20. Chapter 20
I pulled into the driveway and instantly noticed how tall and green the corn was in the field. It was definitely a good growing season. Then I looked out to the forest in the distance. It was either the greenest it ever looked or I just hadn't seen trees in a long time.
My hired hands came running up to me. "Hey, you're back." said Mac. He was the son of one of my dad's friends. He was a pain in the ass when we were kids but I trusted his work. His twin brother Dwain was the nicer of the two. We dated once back in the day. Nothing came of it though. Still, after all these years, we had remained friends.
"What's up spaz?" said Dwain.
"Nothing doofus." I countered and punched him in the arm.
He sucked a breath through his teeth. "Ow, watch it."
"What's wrong with you?" I asked.
Mac spoke up. "Nothing. Just old Clyde ruffed up your boyfriend last week."
I swatted Mac up side his head. "He's not my boyfriend, jack off." Then I turned to back to Dwain. "You all right?"
"Yeah." Dwain answered and I could tell there was more to the story.
"Stay away from that guy, you hear? He's bad news, trust me." I said. Then I grabbed each of them around the neck and pulled them in for a hug. "I missed you losers."
They pulled away and straightened their hair and shirts, then gave me a suspicious look. "O.K., what happened?" Dwain said.
"Nothing. I'm home is all. Gave up city life after all." I said and they seemed to understand.
"Yeah." said Mac. "Well, glad you're back."
We stood silent for a moment. Then I smiled. "Geez, you have such a way with words. How long did it take you to come up with that one?"
Dwain laughed and Mac punched him in his uninjured arm. "Shut up dirt bag."
I laughed at the two of them then in a whisper I said. "It's good to be home."
* * *
Mac and Dwain filled me in on everything that happened since I last was here. It seems Clyde was pushing his weight around, roughing up some of the people in town. He was nothing but a bully and nobody liked him. Yet, nobody would confront him. He had connections and no one wanted trouble with those guys. I didn't care. He didn't bother me none. After all, I showed him up that night in the forest. He'll think twice before he messes with me again.
Other than that, everything was in order. The house needed some work though. I went into town and got some old friends of mine together to help me fix things up. The biggest job was the exterior. It needed a face-lift and it wouldn't be cheap. Luckily, I had some money saved up. I was planning to use it as a surprise trip for Ethan and me. I wouldn't need it for that anymore. I guess everything happens for a reason, doesn't it?
* * *
It must have been the hottest day of the summer. We decided not to work on the house today. Instead, we all headed out to the forest. I had been resistant to go there. I don't know why. Before I came back here, all I could think about was visiting the woods again. Something kept me away. Maybe I didn't want to go alone. I felt better going with a group of friends though. We grabbed a case of beer and headed on out in our trucks. Normally we would have walked, but it was way too hot. We swam and drank. Somebody brought out some hotdogs so we made a fire and found some long sticks. It was a great day, one of the best I'd had in a long time. Now the sun was setting and they were leaving one by one to head back home. The last to leave were Mac and Dwain. We sat around and finished off the beers. We were pretty well toasted. Mac made sure to put the fire out.
"You guys ready to call it a night?" Mac asked.
"Yeah." answered Dwain.
"You guys go on without me. I think I'm gonna crash at the tree house." I said. "Will you be alright getting home?"
"No problem. We'll walk. Too drunk to drive." answered Mac.
"You didn't bring your car in the first place doushebag." I laughed.
"Oh yeah. What ever. We'll see you tomorrow."
I smiled and watched Mac make off for home when suddenly there was an arm around my waist. "Want some company?" Dwain whispered in my ear. He always carried a flame for me. Maybe that's why I didn't punch him in the face.
"Nah. I'm good. I just need some time alone is all." I smiled.
"That Ethan guy hurt you pretty bad didn't he? Want me to kick his ass?"
I tried not to laugh. Dwain was trying to be serious and I didn't want to hurt his feelings. "I'm a big girl Dwain. If anyone is going to kick his ass, it will be me. Thanks anyways. Careful going home." I watched as Mac and Dwain stumbled off into the night.
I made my way to the tree house and climbed up. I lay down and stared up through the hole in the roof. Well, what was I supposed to do now? I left my boyfriend, quit my job and moved back to my childhood home. I had been so gun ho about making this change in my life, but now I didn't know what to do. I felt like I was waiting for something, or someone. I didn't like waiting. Ethan changed my mind about that. While my thoughts wandered, my eyes got heavy. Soon I was fast asleep and entered into my dream world.
* * *
The tallest, greenest trees I had ever seen surrounded me. There was a musky scent on the wind. The ground was covered with ferns. It was the most beautiful forest I'd ever seen. I felt very comfortable here. The trees seemed to call to me, begging me to climb in their branches and tell them stories to soothe their troubled thoughts. I couldn't understand what would worry a tree except for a lumberjack. I placed my hand on the trunk of one very large tree and closed my eyes. It was almost like a humming noise traveling up my arm and through my body. It was very soothing to say the least.
Then the wind blew. I felt its warmth as it caressed my ear.
"Do you remember me?" said a whispering voice from behind me.
I smiled with closed eyes and gave into the moment, into the dream. "I don't know." I answered.
"Where have you been? I have looked for you but I could not find you anywhere."
"I had to go back. I had to take care of things." I said. "Were you looking for me?"
It felt as though someone lifted my hair from my neck, exposing my skin. "I have never stopped looking for you." The sound of the voice was like a song. I was ensnared in his spell and felt something warm and inviting on my neck. I smiled.
"Do you like that?" he whispered.
"Do you want me to stop?"
"No." I said and felt the same warmth wrap around my waist. A fire was building deep in the core of my body. "Who are you?" I asked between hurried breaths.
"I cannot tell you. You must remember on your own, but first you must remember who you are." he said.
I suddenly felt the warmth of my dream move in front of me. My breath seemed to leave my body as I felt invisible lips on mine. My heart raced as I savored the moment. Something familiar was in that kiss. I wanted to remember but I couldn't. I only knew I didn't want this feeling to end. Too soon it did though. The warmth of his invisible body was leaving me. I desperately tried to hold on but there was nothing to hold on to. "Don't go. Not yet." I begged, but it was no use.
"Remember me. Remember me." he repeated as his voice became fainter and then disappeared.
My dream ended and deep sleep took over me as I lay in my tree house. "I will try." was the last thing I said.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.