Matt’s Unexpected Visitor
Spring was in the air. The sun was shining brightly one fine morning, illuminating the whole village of Mineral Town in its light. A young man stirred from his bed as he did every day. After getting out of bed, the young man, Matthew Lorren, almost stumbled into the bathroom. Turning on the water, he stepped into the bath tub. He turned both the cold and hot water faucets. The water that sprayed on him was lukewarm. He took a long shower. After awhile he reached out for a towel that was hanging nearby, he wrapped it around him. As he re-entered the bedroom, he took out his clothes from his chest of drawers and dressed into his white shirt, denim jeans and brown boots. He combed his brown hair neatly. After he was finished, he looked at a picture frame on his bedside table; it was a picture of a strong man in his mid-thirties holding his young son in his arms while an old man stood beside them near the entrance to a farm. A large dark brown wooden sign that read Meadow Farm hung above them. From what anyone could see, the three looked extremely alike. He smiled at the memory of that moment before leaving the room.
As he made his way from the bedroom to the dining room, he whistled a tune. He found Karen, his wife, sitting at the dining table, playing with Marc, their baby boy, who was enjoying it as they heard his giggles and little laughs. At that moment, Matt cheerfully made a hearty breakfast for his wife and himself, and a bottle of warm milk for Marc in the kitchen. He was very happy with his life as he served their meal at the table.
“Thank you, Matt Dear!” Karen spoke softly as she fed Marc, who suckled the bottle of milk ravenously. Karen smiled adoringly at her young son as she watched him finish his bottle.
“You’re welcome, Honey!” Matt kissed her softly on the cheek.
Suddenly, they heard happy barking outside. Curious, Matt went out the front door to check what was going on. He whistled for Luna, his dog, who bounded. The large brown dog leaped into his arms and proceeded to lick his face. “Hey there, boy. What’s going on out here? Matt put Luna down after he was given a good licking. He scanned his farm full of crops and animal life, a farm he had worked hard on for the past three years. He then noticed a beautiful, young lady standing near the white wooden fences that marked his property from the rest of the town he lived in.
She wore a light blue-green coat over a white shirt and jeans, which gave a faint outline of her figure. Her brown leather boots were quite dusty, perhaps, he guessed, because of travel. A leather rucksack was slung on her back while she held a traveling bag in her right hand. She had wavy, golden yellow hair, fair skin and stunning, sapphire blue eyes. He smiled. She approached him gracefully. Amy Winthor wasn’t a very shy young woman.
“Amy! How nice to see you. What are you doing here!?” The smile on his face spoke of how welcome she was.
“Hello Matt. I came here for a visit.” Amy smiled up at him.
The news made him grin. He had missed her very much.
“Matt Dear, who is it?” Karen’s voice came out from the open door.
“It’s Amy, Honey.”
“Amy!” Karen hurried outside. She hugged Amy as best she could, mindful of her son who was still in her arms. “Amy, it’s a pleasure to meet you. Come in, come in.” She gestured to the open door with one hand.
“It’s nice to meet you too, Karen but I couldn’t impose. You two must be very busy.”
“It’s alright.” Karen said. Matt nodded. Amy then saw the little baby who gurgled in his mother’s arms. “Hello, little one.” She smiled sweetly as she bent down and looked at him closely.
“This little one is Marc.” Karen held Marc out to Amy. The little one had his arms wide open in greeting. Amy took Marc in her arms as gently as she would a precious treasure. Marc seemed to like being with her as he snuggled closer.
“He’s such a sweet little boy. He looks just like you, Matt.” Amy gave a slightly reluctant Marc back to his mother. He pouted before realizing he was in his mother’s warm embrace once again.
“He does? I never realized that. I thought he looked more like Karen.” The grin never left Matt’s face as he looked at his little boy with affection.
“Oh, Matt Dear, I told you. He looks more like you.” Karen giggled as she hugged her son.
“Well, I had better be going.” Amy took a step towards the road that led to town, not wishing to impose on their time anymore than necessary. She had really planned to come and visit Matt and the town he spoke of so fondly in his letters to her.
“Amy, wait! Why not stay and have breakfast with us at least?” Karen suggested.
“Oh no, I couldn’t, I’m already very full from my meal at the inn.” Amy sincerely smiled.
“Alright, Amy, but do you need a guide to show you around town? I could show you around.” Matt offered.
“Oh, I shouldn’t impose, Matt. You’re busy with work on this beautiful farm.” She looked around
“Oh, I’ll go with you, Amy, if it’s alright. I need to buy some groceries anyway.” Karen said.
“Oh, that would be wonderful.” Amy knew she still needed help getting her way around the town. For such a small town, there was still a possibility she might walk down the wrong road and lose her way.
“Okay, I’ll see you later at about 10:20?” Marc gurgled in his mother’s arms, his way of getting her attention.
“That would be fine.” Amy bade them farewell and went in the direction of the inn, walking down a cobblestone road. She was so deep in thought that she had not been looking where she was going until she bumped into someone.
“Ouch.” Amy looked at the person she bumped into. He was a pleasant-looking young man with orange hair. He wore glasses and a work apron over a green shirt and blue jeans. From the look on his face, he was just as surprised as she was that he had been bumped into.
“Oh, I’m so sorry.” Amy felt slightly embarrassed as she sincerely apologized.
“It’s okay. There was no harm done.” The young man said with a smile. “Well, see you.” He went past her, his arm slightly brushed against hers.
Amy felt relieved that she had been forgiven. She continued down the road on her way to the Inn, which was located only a few blocks away from Meadow Farm.
The inn was a simple two-story building in the center of Mineral Town. Like most of the other buildings in town, it was painted white with brown shutters. A number of potted flowers that were placed about the inn gave it a more colorful look than the rest of its surrounding buildings.
“Hello there.” A red-headed, kind-looking middle-aged man called out from his place behind the metal cash register sitting on the long wooden counter. From what Amy could tell, he was wearing an oil-stained white shirt under a brown vest. He looked at her with a smile on his face.
“Hello, you must be Mr. Doug.” Amy greeted him with her usual smile. She had heard that the inn in Mineral Town was nice and its proprietor, Doug Green, was kind and just.
“Call me Doug, so what can I do for you today?” He said as he began to wipe the glass he was holding.
“May I have a room please?” Amy hoped that there was still a vacant room. She had just arrived from the city and, despite her usual habit of booking a room before any trip, she had not done so on this trip.
“Of course, your room is the one nearest the stairs. You can’t miss it.” He handed her a key with a leather keychain hanging from it. A number 1 was attached to the keychain.
“Thank you, Doug.” She said with a grateful smile. She was so relieved that she did not need to impose on Matt’s generosity. She was sure he would not have minded but she just did not feel right staying with them since she had come unexpectedly.
As Amy ascended the stairs, a young man with long brown hair tied back in a low ponytail descended. He looked at her appreciatively. “Hello.” Amy greeted him with a sweet smile. “Uhh...Hello.” He grew slightly red as he looked away from her. “Well…I have to go.” The young man whispered before he continued his descent down the stairs.
‘Young men here are…strange,’ Amy thought as she headed up to her room and unlocked the door.
The room was simple yet nice was her first impression. Three twin beds with yellow bed sheets stood to one side of the room. Three small tables stood beside each of them, each with a floral-designed lamp. Matching floral yellow curtains hung by the large windows. A sturdy wooden table with four matching chairs took up one corner of the room.
The other furnishings added a homey touch: a light green carpet, a vase filled with pretty moon drop flowers, a small wooden shelf with some books on it. A swirling fan-like lamp hung on the ceiling, the room’s main means of ventilation and light during the night. A door stood nearest the table, leading to a small, adjoining bathroom.
She smiled, appreciating the simplicity of the room as she sat on the nearest bed. She put her bag near her bed and took off her rucksack as well as her jacket. Opening her rucksack, she took out a small, pocket-sized digital camera. “Hmm, I might be able to get some pictures while I’m here.” She thought before she put the camera back in the rucksack, took out her wallet and put it in her pocket before she placed the rucksack away under the bed. She then lay down on the bed. Her head landed on the pillow. “What a soft bed…” Amy sighed contentedly.
She remembered her life in the city: living alone in an apartment after moving out of her parent’s, no, her Mom’s house, coming home from work to an empty apartment, living a life of habit and nothing much else. Suddenly, Amy remembered when Matt was still living in the city. Life was a lot better in the city then.
‘I even had a crush on him for a short time.’ Amy giggled at the memory. The moments she and Matt shared were nice…but it wasn’t what they both wanted: they were cousins. Amy knew during that time that one day Matt would meet the woman of his dreams and he’d settle down and have a family of his own, but she never envisioned that life was for her, ever since he came along.
‘I don’t want to end up like that again…’Amy thought grimly. ‘I’ll never let anyone hurt me again.’ Her thoughts wandered until she saw the clock on the wall. It was already 9:50.
Amy, not wishing to lounge much longer, stood and put on her jacket. She left the inn, saying a quick goodbye to Doug. She walked towards the farm. In order to get to Meadow Farm, she had to pass the blacksmith’s shop. Just as she was about to pass the shop by, loud shouting erupted, coming from the inside. Because of her curiosity, Amy entered the shop.