AN: This was an english assignment that I just turned in. We were given a bunch of options to choose from, or we could come up with our own and I chose to write a second epilouge. May I note that this was written in two very long nights, with MCAS in the morning, so any content, historical, timing, grammar, dialect or spelling mistakes, I apologize. I edited it in ten minutes before I had to leave to catch the bus. I decided to take a week to get my ideas together and then two days to type the whole thing, with the two days as an extention because I promised an amazing story, haha. During the flashback, with it being springtime and Will 19 I calculate Carrie to be about 20-21 and Lucy to be around 17. I know that one key factor in the flashback is illegal in the United States (it's not too bad, don't panic) but for the story's sake I'm going to pretend it was completely normal in mid-20th century rural England. Who knows, perhaps it was.
DISCLAIMER: I did not write the novel Good Night, Mr. Tom, any characters or plot points you recognise belong to the talented Michelle Morigan.
I haven't written in a long while, so I'm hoping this will be good haha.
Without further delay, enjoy the story:
~ * Here & Now * ~
A pair of thick, round glasses slipped down the crinkled nose of William Beech as he glared down at the Sunday crossword below him. He let out a frustrated sigh, and brought a feeble hand up to fix his glasses and scratch his chin. Will was older now, much older with only a ring of white hair left on his wrinkled head. His big brown eyes still sparkled, though with a tired sag to them. He sat at his small wooden kitchen table, with a cup of coffee cooling untouched next to the newspaper. He grumbled remembering the cup was there. He could never concentrate on much anything else while working on the weekly crossword. His wife always used to say those crosswords robbed him of all his other senses. Will smiled thinking of how she used to say it. But it wasn't long before his eyes found the unsolved puzzle, and his face turned into a deep frown. He dropped the pencil sighed once again.
"Bloody puzzle…" He muttered.
He picked up the mug and dumped the barely drunken coffee into the kitchen sink, the black liquid swirling down the recently replaced drain. It was one of the few things that had changed around the house in years, especially since his wife died. Will watched the coffee sink down the pipes, before making his way into the living room. It was, like everything else in the house, small and cozy, with a big green chair in the corner that Will had been sitting in every night for as long as he could remember. There was a pink and white blanket she had knitted years ago draped over the back, something that Will had not approved of at first, but in time, gotten used to. He now found comfort in the object, and in the security of how long it had been there. The rest of the living room was basic, and similarly, old fashioned. There was a tan couch along one wall, and a large bay window along the other. Will looked out onto the English countryside, loosing himself in the rolling hills and blue sky. It was a cool spring day, puddles littering the ground from the rainstorm the previous night. He remembered a day such as this; decades ago, that both broke his heart, and fixed it, in all one swing.
Will reached his hand up to wipe the sweat from his brow, more mud smearing across his face. The spring breeze felt wonderful against his skin, but it still wasn't enough to keep him from panting from the hard farm work. Will was a strong and healthy nineteen year old, who had several small jobs around the village to keep up with taking care of both himself and Mr. Tom. It was a Sunday, so Will didn't have any work to do for anyone. Instead he farmed his own fields, planting more crops for him and his small family to eat and sell.
"Will!" He heard Tom call from inside the house.
"Yes Dad?" Will shouted, standing up.
"Carrie's 'ere to see you son!"
Will's heart lifted. He dropped his shovel and ran toward the house, his boots digging deep into the wet soil. As he approached the door, he slowed abruptly to a casual stroll, before reaching and opening the door.
"Well that was quick." Tom commented as he came into view.
"Really?" Will replied, attempting to slow his breathing from the dash.
"Hello Will." Said a bright, quiet voice.
Will turned to see Carrie standing by the front doorway, her long auburn hair fixed delicately into a single braid down her back, just as she always liked it. She wore a new looking, but plain pale green and white pattered dress, with black shoes poking out from undernieth.
She was looking as beautiful as the last time Will had seen her.
"Carrie!" He said excitedly, then blushing slightly for loosing his composure. He controlled himself when finishing, "It's so good to see you…"
"You too. I haven't been visiting here enough. But the London commute is such a long one…"
"Oh I understand." Will replied. "You're busy, with college an' all that stuff. How's that been goin' by the way?"
"Oh, wonderful!" She exclaimed. Will could tell she had been hoping to talk about her school. "My proffessors are simply fantastic, and they've had loads of training in just about everything, and…" She trailed off, looking down at her feet.
"But enough about me, Will. How have things been going for you?"
Will hesitated. "Oh… Well, you know. Same old, same old." This was one of the things Will had trouble with when talking to Carrie. It always seemed like she had hundreds of different stories to tell, while he was still in Little Weirwold, with nothing particularly new, or exciting to talk about. He wanted to talk to her so badly, about anything, but he just didn't know what.
"Oh come on! You must have something to tell me. We haven't talked in ages." She laughed, as she walked over to him and nudged his shoulder.
He smiled sheepishly, and shook his head.
"Fine," she huffed, a smile playing at her lips. "I'll just have to pry it out of you then. Let's you and I go for a walk." She turned to Tom, who was still sitting in his chair. "Is that alright, Mr. Tom?"
"Yeah, will yous be alright Dad?"
"I'll be fine, I'll be fine. You two need ter catch up anyways. Take a walk, will yous. Take a break from working for a while Will. You work too hard."
"Well someone's got to." Will said rolling his eyes, and smiling at him. He turned and dashed over to the door that Carrie was about to open. He snatched the knob and opened the door for her, bowing deeply in the process. It was a game they used to play when they were younger, and he hoped it would spark some amusement in her. She chucked a little, but not as much as he hoped for. She passed by his arm, keeping a wide space between it and her, and walked out the back onto the stone steps that lead to the graveyard. Will was taken aback, but decided not to take it to heart. It had been a long while since they had last really spent time together, and they would have to get used to each other's company again.
Will caught up with her quickly, and they through the graveyard towards some of the fields, their shoes slapping the still damp ground. It was a beautiful spring day for the most part, with nothing but a few passing clouds to break the consistent blue sky. The walk was peaceful and quiet at first, but a looming awkwardness held over the pair. Will wasn't quite sure what to say. After a minute or so of this, Carrie finally broke the silence.
"So, are you going to tell me what's been happening with you, or do I have to keep my promise and pry it from you?" She said, twisting round so she was walking backwards and facing him.
Will continued to look ahead, but let a challenging smile build on his face. Her eyes narrowed at him.
"Very well then."
She sped up her steps pulling farther ahead, and cut out in front of him. They glared playfully at each other.
"Have you drawn anything lately?"
"A few more landscapes is all." He answered shortly, still smiling.
"Like what?" She retorted.
"Like the same one's I've been drawin' since I been ten." He said, his smile getting bigger.
She sighed in mock annoyance. "Any place in particular you'd like to share with me William?"
He winced at his full name, and she laughed at him.
"Well," he said, recovering. "If we keep walkin' the direction we 'ave been, we should come up wif' one in a few minutes."
"Is that where we were headed all along?"
"It sure appears that way, dunnit?"
Her eyes narrowed again, and this time it was his turn to laugh.
They continued to walk through the fields and hills of the English countryside, the grass reaching up and scratching their ankles, especially Will, who was wearing shorts. Their walk continued with some small talk, but mostly just the sound of crunching grass could be heard. They were nearing the top of a particularly steep hill when Carrie asked, "Is it much farther? I don't mean to complain, but honestly, doing this is a dress is tougher than it looks."
"We're closer than you think. Jus' keep going a bit more."
They reached the top of the mount, when Will suddenly stopped. Carrie looked at Will, waiting.
"So… Are we going to get a move on?" She asked.
"Not unless you don't want ter see what I been drawin'."
"Oh." She said.
She looked out over the hill, and gasped wondering how she could have missed it. Beneath her were miles of beautiful landscape, the colors of spring splashed everywhere. Rolling hills, met deep forests, all just beginning to get back into the cycle of things. Nestled right in the middle of it all was Little Wierwold, simmering with little spurts of action here and there, giving off the perfect feeling of a small town. She was stunned into stillness.
"Oh, Will!" She managed to gasp. "This must have come out superb!"
"Well," Will said, looking down at his shuffling feet in the grass. "I ain't finished wif' it yet… But when I do finish I hope it will be. You know, superb like."
"Oh I'm sure…" Carrie said still taking in the scene.
It was quiet then, both of them staring out into the scene before them. Will wasn't quite sure what to do with himself now that they had gotten here. It seemed a little pointless to walk all the way back when they'd just arrived moments ago. So instead he sat down. Carrie joined him a moment later, checking if the grass was wet first.
"I wonder why it's so dry up here." Carrie said. It seemed like a rhetorical question, but Will answered anyway, jumping at the chance for conversation.
"Well, this part's got more direct sunlight, like. So it dries quicker."
"Hm." Carrie replied, lost in thought.
"So what's college life like?" Will asked, trying to keep the conversation going. "How's London?"
"College life is pretty well. London's recovering as quickly as it can…"
She turned her head away from him, looking in the other direction. He stared at her for a while, concerned, but she wouldn't meet his gaze.
"Are you alright Carrie? Yous seem really strange all a sudden… Actually you've seemed a bit off since you here…"
Carrie sighed, and closed her eyes a moment, wondering how she was going to do this. She turned her head around and met his eyes.
"Yes, yes I'm quite fine… More than fine actually…" She trailed off.
Will's heart soared. Was she talking about being with him? He knew he shouldn't get his hopes up, but he just couldn't help it. What else could it be? He thought. Maybe just being back at home… He tried to convince himself. But something about it just felt like it meant something romantic.
She sighed again and looked down at her feet.
"It's ok…" He said, moving closer.
She pulled back abruptly, turning away from him. "No, no it's not Will… I'm… I'm engaged." She said, biting her lip.
Will froze, not quite understanding.
"I'm getting married, Will. Soon. I came to my parents, knowing they would spread it quickly, but… I thought I should tell you, personally. We used to be so close; I just… thought you might want to know first." She looked up at him through her eyelashes, wary of his response.
He still didn't move.
She sighed deeply, and painfully. "Will…" She said moving towards him.
It was his turn to step back now. He couldn't take this all in. They had been so close, for so long, he thought that… He shook his head, in an attempt to clear it, but it was no use. He was so shocked. Stunned.
"Will, talk to me…" She pleaded.
"I thought that…"
"I know, I know." She interrupted. "I'm sorry, I just… I haven't been here in so long. I just, sort of… moved on."
"To bigger and better things." He added.
"What? No, Will—"
"He's smart right? I bet he's one of yer college people. And… That's alright Carrie. You deserve someone better than me. Someone who can give you all the fancy things you been wantin'. Give you much more than what a poor farmin' boy could."
"No! Will you think I would marry for possessions? I thought you knew me better than—!"
"Not just persessions. I bet he's an all around better guy. Good-lookin', charmin', grew up in a nice city neighborhood. Where's he from? London I bet. Grew up on the West side didn' he? Wif all them— "
"Would you at least let me speak?!"
He stopped, anger beginning to bubble. She had led him on. She said she would never forget him, never forget the time they had shared. Even the last time it seemed like she wanted…
"Thank you." She breathed.
He stared ahead, where the sun was beginning to set, casting a pink blanket over the landscape.
"Will I know that this is difficult for you, because, well… I think perhaps you might have had feelings for me…"
His fist tightened.
"But I had to settle down in London. I'm going to be moving there Will. I couldn't stay here in Little Weirwold with you, I have school and hopefully a job soon, and you couldn't leave Mr. Tom…" She trailed off, seeking the words.
Will calmed himself, seeing her distress. Broken heart or not, he still cared deeply for her.
"I understand…" He said quietly.
She looked up at him hopefully. "You do?"
"Yes… But why was this not a problem the last time we saw each other? Why didn't you say anythin' then?"
"I hadn't met him yet, then." She said quietly.
Six months. He thought back to his dad's words earlier. Speaking of quick… He thought.
"He treats me real well, though. I'm sure you'd like him…" She tried hopefully.
"Perhaps I would." He muttered, staring out again. The sky was growing ever darker, and the black of the night sky was just starting to cross over them.
"It's getting late, Will. My mother's probably worried already…"
"How long you stayin' for?"
"Just 'till tomorrow. A quick trip." Carrie said, a little sadly.
"Not unusual." He said shortly.
She grimaced quickly, but otherwise ignored the remark. "Maybe I'll see you tomorrow? Before my ride back home—to London?"
"Yeah, maybe. If I can get around to it…"
She looked down sadly, Will still looking out into the fields below. "I hope you will…" she muttered quietly.
"We'll see then, won't we?"
She sighed quietly, and cast one more desperate glance at Will hoping for his eye. She didn't catch it. So she turned and walked back down the hill towards the village.
Will stared out at the landscape for several more minutes deep in thought. He felt hurt, and dejected. But at the same time, he felt selfish. Selfish that he wanted Carrie for himself. She had worked so hard, through high school and now college. She deserved someone with the same aspirations as her, someone to relate to. Someone to give her everything she could ever want. Everything apparently he couldn't give her.
He heard branches break behind him. He turned around suddenly and stared at the dark looming trees behind him and down the hill. He stood deathly still, with the silence just as morbid. His heart pounded in his chest as he fully took in his surroundings. It was very dark now, the very tip of the sun just barely still cresting over the tree tops and hills in the distance, casting deep shadows over everything. This could be anything. A wild bear, just waking up from hibernation; a rabid animal, just going down for sleep. Or it could be nothing at all. Perhaps it was simply his imagination. But his instincts told him this was not so.
"Who's there?" He called. He tried to sound confident, but his voice had cracked a little. He tried again, "Who's there?!"
"Look… I-If it's a person, I know you're there, so jus'… Come on out!"
He waited again. He let out a breath he hadn't realized he was holding as a minute went by without response. Just as he was about to bring his hands down, a dark human figure stepped out of the dark.
He jumped back, and fell in surprise.
It was there on the ground that he realized who it was.
"Lucy?!" He shouted astounded.
She looked down, and shuffled her feet, clearly very embarrassed. She wore a single-colored, worn looking light blue dress, with small bits of white lace at the bottom and on the ring of the short sleeves. Her brown hair curled down over one shoulder, with a little hanging in her face, as she had her head down.
"What are you— Did you follow me?!"
"No…" She muttered, nearly silently.
Will paused, not wanting to take his anger out on her. He took a deep breath, then continued. "Alright… Then what is it that your doin' then?"
"Same as you… Out for a walk." She kept her face hidden beneath a mass of brown hair that fell from her shoulder.
"At this time of night?"
"Well you're out, ain't you?" She said louder, and for the first time bringing her head slightly up to look at him through her eyelashes.
"True…" He muttered.
They sat in silence for a moment, both unsure where to take the conversation.
"I, well, I…" Lucy trailed off."
"What?" He said, perhaps a little too harshly.
She winced. "I… heard what happened. I'm sorry, I know you really liked her and all…"
He looked at her skeptically. "So you weren't following me?"
Her big blue eyes got wide, and she shook her head quickly. "No, no! Honest! I was out for a walk, when I heard you twos talkin', like. I was goin' to say somthin' to yous, but it sounded like you two were talkin' about somethin' serious, s-so I didn't want to interrupt and—"
"So why have you stayed this long?"
She paused. "I dunno. It's pretty, I guess. I wanted to look at it too." She took a few steps forward and sat down next to where Will was standing. It was fully night now, the black sky littered with thousands of stars. He looked down at her. She stared out at the fields for a moment, then looked up at him hopefully, a small smile playing at her lips. He rolled his eyes, and sat down next to her. He and Lucy were friends, but never very close due to her obvious infatuation with him, and his, what he thought, inconspicuous infatuation with Carrie. He'd always thought well of her though.
They sat quiet for a few minutes, the tranquil sound of crickets resonating through the air. Lights flickered down in the village below, the small movements of the townspeople simmering down to nothing. Will was about to ask where her parents thought she was when Lucy spoke.
"I think she's making a pretty silly mistake."
He looked over at her curiously. "What?"
"Carrie. I think she is making a pretty ridiculous mistake."
It still wasn't sinking in. "How so?"
"With choosing that other man over you, I think she's choosing badly."
He scoffed. "We don't even know him."
"We don't have to. You could have given her all the love in the world, and instead she chose him, so she could live in the city and try to accomplish everythin'. She's going to have to learn two lessons the hard way. First, that you can't accomplish everythin', or else you'll never have time for nothin' else but work. And second, don't settle for someone just 'cause you want to live where they live, or 'ave their social status or sumthin'…" She said, with anger leaking into her voice.
He stared at her, not expecting that.
"Well… Who knows, maybe she loves him." He recovered.
"Then why was she so sad to leave you?"
"Perhaps because she didn't want that to be the end of our friendship…"
"Was it the end of yer friendship?"
Will thought for a moment, before realizing that he didn't know the answer. "I dunno…" He said softly.
Lucy paused too. "Well," she continued rather cheerfully. "If yo ask me, she'd have been pretty stupid to give up yer friendship that quickly anyway. I bet she's really hoping you'll come and see her tomorrow."
Will had forgotten about that. When Carrie left tomorrow it would probably be the last time he would see her in a very long time. But he wasn't sure if it would ever be the same, even if he did go. But what excuse could he have for not going?
He glanced over at Lucy, who was looking up at the stars. Her curly brown hair fell back behind her, and her big blue eyes glowed under the moonlight. He smiled.
She saw him. "What you smilin' at?" She asked.
He stopped smiling and shook his head. "Sorry, sorry I was in a train of thought…"
She shrugged. "It's fine. So, you know what you're goin' to do tomorrow?"
He took a breath to answer no, when a thought occurred to him. "Yes actually." He said, a smile creeping into his face.
"Well…" Lucy said after a minute of him not finishing. "What you goin' to do?"
"What are you doing tomorrow?" He said suddenly.
Lucy blinked. "What?"
"What are you doing tomorrow? Mornin', like."
"Umm…" She stuttered. "Well, n-nothing I don't think."
"Good. Do you want to go to the Spooky Cott? I've got loads of drawin's there you could see, I'm sure Geoffrey won't mind as long as we don't make a mess, or wake the kids when theys sleepin'—
"Wait…!" Lucy said, still shocked from his original question.
"What? You don't want to go?" Will asked.
"No, no, no. It's not that I just… No, I'm fine. I mean, I'd love to go. She finished, with a small smile.
"Oh. Well, great." Will smiled too.
"Well, uh," Lucy said after a moment of silence. "It's really awfully late and…"
Will had forgotten all about the time. He panicked thinking of how worried his dad must be.
"You're right. So, uh, see you in the mornin' right?" He said as they stood.
"Yeah, yeah. Um, see you soon." She said.
They walked back to the village in silence, both having their own little victory celebration. Lucy was getting to spend time with Will, something she had been wanting to do for ages, but not really sure how to ask. Will was getting to move on. He realized that he had kept waiting for Carrie, even when she wasn't waiting for him. It felt good knowing that he had something better to do than wait for her and her ride to her home in London. He was even excited about getting to know Lucy better. They had always gotten along fine, perhaps something could come of this.
Will dropped Lucy off at her house before running the rest of the way home. He came in to find Tom asleep in his chair, and not wanting to wake him, Will left him there for the night.
Will had a hard time falling asleep that night, a million thoughts through his head. He looked back on the drastic change of events, and feelings throughout the day, noting all the details he had missed. For instance, he hadn't noticed at the time that Lucy's dress matched perfectly with her eyes. He hadn't noticed that her hair had bronze highlights hidden in it. He hadn't noticed he distinct protection of him, something he also realized, he had for her. He smiled thinking about the time they were to spend together tomorrow.
When Will finally did fall asleep that night, he fell asleep a changed person, no longer clinging to old flames and friendships but grasping and embracing the new ones, and the ones that wanted him back.
And Will was perfectly, extremely happy with that.
It was the doorbell that brought Will out of his flashback. He looked at the clock shook his head realizing how long he'd been "gone". The doorbell rang again, and Will shouted "I'm coming!" as he made his way towards the door.
He swung it open to find a pleasant surprise at his doorstep.
"Tom!" Will said with delight. "What brings you around here? Are you alone?"
"Hey, dad. I'm jus' stoppin' by, and yes I'm alone. The kids are with Janine." Tom Jr. said shuffling into the house with two large brown bads in his arms.
"What are those, there?" Will asked, indicating the bags.
"Oh these are just some extra groceries. Janine didn't want to have to make you go out if you didn't have to. She was already shopping, and thought she should pick up some for you." He said as he set the bags down on the kitchen table.
"Well that was very kind of her. Tell her I said thank you, will yer?"
"Of course, dad."
Tom began unpacking the groceries, and putting them away into the cabinets. Will offered his help, but Tom continuously refused. Not knowing what to do with himself if he couldn't help, he made his way back into the living room and turned on the small television in the corner. He sat in his big green chair to watch.
"How's the drain workin'?" Tom called from in the kitchen.
"Oh, great. Workin' like a charm." Will replied.
"That's good. The installation cost a fortune, it better be working perfectly."
Tom finished putting away the groceries and went into the living room to sit with his father.
"How're the kids doing?" Will asked.
"Great! They'll be here around Wednesday to see you."
"That's good. Anythin' new to show me?"
Tom laughed. "They've always got somethin' new to show you."
The pair sat in a comfortable silence for a few minutes, watching a game show on the small screen. It wasn't often the two of them saw each other by themselves, so they were just enjoying each other's company.
"Oh I almost forgot to tell you," Tom said suddenly. "Zach said he'll stop by tomorrow with that book you wanted. I saw him the other day when little Lucy wanted to bring in both her dad and her uncle for show and tell, to beat everyone else of course." He finished, rolling his eyes.
"I was hopin' he would be stoppin' by soon. I flew through the firs' one so…"
"Anyway, I hate to go but I'm meeting my lovely sister to pick up Marc's baseball uniform that he left over her house last week. He has practice tomorrow and he decides to tell me this now." Tom ended dryly.
"Quite alright. I'll see you soon then?" Will asked.
"Yes, on Wednesday we'll all be over."
Tom went in and got his keys off the kitchen table before waving quickly at his father and walking out the door. Will sat in silence for a moment, missing the feeling of someone else in the house. Lucy's death was as devastating for him as Tom Sr. was those many years ago. But he didn't want to dwell on it. It always made him lonelier.
Will stood up and looked around his house. He looked at all the pictures on the mantle, and on the wall. He looked at his furniture and his walls. He looked outside the cresting fields that were his very own backyard. Though it had a rough start, he had a good life. He thought back through all of his memories, the good and bad, and knew that he made the most of what he was given.
He walked into his bedroom and to the bed, suddenly tired. He lied on his back looking up at the skylight above his head, one of Lucy's favorite features of the house. The sun was setting, casting a familiar shade over the sky. He smiled at nothing in particular. His eyes slowly closed as his thoughts bounced through the decades, back to his childhood with Mr. Tom, and to his own children's young years, and even the last couple of hours. Through every bad event Will had ever been through, he still looks back and realizes how much he loved his life. The love and care he was given made up for every curse and evil that had inflicted on him, and more. He hoped he had given even an ounce of that care back into the world.
And with that, William Beech closed his eyes and fell asleep, loving life and everything in it.
~ * The End * ~
Thank you for reading! A review would be greatly appreciated.