Lost Love Jan Carew - chapter 1
These things happened to me nearly ten years ago.
I lived in a city, but the city was hot in summer. I wanted to see the country. I wanted to walk in the woods and see green trees.
I had a little red car and I had a map, too. I drove all night out into the country.
I was happy in my car. We had a very good summer that year. The country was very pretty in the early morning. The sun was hot, and the sky was blue. I heard the birds in the trees.
And then my car stopped suddenly.
‘What’s wrong?’ I thought. ‘Oh dear, I haven’t got any petrol. Now I’ll have to walk. I’ll have to find a town and buy some petrol. But where am I?’
I looked at the map. I wasn’t near a town. I was lost in the country.
And then I saw the girl. She walked down the road, with flowers in her hand. She wore a long dress, and her hair was long, too. It was long and black, and it shone in the sun. She was very pretty. I wanted to speak to her, so I got out of the car.
‘Hello,’ I said. ‘I’m lost. Where am I?’
She looked afraid, so I spoke quietly.
‘I haven’t got any petrol,’ I said. ‘Where can I find some?’
Her blue eyes looked at me, and she smiled.
‘She’s a very pretty girl!’ I thought.
‘I do not know,’ she said. ‘Come with me to the village. Perhaps we can help you.’
I went with her happily, and we walked a long way.
‘There isn’t a village on the map,’ I thought. ‘Perhaps it’s a very small village.’
There was a village, and it was old and pretty. The houses were black and white and very small. There were a lot of animals.
The girl stopped at a house and smiled at me.
‘Come in, please,’ she said.
I went in. The house was very clean, but it was strange, too. There was a fire and some food above it. I felt hungry then.
‘That’s strange,’ I thought. ‘They cook their food over a wood fire! Perhaps they have no money.’
I met her father and mother, and I liked them. They were nice people, but their clothes were strange.
‘Sit down,’ said the old man. ‘Are you thirsty after your walk?’
He gave me a drink, and I said, ‘Thank you.’ But the drink was strange, too. It was dark brown and very strong.
I didn’t understand. But I was happy there.
I asked about petrol, but the old man didn’t understand.
‘Petrol?’ he asked. ‘What is that?’
‘This is strange,’ I thought. Then I asked, ‘Do you walk everywhere?’
The old man smiled. ‘Oh, no, we use horses,’ he said.
‘Horses!’ I thought. ‘Horses are very slow. Why don’t they have cars?’
But I didn’t say that to the old man.
I felt happy there. I stayed all day, and I ate dinner with them that evening. Then the girl and I went out into the garden. The girl’s name was Mary.
‘This is nice,’ she said. ‘We like having visitors. We do not see many people here.’
We spoke happily. She was very beautiful. But after a time, she began to talk quietly, and her face was sad.
‘Why are you sad?’ I asked her.
‘I cannot tell you,’ she said. ‘You are only a visitor here. We have to say goodbye tonight. You have to go now.’
I didn’t understand. I loved her. I knew that. And I wanted to help her. Why did I have to go? But Mary said again in a sad voice, ‘You have to go. It is dangerous here.’
So I said, ‘I’ll go to the next town and find some petrol. Then I’ll come back.’
She didn’t speak.
‘I love you, Mary,’ I said. ‘And I’ll come back to you. You won’t stop me.’
She said goodbye to me at the door. Her face was very sad, and I was sad, too. I didn’t want to go.
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