A Fairy Tale Like No Other - Twelve

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Twelfth Chapter

Going Home

 

            One November Friday, Troy was lying down on the couch with his head resting on Diane’s lap. He got so exhausted with school works that he got one big headache when he came home. Diane was massaging his temples tenderly, and it felt good to Troy.

            “That is really nice…” Troy complimented with heartfelt gratitude, as his head felt like hammers were pounding on it.

            Diane chuckled. “Don’t push yourself too far,” she teased.

            “Maybe I will,” Troy teased back. “I like the feel of your hands on my head.”

            Diane continued to massage Troy’s head, and Troy was near to falling asleep, as he had already closed his eyes from the soothing sensation of Diane’s hands on his temples. And then, something occurred to him belatedly.

            “Diane?” Troy called.

            “Yes?” Diane answered.

            “Do you know the annual Christmas ball held here?”

            “Yes, why?”

            “Well… I was wondering if… you want to go to the ball with me…”

            Diane stopped massaging abruptly. Troy knew it was a bad sign at once.

            “What’s wrong?” He asked with concern.

            Diane sighed heavily.

            “I don’t like hiding anything from you, so I would just say it,” Diane replied gravely. “I already had plans on going home a week earlier before the Christmas ball.”

            Troy’s face fell at once, and it was making everything else hard for Diane.

            “Why are you coming home all of a sudden?” Troy asked, not allowing his hopes to be tarnished.

            “I miss home,” Diane said with longing. “In high school, I also went to a boarding school, and I always go home for Christmas, as I rarely see my parents in the entire school year. And that won’t change this time.”

            Troy was dead silent for a moment, his eyebrows knotting as if in deep thought.

            “When are you leaving?” He asked suddenly.

            “Three weeks from now,” Diane informed him, and as hard as she tried to hide it, the tone of loneliness from separation colored her reply.

            A hint of a smile played around Troy’s lips.

            “Don’t be sad,” Troy said softly as he reached up and touched Diane’s cheek. “You’ll just be gone for a few weeks and… we’ll be together again…” Troy’s own loneliness was making his voice crack.

            “I already miss you,” Diane whispered wistfully.

            “Miss you more…” Troy whispered back so tenderly it would break any lady’s heart.

            A single tear dropped from Diane’s left eye.

            “Damn it,” Diane said with an attempt at bravado. “Why am I crying like this? It’s so humiliating.”

            “Maybe it’s because… you love me?” Troy asked so bravely that Diane went wide eyed for an instant.

            “And if I did?” She asked.

            “Then I guess we both love each other so much,” Troy said tenderly. “So much, in fact, that it makes you and me so sad just to be separated for any length of time…”

            “Then… I love you…” Diane said softly, feeling the intense emotion of every word of it.

            Troy smiled. “I love you too…” he said in a voice whose tone mirrored Diane’s own.

            As the Christmas ball drew near, the entire campus is abuzz with excitement.

            It was a festive event indeed. The ball is set on Christmas Eve, and all professors and students are given invitations for its attendance. Also, it was attended by the benefactors of the school, the king and queen of Verdona, to join in the celebrations and thank the students who support the school’s vision.

            It was always hosted with a theme, and that year’s theme was a night of fairy tales. All students were so excited when it was announced, as it was opted to be a costume party type of ball.

            Kate and Nathan already had their own costumes set to be made. They were going to be Aladdin and Princess Jasmine.

            “It’s so bad you are not going to the ball,” Kate was literally frowning when she was saying this to Diane when she learned that she was going home. “You’re going to miss all the fun.”

            “Yeah, and you’ll miss the opportunity to meet Troy’s parents,” Nathan had said with a wicked wink that sent Diane in an outright flush.

            Yes, Diane really wanted to meet Troy’s parents. She was so mystified as how they are really like, as she only had pictured them based on Troy’s stories about them. She just sighed heavily whenever she thought of it.

            “Don’t worry about it,” Troy reassured her again and again. “You can meet them some other time. Maybe in summer break,” he had said brightly, looking euphoric when he thought of it.”

            It was only then that she was sane enough to have the courage to wait in the station with Troy. He has insisted on taking her there and waiting with her for her train.

            “Do you have everything you need?” Troy asked when they got there.

            “Yes,” she replied.

            “Well, then… I guess this is goodbye for now…” Troy was again sounding so sad it nearly made Diane go back to school. Nearly.

            Diane reached out to touch Troy’s face. Troy took her hand gently and turned to kiss it and inhale the sweet, rosy scent that has always been how Diane smells to him.

            The screeching sound of a train stopping said that their time for now was up.

            “Goodbye,” Diane said wistfully as she turned and stepped onto the train.

            “I’ll really miss you,” Troy said in the same tone. It was making Diane cry hard as the train moved and took her father and farther away from her one and only love.

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