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The Midnight Visit

Short story By: Threwen Greenleaf

Set in the late 19th century, The Midnight Visit is about a young girl, Sophia, who meets the boy she grew up with for the first time in three years, but he isn't exactly a boy anymore and feelings have changed.

Submitted:May 11, 2008    Reads: 163    Comments: 1    Likes: 1   

The Midnight Visit
She had been lying in bed for hours unable to sleep. She couldn't stop thinking about this evening when, after three long years of being apart, she had seen John. The two of them had grown up together until he had gone off to college leaving her without the faintest idea of where he had gone or when he would be back. Eventually, he sent her a letter explaining that he had gotten accepted to the college to which he had dreamt of going and that the letter had taken so long to arrive, he had to leave that same day.
From then on, they had corresponded regularly but the date of his return was never mentioned. Consequently, she was shocked to find him sitting across from her at the Stevens' dinner party. In fact, she hadn't even recognized him when she had first seen him, although, that was mostly due to the fact that he had changed dramatically in appearance.
He was now a tall confident young man. He had filled out, gained some muscle and was, she must admit, now quite attractive. He was a head taller than she with neat copper hair and deep, knowledgeable brown eyes. His face was not as boyish anymore but sharper and more masculine. When he smiled, however, she could still see the same little boy she had known years ago.
Unfortunately, they only had the chance to say hello before he was swept off by the many curious family and friends at the party. However, in the few moments they were together, she could tell something had changed between them. Now she couldn't stop thinking about him.
In truth, she had been a bit afraid of these new feelings inside her and was nervous about talking to him in person after all these years. Consequently, she was reluctant to push her way through the throng of people around him. Now, because she couldn't bring herself to approach him on her own she was laying in her bed thinking about what might have happened if she had.
Suddenly, there was a sharp tap at the window and she was pulled out of her thoughts.
She looked up just in time to see another stone hit the window, making another tap against it before falling back down to the alleyway bellow.
Her heart stopped.
Could it be him? No. It couldn't be. Why would he throw rocks at her window in the middle of the night? Wouldn't he just wait until morning to talk to her?
But who else could it be?
She stood up and slowly made her way over to her large antique window and peaked around its wispy curtains.
She gasped and took a step back in surprise, letting the curtains fall back into place. Unsure of what to do she stood there for a moment waiting to see if he would throw another stone.
He didn't, which meant he had seen her. She took a deep breath and pulled back the curtains all the way. He was just as she had seen him a few moments ago, leaning up against the intricate, cold black gate marking the back entrance to the huge estate behind her small home. He was dressed nicely as if he had just left the diner, even though it had ended hours ago. Perhaps he had been forced to go one of his father's company parties, afterwards. She smiled faintly, remembering the many times she had had to endure his endless rants about how much he hated them before they had become estranged. Oh how she missed those times when they could be themselves around each other.
She sighed and wondered if she would go down to him. She wanted to talk but at the same time she was afraid of what he might say.
He smiled up at her and she suddenly felt self-conscious. She tucked a stray lock of hair behind her ear and returned a tentative smile. Then he motioned for her to come down and, her heart beating fast and mind wondering if what she was doing was wise, she nodded and disappeared behind her curtain.
All previous doubts went out her head as her mind went into overdrive.
What does he want? Should I just go like this? Should I get dressed? I can't go in my nightdress, can I? Oh, what is the matter with me? Why am I getting so worked up over this? I have known John forever. What does it matter what I wear?
With this last question in her mind she took a deep breath and tried to calm herself. She quickly brushed her hair, checked her appearance in the mirror before she ran out of her room, tiptoed past her parents' door, and then slid down the banister. She came to a stop at the door, composed herself, and slipped out into the night.
She kept telling herself to take deep breaths and stay calm but, as she rounded the corner of her house, all her thoughts evaporated.
She froze.
The silence of the night seemed to stretch and amplify between them as they stood staring at each other. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, John began to walk towards her until they were only a step apart.
"Sophia." he said quietly.
"John." she said.
"I didn't get a chance to speak to you this evening . . . I'm leaving tomorrow . . ." he began in an attempt to explain himself but slowly came to a stop. He sighed and tried again. "How are you?" he asked gently.
"I'm well." She said quickly. "Quite well." She repeated, more to reassure herself than him. "And you?"
"Good." There was a pause and they both stood there a little awkwardly for a moment.
"You've grown." Sophia offered, looking up at him.
He smiled. "So I've been told. You have changed a bit yourself." He had noticed every change the moment he had seen her. Her wavy blond hair had grown long and partly covered her soft face and hazel green eyes. She was long and slender with curves in all the right places. In short, she was the most beautiful woman he had ever met. She was not only beautiful in physical terms, however. She was the most caring person he had ever met, caring not only for humans but all forms of life. She was sensitive and reserved yet quick to defend the things she believed in.
John, having known her since their childhood, was one of the few men she truly spoke her mind to and because she knew him so well she caught the undertone of his previous statement. She blushed and looked down.
"Sophia." He began solemnly, and took a step forward, closing the space between them, and tenderly took her hands in his. "I'm leaving tomorrow to return to Oxford."
She looked up at him, surprised.
"Will . . ." he stopped and cleared his throat nervously. "Sophia, will you come with me?" he managed to get out.
She stared at him for a moment, stunned, until the reality of the invitation set in and she looked down, struck by the enormity of what he had suggested. She was at a loss for words. Never had she imagined . . . had ever considered . . . of course, she wanted to go with him, but was it really wise to just run off with him? They didn't know each other anymore! What if, in the years they had been apart, they had changed too much?
"I will." she whispered, stunning herself with her own decision, by the immensity of the decision itself. She raised her face to him and repeated with more confidence, "I will go with you."
He beamed and suddenly she was in his arms with his lips pressed to hers.


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