The sun slowly rises over the little village, causing those who wake up early to stir with the first sounds of chirping birds. Morlock steps out of the basement, stretching his arms over his head since he had been working late in the night, practicing his magic as he always did at night since he suffers from insomnia. He walks through the still sleepy town, heading towards the back where he can get to the meadow as well as walk past Tanya’s family’s cottage. Morlock doesn’t stop by the house though wanting to get a bouquet of wildflowers first for both Tanya and her mother. He smiles when he passes her house, excited to see his soon to be bride later that day once he has everything prepared. He takes a step out of the stone wall that surrounds the village, pushing open the gate that separates the town from the meadow and stops just outside the gate. He scans the meadow, enjoying the soft breeze that skips off the abundance of flowers. He then takes off into the meadow, running around it as he had done as a kid, letting his hand brush across the tall grass and flowers, making sure to not trip over the rocks that sit scattered around the ground.
After a few moments of running, he begins to collect a bunch of pink flowers for Tanya’s mother and a bunch of purple and blue flowers for Tanya, remembering their favorite colors. Once he has two good bouquets, he heads back into the town in time to see Tanya’s father leave the house to go to work at the butcher’s. Morlock rushes forward so that he can talk with the man but a couple of others join him, taking away his chance. He slows his walk and decides since Tanya’s mother is at home with Tanya, he can talk to her first and then once the father comes home, he can talk to him then. Morlock brushes off his best black robe that he has put on for the day, one of his favorite wizard robes, and heads to the small cottage with the two bouquets of flowers clutched in his hand. His nerves begin to get the best of him as he stops in front of the door, breathing hard and feeling a bit lightheaded. What if she doesn’t remember what he looks like or what if she isn’t home? What if she moved? After a while, her letters had stopped coming and he didn’t know if she has moved or not. Her parents haven’t sent any of the letters back with a letter telling him if she has moved and where she has moved so he isn’t even sure if she still lives there. Getting his breathing under control, he lifts one hand full of flowers and carefully knocks on the door. He lowers his hand and waits, hoping that it isn’t too early to be calling on his bride to be.
Inside the cottage, Tanya clings to her mother as they stare at the door, her father having left for work already and yet someone has come calling early in the morning. It is barely after breakfast and only those who must get to work to open their shops are out at this time. Tanya lets her mother go and sneaks into her room, quickly getting dressed in a light blue long-sleeved dress and slips on her boots. Without a word, she sneaks out of her bedroom window and slinks around the back and side of the house, pressed up against the wall. Peering out around it, she sees a tall lanky wild-haired young man standing in front of the door, clutching two bouquets of flowers, one of pink, the other of blue and purple. She quickly hides back around the wall, hoping that the man hasn’t seen her and scampers back to her bedroom window, sneaking noiselessly through it.
She closes the window and locks it behind her before returning to her mother, “Mother, it’s him.” Tanya watches as the color drains from her mother’s face and she shakes her head, “It is time I set him straight once and for all. I must talk to him, mother. Stay inside where he can’t get to you.”
“No, Tanya, let your father handle this when he gets home. If we stay quiet, he will surely leave.”
Again, Tanya shakes her head and moves to the door, “This is my problem, mother, and I am the one who must put an end to this. Morlock is a grown man and if he doesn’t understand that I have moved on from our child crush then that is on him. I will not be afraid any longer and I will not be a prisoner of my own home because of him.” Tanya marches to the front door as she hears Morlock knock again, hearing the sound of impatience in the wrapping knuckles on the other side. She places her hand on the doorknob, gathers her strength, and pulls the door open as the morning sun peaks down through the low white fluffy clouds above.
Morlock looks up surprised at how fast the front door opens at his second knock, his eyes growing wide when he sees a beautiful young woman with flowing blonde hair and sparkling sapphire eyes standing before him. He opens his mouth to speak but nothing comes out and he takes a step backward. “Tanya? Is that you?” he is finally able to spit out after a moment of awkward silence.
Tanya forces a smile on her face and she nods, “Hello, Morlock.”
“I can’t believe that it’s you. I mean…I am so happy that it is you. I thought for sure that you and your family had moved since I stopped receiving your letters.” He holds out the flowers to her, which she takes after a moment of studying them. He holds out the other hand, “And these are for your mother. Is she home? I would like to talk to her about something.”
“Oh no she’s not, sorry,” Tanya tells him quickly as she takes the other flowers from Morlock’s hand. “Listen, Morlock, I am actually glad that you stopped by. I think we should talk.”
Morlock grins at her, “I agree. We have a lot to talk about but I would rather we go for a walk…to the waterfall. I haven’t been there in years and I would love to see it again. Will you accompany me there?”
Tanya’s mind reels with warning as she stares at him, not wanting to go but knowing that she has to in order to tell him that she won’t be marrying him. She nods, “Let me set these down on the table and I will join you.” She turns and disappears back inside, closing the door so that he cannot see inside to where her mother is shaking her head furiously at her. She motions to her mother that she will be fine, grabs her shawl and the crystal from her room, having decided to return it to him, and joins Morlock outside. “Shall we?” She places the crystal inside the pocket of her dress and then puts the shawl around her shoulders and clutches it tightly around herself, feeling his eyes on her again.
“Yes,” he smiles at her and holds out his arm for her to take just as he has pictured in his mind over and over again whenever he thinks about this perfect day. But to his dismay, Tanya ignores the gesture and begins to walk around her house to go into the meadow so that they can take the trail to the waterfall.
He catches up to her and walks beside her, eyeing her suspiciously as they step out of town and into the warm meadow. The sun now sits a bit higher as they cross the meadow, casting their shadows along the flowers and tall grass.