Together forever – Short Story (3)

Ewan was to leave with his mother and Rhea, the next day, Saturday. They had to keep the shop closed for those days. They couldn’t afford to stay long.

Sam was sad, from the time he told her about their departure. It was a long journey. So they had planned to stay for a day or two. There was something tugging at the back of his mind. Some uneasiness about leaving Sam and going. Something in his heart was whispering him to tell her what he really felt for her. He quietened that noise.

In the morning, Sam came along with her elder brother to see them off at the railway station.
She was sad. Ewan was sad. Rhea was upset as she didn’t want to go, she didn’t really remember her grandparents. And she had this phobia of meeting new people. A xenophobia of a kind. His mother was apprehensive, but she knew she should do it, for the sake of her dead husband.

Ewan took Mother and Rhea to their seats and kept the bags in order. Sam’s brother was on a call, when Ewan stepped out to say goodbye. He walked towards Sam. She sat silently on a wooden bench. Sitting quietly, unusually still, fidgeting with the folds of her skirt, she looked as though she was filled with some fear.

He didn’t like it at all to see her like this. He wished he could stop this and stay back. He wished he could take her with them. But they weren’t married. And then it struck him. He knew he loved her, but he had never told her that. He thought of doing it now, then and there. But he foolishly decided to not do it now. Later! Probably after he returned, he thought to himself.

He stepped closer and sat beside her. She still hasn’t noticed that he was near her.
Sam!! Ewan spoke. He looked at her and saw her gazing at the train which was getting filled by passengers. When she didn’t respond, he nudged her. She looked blankly at him.

Ewan. What are you doing here? You shouldn’t have left Mom and Rhea alone, she shrieked.
Don’t worry they are inside and are just adjusting themselves, readying for the journey, Ewan replied softly. Slowly he continued, Sam, you alright?

She just nodded her head.
Hey! I’ll be back soon. Don’t worry like this. And don’t make me worry. He tried to comfort her. He slowly held her hand and she let him. She didn’t pull it or say anything. Very unusual, he felt.

Don’t you drive the poor villagers mad! He said, trying to ease out whatever was bothering Sam.
She smiled and said, I’m scared it will drive me mad, Ewan.

This was getting stranger by the time. Sam was behaving very strangely.
What’s wrong Sam? Ewan asked concerned.
She looked at him and smiled, a very sad smile it was.
When she spoke now, her lips quivered. There was a pain and fear in her tone.
Ewan, be back soon. I don’t know why, but just be back soon. I fear something very bad will happen.

You think grandma will die.

I don’t know! I hope she doesn’t. But something very ominous is around. And please be careful. Please!

I will be Sam. Don’t stress out your poor soul. And stop whining like a damsel in distress, he sneered at her, taking advantage of the situation, he added,
Don’t worry, I’ll be back to save you from any dragon.

I know you will, she said with a gentle smile spread on her beautiful face. Those hazel eyes, glittered with a sudden happiness. His words, telling her that he would protect her, seemed to give her a renewed hope and life.

Just then the train started to move and Ewan pressed her hand. Their hands slid away, palms, fingers and then the tips. It was like the slow motion movement seen in movies and songs.

He ran ahead. Sam kept looking at his body moving farther away. She seemed to observe him, trying to capture the whole thing in the memory of her mind and replay it every time she wanted to. She saw him aboard the train. She saw him take a step in. She thought that was the last. But her heart said, it wasn’t.

A few seconds later, his head came back into view and a broad smile was plastered on his handsome face. She watched him wave at her. She raised her hand and waved back. She kept waving till he was out of her view.

Suddenly, the sinister feelings, those ominous vibes she had been feeling for the last few days, were back. And she was afraid that whatever was to happen was going to change her life.

Change her life for good?
Or was it for bad?
Or was it just her insecurity of being away from Ewan? She didn’t have the answers yet.

P.S. Neither do I! But this is what she’d asked me to tell you. I’ll be back when Sam tells me more! 😄

S.F.R.

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