The day was cooler than a normal summer day but that was typical England as it seemed like it was going to rain. I sat at my desk finishing up my next articles for the newspaper for the next week when I hear a knock at the door.
‘Come in.’ I yelled from across the room.
It was my boss and he had that look in his eye like he was up to something. I’ve known my boss since infancy and he took me in after my parents had passed on to the afterlife.
‘Hi, Mr. Hollister. I was just finishing up my work for next week, is everything okay?’ I asked.
‘yes everything’s fine, I just wanted to tell you about the upcoming project I have for you. I want you to go to Romania next week to meet with Master Draven at his castle.’ he said.
This news excited me as I loved adventure and times were always busy and we didn’t always get to go do fun or interesting things. To explore a castle and to meet a stranger were thrilling. I hoped to find the best news that I could and come back the best journalist in the world. I dream big and i’m never let down.
‘when do I leave?’ I asked in a hurry after a quick thought.
‘you’ll have two weeks to get your affairs in order for the trip. Now I don’t know when you’ll be coming back, you could be gone a month or even a year to be honest. Master Draven doesn’t have many visitors and he looks forward to your company and hopes that you can stay awhile. Will this be a problem?’ he asked.
‘not at all, in fact I can’t wait to see what I can get into.’ I told him.
I really was eager for this and I didn’t mind how long I would be gone, this was a once in a lifetime opportunity that I was not going to miss out on.
‘good, for ready two weeks from today.’ he told me and he left the room.
I was so ready for this. I’m glad I didn’t have many affairs to get in order before the trip and what made it even better was that I would be leaving on a Friday and those were great times to travel for me. I didn’t really think to ask how I would be getting there.
The night had already come and I was already home and changed into my evening clothes. Being alone was a wonderful time for me as I didn’t like to entertain much company and I could be alone to my thoughts. I enjoyed the night sky more than anything I often wished I could work more at night, I felt that’s when I was most alive anyways but these days most people worked during the days.
The night went by slowly and I decided I would go to sleep earlier than my normal time than I would if I had stayed up to finish any work from that day. I dreamt of enchanting castles and mysteries rooms and what I would find. I was too eager, I don’t know what is coming over me but I knew something about this trip was important but I couldn’t figure out what it could possibly be.
Now I didn’t really have many friends but I did have one who i confided in since many people are hard to trust, he was a male and he came over probably twice a week to check on me and have tea. Adrian and I had known each other since I started writing as a journalist for the paper, he worked as a photographer and got into trouble often but that didn’t stop him from doing his job. I liked his daring personality, even when he dared to ask me out but I turned him down as I didn’t really feel I was meant for any kind of relationship. This did make him sad but he did move on and took my friendship instead and that was a relief for me.
The day came too fast and even though I was not happy about this, it only meant I was a day closer to leaving for Romania.
“knock-knock” it came from the door and Mr. Hollister came in.
‘i know this is really short notice and I hope it won’t be a problem but I got a message from Master Draven and requests that you be on the next bus to Romania that leaves tonight at ten. Here are your bus tickets and paycheck and we will mail you any money you may need while you are gone. You can go ahead and take the rest of the day off to pack and to rest up for your bus tonight. Good luck on this trip. Please write often and give me as many updates as you can.’ he said and hugged me and left.
I didn’t even have time to reply as how sudden this was and I didn’t spend any other time at that desk. I knew I had to fine Adrian to let him know and I knew i would find him walking around this town somewhere or flirting with some girl at the diner.
Of course I didn’t find him working but at the diner and as soon as I found him knee deep in a flirtatious conversation with some girl I yanked him out by his arm without any time for him to react or stop me.
‘hey Adrian, sorry but I had to see you and it’s really important, can you come over, like now?’ I asked quickly.
‘sure Shell is everything okay?’ he asked when he saw how serious I was.
‘yeah, but something has come up with work and I would rather discuss this at the house.’ I told him.
We went back to the house and I made a quick cup of tea so it could ease my anxiety, I still hadn’t packed and I didn’t even know where to start.
‘okay so Mr. Hollister is sending me on some trip to an old castle in Romania on a bus that leaves tonight, it was supposed to be two weeks from now but the master of the house Master Draven requests me to be sent by bus immediately, I didn’t even get a chance to reject or anything. Thats why I had to see you because the most important part of this whole trip is that I have no idea when i’ll be coming back.’ I finally told him
‘Shelley are you sure about all this? I mean I know you love mystery and adventure but is this something you really want to do?’ he asked with much concern in his eyes.
‘of course but it’s just so sudden and I hope I don’t leave anything behind that might need, I mean I don’t have any pets to worry about but should there be anything to really worry about?’ I asked.
‘well the only thing I could really be concerned about is that you come back alive. if I have to go with you or follow you, you know I would and I have no problem doing it.’ he told me.
‘i know but what other reason do I have to come back other than to see you? what if I ended up not coming back?’ I asked him.
‘then I would support it Shelley but I don’t know if I would stay in this town if you left for good, I have nothing else here except you and you’re the only reason i’m still here.’ he told me looking really sad now.
I knew how he felt about me and strangely I felt a little bit of love towards him because I didn’t like being without him either and we had known each other for many years. He got up and went to the record player and put on some slow music and took me by the hand and into his arms as if we had done this before and we danced while the busy city flowed down below my apartment, I didn’t ask why we were doing this I kind of knew. I rested my head on his shoulder and he stroked my back.
‘Shelley I don’t know what i’m going to do when you leave, I may just follow you to make sure you’re safe.’ he told me.
‘i know.’ I replied
We stopped and just stared at each other and I knew there was no escaping it. Our lips met and the world just seemed to stand still. It felt so right and so wrong at the same time and I didn’t even care because if I don’t come back at least I know what it felt like to be loved by him.
The day went on as we slipped into a slumber of lust and love and felt that power between our two bodies merge into one and I knew I would either regret this later or I would and just like the kiss I didn’t care because I knew I wouldn’t see him for a long time.
The night faded to black and I knew it was time to pack quickly and shower before it was time to leave.
‘you know i’m going to miss you right?’ Adrian told me.
’i know and i’ll miss you too.; I replied even though I wasn’t sure what part of me would truly miss him, I think I was starting to regret last night and was wondering if it was just a one time thing and part of me hoped I wouldn’t be coming back so I wouldn’t have to let him down but I knew one way it would happen and I would probably lose his friendship but that was my mistake and I knew this.
‘be careful Shell and let me know if there’s anything you need and if you need me to come there I will just say the word.’ Adrian told me as he gave me one final hug and a quick kiss. And i boarded the train in a sigh of relief that it was now over and this journey would now begin.
It was a small bus and there weren’t many people since it was a night time journey, I felt like it was odd that I take this trip at night but I followed through because I didn’t get many opportunities like this. I decided I would nap a little since I didn’t exactly have any other thing to do.
We must have passed many cities and according to my map and what the paper work had on it we would drive all the way to Germany before stopping and I would be given a room at a local bed and breakfast that was there until the next bus later that evening. I let my thoughts slip to what I just experienced with Adrian and I did regret what happened because I knew if I did see him again i would have to break his heart because I knew he wasn’t made for me but he was something I held dear to my heart. It was rather had to explain as I knew it would make or break what relationship we already had.
I was starting to get a little hungry and I knew we wouldn’t be stopping any time soon, I was lucky to be smart enough to make a snack for the trip since I didn’t know when the next time I would be eating. I noticed the sun was starting to come up and it was a little after 6:30 in the morning and I could tell the driver was getting tired from driving all night.
‘how much longer til we get to Munich?’ I decided to ask the driver.
‘we should be at there about 10 this morning miss.’ he replied. I thanked him and decided to look out the window at the beautiful morning that was coming up.
I couldn’t wait to get to the hotel and get some actual food and rest til the next part of the trip which wasn’t very long after arriving. We got to the bus stop in what seemed like no time at all and I was more than thankful to be off that bus for a little while to stretch my legs and maybe get a shower and a quick bite to eat that was for sure.
I was greeted by the owner who ran the Inn and they showed me to my room and asked me what breakfast I would like made and brought up to me. I ordered some eggs with bacon and toast and I didn’t forget a hot cup of tea to help relax me after my shower.
The shower felt like a breath of fresh air to my soul and to my mind. I had just finished dressing when I heard a knock to the door and it was the owner who had brought my food and to ask if there was anything else I would be needing and I tried to think hard if there was anything I could need but sleep wasn’t something he could help with obviously so I thanked him and ate my food in solitude which it was something I enjoyed often.
After my nap I got a knock on the door from the owner telling me my bus will be leaving in an hour and I dreaded the rest of this trip because when I looked at the map it would mean I would be on that bus for another 14 hours and it would drive me crazy. I slowly gathered my things and went down to the lobby for a quick cup of coffee to help wake me up for a little while and to see if there were any snacks i could take with me in case we didn’t have any stops between here to the castle.
Before I left the owner of the Inn gifted me a book to keep me busy on my trip. I thanked him and made my way to the bus that had just arrived. I watched the sun come up on that bus and now I will watch it set just the same. I don’t know what came over me but time seemed to stop or to feel like it was going slower than usual and I can’t figure out why it would be this way.
The night fell quickly and it felt like an endless ride with sleeping passengers and I went ahead and started reading my book to pass the time since I was all that much tired. The night was passing by as quickly as the cities that we went through and I guess I spoke too soon about time being slow since I saw the day was starting to rise once again and I didn’t know how much time we had left til the final stop and then this ride would come to an end. Now according to my map and papers it would take an additional hour to get to the castle from the bus stop and I was told that there would be someone there to pick me up and take me to the castle so I knew I didn’t have much to really worry about but then I thought, should I be worried about anything? I mean I am alone in a place i’ve never been before.
I didn’t bother to ask the driver this time how much time we had left because I knew we would be there soon now that the day was coming about. It didn’t take me long to finish the book and it was ok for a fairy tale but I wasn’t sure if there was any meaning behind it but I was happy to read a story about a girl no bigger than my thumb. She seemed like a strong female that could make it no matter what.
We finally arrived at the bus stop and I gathered my suitcase and bag and made my way to the station to find a man there holding a sign with my last name on it so I approached him and hoped that i wouldn’t make a fool of myself if I were wrong.
‘hi I’m Shelley Langston I was expecting a ride and you’re holding a sign with my last name on it and I was wondering if you were here for me?’ I asked him in a shy manner because I was really nervous.
‘this was miss.’ and that was all he said as he opened the car door to let me in and put my belongings in the trunk. I guess he wasn’t much for talking so I decided to keep to myself since i didn’t think he would be much for conversation.
The scenery was quite nice for the country side to the castle, there weren’t many stores near by so I knew I wouldn’t be going to the market anytime soon but I suppose that would be okay.
’did you have a good trip to Romania miss?” the man asked out of no where which caught me off guard.
‘sure but rather boring if you ask me, how was your day?’ I asked to keep the small talk alive.
‘it was okay, boring just the same. I hope the castle is to your liking and that you enjoy your stay.’ he told me.
’thank you and I hope I do to. I replied. I really wonder what the castle will be like. Will it be busy with many workers and lavish like in fairy tales or will it be scary and dark like in horror films? I guess I will find out when I get there but the anticipation was really starting to get the best of me.
I looked out the window and the giant castle was coming into view and I knew I didn’t have much time til we arrived. I wondered now what Master Draven would be like, would he be a mean old man or a handsome prince? oh so many questions but never enough answers. I just hope that never bad happens to me during my stay at this place and that maybe I’ll find something great while i’m here.