictable! Ducking under the shelter of the building and reading the sign by the door she noticed, to her great delight, that she had stumbled upon an Inn. The very thing she had been searching for.
Inside a large foyer, a plump man with black hair and dark beady eyes looked up from behind the reception desk as the door to the Inn was thrown open, and young woman walked inside. Her hair was cut short and was a deep shade of red similar to the colour of autumn leaves. Most noticeable, however, were her wide, pale-blue eyes. She threw her hair back out of her face, sending droplets of water flying everywhere and approached the reception desk slightly warily.
"Welcome to the Inner Inn. Can I help you?" the plump man asked, eyeing her suitcase hopefully.
"Yes, you can actually," she replied. "I'm looking for a room." The man's eyes lit up instantly. "Got any vacancies?" she added, suspecting from his eagerness that he did. Looking around her, the girl noticed that the room had a very exotic feel. There were plants in every possible corner and many odd looking statues had been placed in the room. As a traveller she could tell they'd all, almost certainly, come from numerous different countries. She wondered if the man behind the counter had actually been to all these places to buy the statues. If so, he must he must have some very impressive stories to tell, she thought.
"Of course we have rooms, of course!" he answered enthusiastically . He grabbed a pen and pulled a thick notebook in front of him. "Right, for how many nights will you be staying with us for, Miss...?"
"Waters. Nami Waters. And I'd say probably a few weeks. No more than that," she told him.
"That's fine. I'm Tim by the way. Oh...and this is my beautiful wife Ruby," he said, suddenly smiling over at the doorway to the right of the room.
Nami followed his glance and noticed that a short, friendly looking woman with a bob of black hair and a pair of warm brown eyes had appeared in the doorway. Judging from the heavenly smell that had now filled the foyer she could only assume that the room was some sort of kitchen. It was only then that Nami realised how hungry she was. Not suprising, really, considering her long journey, which had included a ferry ride to Mineral Town. Then, she'd been forced to trek over a rocky, formiddable mountain just to reach the Valley.
Ruby beamed at Nami as though she was an old friend. "Dinner should be ready in about an hour, okay? Could you warn Rock, Tim?" she said. Nami noted how soft and sweet her voice was, and decided that she quite liked Ruby - not something she often decided on first meeting someone. "Rock is our son, by the way," Ruby added, smiling at Nami. "He's about your age I'd say. I'm sure you two will get along nicely." Nami wasn't too sure about this as she couldn't exactly say she was very good at meeting people. She nodded curtly, however.
Once Ruby had gone back to the kitchen Tim led Nami upstairs to her room. On the second storey Nami noticed that there were only two doors leading off the main hallway, and that there was an ancient wooden pole in one corner. For a moment, she considered asking Tim about it, but then decided against it as he seemed like a man who could really talk.
"The door on the right is Rock's bedroom. You'll be able to meet him at dinner. He can never resist Ruby's food!" Tim explained proudly. "Neither can I for that matter, as she's such a great cook. But I'm sure you'll find that out for yourself." Nami nodded once again. She was so hungry she could hardly wait.
Tim opened the door on the left exposing Nami's room. She could barely stifle a gasp. This was just possibly the most beautiful room she had ever stayed in. And she'd stayed in a lot of rooms.
Firstly, Nami noticed two imaculate beds pushed up against the nearest wall. Those snow white sheets looked so tempting to her as she felt so very tired. There were more plants to be found in this room, very similar to the ones in the foyer. Against the opposite wall was a chest of drawers and on top of that a vase of deep pink spring flowers. She thought back to the last Inn she had stayed in, on the mainland. You would be lucky to get a bed that didn't have someone else's blood smeared on it there, let alone get a vase of flowers in your room! Tim grinned widely at the look on Nami's face and showed her that the room also came with a small balcony which overlooked the front of the Inn.
It had finally stopped raining so Nami stepped through the elegant glass doors and peered down at the undeniably gorgeous main street of the village. The air was so cold it felt like a moist flannel had been pressed against her face. The buildings and roads glistened with rain. The sky was mainly pure white, but patches of brilliant blue had started to appear. Looking up and down Nami noticed that the whole street was completely deserted. Shame, she thought, when the rain leaves things looking this fresh and beautiful.
"I'll leave you to it then," called Tim. "Dinner's at six, okay?"
Retiring to her room at long last, Nami flopped down on the nearest bed. It was only half past eight, but it had been a very long day and Nami felt weighed down by Ruby's rich cooking. She couldn't remember the last time she'd eaten so much.
Tim was right and Nami had been greatly impressed by Ruby's amazing cooking skills. She could still taste that delicious stew even now. Tim had told her - in great detail - all about his and Ruby's travels around the world, and she'd met their son Rock.
Nami had to admit she didn't know if it could really be called a pleasure or not. Rock was nice enough, sure, but he just seemed a bit too...eager? He seemed to Nami like the type who'd flirt with anything that moved, including her by the seems of it. Also, he looked absolutely nothing like his parents whatsoever, which surprised her slightly.
Perhaps he's adopted? Nami wondered curiously as she lay in her darkened room, Or maybe I'm just looking into things too much.
It was a common problem for her, thinking too deeply about things. At least it used to be when she was younger and much more naive. It usually led to all sorts of problems and misunderstandings with the locals of whatever town she was staying in at the time. If she offended anyone by opening her mouth without thinking, she'd usually just move on to somewhere else, it was that simple. Now, never stopping in one place for too long had become a bit of a habit, even though she didn't ever get in trouble with the locals anymore because she'd learned to keep to herself.
Forget-Me-Not Valley seemed to be a quaint little town though...maybe this could be the place she'd settle in for good.
But then, as she turned over trying to get to sleep, Nami just thought, No way. After all, what were the chances of finding a beautiful village complete with equally lovely and welcoming inhabitants?
Hmm, well, what had experience taught her?
Oh yeah! The chances of that were absolutely nil.
In short, Forget-Me-Not Valley would be just another place to sweep in and out of her life and then fade slowly into the background. That was just routine. It would be the same for the people she met. Some would like her, some wouldn't, some would even offer to keep in touch; but in the end they'd all disappear and it'd be as though they'd never met...
Well that was life, though, wasn't it? And after all she chose it, so who was she to complain?
A/n - Very short, I know! But it's just the opening, setting the scene - type chapter and I can promise that the others will be much longer than this. Thanks for reading and please review! Thanks!