The Moon Viewing Festival was over and I had mixed emotions about the event. I heard stories from Ann that if you go to Mother's Hill in the evening, the first person you see is the one you're meant to be with. I saw...Trent of all people. A guy I barely knew. The second my eyes landed on him my heart skipped a beat. Did he like me? I knew all the guys in the village except for him. I managed to push Ann's superstition out of my head enough for us to chat a bit. He was an okay guy; a bit guarded at times. Once Gray came we moved to the other side of the hill.
After that the atmosphere between us was unusually tense. We didn't talk much, which never happened except for when we argued. A few minutes later, I heard other people join us. It was Elli, followed by Karen and Rick. Elli took a seat nervously beside Trent. She made a small comment that I couldn't quite make out and he chuckled. Elli really liked him—it was obvious to everyone in the village. She was such a nice person. What did Trent do, anyway? I'd never seen him around town minus the pond incident. Was he a drifter?
I spent the night with these questions floating in my mind. The next morning I woke up...two hours late.
"Oh no, it's already 8AM!"
Instantly, I scrambled out of bed and got ready. The onion and carrot seeds I planted should have ripened. I stepped out of the door and instantly began harvesting them. There were a total of eight patches and I still had the green pepper and eggplant patches to water. After this I had planned to head to the mountains to forage for truffles. Farm work was tiring no doubt, but rewarding once it paid off. It took me nearly two hours to get everything done. Once it was done, I took a little breather by lying on the grass and watching the clouds roll by.
I tilted my head upwards and saw Trent standing above me. "Hi Trent, what brings you here?"
"Just visiting," he responded lightly.
"It's nice of you to come by," I smiled while wiping my brow with my sleeve and sitting up. "Actually, I'm heading to the mountains to go gather some truffles. Did you want to come with?"
He seemed to weigh his options, which made me wonder why he really did come here. "Sure."
I got up from the grass, dusted my overalls off and started walking down the farm with him following closely.
The first few minutes were silent. I decided I would have to be the first to speak otherwise we might spend the entire day in silence. "How was your date with Elli?"
"I don't know if you could qualify a Festival as a date."
His tone was cold and I knew right away he didn't feel the same way about her. If anything he seemed...indifferent. Once we reached the mountains, something across the pond caught my eye.
"Look at that!" I said, pointing to a huge truffle. "You know how much Zach will pay me for that? I gotta have it!"
"You shouldn't do that," Trent warned, "It's getting cold this time of year."
I kicked my shoes off, rolled up the hem of my pants and stepped into the pool. The water was a tad bit cold, but it wasn't anything I couldn't handle. "Don't be a baby. I never get sick."
"I'm serious. You could catch pneumonia."
I ignored his scolding and took a step forward. "Oh wait, what's this?" I asked, leaning to get a closer view of something in the pond.
"This." I repeated, pointing down into the pond. I waited until he leaned in before I dipped my hand completely in, then brought it back to splash him again.
"What the hell are you—!"
When I saw him start to take off his shoes, I tried to run to the other side of the pond bursting with laughter. "Catch me if you can!"
To my surprise, he actually ran into the water after me. I was fast, but he was faster. I could chalk it up to his drifter experience, I suppose.
I shrieked as he grabbed a hold of my hand and spun me towards him. "Don't you ever listen?" I only laughed more at his seriousness and began splashing him with my free hand. Eventually he grabbed my other wrist and pinned both hands to my side. His stare was paralyzing and even with the distance between us I could feel his breath. I barely knew him, but my heart was still racing.
He was on another level of handsome. His dark hair glistened in the sun and those unreadable eyes captivated me. I felt a slight tinge in my cheeks at the close proximity of our faces as well as a shortness of breath. What was happening to me? I tried to pull my arms away, but his grip tightened and I was suddenly powerless. Was he angry at me for splashing him?
I opened my mouth to say something, I was silenced by his lips against mine.
I wish I could say I was surprised when I laid eyes on Claire and Gray last night...but I wasn't. I knew how he fell for her. He didn't seem to think anyone was on to him, but everyone could feel it. He always brushed it off like they were just friends, but his expression always told me he wanted to be more. More than just friends; just like I wanted to be. Once I caught glimpse of them together, I promptly turned around and went home. I knew then and there where I stood. That's why nothing surprised me more than when Gray came to visit me at the library and invited me out for a walk.
"What's the special occasion?" I asked meekly.
He adjusted his cap. "No occasion. I just felt like clearing my head." I noticed right away that he looked exhausted. Whatever it was really had him bogged down.
"Did you go to the Moon Viewing Festival last night?" I asked suddenly, surprising myself.
He looked to the side feigning interest in some scenery. "Yeah, for a bit. It was so cloudy that you could only see the moon for a while." Then he turned to me. "I didn't see you there, though. I thought you went every year?"
A small sense of joy overcame my. Gray remembered I went the other years? He actually looked for me? "Oh, I uh...had other plans with my family." I lied.
His eyes wandered away again. "It's okay. It wasn't as great as I thought it'd be."
Bitterness. It was unmistakeable. Did something happen between the two of them last night? The sound of splashing and laughter caught us off guard. It was early in the day, so there normally weren't people here. It sounded like...Claire? I noticed Gray's expression change and he suddenly stepped lively, practically running ahead of me.
I wasn't used to running; I tried to avoid it as much as possible. I never knew he could run as fast as he did. Once I turned the corner I saw Doctor Trent and Claire...kissing.