Disclaimer: I do not own Harvest Moon or any of its characters.

Moving on

She wore a beautiful blue-and-white gown. Her hair was tied back and braided with periwinkle blue roses. As she walked down the path from Sunny Lake to Mother's Hill, joyful tears glittered on her face on that beautiful Spring morning. As she neared, she felt eyes watching her as she slowly descended toward the two men by the fence. One was the mayor, Theodore, and the other her fiance, Ray. Ray was positively beaming as he took her hand.

"Do you, Ray, take Erica as your wife?"

"I do." he responded, staring into my eyes.

"And do you, Erica, take Ray as your husband?"

"I do." Erica returned.

"Then I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss the bride." Erica felt Ray grow closer, and their lips touched and they kissed. The first kiss of a long and happy marriage.

Erica again wiped tears from her eyes. But they were far from the joyous tears that they had been on her wedding day. They were tears of grief, of horror, of misery. She held her baby boy, Andrew, in her arms. Andrew slept away, not knowing of her plight. As she gazed down at her beloved son, she remembered the day he was born very well.

It was 2 years after their marriage when Erica found out she was pregnant. She and Ray were overjoyed at the thought of becoming parents. Two seasons later, on a harsh Winter evening, Erica gave birth to a baby boy. She and Ray had decided to name him Andrew Ray, after Erica's grandfather and the child's own father.

That was almost a year ago. Happy memories were now giving way to terrible ones. Erica put Andrew into his crib. She sat down in a chair, put her head in her hands, and began to sob as everything came rushing back at her.

"I'm going down to Sunny Lake." Ray said, throwing his fishing rod over his shoulder.

Erica threw her arms around his neck and kissed him lightly. "Be home in time for lunch." she told him. Ray nodded and kissed her back. He had a smile on his face as he left the house.

By that night, he had still not returned. Erica was becoming quite worried when she heard a knock on the door. Placing a sleepy Andrew into his crib, she raced to the door and opened it. Instead of her beloved husband, Theodore stood there looking solemn. "Erica, may I come in? I have something to tell you."

"Please do. Can I get you anything to drink?" Erica offered.

Theodore shook his head. "No," he said. "I want to make this brief." He took Erica's hand in his. "Ray's dead."

"Wh-what?" Erica said. "If this is some kind of sick joke..."

"It's not a joke." the mayor assured her. "We found his body on the shore of Sunny Lake. We think he fell in and drowned." Looking into her friend's eyes, Erica knew he was serious. She sank to her knees, too much in shock to even cry. "Where is he?" she croaked.

"We took him to the Clinic...I'm sorry, Erica."

Erica rushed over and snatched Andrew from his crib. She ran all of the way from the farm to the clinic, and threw open the door. She pushed Andrew into Alex's arms, who only watched her run solemnly. As she turned the corner and threw back the bed curtain, she saw a person lying on the bed, covered in a white sheet. With shaking hands she withdrew the sheet, and upon seeing the person under it, collapsed in tears and moans upon the bed.

The sound of Andrew crying brought Erica back to the present. She picked him up and gently patted him and sang his favorite lullaby. Just as she got him to sleep, a loud knock on the door set the baby into tears again. Still holding her son, Erica opened the door. A purple haired man wearing a hat and a shawl stood there. Erica realized how terrible she must've looked; she hadn't combed her hair, she was still in her pajamas, and her eyes were red and puffy.

"Can I come in?" Jamie asked.

"Sure." Erica said quietly. She opened the door wider and moved out of the way to let him inside. Jamie handed her a basket full to the brim with sweets, cards, and pictures. "From your friends." He said. Erica took the basket and set it on the table. Jamie took a seat at her dining room table, and Erica took the seat across from him. "So what brings you here, Jamie?"

"I just wanted to see how you were doing." Jamie said. "You haven't been outside since Ray's funeral. I've been taking care of your animals since then."

Erica looked away. "I just can't handle anything right now..."

Jamie leaned forward. "I know. Erica, I know you're still grieving, but you can't let it destroy you. That's what you're letting it do. I know you two were close-"

"We were more than close!" Erica snapped. "He was my husband, and the father of my son. I can't just let him go so easily!"

"You're not letting him go at all. You just need to slowly get on with your life. Don't let this grief overtake you and command you." Jamie said calmly. Erica was quiet, still looking away. Jamie stood up and placed a hand on her shoulder. "If you need any help, just ask. Someone will be there to help you."

"Promise?" Erica said childishly.

"Promised." Jamie assured her. He patted her shoulder and left the house, probably on his way back to his own farm.

Erica sat in silence for what seemed like an eternity. Finally she stood up and got dressed. She pulled her hair back into the pigtails that Ray had loved so much, and kissed Andrew's forehead. She sat on her bed for a moment to regain her composure when she saw the picture of her family on the table beside her. In the picture, which was taken shortly after Andrew was born, showed Ray kissing her on the cheek while she laughed. Erica no longer had tears coming from her eyes. Instead, to her own surprise, she was laughing for the first time since that fateful day. She held the picture frame in her hand for a moment, then sat it back down on the bedside table.

With a smile on her face and Andrew in her arms, she set off towards Flower Bud Village. She was moving on, it was what Ray would've wanted. As she walked off, one last memory came to mind.

At their wedding reception, Erica and her new husband were dancing together for the first time. The soft notes hung in the air as Ray held her close. Erica wished the moment would never end, and that they would stay like this for all eternity. She felt Ray moved his face closer to hers. They stared into each others' eyes with a love so fierce that everyone could see this marriage was for real.

"I love you." he whispered to her.

"I love you, too." she said.

"We're be together always, won't we?" he asked.

Erica nodded. "Forever, and ever."

So how was it? This was my first Harvest Moon fan-fic. Now, click the little button and submit your review. Thanks for reading!

I only thought about this about a day after writing this. I only find it fair to mention that in my Magical Melody game, my husband is Ray and my child's name is Andrew. My name's not Erica, though. That's just the first name I thought of that I liked.

-Sweet Dreamer