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srw464

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PostSubject: Melanie Harbor   Sat Aug 01, 2009 10:12 pm

I was at home. My mentor was there, giving me my daily piano lessons. Amazing instrument. When my fingers fly over those keys, when I hear that sweet melody, I feel as though I can do anything. When we finished our session, I curtsied and thanked my mentor before he left. I listend until I could no longer hear the click of his shoes before I sat back down on the piano bench. I placed my fingers on the keys and positioned them. I closed my eyes and let the music flow from within me. A piece I had composed myself over the period of several months. My fingerse moved faster and a smile graced my features. I was halfway through the piece when I heard the applause. At first I thought it was just in my head but as it grew louder I realized it was coming from behind me. Startled, I spun around on the bench, almost falling over my own dress. My heart jumped when I saw the face at the window. My surprise quickly turned to anger as I realized it was a boy, around my age. I walked over to the window, which was open to let in the cool summer breeze. I glared at the boy, who remained unfazed. As I approached the window he stood up, allowing me to see his full figure. He was an average-looking boy. He had light brown hair and many freckles, giving him a more youthful appearance. He had a normal build and light blue eyes. He was wearing old, dirty trousers and a white shirt, showing that he was of a much lower class than me and probably did a lot of outdoor work. I folded my arms across my chest, looking at him. He had a smile on his face.

“What?” I snapped, using all of my willpower not to slap the grin off of his face.

“You’re really good,” he said, pointing behind me at the piano.

“And you’re really annoying,” I said, though his compliment made me feel good. I refused to show it.

“Why are you here?” I snapped when he said nothing. “Go away!” His smile faltered.

“I was passing by when I heard a lovely melody,” he said. I found myself blushing, which only made me dislike him even more. “So I followed it here,” he finished. I was glaring at him.

“You have no right to be on my property, /farm boy/,” I said. He wasn’t smiling anymore. “So leave,” I added when he made no move to go.

“You were a lot cuter when you were playing the piano and not talking,” he said simply. I gaped.

“How /dare/ you!!” I almost yelled. “You trespass on my property and then insult you!”

“Technically I complimented you first,” he pointed out. My face flushed with anger and my hands dropped to my sides, curled into fists. He looked amused, which only made me angrier.

“Get out!” I yelled.

“I’m not in,” he said, smirking when my face turned red.

“Melanie!” I heard my mother call. Panic settled in as I raced to think of a way to hide this nuciense. The last thing I needed was my mother asking me why there was a scraggly-looking boy at the window when I was supposed to be practicing.

“Melanie,” the boy said. I turned back to face him. “That’s a pretty name,” he said. I glared at him.

“Be quiet,” I hissed. He smiled at me.

“Melanie!” My mother called again. I could hear her footsteps coming down the hall, getting closer. Without thinking I slammed the window shut, hearing a crunch and a muffled cry of pain when mI did so.

“My hand!” I heard the boy exclaim. I stood in front of the window, blocking him from my mother’s view. I had my hands behind me on the window, and pushed down harder when the boy spoke. He whimpered in pain but was quiet, seeming to get the message. My mother walked in then, blinking in surprise when she saw me with my back pressed against the window, looking nervous.

“Melanie…” she said slowly. “Wha are you doing?”

“Nothing,” I said quickly. She didn’t look convinced.

“I was just…going to open the window to get some fresh air,” I quickly added. She frowned but nodded slowly.

“Get back to your practice, honey,” she said. I nodded and curtsied.

“Yes, ma’am,” I said politely. She turned and left. As soon as she was gone I relaxed a bit and spun around, re-opening the window. The boy quickly pulled his hand back, cradling it with the other.

“You squished my hand!” he exclaimed, as if I didn’t know.

“Your fault for putting it there,” I said. The pain written across his face made me stop before I said something else. He saw this and focused on making himself look even more pathetic, if that was even possible. After a few moments of us staring at one another, I sighed in defeat and sat down on the windowsill.

“Let me see it,” I said, holding out my hand. He kneeled down by the window and reluctantly held out his hurt hand. I rolled my eyes and took it gently. I ran my fingers over the top of his hand, feeling for any broken bones. After a few minutes he spoke.

“You have a very gentle touch,” the boy said quietly, watching me. I didn’t look up but instead squeezed his hand tightly. I smirked when I heard him gasp in pain. He was quiet now as I continued my examination. A few minutes later I looked up.

“Nothing’s broken,” I said. “You’ll be fine.” I released his hand.

“Thank you, doctor,” he said. I glared at him, standing up. He smiled at me, which I returned with a scowl.

“There, you’re fine. Now leave,” I said. He bowed, which I took as a mockery. I t probably was.

“Warren Hastings, at your service,” he said.

“I don’t believe I asked for it,” I snapped. He still had that goofy grin on his face and I wanted nothing more than to slap it off.

“What’s your name?” He asked suddenly. “Melanie what?” I almost gaped at his rudeness and naiveity.

“Have you no manners?!?” I demanded.

“No, not really,” he said calmly, shrugging. I grew angrier.

“So, what is it?” He asked again. I was quiet.

“Melanie Harbor,” I said a few moments later.

“Melanie Harbor,” he repeated, as if testing it out on his tongue. “Very pretty name,” he decided. “For a very pretty girl,” he added, looking me up and down. I blushed, suddenly feeling very self-concious. Now I was mad.

“Go. Away,” I hissed.

“Alright,” he said, which surprised me.

“On one condition,” he added.

‘I knew that was coming,’ I thought. I scoffed at him.

“I’m not negotiating with you,” I said, folding my arms across my chest stubbornly.

“Oh, really?” Warren said, smirking and playfully raising an eyebrow at me. “Then I guess I’ll just sit here until your mom gets back,” he said, and made himself comfortable by sitting down on the grass outside the window. His head and shoulders still showed.

“Get. Off. My. Property!” I hissed quietly, not wanting my mom to hear.

He leaned back in the grass and looked up at me calmly.

“No.”

I glared at him.

“Melanie!” I heard my mom coming.

“Better hurry,” Warren said. I sighed in defeat.

“Fine, what is it?” I asked quickly, wanting him gone.

“Meet me tomorrow night at the lake, 8:00,” he said. I almost laughed.

“Why would I want to meet /you/?” I asked, scoffing. He shrugged.

“Dunno,” he said. “But you’d better make up your mind fast,” he added, hearing my mom yell again, getting closer.

“Fine, fine, I will!” I lied. He could sense I was lying.

“You have to promise,” he said. I hesitated, but hearing my mom coming even closer I quickly nodded.

“Fine, I promise,” I said. He looked pleased. “Now, LEAVE!” I said. My mom came in then and I spun around, trying to block Warren from her view.

“What are you /doing/, Melanie?” She asked. I shrugged, nervous.

“And what are you hiding behind you?” She demanded. I was about to protest but she had moved me out of the way. I winced, waiting to hear her yell but she said nothing. I opened one eye and saw no one outside the window. My mom looked suspicious but said nothing.

“Practice. Now,” she said, pointing at the piano. I nodded and watched as she left once again. I looked out the window, but Warren was long gone. I sighed in relief.

“And good riddance,” I said, turning back to the piano.
~~~~~~~~~~~
That night at dinner I sat with my hands folded in my lap as my father said the blessing. We ate in silence until I felt as though I had to ask.

“Father, do you know the Hastings family?” I blurted out. My mom and dad both turned to look at me. I shrunk under their gaze.

“Yes, I do,” My father said. “Why do you ask?” I shrugged.

“I was just curious,” I said. My father continued.

“They have two boys, Warren and Daniel,” My father said. I nodded, already knowing about Warren.

“But what are they like?” I asked. My father raised an eyebrow at me but continued.

“Good hard farm workers,” he said. “Poor. I don’t talk to them,” he said. “Too low class.” I nodded, agreeing with him.

“May I be excused?” I asked, finishing my dinner. My father nodded and I went upstairs.
I lay on my bed in my silk nightgown. I was reading a book, but to my annoyance I felt my mind drifting to Warren. I gave up on reading and set my book down on the bedside table, blowing out the candle. I was almost asleep when I heard the tapping on my window. My heart jumped, fear making its way to my heart.

‘A robber? Murderer?’ I thought, standing up as quietly as I could, trying not to make any noise. I grabbed the candle stick and lit the candle, walking over to the window, the floorboards creaking beneath my feet. I stopped, hardly breathing. I listened at the window, the tapping continued. I walked closer, holding the candle out in front of me. I stifled a yelp as I saw the face at the window.

“W-who’s there?” I demanded, taking a step closer. I couldn’t tell who it was. I finally worked up the courage and walked over to the window. My fear turned to anger when I saw who it was.

“Warren!” I hissed. I set the candle down and opened the window. He had somehow climbed up to my window on the second floor. “What are you doing?!?” I demanded. He smiled, and then saw what I was wearing. I covered my chest as best as I could, seeing him looking at it. I had forgotten I was wearing my nightgown. My cheeks were a light pink as I glared at him.

“What do you think you’re doing?” I demanded. He smiled.

“I wanted to know if you wanted to go for a walk,” he said.

“A WALK?” I almost yelled. “You came back on my property, climbed up to my window, and woke me up to see if I wanted to go for a /walk/?!?!? Are you /crazy/?!?” I demanded.

“I didn’t know you were sleeping,” He said. I groaned.

“What is the matter with you?” I demanded, quieter now so as not to wake my parents up, who were already sleeping. He frowned.

“I just wanted to see if you wanted to go for a walk,” he repeated. I almost hit him.

“You hardly know me, and yet you come to my house in the middle of the night and ask me to go for a walk with you?” I asked.

“Pretty much, yeah,” he said. “Plus, It’s only 8:00,” he pointed out. I still had my hands folded across my chest.

“If I go for a wlak with you will you stop bugging me?” I asked, thinking myself crazy for even considering it.

“Possibly,” he said. I hesitated.

“Fine,” I said after a few minutes. His face lit up. “Wait for me by the front door. I’ll be down in a few minutes,” I said. He nodded and dropped down to the ground. I looked down at him, amazed that he hadnt’ broken a bone. He smiled and waved up at me. I glared at him and spun around, my cheeks pink.
~~~~
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PostSubject: Re: Melanie Harbor   Sat Aug 01, 2009 10:12 pm

As we walked together next to the lake, I found myself thinking

‘What am I doing here??!’

I had changed into my dress and snuck downstairs. It was a miracle I hadn’t woken my parents. But I hadn’t, and here I was.

‘What if this guy’s a creep?’ I thought, peeking at him out of the corner of my eye. He smiled at me. I quickly looked forward again.

‘No, I don’t think he’s a /creep/, persay,’ I thought. ‘I mean, my father seemed to know his family. But he did say that they’re farmworkers….and poor,’ I thought, feeling my nose wrinkle in disgust. I immediately felt bad afterwards.

“So,” I said, trying to make conversation. I mean, if I was stuck here with him, I might as well talk, right? I looked over at Warren. He was smiling again.

“So,” he repeated, not once stopping his smiling. It was getting kind of annoying.

“How’s your hand?” I blurted out. I saw the superior, satisfied grin on his face.

“Better,” he said. “But a kiss would help,” he muttered. I wasn’t sure I’d heard right.

“what?” I asked.

“Nothing,” he said. We walked in silence for a few minutes.

“So, what’s your family like?” I asked suddenly, though I knew a bit already. I was surprised to see his smile fade, but only for a split second. I wondered if I had hit a soft spot, and felt bad for asking.

‘Why should I feel bad?’ I thought. ‘/He’s/ the one who came to my house and was practically stalking me earlier,’ I thought. I wondered again why I was here.

“Well, my dad’s a farmworker,” He said, shoving his hands in his trouser pockets. “My mom is a housewife, I guess you could say,” he said. “She stays home and takes care of the cleaning and cooking, and us ‘kids’,” he said. “But me and my brother are always out in the fields, working all day,” he added. I was looking forward again, and peeked at him out of the corner of my eye when he stopped talking.

“So you work everyday?” I asked. “Even when it’s really hot out?” I looked surprised. He laughed, and I glared at him.

“What’s so funny?” I demanded . He was still laughing.

“You,” he said. I gaped, and turned to leave.

‘The nerve!’ I thought. He had stopped laughing, and grabbed my arm. I looked down at his hand grabbing me, my cheeks turning pink.

“No, I mean it’s kind of cute how you think we /wouldn’t/ work on hot days. That’s when we work the most,” he said. I still felt insulted, even though he had called me cute. I realized he was still touching my arm and I looked at him.

“You may release my arm now,” I said stiffly. He had moved closer without me realizing it and his face was now inches from mine.

“What if I don’t want to?” He whispered. My cheeks turned red as I felt his breathe on my face. I opened my mouth to speak but couldn’t. He chuckled and stepped back.

“What was that for?!” I demanded. He shrugged.

“Just wanted to show you that I don’t want to hurt you. You seemed kind of scared this whole time,” he said, and started walking again. I stood, rooted in place, for a moment before I hurried after him.

“And that was supposed to make me /not/ scared of you?” I demanded. He shrugged, his goofy smile back.

“So,” he said. I was still fuming as I walked next to him.

“What?” I snapped. He chuckled, which only added to my anger.

“So what’s /your/ family like?” He asked. I felt insulted that he would ask, but then rememberd I had asked about his. I shrugged, slowly simmering down.

“We’re pretty high class,” I said. “We have a few maids who cook and clean for us. My mom and dad just hang around town, talking to others of our class,” I said. I looked at him out of the corner of my eyes and saw a frown on his face. When I turned to face him he was smiling again. I continued.

“I have a private tutor to teach me and another one who teaches me the piano,” I said. “I love writing music. I also write songs and poems. I love singing them. It makes me feel---“ I stopped, realizing that I had just told him all of that when I met him today. I blushed and looked down.

“Makes you feel what?” He surprised me by asking.

“….free, I guess,” I said. I realized how dumb I sounded. “I mean, I know that sounds stupid, but—“ He cut me off.

“It doesn’t sound stupid,” he said. “I understand. Sometimes I just want to be free, too. Leave this place,” he said. I looked over and was surprised to see his goofy smile gone, replaced by a serious gaze.

“I never said I wanted to leave,” I snapped, aggravated that he liked to think he knew me so well when he didn’t. He was smiling again.

“I know,” he said, sounding more cheerful. “I was just saying.” We walked in silence.
When we returned to my house I walked up to the front door. It was around 9.

“Thanks for coming with me,” Warren said. I shrugged

“You didn’t’ leave me much choice,” I said, but he did.

“Remember, tomorrow, 8 o’clock by the lake,” he said. I turned to face him, glaring at him.

“you said you’d leave me alone if I went on a walk with you!”

“You already promised,” he pointed out. “Plus, I said possibly.” Annoyed with him, I turned and walked into the house, slamming the door in his face.

‘What am I getting myself into?’ I thought, leaning with my back against the door.

“You’re still standing by the door, aren’t you?” I heard Warren’s voice. I could just picture the amused grin on his face.

“No,” I said, and walked upstairs.
~~~~~~~~
Needless to say, I didn’t get much sleep that night. I was afraid that I was going to hear more tapping at the window, or that Warren would show up again. I was dreading the next night, but strangely looking forward to it too.

‘ No, don’t be silly,’ I told myself as I dressed the next morning. ‘It’s not like I’m going anyways.’

I heard my fathe’rs voice in my head then. ‘You can never break a promise, Melanie,’ he had told me when I was younger. I had promised never to. I sighed, looking in the mirror. I ran my brush through my long, dark brown, wavy hair until all the knots were gone. I walked downstairs a few moments later.

“Good morning, Melanie,” my mom said. I smiled at her.

“Good morning, mama,” I said. I slipped my gloves on my hands.

“Did you sleep well?” She asked, sitting down at the table. I nodded.

“Yes, thank you,” I said. What a lie. I sat down at the table as well. My father was already there. The maids brought over breakfast, biscuits and tea. My day was looking up.
~~~~~~~~
“Thank you, sir,” I curtsied as my piano instructor left again. It was around 3 in the afternoon. My schooling and piano lessons were done. Now I was to practice on my own . I sat down at the bench, pulling off my gloves. But before I began I turned to the window. I saw no face, and felt relieved yet also disappointed. I couoldn’t figure out why. I placed my hands on the keys, and began playing the melody I had composed. As I played I found my thoughts drifting to Warren. Warren! Outraged, I let go of the keys.

“I was enjoying that,” I heard a voice say from behind me. I spun around, thinking it was Warren, but no one was there.
That night I lay in bed, debating weather or not I should go to the lake. On one hand, Warren had done nothing but annoy me every time I’d talked to him so far. On the other, I /had/ promised. I sighed. I stood up and slipped on my day dress, pulling my gloves on and lacing my shoes. I slipped downstairs and out the door.
~~~~~~~~~~~
As I walked towards the lake, I decided that this would be the last time I would see him. I mean, I wasn’t enjoying it, and plus if my parents knew I’d get in so much trouble. We’re not supposed to socialize with those below us, much less sneak out at night to see them. I spotted him afar off. He was sitting in the grass next to the lake, his back to me. I walked up to him and stepped on a twig, crunching it. He sensed my presence and turned around. When he saw it was me he relaxed, and a smile graced his features. I walked over to him.

“I don’t like this grass,” I complained, lifting my dress to walk to him. “It tickles my legs and makes my dresses dirty.” He laughed again.
“This is nothing compared to a day out on the farm,” he said, standing up. He held out a hand to me, offering to help me over a large log. I hesitated but layed my gloved hand on his, and he smiled and helped me over. Once I was on the other side he didn’t release my hand. I was blushing, and he seemed to notice and let go. I was happy that he was at least getting /some/ respect.

“How was your day?” I found myself asking. Why did I care?

“Hard work, as usual,” Warren said as we walked. “But that’s nothing new. What about you?” He asked. I shrugged.

“Same as every day. Cooped up in the house, learning,” I said. “Not fun,” I added. He laughed.

“Why are you laughing?” I demanded. He shrugged.

“It just seems so simple to me. If you don’t like it, why do it?” He asked. I looked at him, confused. He stopped, seeing my face.

“I mean, if you don’t like being cooped up all day, go outside. Have some fun,” he said.

“I can’t,” I said. “I’ll ruin my dresses.” He laughed again.

“Who cares about your dresses?” He asked. I glared at him.

“I do! They’re very expensive!!” I glared at him. He shrugged.

“I’m just saying,” he said. We continued walking. We approached the other side of the lake. He sat down in the tall grass, and I watched him warily. He patted the grass next to him, motioning for me to sit down. I shook my head.

“I’ll stand, thank you,” I said, crossing my arms over my chest.

He shrugged. “Your loss,” he said. We both looked out over the lake. The moon was high in the sky now, and the fireflies danced over the surface of the water.

“It’s so beautiful,” I breathed. “I never really looked.” He smiled up at me, only instead of his usual goofy one, it was softer, more serious. I frowned.

“You’re beautiful,” he said. I flushed and looked away. Where does he get off, talking to me like that?!? He barely knew me! But I had been raised to be polite, even to those like him, so I looked back at him and nodded.

“Thank you,” I said. He smiled at me again, only it was his normal one this time. I reluctantly sat in the grass next to him, trying not to think of how I was ruining my dress.

He looked over at me. “see? That wasn’t so bad, was it?” He asked. I shrugged, looking out over the water.

“Sometimes I wish I could just leave,” I said. He looked over at me, surprised. I continued. “I mean, I /hate/ wearing these dresses,” I said, lifting up the fabric and then letting it drop limply to the ground. “I hate having to be /proper/ all the time, having to be so polite. Sometimes I wish I could just wear pants and be like the boys. They always look like they’re having so much fun, outside and playing while I’m cooped up inside, learning. I mean, I love playing the piano and writing my songs. But I want to play outside and be /improper/ sometimes too, you know?” I said, looking over at him. He was smiling his softer smile now. I realized what I had just said and quickly stood up.

“I..I have to go,” I said. He frowned and stood up.

“You know, if you don’t want to do all that, you shouldn’t,” He said softly. “Tell your parents how you feel. If they reject it, do it anyways,” he said. I looked at him.

“It’s not that easy,” I said. “I can’t just do that. We’re high class, my parents are rich. I cant’ be seen out doing stuff girls aren’t supposed to,” I said, somewhat sadly.

“And I can’t be seen with you,” I added. He blinked in surprise. “I can’t see you again after tonight,”He reached out and placed a hand on my cheek, stroking it gently with his thumb. His hands were hard and calloused, but he touched me gently. I blushed, resisting my sudden urge to slap his hand away. He…comforted me, for reasons I didn’t understand.

I looked him in the eyes, realizing only now that they had specks of darker blue in them. They were beautiful. I looked into his eyes, and before I knew it he had moved closer.

“W-what are you doing?” I asked, his lips close to mine.

“Changing your mind,” he whispered. I felt his breathe on my face and before I knew it he was kissing me. I closed my eyes tightly as he kissed me. His lips were so soft and he kissed me gently, as if I was a delicate flower that would break if he didn’t. He had one hand on my cheek, the other on my shoulder. I wanted to pull back, but couldn’t bring myself to. I didn’t kiss him back, even as he pulled me closer to him, placing a hand on my back and keeping one on my cheek.

‘What’s happening?’ I thought. Before I knew it I was kissing him back. I felt his lips curl up into a smile as we continued to kiss. I had never kissed a boy before. It was nothing like I’d imagined. I placed my hands around his neck, deepening the kiss. As my brain registered what I was doing, what was happening, I pulled back, almost tripping. He had a smile on his face.

“I…I have to go,” I muttered, and turned and ran off. I heard him call after me.

“See you later, twinkle-toes!”
~~~~~~~~~~
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PostSubject: Re: Melanie Harbor   Sun Aug 02, 2009 9:50 am

The next morning I could still feel his lips on mine. It was killing me.

I mean, who did he think he was, kissing me like that?!?! He barely /knew/ me! /And/ he was poor, irresponsible, ill-mannered, not to mention /annoying/, and-

But something he said stuck with me.

I truly was sick of my lifestyle. Ever since I was little Id wanted to just /play/, hjave fun, not have to worry about getting my clothes dirty or ripping them, not have to worry about being ‘proper’ or my ‘manners’ and just be myself.

But I didn’t even knokw who that was anymore. I’d been pretending too long.

But Warren made it sound so easy. ‘Just leave, do what you want,’ he had said. I couldn’t just do that. Could I?

Ugh!! Everyting was fine until /he/ showed up.

I dragged myself out of bed and dressed quickly. I combed my hair and went downstairs.
~~~~
“Melanie, we have someone we’d like you to meet,” my mother said that night at dinner. I was confused. Who could they possibly want me to meet? Nonetheless I nodded, and watched as a man around 18 years of age walked thorugh the door. He was dressed nicely, wearing an expensive-looking suit. He had black hair and dark blue eyes. He was muscular, I noticed. Beffore I knew it he had taken my hand and kissed it lightly.

“It’s a pleasure to finally meet you, Ms. Harbor,” he said. “Your parents have told me so much about you. I glanced over at my mother, whow as smiling approvingly. I looked at my father, who looked pleased. I looked back at the boy, realizing he still had my hand.

“Likewise, Mr.-“ I began, but was cut off.

“Liam Roy,” he said.

“Mr. Roy,” I finished. He released my hand, which I promptly put behind my back.

“Liam’s father owns the largest woodcutting company here,” My mother gushed. “He thinks it would be a good idea for you two to wed.”

My heart sank in my chest. I wasn’t sure if I had heard right. “Wed? I managed to say.

“Yes, get married,” my father said.

I couldn't believe my ears. I had met Liam two minutes ago, and we werre talking about /marriage/?!

"Not now, of course," My mother said, sensing my feelings. "We want you to get to know each other first. But it's what we want for the future," she said.

'We,' I thought. 'Nobody asked me what /I/ wanted!'

"Thank you, Mr. Roy," I began.

"Please, call me Liam," he said.

"Liam, then," I said. "Thank you, but I must be off to bed." He looked disappointed but nodded.

"Tomorrow, then," he said. "I'll come and we'll talk," he said. I nodded and curtsied before heading upstairs.
~~~~~~~
One week later, I hadn't seen Warren. Not that I cared.

Me and Liam went for walks almost every night. He was a very sweet man, but he didn't seem to understand me. I liked him, sure, but something didn't feel right. I didn't know what.
~~~~~~~
One night about a week and a half since I met Liam, I lay in my bed. It was around midnight, and I simply couldn't sleep. I heard a tapping on my window and somehow knew.

'Warren,' I thought. I was somewhat happy he was there.

'Wait, what am I thinking?' I thought. Regardless, I stood up and pulled on my robe. I walked over tot he window, and sure enough, there he was, smiling at me through the glass. I still wondered how he managed to climb all the way up. I opened my window.

"What?" I asked. He frowned but then quickly smiled agian.

"Can I come in?" He asked. I gaped.

"No, you may not," I said. "I can't belive you'd ask me that!" He shrugged, gripping the windowsill tightly. I smirked.

"You sure you want to put your hands there?" I asked, remebering our first encounter. He winced but didn't move them. I sighed and took a step back, looking at my door. When I turned back he had pulled himself in the window and shut it behind him.

"Do we have to do this again?" I asked. "Get. Out.!" I realized I had yelled and quickly shut my mouth, but it was too late.

"Melanie!" I heard my mom call. She was coming upstairs. I paniced again. Without thinking I had shoved Warren on my bed and under the covers. I got under with him and pulled the covers over us, placing a hand over his mouth so he would be quiet. I heard my mom come in and barely breathed. A few minutes later, which seemed like hours, I heard her leave. I let out a sigh of relief. Warren had a goofy smile on his face, and I realized how close we were and where we were. I jumped up and fell off the bed. I sat up, rubbing my back.

"Get. Out," I repeated, quiet this time.

He shrugged, a serious look suddenly on his face. I didn't like it.

"You don't want to marry him," he said matter-of-factly. I didn't even bother to ask how he knew about Liam.

"Don't tell me what I want," I snapped at him.

"He's not right for you," Warren continued.

"Oh, and you are?" I asked sarcastically, folding my arms across my chest.

"He doesn't understand you," Warren went on. I glared at him.

"Don't act like you know me so well," I snapped. "You don't know anything!" I almost yelled.

"I know that you're nothing like you want people to think," Warren said softly. I realized I was blushing, remembering our last encounter. I looked away. He continued.

"You're different than other girls," he said softly. I didn't look at him.

"Come with me," Warren said suddenly. He had grabbed my hand and opened my bedroom door.

"What are you doing?" I hissed. "You'll wake my parents!"

"Not if you're quiet," Warren whispered, winking at me. I glared at him as he dragged me downstairs and out the front door. I realized I was still wearing my robe.

"This is totally inappropriate!" I protested once we were outside. He shrugged, unfazed.

"So?" He asked.

"I'm going back inside," I said, and put a hand on the doorknob. He grabbed my wrist lightly.

"Just one walk," he insisted. "Please?"

"That's what you said last time," I pointed out.

"It'll take your mind off of things," he pressed. I sighed.

"Fine," I mumbled. His face lit up.

"Come on," he said, and grabbed my hand. I quickly pulled myself out of his grasp, but went with him anyways.
~~~~~~~~~
Soon, we found ourselves back by the lake. I couldn't belive I was out here in my purple silk nightgown! It was going to get dirty, and it was completely inappropriate. Warren didn't seem to mind, though.

"Sorry I haven't seen you in a while," he said suddenly.

"As if I care," I scoffed, but he could see right through me.

"I've been working extra hard on the farm," he said. "My dad is working us harder for some reason," he said. I shrugged, looking straight ahead. We were down by the water now.

Suddenly, Warren began to take off his shirt. I gaped.

"What in the world are you doing?!" I demanded. He blinked, confused.

"Going swimming," he said, as if it were obvious. I couldn't believe his manners, and that he was doing this so casually in front of me.

"Wanna come?" He asked, dropping his shirt on the grass.

"Absolutely not," I said quickly. He shrugged.

"Suit yourself," he said, and jumped in. I jumped back, but I still got wet. I glared at him when he re-surfaced. He was smiling.

"Water's great," he said. "Sure you don't wanna come in?" I rolled my eyes.

"Insolent little boy," I said.

"I'm the same age as you," he pointed out. I glared at him. He shrugged and went back under, kicking up water as he did so. It barely missed me.

"Watch it!" I yelled when he came back up. He laughed and delibratly splashed me. only this time it got me. My eyes widened as the wave of water crashed over me. I was soaking wet now. My robe was dripping, as was my nightgown. I pushed my wet hair out of my face, looking murderously at him. He was cracking up, hodling his stomach from laughint too much.

I glared at him. "How dare you?!" I demanded.

"Like this," he said, and splashed me again. I jumped back, but tripped and fell on my butt. I heard him laugh harder as I stood up. I couldn't believe it, but I soon found myself laughing. and once I started, I couldn't stop. I cracked up.

"Can't....breathe!" I exclaimed, which only made him laugh harder. I was standing by the edge of the water, and Warren grabbed my ankle and dragged me in. I yelped as I was pulled under the water. I quickly swum to the top, and he was cracking up more. Now in a better move, I proceeded to splash him, laughing. I took off my robe and threw it out of the water so I could swim better. He smiled and grabbed my arm, pulling me close to him. I was still laughing, so I didn't protest. He held me close to him, and I rested my head against his chest as we floated in the water.

A few moments later I spoke.

"I don't want to marry him."

Warren looked down at me, surprised. "So don't," he said, wrapping his arms around me.

"My parents want me to," I mumbled.

"But your parents aren't /you/," he said, running a hand through my hair. I would never admit it, but it felt nice.

"I can't just tell them I don't want to marry him," I said, my head still against his chest. I could hear his heartbeat.

"Why not?" He asked me. I shrugged.

"All my life, I've been this girl who always does what she's told," I said. "I've always gone along with everything, weather or not I liked it," I said. "It's what I was raised to do. 'Keep your mouth shut and do what you're told,' I imitated my father's voice, and felt him chuckle. I smiled, kicking my legs in the water to keep us up.

I felt Warren rest his chin on top of my head. I didn't protest this time. I felt as though I could really talk to him. I trusted him.
We said nothing now, as we flaoted in the water. I didn't want this moment to end.
~~~~~~~~~
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PostSubject: Re: Melanie Harbor   Mon Aug 03, 2009 3:15 pm

The next day I was sick in bed with a fever. I blamed Warren. If he hadn't of dragged me in the water, I wouldn't of gotten cold and then sick. My parents were downstairs, as they thought I was sleeping. I couldn't. I shivered in my bed, even though I was under many covers and wearing a warm dress. The window was open to let int he warm summer breeze, supposedly to help me get better faster. It wasn't helping. I sneezed, shivering again though my forehead was hot. I heard a tap on the window, and opened one eye. Sure enough, there was Warren.

"Can I come in?" He asked.

'Why is he asking?' I thought. 'I know he's going to either way, no matter what I say.'

I shook my head. "No," I said, and sneezed again. He came in anyways. I smirked, knowing I was right. He walked over to my bed. I was shaking.

"You'll get sick if you stay here," I said. He shrugged.

"It's my fault you got sick," he said. "So I'm here to help."

"How?" I managed to say. I coughed, and shivered again. He frowned, and before I knew it he was taking off his shirt again.

"What are you doing?!" I demanded, but my voice came out small and weak. It sent me into another coughing fit. When I was finished I realized he was laying in bed next to me. My face turned red, not just from the fever either.

"What do you think you're doing?" I hissed.

"Helping you," he siad, and grabbed my shoulders and forced me to lay down. He held me close to him. I was still shivering from the cold, and blushing, wondering what he was doing. A few minutes later, I realized I wasn't cold anymore.

"See?" He mumbled, his arms still around me. "Body heat. Feel better?" He asked. I nodded silently. I closed my eyes, and before I knew it I had fallen asleep in his arms.
~~~~~~~~
When I woke up, Warren was gone. I found I wasn't shivering anymore, and I was grateful to him at least for that. I looked out the window, and realized it was already night time. I had slept all day, but I felt a bit better. My stomach growled, and I ignored it. I saw that Warren had left his shirt here, and I mumbled something under my breath. I picked it up and flung it under my bed, so that my parents wouldn't find it. That was the last thing I needed. I lay back down in bed, and fell asleep again soon.
~~~~~~~~
The next day I was feeling much better. I woke up and there was a bowl of soup on my bedside table. Just as I was wondering who had put it there a figure emerged from the doorway.

"Warren?" I asked. Liam walked in, and I quickly shook my head.

"No, it's me," Liam said. He looked confused. "Who's Warren?" He asked. I shook my head.

"No one," I said quickly.

Liam smiled and walked over to the bed. I sat up and leaned against the headboard. He sat on the edge, and took one of my hands in his.

"Melanie," he began. "This past week I feel as though I've really gotten to know you," he said. I winced but tried to look pleased.

"I think we should--" he began, but a bang downstairs made him stop. "What was that?" He asked. I shrugged.

"I'll go check," he said. "I'll be right back," he said, and ran out of the room. As soon as he was gone Warren's head popped up at the window.

"You're welcome," he said.

"That was /you/?" I asked, referring to the noise. He nodded, looking proud.

"Yep," he said. I sighed and rolled my eyes, though I felt grateful to him.

"You'd better go before he comes back," I said. He shrugged.

"What if I don't want to?" He said. I laughed slightly, and he smiled. I heard Liam coming back up the steps, and when I looked back Warren was gone. Liam walked in.

"There was nothing there," he said, sounding confused. I couldn't help but smile.
~~~~~~~~
Two weeks later, life was pretty much the same for me. But ever other day I would sneak out at night and meet Warren by the lake. It felt so natural now, seeing him. We hadn't kissed since that night that seemed like forever ago, and I was glad that he wasn't pushing me. He was more mature than I thought.

It was mid-afternoon. I was having tea with Liam.

"Melanie," he said, putting down his cup. I faked a smile at him.

"Yes?" I asked.

"I feel we should talk about what your parents mentioned last month," he said. I winced but he didn't seem to notice.

"About marriage," he said. I nodded slowly.

"I really like you, Melanie," he said, reaching across the table and taking my hand.

I felt my blood run cold, but nodded. "Thank you," I whispered.

"So, Melanie Harbor," he said. He got down on one knee, and I felt tears in my eyes. "Will you marry me?" He asked, pulling out a ring.

'What do I do?' I thought. 'I don't love him. But I have to....'

"Yes," I whispered. He looked happy.

"Really?" He asked. I nodded.

"Yes," I repeated. "I will." Liam smiled and slipped the ring on my finger. I felt as though I wanted to die.
~~~~~~
That night I lay in bed. I held the ring in my hand, turnign it in my fingers, examining it.

"It's very pretty," A voice said. I jumped and turned, seeing Warren at my window again. He had a frown on his face, instead of his usual smile. I nodded.

"It is," I mumbled. He let himself in, as usual.

"Come with me," he said, taking my hand and helping me up off of my bed. I didn't protest as we walked downstairs and out the door.
~~~~~~~
We found ourselves at the lake once again. I had the ring on my finger again. We had sat down on the grass. I pulled my knees up to my chest, wrapping my arms around them and resting my chin on top.

"Are you really going to marry him?" Warren asked suddenly. I glanced at him, and shrugged sadly.

"I don't know what to do anymore," I said.

"I'll help you," he said. I blinked in surprise and looked at him. He looked serious, not like his usual self. I didn't like it.

"Do you love him?" Warren asked suddenly.

"No," I said, sure of it. "No I don't."

"Then there's your answer," Warren said. "If you don't love him, don't marry him," he said. I hated how he made things seem so simple that weren't.

"But I already said yes," I said.

"Say no," Warren said. I knew he was right. I didn't want to marry Liam; I never did. He was sweet but not the man I loved.

'The man I love...' I thought. 'Who is that?' I glanced up at Warren, and suddenly knew. He sensed me looking at him and glanced down at me. He placed a hand on my cheek, and leaned down and kissed me softly on the lips. I had closed my eyes, and when he pulled back I felt disappointed. I opened my eyes and he had his usual goofy grin on his face. I smiled back at him.

"I love you," I said, and when I realized I had said it I quickly closed my mouth, looking away, blushing. I could feel Warren looking at me. He placed a finger under my chin, turning my face to look at him. He was smiling.

"Finally," he said, laughing slightly.

"Why are you laughing?" I asked.

"I've been waiting for you to say that," he said. I was silent. "I love you too, Melanie," he said, and leaned down and kissed me again. Only this time more passionatly. I wrapped my arms around his neck, deepening the kiss. Only one thought ran through my mind.

'This is /Warren/,' I thought. 'I love him.' I couldn't believe we had ended up here after how we had started out. He put one arm around my waist, and I smiled against his lips as we kissed. A few moments later we pulled back. He had his goofy grin on again, and I found myself smiling as well. But then the current situation came back to me.

"I don't know what to do," I mumbled, leaning my head on his shoulder.

"You're smart," he said. "Just follow your heart." He said, running a hand through my hair.

My heart was telling me to stay here forever.
~~~~~
The next morning I was scared to death.

I had planned to tell Liam I couldn't marry him, but I was faltering. I had asked him to meet me here today, out front of my house for tea. I told him I wanted to talk to him about something. As I sat here waiting for him, I was running through what to say in my head. I could come up with nothing.

As I sat there, I heard footsteps. I looked up, and there was Liam. He sat down across from me at the table we had set outside. I handed him a cup of tea and then took a deep breathe.

"Liam," I said. "The reason I called you here today was--" I paused then jumped in. "I can't marry you," I blurted out. Liam looked first hurt, then confused, then angry, then just....sad.

"Why not?" He finally asked.

"I--I love someone else," I finally said. I had tears in my eyes, and I closed them tightly, trying to hold them back. When I opened them Liam was smiling sadly. I frowned.

"It's okay, Melanie," he said softly. I blinked, unsure if I had heard right.

"It is?" I managed to say, tears in my eyes.

"Yes, Melanie," he said. He reached over the table and took my hand. "All I want-" He said. "All I've ever wanted was for you to be happy," he siad. "And if that means being with someone else, then," he sighed, pausing. He gently took the ring off of my finger.

"Then so be it," he said, slipping the ring in his pocket. I couldn't belive it.

"Oh, Liam, thank you!" I exclaimed, standing up and almost knocking my chair over. I ran over and hugged him before pulling back.

"I have to go," I said quickly, my face lit up. "I have to talk to someone. Thank you, Liam!!" I exclaimed agian, before lifting up my skirts and taking off down the road towards Warren's house.
~~~~~~~~~
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PostSubject: Re: Melanie Harbor   Mon Aug 03, 2009 4:41 pm

As I approached Warren's house, I slowed down. I wiped the sweat off of my brow with the back of my hand. I slipped my gloves off and stuffed them in my pockets. I didn't care about my clothes anymore. All I knew was that I needed to see Warren. Needed to talk to him, tell him what had happened. As I approached his house for the first time I notcied how big it was. A large red farmhouse with a barn next to it. There were many acres of land behind his house, a tractor, and many tools. I approached the front door and saw his brother in the window. I didn't know if he knew who I was, but I waved. His brother scowled and shut the drapes. I frowned but though nothing of it. I walked up to the front door and knocked. His father answered. At least, I assumed it was his father. He looked sad and tired.

"Is Warren home?" I asked. He looked confused.

"Who are you?" He asked. I figured Warren might not have mentioned me to his parents, though I couldn't imagine why. There was nothing wrong with him being around me, but I couldn't tell my parents I was around /him/.

"Melanie Harbor," I said. I saw a flash of recognition in his eyes which was then qucikly replaced with anger.

"You," he said. I blinked.

"Yes?" I asked, not sure what he was so angry about.

"You're the reason my son is dead!!" he yelled. My heart sank low in my chest.

"Warren's.......dead?" I managed to choke out.

"Yes, he is!" His father yelled. "I found him dead in his room this morning. I know you've been meeting him every night! He died form exhaustion!!" His father yelled. I felt tears running down my cheeks, but made no move to stop them.

I remembered what Warren had said before, about how his father had been working him harder.

"It's /your/ fault!" I yelled back, my hands curling into fists at my sides. "he told me you'd been working him harder!! It was you, not me!" I yelled. Before I knew it his father had pulled back a hand and brought it back, hitting me hard on the cheek. I stumbled back, holding my cheek with my hand, shock written across my face.

"Get out," he said, practically shaking with anger. "Get off of my property and never come back!!" I turned and ran then, my shoulders shaking with sobs. I ran and ran, not caring about the thistles and thorns that became caught on my dress or hair, or that cut my skin and made me bleed. I didn't care about the dirt, or the mud, or the sand. I just kept running. I soon found myself by the lake, and I collapsed on the grass in sobs. I remembered the night before, and the first night he had kissed me here, and allt he times we had spent together here. My sobs became more violent, and I shook.

"I'm so sorry, Warren," I cried, to no one in particular. "I'm so sorry," I whispered into the ground. I couldn't breathe in between my cries. I shook with my sobs as I lay on the ground, for how long I didn't even know. But eventually my tears slowed and then stopped. I had run out of them, I think. Like a zombie, I stood and walked into the water. I wasn't thinking about anything except this;

'It's my fault. I want to be with you, Warren, wherever you are. I love you, and it was you I wanted to marry. Not Liam.'

These thoughts ran through my mind as I walked deeper into the water. My many skirts weighed me down, but I kept going until I could no longer reach. I felt myself being pulled under the water, deeper and deeper. I didn't even bother to hold my breathe. I let myself slip into unconciousness under the water, my only thought now being 'I want to be with you, Warren. I love you.'

I felt myself slip into the darkness as the water surrounded me. I lay on the bottom of the lake, looking up at the surface. The light slowly dimmed until I could no longer see, no longer breathe.

'I love you.'
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