"So, how was your trip?" Ginny asked when they sat down in a quiet cafe.
"It was rather good," Oliver said, stirring his tea.
"What did you do for a week?" Ginny said, taking a sip of her coffee.
"Well, I mostly walked around, since I know Brighton like the back of hand. I've spent many summers there."
"Mm. I've never been to Brighton."
"Oh, you'd like it. It's really nice."
"Maybe we could go there sometime."
"That sounds like a great idea," Oliver said, leaning closer.
Ginny leaned as well. "So. Did you get lonely?"
"I most certainly did."
"But you had Keith to keep you company."
"Of course. I always go behind your back."
"I truly am shocked," Oliver said, moving a bit back to drink his tea.
"Yes, well, that's just my American blood."
"I should have known better."
"Well, you'll know for next time."
Oliver smiled and drank the rest of his tea. "Well, I really don't feel like sitting here. What do you say to a small walk?"
"I'd be delighted," Ginny said and finished her drink, while Oliver paid.
They got up and walked out of the cafe. The evening was quite chilly. Ginny reached for Oliver's hand, and he accepted it without hesitation.
They slowly walked in no particular direction. They reached the bank of the Thames, and sat down on a bench near the Parliament, with a lovely view of the Houses of Parliament.
They talked about all sorts of things - the movies they wanted to see, the exciting exhibitions held in London ("How about we see the Bowie one in V&A?" said Oliver, and Ginny wholeheartedly agreed), the festivals, concerts that were being held, books they were dying to read. The conversation flowed, and it felt wonderful.
After a while, Oliver fully turned to Ginny.
"What is it?" Ginny asked.
"I have... something important to tell you."
"Right... What is it?"
"There's a reason I was in Brighton this week."
They were quiet for a moment.
"Are you grandparents alright?" Ginny asked a bit worried.
"No, no, they're fine! The reason I went to Brighton was because they wanted to talk to me about my... education."
"They, uh, said they disliked the idea of me being a waiter."
"But you're not," Ginny said with a small smile.
Oliver smiled as well. "It's pointless to try and explain it to them. They'll just keep going 'waiter, waiter'. Anyway, they said I should rethink my choices. It's not that I haven't before, but they insisted with the whole 'you have so much potential, you have to use it'."
"But you do," Ginny said.
Oliver smiled, took Ginny's hand and gently entwined their fingers.
Ginny squeezed his hand as an encouragement for him to continue.
"I thought that, after my father walked out, I wouldn't have a chance to continue my education, because I'd have to help my mother. And I'd made my peace with it. I said to myself 'you'll get used to the Elephant' and so on. It's enough to say I haven't."
He went quiet for another moment, looking at their hands.
"I thought about it on the train. It's a bit late to continue my old course now," he continued, "But, if I were to save money, I might try... again... next year."
He looked up at Ginny. She couldn't help but smile. He smiled as well, and she just had to kiss him.
He pulled her close and put his arms around her. She felt safe and warm.
They broke off after what seemed like minutes. They were both grinning like mad.
"How long are you going to have to work there to make enough?" Ginny asked.
"Forever," Oliver replied, brushing a streak oh hair from Ginny's face.
"Is there really nowhere else?"
"Not for now. Who knows what I'm going to do when I do restart university?"
"You'll find something. You'll be a skilled waiter by that time. I'm sure some fancy restaurant will hire you," Ginny said, running her hand down Oliver's arm.
"That's what I'm here for."
Oliver smiled, which Ginny noticed he did quite often when they were together, which made a sudden wave of happiness and warmth wash over her.
"It's getting late, and I've got a train to catch. So what do you say I walk you home?" Oliver said, getting up and extending his hand to help Ginny up.
"You don't have to walk me home if you'll have to rush to the station. I'll just get a bus or something."
Ginny took his hand and stood up. Oliver put his hand in hers, and they were on their way.
They walked in silence for a few moments. During this time Ginny thought how to tell Oliver about the letter. 'He'll want to help" she said to herself. 'He'll help me organize and sort it all out'. Besides, she was persistent on keeping their relationship an honest one.
"I've got something to tell you as well," she said, while they were passing by St Paul's.
"Yes. I found another letter. From my aunt."
Oliver stopped walking and looked at Ginny.
"Where?" he said, a confused look on his face.
"I was moving things in my room and one of my bracelets broke and the beads just flew everywhere. But a lot of them just fell on the floor and sort of... disappeared."
"I'm getting there, hold on. Anyway, I was kinda scared, so I ducked and noticed a board move when I touched it. So I lifted it, and found a... secret compartment. And inside it I found this one letter, in which my aunt asks me to give letters to her friends, the one she didn't get to say goodbye to, as a... proper goodbye, or something."
Ginny finished her story. Oliver just looked at her for a moment. They'd stopped walking.
"How did your aunt know you were going to find it? I mean, it could've been anyone," he said.
He caught on fast, thought Ginny. She knew Oliver would be able to help her.
"I don't know how she knew, I'm a bit intimidated by that as well, but she just did. She did that when she was alive. She'd just know some things. She'd joke about it, say it was a 'sixth sense'."
Oliver nodded. He still seemed calm.
"So, your aunt wrote a letter, in which she's asking you to send her letters to her friends, because she didn't get a chance to say goodbye to them?" Oliver said, connecting it all out loud.
"Almost correct, except she wants me to deliver the letters in person."
"Right. 'Cos that's the normal thing to do."
"I know it doesn't sound normal, but I... I have to do it. She needs me to do it."
Oliver slowly stepped closer to Ginny.
"I suppose the normal thing would be for me to say 'Your aunt is dead, she doesn't need you to do this'," he said; Ginny was about to say something, but he put his finger on his mouth, to show her to listen to him for a little while longer, "But I've read those letters. And I know how much you meant to her, and how much she meant to you. So, whatever you decide is necessary for you do to, I will help you do it."
Ginny wanted to tell him how much she loved him, how thankful she was to have met him.
"Thank you, Oliver. I really needed to hear it from someone," she said, holding her hand on his chest.
"You'll always hear it from me," he said, gently holding her cheek with his hand.
Ginny put her hand over his.
"Thank you so much," she said, before standing on tiptoe and kissing him again. He put his other arm around her and ducked a bit to help her. Ginny ran her hand through Oliver's hair. She'd never noticed how amazing it felt.
A few wolf - whistles broke them apart. Ginny blushed, and hid herself in Oliver's jacket. They walked away quickly, and started to laugh a few moments later.
They walked to Richard's house holding hands. They parted, kissing one more time.
"I'll come visit soon," Ginny said, still holding on to Oliver's jacket.
Oliver smiled, and kissed Ginny's hand. He started walking away backwards and waved one more time, before turning away and leaving.
Ginny went inside. Richard was asleep.
She sat on the couch and thought about what a crazy day it had been. She went to the bathroom to brush her teeth and change. She walked into her room, looked once more at the board, fell on the bed and immediately fell asleep.