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The Secret of the Seasons (Part One)

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When you walk through the street and you hear the leaves crunch under your feet, you know it’s fall. When you see bright pink and purple flowers hugging your ankles, you know it’s spring. And when you feel the cold sensation of a soft white blanket covering your pant leg, you know it’s winter. Seasons come and go but love lasts a lifetime. I found love when I was only fifteen. Believe it or not, but to this day he still haunts my dreams. My name is Jessica Hull, I am 19 years old, and this is the story of how I loved, and then lost.

Fall


I was moving into a new town with my father. My mom died when I was only 2, so I didn’t have any memories of her. Nor had my dad decided to give me any. He said that this town was a fresh start for us. I never believed him; I always thought a new place was just a new obstacle. Fulton, Missouri was the smallest town I had ever seen. The population was 12,809. I smiled when I mentally made the sign say 12,811.

When we pulled up to this small house he said was our new home, I saw myself on the porch with someone. It was a guy, he was someone I had never seen in my life, but he appeared out of my subconscious. He sat next to me on the rickety stairs. And out of nowhere, we disappeared. It was now the real world, and my daydream had gone to the back of my mind. I brushed it off and walked into the house through an almost broken off screen door, and heard the hard wood creak under my feet. My dad stood in the living room with a smile to his eyes; I gave him a weak one in return. This house was about the size of a cottage, with half of the appeal. The walls were peeling and boards from the floor were coming alive, reaching for the ceiling. My father’s enthusiasm was absolutely not contagious. At the time none of our old furniture had been moved in, so the floors were bare. Parts of the carpet had been ripped off in different parts of the floor. I ran my foot across the watermarks staining the bottom of the wall.

“This house isn’t exactly my dream house, but with a little work, this place can be a suitable lower class home.” My dad’s smile grew. He ushered me to my room upstairs. I felt my feet sink into the creaks of the stairs. When I came to the door, I slowly opened it a crack, and looked inside. The guy. There he was, again with me on my bed. We were laughing and our faces were close enough for us to share a breath, but then, we vanished. Again, I was alone in reality. These visions kept inviting themselves into my mind. Every time I saw this guy, my heart fluttered and I couldn’t breathe. But who was he? When did I ever meet him? These were questions I felt would be answered soon. But how? And when?

“Well go on!” My dad said, still standing behind me.

“Open it up!” And so I obeyed. Sadly my daydream hadn’t left my bed. My room was bare and broken. I walked to the middle of the room and soaked it all in. The floor was carpeting, but part of it was peeling up, showing that it had once been hard wood. The wallpaper was peeling, revealing and actually pretty light green color behind the dusty floral print.

I spun around to see my dad was standing there, his hands behind his back. My curiosity grew. I walked up to him, my eyebrows knitted together. He looked down at the floor and smiled.

“Look, I know this house isn’t exactly, perfect.” I laughed.

“But it’s really all we could get.” It was true. Never had we been this low on money. Usually we are just an average family, but this move had really hit us hard. With our last house still not sold, and my dad having to leave his job to come here, we couldn’t possibly afford anything besides this run down shack.

“The moving truck isn’t going to get here till tomorrow afternoon, so I thought I’d give you something to at least get you started tonight.” He brought his hands forward, and revealed a small picture frame. He handed it to me, put both hands on the sides of my face, and kissed the top of my head. As he walked out, I turned and sat down in the far left corner. The picture was of my mother, holding me as a baby. Her hair was a dark auburn, just like mine. It fell silkily down the side of her face and ended at her shoulders. Her eyes shone of a deep blue.

I looked down at the floor, my chest feeling heavy, and a tear streaming down my cheek. And as I went to look back at the picture, there in the doorway of my room, stood me, and him, this boy that kept appearing out of nowhere. He was laughing as he ran his hand through my hair. And I was smiling. I leaned in, and our lips met. The soft touch we were sharing wasn’t something that my mind could just make up. We stood there, never letting go; his hand clutching to the side of my face, and my arms wrapped around his neck. Again, we were gone. My mind was full of so much more of him. I reached up and felt my lips, the feeling of his still lingering on mine.

***


That morning I woke up to the sound of my dad’s laughter. I then realized I had fallen asleep on the floor of my new room, the picture clutched in my arms, pressing on my chest.

I raised my head, the laughter continuing. I got on my knees and looked out the window above me. My father was outside by the moving truck, apparently having a humorous conversation with its driver. I opened the window, stuck my head out, and felt the cool afternoon air tickle my skin.

Looking around at the other houses, it came to my attention that our house was the runt of this neighborhood. The house directly across from ours stood tall and proud. It looked to be to be two stories, with a glossy sky blue paint job. The front lawn was perfectly cut, and it had a cobblestone path leading up to the front door. And no, the cliché doesn’t end there. To top it off, a white picket fence surrounded its utter beauty. I could already tell this was the house everyone hated, but secretly wanted. I couldn’t wait to see who was inside.

“Hey Jess!” I looked down to see my father calling to me. He motioned for me to come down. I smiled, ducked back in, and closed the window behind me. As I was walking out of the room to meet him, I stopped and turned around. I took a deep breath and walked back, setting the picture on my windowsill. The sun hit it just right to make her smile shine even brighter.

“Perfect.”



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