“Hank?” Arwen hollered from across the park. He didn’t hear her and was looking skyward with a slight pout. A late August thunderstorm was building up.
Arwen called him again, running toward him and this time Hank turned around as a few fat raindrops started to fall all around them. The gloomy light shone in his eyes making him look like a handsome devil…
As he was about to greet her, she kissed him hard. Hank passed his fingers through her hair as she kissed him as if to soothe her. Thunder rolled, echoing Arwen’s heart. She’d missed him so much the past few weeks…
Hank gently pulled away and smiled at her. “Hi…” He said, eyes glinting with mischief.
Arwen hit him on the shoulder (not hard) with a slight frown. “Why didn’t you tell me you were in town?”
He passed his hands through his hair, slicking it back. “I’ve hardly had a moment to myself getting ready for the next concert, Arwen, and I’m leaving again tonight.” He looked uncomfortable. “Don’t pout… please?”
Arwen crossed her arms and signed. “When are you coming back?”
“I don’t know… Listen, I’ll give you a call when I get back, okay?” He seemed to be growing impatient. He waved her goodbye and ran through the rain to the studio where he practiced with his band.
Arwen watched his back as he ran, sad and confused. Was she being paranoid? Why didn’t he seem to be trying very hard to see her? He could at least text when he was away… She walked back across the park, like a zombie, kicking pebbles underfoot. By the time she sat at a picnic table, she was so angry that she was completely oblivious to the downpour.
You know what, fuck him. She stood up abruptly and turned to walk home briskly, but she bumped into someone.
“Woah, there, missy… Hey, you okay?”
He probably meant well, but hearing him call her missy was the last drop. She pushed past him and ran home, hot tears and cold rain streaming down her face.
At first it felt as though all the colour had drained from Arwen’s life. Even Fiona seemed to have given up on cheering her up. She couldn’t seem to do anything right, she burned what she cooked and even over-watered a few plants.
Her anger had turned to tears and now just numbness. She was considering leaving Sunset Valley. Who would miss her if she did?
However, her income was becoming steadier, selling produce and supplemented with dumpster dive finds, and the thought of starting over elsewhere just overwhelmed her.
As the trees took on bright fall hues, Arwen’s numbness started to give way to grim resolve.
Temperatures were dropping fast and it occurred to Arwen that soon her garden would be dormant. This would free up a lot of her time so she decided to pick up a new hobby: street art. Retail therapy felt good… She purchased several spray paint colours and a bag to carry them in, and even splurged on some warmer fall clothes.
She practiced her new art on her own house, knowing she could always paint over her experiments later.
When she was done, she admired her work.
“That’s pretty bad…” She chuckled.
When she stepped inside to warm up her fingertips, her cell phone vibrated in her pocket to let her know she had a voicemail message. As she listened to it, her face pinched into a scowl…
Hi Arwen… (silence) Listen, I’ll be in town tomorrow night and I’d love to see you. Pick you up at 9?