"Henry?", Liam called out, stepping out of the embrace of Sara's hands and towards the trees where their son was playing. "Henry! Come here to me, boy!"

Sara watched as Liam hurried over to Henry, who toddled uncertainly towards his father. The child's face was hesitant at first, understandably since it had been over three weeks since he had last laid eyes on his father, but they quickly warmed when Liam produced a shiny, tin train from his jacket pocket. Henry took the toy, his face breaking into a wide grin, and promptly sat down and began drawing the train through the dirt. 

"I've begun a new sketch, darling, a landscape". Sara made her way over to her men, her voice bright, somewhat hiding the irritation she felt at being displaced. "Would you come and take a look? You know I can't complete anything properly if you don't tell me your thoughts."

Liam nodded, distracted, already looking out in the direction of the barn. "I'm going to find Havers and make sure that the horse is put away properly. I think a shoe was coming loose. And then I'll have to make my way into town to speak to that idiot at the bank about some ridiculous interest rates."

"Already?" Sara's voice dropped, her head following suit. "But you've just returned! Surely that can all wait until tomorrow."

Liam walked to her, taking her hands in his, and placing a bushy kiss on her forehead. 

"It takes money to keep you in such fine things", he whispered, touching the lace trim of her sleeve. "And for me to bring you trinkets such as these."

He slipped his hand into his pocket and brought out his hand slowly, the fist clenched. He took Sara's hand, and gently let spill a long silver chain with a heart pendant into her palm. The necklace shone and Sara ran her fingertip of the ruby inlay on the heart. 

"Oh Liam", she said, her eyes shining as she took in her gift. "I love it."

"I'm pleased that you like it", Liam responded. He kissed her cheek once more, and turned on his heel, making his way to the barn. 

Sara watched him go, her heart full. 

*  *  *

Sara sat on her porch, a blanket over her knees, her journal in her hand. She had been sketching one of the apple trees, the fruit laden branches now heavy and mature. The pickers would begin their work in the morning, and Sara meant to take advantage of this particular subject while it was still available to her. 

Henry was fussing on the boards next to her, grabbing at her hands and at her journal. Sara lifted her sketch out of his reach, twisting so as to face away from him. 

"Nanny?", she called, impatient. "Nanny, Henry is hungry. He needs to be taken away for his dinner."

Henry sat, his large, wet eyes blinking up at her while she peered away, trying to master the curve of the apple tree.

*  *  *

Sara sat at her vanity, brushing out her long brown hair, gazing dreamily at her reflection in the mirror. She let her gaze become hazy and unfocused and allowed herself to become lost in the repetitive motion of her hands. The flame on the candle at her elbow danced and twitched, sending flying shadows and somber shapes cascading down the walls. They collected on the ceiling and by the baseboards, flowing like a river to collect en masse in the secret dark behind the open bedroom door. 

The stillness in her room was interrupted by Liam's sudden arrival, and the angry tread of his boots on the wooden floors. Sara continued to brush out her hair, entirely aware of the image she created as she sat, light by candle, dressed in her white nightgown, the copper of her hair tumbling over her shoulders. She didn't turn to look at her husband, choosing instead to watch him in the glass as he made his way to their bed, pulling off his boots and tossing them away. 

The Things That Sara SawWhere stories live. Discover now