[Continued from SMILING FACES (Part II)]
“Where to?” William asked Brooke as he shut the front door behind them.
“I have no idea.” Brooke confessed. “Lets just walk?”
“Suits me.” William smiled.
Walking side by side, William and Brooke reached a small local market and she said,
“Want to buy something for Darla?”
“I’m bad at shopping…” William accepted.
“Then its a good thing you have me!” she smiled radiantly. “Follow me.”
She moved from one shop to another looking for trinkets and souvenirs for Darla. Meanwhile, William found an antique locket in one of the shops and wanted to buy it.
“This is beautiful, Will. Darla will love it!” Brooke remarked.
“I want to buy it for you.” William corrected her.
“For me? Thank you, Will but I can’t take it…”
“Its a gift.”
Brooke protested but William silenced her by saying, “You should have something to remember me by.”
“Oh I’ll remember you.”
And they both realized that that moment was significant although none of them could say why. They stood there looking into each other’s eyes and then William moved to put the locket on her neck.
When they reached home, they found George sleeping on the sofa, a game of tennis showing on the television. Brooke switched off the TV and put her hand on George’s forehead to see if he was running a temperature. George woke up under her touch.
“How are you feeling now?” she asked.
“Much better, thank you.” He replied. “Where is Will?”
“He went upstairs. He was tired so I suggested that he go to sleep.”
George sat up, “Aren’t you tired?”
“I am but I think I’ll eat something first … you hungry? Anything you need?”
George shook his head.
“Okay. I’ll fix some pasta for myself then.”
“Be right back.”
Brooke settled on the sofa, next to George, with her pasta.
“So how was your day?” George asked her. “I know you weren’t too happy about spending it with William, but.”
Brooke was silent for a while and then she said,
“Believe it or not, I had a good day today. We bought some gifts for his parents and… it was all pretty good.”
“I’m glad,” George grinned and noticing the locket, said, “He bought that for you?”
“Yes,” she said holding it in her fingers.
“What is in it?”
“I have no idea.”
“Well then see!”
“Why not? See, I say.” George persisted.
Brooke sighed and opened it. “Nothing,” she said, dejected. Nothing!
Suddenly, for a reason not known to her, a feeling of emptiness overcame her. She felt hollow. “I’m tired. See you in the morning.” she said to George and left him watching the match.
[Continued in SMILING FACES (Part IV)]