Just wanted to say I'm sorry for taking too long with this chapter. I'm having a hard time at school. I'm almost ending, so I'm trying my best to be approved in everything and this kept me from writing. The next chapter will propably take a little time, too, but I'll try to be faster.
I also wanted to say thanks to everyone who read and reviewed the last chapter, you're awesome! I really didn't think someone would read it, you probably understand how I feel.
And a special thanks to TrippyPixie, for showing my mistake in the last chapter.
I'd like to ask you the same I did before: if you see something wrong, please, tell me I'll fix it.
Two years had passed, but Hänschen —now a twenty-year-old young man— could never forget these eyes. Not for one single day.
So much has changed. He has changed. He was now working, fully grown up and… Well, engaged. He hadn't had much of an option, though. Amelia was a nice girl, daughter of an important banker — which was, mainly, the reason his father wanted him to marry her— and even pretty with her slender figure, long sand-colored hair and —the thing that annoyed Hänschen the most— big brown eyes.
Every day, on his way back home from work, Hänschen Rillow would sit for an hour in that same old vineyard, under that same old tree. So many memories… But just in that same old place, he could allow himself to think of —and even miss— him; the owner of those big brown eyes. Not the ones he was forced to see every day, but the ones that still haunted him every night.
Every day, Hänschen wondered where would his ex-lover be, what could have happened to him; he wondered if they would ever meet again and if he would still be the same Ernst he once knew. And he waited. He would never admit, even to himself, but he knew what he was waiting for.
Every day, Hänschen Rillow secretly waited for him, his Ernst, to come back. He hoped Ernst would be looking after him too. But he never expected this to happen. For Hänschen, there was a huge difference between hoping and expecting. In fact, he knew way to well what he'd done, and also knew it wasn't something easy to forgive. He never expected forgiveness. But he could always hope.
It was winter, and the snow covered the ground like a white carpet. Hänschen smiled lightly when he remembered how much Ernst liked the snow. Ernst hated cold weather, but absolutely loved the snow.
He closed his eyes, trying to pretend he was now in one of his memories; they were younger, Ernst sitting next to him, complaining about the weather and in the following second laughing and playing in the snow. Hänschen could hear his voice perfectly. The laughter was so real in his mind.
He smiled sadly, the eyes still closed, enjoying the moment when something cold hit him hard on the face. He could say it was a snowball without even look at it. Hänschen cursed mentally whoever was the child who interrupted such a beautiful memory.
"God, I'm sorry" someone apologized, but Hänschen could't see who was it until his eyes stopped aching. "Are you alright? A snowball on the face can hurt quite a bit. I'm really sorry." He had the feeling he knew that voice…
Hänschen rubbed his eyes and finally opened it. He was sure he knew the voice and couldn't be more right. "Ernst." He felt the words make their wait out of his mouth as the boy's apologetic face gave place to complete confusion. His dark hair was longer and the eyes had a somewhat different glow, but Hänschen was sure it was Ernst right in front of him.
"Hanschen…" Ernst whispered in disbelief. His breath turning into a white cloud as soon as it left his mouth.
They just stood there, looking at each other, for what seemed like hours. They both found it hard to believe they were there again, face to face, in this same old place. Hänschen wanted to touch Ernst, feel his skin again, put an end to this worry he had been living with for years now. Ernst wanted to hate Hänschen, he wanted not to miss him; but the more he tried, the less he hated and more he missed; but he wouldn't let it show, so he didn't make a move.
If you ask, no one of them would be able to tell you how much time they spent just staring until a familiar voice called for Ernst. Both of them looked to where the voice came from; Ernst to answer the call, and Hänschen for nothing but curiosity.
Hänschen's eyes widened in surprise when he recognized the brown-haired girl who was leaning on a tree nearby and looking for air.
"Ernst! You know I am not in conditions of running like this!" she tried to sound angry, but couldn't hold the laughter. Actually, she has never been too good at holding the laughter.
"Ilse?" It was too late when Hänschen realized he'd said it out loud. Ilse was already looking at him with a confused expression.
"How do you-" but she interrupted herself almost immediately "Hänschen Rillow?"
Hänschen confirmed with a light shake of his blonde head and was ready to say something when a third voice asked "That Hänschen Rillow?" to which Ernst answered with a simple "Yes.". Their conversation was nothing but a whisper, but loud enough for Hänschen to hear — because of the proximity, he though.
He turned his attention back to where Ernst was, facing the owner of the unknown voice: a tall man, with short dark hair, green eyes and somewhat delicate features; not the same kind of delicate features existent on Ernst face, no. It was different, like a feline; he looked wild, clever, not even a sight of naïveté. Actually, he seemd way too smart. Hänschen could say right away he didn't like the guy.
Ilse must have noticed the awkwardness of the situation, since she was the one to break the silence.
"It's been so long, Hänschen! It's good to see you again. Well, this is Greg" she gestured to the guy "He's a friend of ours, from the colony."
"I see." Hänschen answered, and he could see when Greg held Ernst's hand. "Very pleased to meet you." He said now to the guy, who answered politely he was pleased just the same.
They didn't talk for very much longer —and Ernst made sure to only speak when someone asked him—, but it was enough for Hänschen to answer everything he's been asking himself along these two years. The colony sheltered Ernst the same night he didn't and —for his surprise— Ernst has turned to be a very talented artist himself.
This night, Hänschen Rillow slept well for the first night in two year. Still haunted by the eyes, yes, but now he knew he could make it up for Ernst. E didn't know how, but he would think of something.