This is just a small scribble-y thing I wrote one rainy evening in an old schoolbook.
I know this is quite random and that I posted way too soon after the other one, but anyway...(Oh, and I am planning a sequel for Waiting for Hope. In fact, it's done! I just have to edit it, and then I'll post it.)
It's set the day before Walter leaves Glen.
A Maple Leaf
Una Meredith stood under the Tree Lovers in Rainbow Valley, staring nonchalantly at the moon. She doubted that she would ever fall under its spell-with a lover, that is…even little Rilla Blythe had a sweetheart, or so Una assumed from the way Rilla suddenly became clumsy and kept blushing whenever Ken Ford was mentioned. Una sighed. She shouldn't be jealous, of course but when everyone else around her was falling in love, and the only person she had ever loved didn't even care for her that way, it was hard for her to be happy, Not that she was sure her fancy for Walter Blythe was love, but even if it was she was sure Walter was enchanted by her sister Faith, and, anyway she had no right to speak. She was just a girl in a world of men.
'Hello, Una,' a soft voice said behind her. She spun around to face the object of her musings.
'Walter…hello,' Una said. Walter nodded absently, his spirit in a place where Una couldn't join him. The girl waited for him to speak, as she knew he would eventually. When he did, his voice was tinged with sadness.
'It's a beautiful day, and look at what I'm going to do! Kill people…humans, just like me or you. People may call them all the names they like, but they're still sons and husband s and brothers…and sweethearts.' Walter pronounced the last word sadly, but Una chose to ignore it.
'Walter!' she cried.
'It's the truth. I'm a coward. All that time I thought I was a coward for shirking my duty, and I was braver than I am now. I even thought that I had finally made peace with myself when I talked to Rilla. I thought I told her the truth when I said I'm glad to go, Una. But now, now I'm not glad. I gave into other people's wishes. I know that fighting to kill is wrong, yet that's just what I'm going to do. I'm breaking one of the Ten Commandments. I'm a murder and a coward' Walter said bitterly.
'Don't say that, Walter.'
'I must tell someone what I feel. Who? Not Rilla'. She hasn't the time, and, anyway, I can't bear to see her face. She'd be shocked if I told her.'
'What about Di?' Una asked.
A shadow crossed Walter's face.
'She and I- let's just say we've drifted apart.'
'But why me?'
'You don't judge, like other people—you seem to have no troubles. You just listen.'
Una trembled with rage at that unconsciously cruel sentence. She had thought he was different. That he'd understood.
'Well, I'm not china doll! I have feelings too, only people seem to overlook them. You don't know how it is for me. Everyone tells me their troubles because I never blab and because I don't look like I have any, but I do, and I'd like people to accept it! I'm not a doll with no feelings. I'm a human being.' Oh dear. Now she was arguing with Walter, of all people. What was the matter with her?
'Una… please don't get mad at me.' Walter said.
'Don't tell me what do! I'm a person. Not a good one, but not a toy.' Una instantly knew she'd gone too far but she would not take it back.
'I know you are. That's why I tell you thing, because you know the value of silence.' Walter said quietly. And then, even quieter, 'Una, don't fight who you are.'
'I don't!' Una said. Then, 'I'm sorry. I know you mean well.'
'Don't ever be sorry for the truth, Una.'
Una shifted uncomfortably.
'Walter—we're supposed to talk about you, not me.' She said awkwardly.
'What about me? How stupid I am? How I don't know the right thing to do? How I'm a coward?' Walter snapped. Walter- snapping! But somehow Una found the courage to ho on.
'Walter, it is wrong to kill people. But it's even worse to let people be killed. If you're fighting for a just cause, then it's not as bad if you don't fight. If you fight to protect others, then you're not all in the wrong. Just- just have faith in God, Walter.' Una said.
'I've tried, but God doesn't seem to care anymore. The world is too full of troubles worse than my own for Him to notice me.' Walter said his voice full of bitterness.
'Don't say that Walter. God notices everything, from an ant to the Kaiser. But if you can't keep faith in God, keep faith in your parents, in your siblings, in Faith and Jerry and Carl and Ken and Persis and Susan and Father and Rosemary and me. Keep faith in your Idea, Walter, the dream that you're going to fight for, and in freedom and peace. If you can't keep faith in anything, keep faith in yourself. Just keep faith.' Una subsided, cheeks flaming at revealing so much of herself.
A tear rolled down Walter's cheek.
There was a pause.
'You've got a maple leaf in your hair.' Walter said, breaking the silence. Una reached up to pull it off, but Walter caught her hand. Una blushed, but thrilled at the touch. 'Don't remove it, it looks pretty on you.'
'You do?' Una asked.
'I do.' Walter smiled at her, thinking how pretty she looked, as she sat there, her face tinged with crimson, from the sunset or from his compliment he could not tell.
'Th-thank you.' Una murmured her face hot.
'You're like a maple leaf yourself, you know.' Walter said.
Una didn't say anything, but Walter sensed the question.
' A maple leaf is beautiful, especially in the autumn. But even though it looks fragile, it's strong. It can cope.' Walter's voice was melancholy, but there was something else in it, something that made Una's heart beat faster. Her eyes met his, and she saw something in them—something imperceptible, and fleeting, like one of the looks Jem and Faith used to share. She caught her breath and turned away, flushing. When she recovered enough to turn back, the look had gone. But some thing had changed between them, and they both knew it.
Una smiled, and it made him think of twilight. Without thinking, he reached out and grasped her hand. Una snatched it away, but she must have seen his injured look, because she reluctantly placed her head on his shoulder.
The chimes in the Tree Lovers twinkled.
'It's much too late for you to go home alone. People will be scandalized.' Walter said at last.
'I don't mind.' Una laughed.
'But I do.' Walter said seriously.
They walked back to the manse together. But before Una could step inside, Walter plucked the leaf from her hair.
Una raised her eyebrows, and Walter smiled.
'People will wonder why it's in your hair.' He said. Una nodded and turned away. She didn't see Walter slip the maple leaf into his pocket.
I really wanted to write a lot more at the end, but that'd destroy the story. It's too sentimental as it is, but this story was edited so much that I if I worked on it for much longer it'd turn it into stilted, meaningless drabble. Like I said, it's a schoolbook scribble, and it sucks, ok?
Please, please review.