Thunder struck hard the rain was fierce, the old clock struck twelve, and I laid on the floor my breath was light and slow all I could see was red, blood-my blood, in my hand a gun laid. How did it come to this? Everything around me began to fade as my thoughts became foggy, only if I could have stopped all of this from happening. Only if….

Chapter 1

It was a bitter, cold winter morning; the winds were fierce during the night, though calmed once it became morning. I could hear kids outside playing and yelling. It wasn't a typical morning in England; this kind of weather isn't common for it being summer and all. Getting up, I opened the curtains to see small flakes of snow fall from the sky, almost like the clouds froze over and began to chip off very slowly. The kids down on the street laughed and ran, throwing snow balls at each other and sometimes hitting innocent bystanders, only to get a laugh once or twice from them. I shut the curtains and headed for the sink to wash off the sleep that still stuck with me. Splashing the warm water on my face, I searched for the towel blindly until I felt soft cotton between my fingers. After a few wipes I looked around my room wondering, I normally go into a daze; thinking deeply about anything that would cross my mind.

Snapping out of my own daze, I walked over to the closet, grabbing a heavy coat. The color was unique, for it had two shades. The outside was a light brown while the outlines were black. The only reason it was unique was because this coat was passed down generation after generation. My dad gave it to me when he was stricken with Tuberculosis. I held onto the end of the inside sleeve tightly, thinking back to that day my dad lay on his bed, paler then the snow that trickled outside, my mother stood by his side day and night taking care of him as much as she could, at times she would strain herself to near exhaustion until he finally passed, my mother was devastated, she went into a void of depression going on with the same business; going up stairs bringing food to the room placing next to were dad laid, eventually my mother went insane and had to be sent to an asylum where she would later take her own life. A tear fell onto the coat. I rubbed my eyes clean. Gaining my composure back, I reached into the closet one more time to grab a black top hat. It was a favorite one of mine, for the meaning behind it still amazes me. The tear on the rim, the smudge on the very top of the head... It was the only one of its kind. It belonged to my grandfather, who wore it every day., which is why it was so beat up and smug. He told me stories of his adventures with this hat; going to London and Spain, even fighting in an alley way to protect grandma. It was awe-inspiring. This hat brought courage where ever he went, no matter who or what stood in his way. Shaking my head again I smiled. 'Getting lost in my thoughts once again..' Placing the hat on my head, I lead the way to the door placing the last button into its home. I opened the door only to be embraced by an icy cold chill.

I stood outside, clenching my hands together. Making a cup I brought it up to my mouth and blew warm air into my palms. I walked down the steps and began my journey as far as my feet—well, my body—would take me, since it was bitingly raw outside. I took my normal route. I passed regular faces; men bowed, topping their hats off to me as did I in return. Women would smile at me and I would smile back, as to not be rude. Finally I made it to the park where kids played and laughed, throwing snow balls at each other. Near the exit of the park my eyes gazed upon a young petite lady. She wore a white corset with a fine design of flowers up and down her skirt. She had light brown hair that was woven up into a bun and pinned behind her head. She was kneeling over, searching nervously through the snow. I walked over, kneeling a few feet from her side. "Need help?" I questioned softly. A small nod with no eye contact was her response. I searched through the cold ground, not having a clue what I was searching for. Pausing, I glanced at the girl. "What is it your looking for?" She didn't respond right away, for her focus was on what ever she was looking for. After a few more sweeps of the cold ground, she sighed heavily, sounding on the verge of tears.

"A necklace..." A tear rolled down her cheek. Focusing on her face, I could see her eyes clearly. They were a bright hazel that could stop any man in his tracks right away. Her hands grasped the ground tightly only, to bring up handfuls of snow. Quickly, I began huntng for her necklace.

"Don't worry I'll find it!" I fumbled once or twice over my own hands.

People began to leave the park soon. The sun slightly over head made the ground shine brightly, as if there where diamonds scattered on the ground. The young lady sat on the bench. Abruptly, she began to weep, covering her face so I wouldn't hear her sobs. I was still on the ground on all fours, searching. "Thank you for your help, but I believe you won't find it..." her voice saddened. As she wiped her tears from her cheeks, I glanced at her, smiling brightly. "Sorry ma'am, but I don't give up." Looking back to the white ground, I searched nervously, hoping to find the neckless before the sun completely disappeared. Wiping the brim of my top hat with my finger tips, my eyes scanned the white ground. The girl still sat on the bench, staring at the ground as a single tear rolled down her cheek. I took in a deep breath and looked a little more, digging my hands deeper into the cold ground until I felt what I thought was a rock, though it was smooth along my fingers. I took my hand out of the chilly ground to see the object intertwined in my hand was a heart shaped locket. I smiled softly, holding it up to the young lady. "Excuse me, but I believe this is yours." Her hands moved down slowly from her face as she looked at me. Gasping, her eyes widened as she shot out of her seat.

"Oh thank you sir!" grabbing the necklace from my hand she hugged me briefly. "Thank you, forgive me but what is your name?" she asked while clipping on the necklace. "Where are my manners!" I chuckled softly, I bowed slightly, tipping my hat. "My name is Ethan..Ethan Rutledge." Standing straighter I questioned, "And yours?" Smiling softly, she gave a slight courtsy.

"My name is Elizabeth O'conner." Elizabeth traced the outside of the locket with her index finger and middle finger. We stood beside each other for awhile not making eye contact. Clearing my throat, I broke the awkward silence between us. "It seems to be getting dark. Do you live far from here?" Elizabeth shook her head slightly.

"No, I live just past the end of the park." She smiled softly at me "Would you like to accompany me Ethan?" As she held out her gloved covered hand, I smiled holding my elbow out, accepting her invitation. She slipped her arm through mine. We walked a steady pace until we made it to the end of the park where our arms unlocked. Strolling in front of me, she smiled brightly. "Thank you again for finding my belonged to my mother, she gave it to me before passing away..." again Elizabeth's elegant fingers traced the shimmering heart.

"I'm sorry for your lost..." I looked at the locket, then at Elizabeth's hazel eye's. they shined so beautifully in the bright moon light. "Um..well I'lll be going from here." Turning around ,she began to strode off slowly. When our gaze broke, I blinked a couple of times and noticed Elizabeth already a good ways away.

"Elizabeth!" I yelled holding my hand out, she spun around quickly. "Would you like to meet here tomorrow?" Even though she was already on the other side of the sidewalk, I could see her brilliant smile. Nodding, she waved to me, then walked away and vanished into the darkness. I smiled softly and turned around to walk back to my place, anxious for the next day to come.