THE LAST WINTER

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Summary

On every winter, Pareesay waited for her childhood crush to return to their small, poor but lively village. He was her childhood best friend. He made a promise to her to return on her 20th birthday. He kept the promise. He did return. Only to return as a new man and not the boy who once Pareesay knew ****

Genre:
Romance / Drama
Author:
Shanza
Status:
Ongoing
Chapters:
4
Rating:
5.0 4 reviews
Age Rating:
16+

Chapter 1: The First Winter



PROLOGUE

He couldn't remember the last time he felt the sunlight or the warmth of the sun on his skin. All he could do now was watch the sunrise and see the golden rays shine on his lonely balcony.
Memories of his past life were slowly fading away except one- a promise. A promise he had kept was keeping him from not moving ahead. It kept bringing his mind back to that small, deserted village.
The girl was the only thing in his mind in his new life.

****

It was a dull, dry morning with clouds covering the sky from every end.
It was the first light of the coming winter season.

I loved winters. It was a beautiful season. A season of promise. A season to remove your sorrows and look ahead.
The snow falls and it reminds you of God's beautiful work on earth and skies.

However, where i lived, it was only I who rejoiced on the coming of winters. For my parents and for my fellow villagers, winters meant another few months of perhaps less food to put on the table and less warm clothes. Every year the cold was getting worse... And worse.

My village was far away from the town. All transport was put on halt every winter due to the heavy snow so no one could enter the village or leave it.

Life in my village was quite depressing but my people still found ways to enjoy life, whether it be celebrating our poor old Miss Lily's birthday... She just crossed 95.
Or going to each other's places for every dinner. We did this so that every family got a chance to eat and find something warm to lend each other if one of us needed.

My village was a depressing site to newcomers but for me it was the best home...because it also had him.

Arhem.

He was my best friend. We practically lived together most of our childhood and played till late evenings. His family was the most well-off family in our village as his father worked as a lawyer in the town and returned after every three months.

Our entire village was grateful to Arhem's family as his mother decided to stay back in this village and raise her son here with us all. His mother was also born in this village. She fell in love with Arhem's father while on a short trip to town.

She couldn't leave her home behind as her old and poor parents needed her so when Arhem turned 5, she came back and decided to stay here for a few years.
As a result, Arhem's father was not happy. He accepted his wife's request but he made her promise to send Arhem to the town once he turns 16 for his better education and schooling.

This was the reason why this morning was dull and dry for me. Today was Arhem's 16th birthday.
He was gonna leave us... Leave me.

I have never been a single day away from him. As soon as i turned 11 last year, i realized i had a crush on Arhem. But i was afraid he saw me just as a friend or perhaps worse... As a sister.
I never confessed to him about how i felt. I was scared it would ruin everything between us and also i was too young to understand my own emotions so i always suppressed those feelings and never let then get the best of me.

But today when the day came, i was close to crying. I don't know if he would return. We made a promise to each other since the day Arhem's father had asked his mother to send him on his 16th birthday that he would return on my 20th birthday no matter where he was or what he was doing.

It was time for me to go and say my goodbyes to him as footsteps approached my room. It was my mother who came to inform me that Arhem's at our door waiting to say goodbye to me.

I covered myself in my brown worn out long coat and quickly took a glance at myself in the mirror to see how i looked.
Well, i wasn't too happy with the girl staring back at me from the mirror.
I had dark circles, clearly from sleepless nights worrying about this day. My hair typical black and long till my waist and my slim and weak body looked more weaker today.
The only striking feature in my face were my grey eyes. I liked my eyes, they shone against my pale skin.
Other than that, i was too plain. It ate me thinking how many beautiful girls will Arhem be surrounded with once he goes to town.

With a deep sigh, i headed out and made my way below to the main door.
He was there, wearing his best coat and hat. I became a little nervous as our eyes met.
He was truly very handsome.
Dark brown hair falling into his deep and dark eyes. His chiseled and sharp jaw and his absolutely well defined body which was even evident from the big coat he was wearing. He used to work out every day and the results were definitely there.
He was also pretty tall. I had to practically look up a little everytime to make eye contact with him.

"Hey." He spoke in a gentle manner but i could sense the sadness in his voice.
It made me a little happy knowing that he isn't that thrilled to leave as well.

"Hi". I replied in a low voice not really sure what to say else.

"So, I'm about to leave right now. Father sent me a car from town. Its here to pick me up. Thought to see you before i go".
Arhem's voice was steady but i could feel the emotions in him.

"I'm glad you came to see me. I wish you all the best Arhem. Study hard, work hard and don't forget this village... (don't forget me)". I kept the last words to myself.

"Why would i ever forget this village. I'm thrilled to go so i can one day come back and make life so much better for this village and for all of you here." his eyes sparked while he said this.

I smiled a little and held out my arms.
We gave each other a small innocent hug and separated soon after.

" Pareesay. Take care of yourself. I'll be back soon. I know you can't afford to go to the mainland and make me calls but you can always write me letters. I'll read them. Tell me whatever you want on and I'll always send you".
Arhem was now serious and almost seemed like an adult who was going to face the world ahead.

"Arhem. Go and settle first. I'll make all demands once you come back. I'll miss you and I'll take care of myself don't worry."
I didn't know what else to say...that Arhem please don't go. I kinda have a crush on you since a year.
He probably wouldn't even return then on my 20th birthday hearing this.

He gave a little pat on my head and smiled and started to walk away.
The door to his car was opened by the driver and he sat in.
The car drove away from the village's main gate and i stared as it vanished from my sight.

The wait begin.


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