Sam

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My father wasn't joking, amongst the rubble of general pre-teen trash I had left behind I quickly recognised the clothes I had adorned in my past life. He gently placed my luggage in one corner of the room, pulled back the curtains and allowed the country light to seep into every angle in the room. He preceded to nod and then leave.

I started unpacking and cleaning up and once I had finished and changed into my old clothes, the only top and jeans that managed to still fit, I went back downstairs.

My mother was in the 'shabby chic' kitchen, banging pots and whispering to herself as she sped around, she stopped in her tracks when she saw me.

'I thought I'd make something special, since it's your first night back and all' she beamed.

'Okay, thanks' she smiled again and turned her back on me and my mind shifted to the outdoors where I could hear little Emmy squealing and giggling.

'She's an angel isn't she' my mother said. I nodded politely. 'It might take some adjusting between you two, I mean you haven't met her before but when I was your age I always wanted a little sister to dress up and play with'. She looked me dead in the eyes as if she was pleading for me to agree with her. I smiled and nodded again.

As soon as I opened the back door a soft breeze went through my hair, swallowing me back into the life I had been dragged away from. Calm animal noises surrounded me, carried by the wind and no doubt, contributed to the smell in the environment.

In the distance I could just make out the barn door swinging open and shut so I made my way, past patches of vegetables to the giant wooden structure where as I got closer found my father, and a whole load of disturbed chickens.

'Hey' my dad said as he got up from his crouched position and faced me. The problem was immediately visible, cracked eggshells, yolk and scattered bird feathers adorned the floor.

'Foxes?' I asked

'Either that or giant rats' my dad chuckled but immediately after I heard a scuttle on the top half of the barn and shuddered. 'These birds are pretty riled up but I'll get Sam in here and we'll tidy this up. Check around for any holes and droppings as well. Do you wanna help?'

I took one look at the floor and shook my head, my dad laughed again, his usual loud roar and told me to get Sam who was conveniently on the other side of the farm. As I made my way out I took in the golden rays which beamed off the sunset, perfect pinky purple clouds now hanging mysteriously above me. They illuminated the quaint farm, streams of light peeking thorough the tallest strands of wheat and grazing over the smallest onion stems. We didn't have much but we had a little bit of everything.

I found Sam and Emmy by what my dad described as the jewels of our farm, our two cows, Leah and Lisa. All heads turned towards me when I approached. Emmy was running in circles around Sam, our farm hand. Our fathers were best friends and when his father passed away he came to work for us and lived in a small shed not far from the barn. Now being the man of the house at the tender age of seventeen he sent half his wages home to his dressmaker mother and his little brothers and sisters.

I hadn't seen him since I left for the academy, which was four years ago and of course I was very surprised when he looked up from a dizzy Emmy, a small smirk on his shapely jaw. One eyebrow raised in intrigue while the other stayed calm adding to the relaxed energy he had with his hands in his loose jean pockets. 'Wow'. He said quietly.

'Hey Sam'

'Ruby? When did you get back home?'

'This afternoon. I've been busy unpacking.'

'Too busy to come say hi?' He pulled a face as if he was upset and I smiled slightly. Emmy had stopped running and was now hiding half her body behind his legs, clutching on to his jeans.

'Sorry. My dad wants you in the barn, he thinks a fox got in and..'

'It wasn't a fox. It was some stupid kids, but I'll catch them tonight'

I laughed again. 'Okay, be careful then'

'Im not afraid' not being a man of long conversations he carefully took Emmy's hands off his jeans and started to make his way to the barn. I stood with Emmy and watched him walk off, looking in another direction when he momentarily took a look back. Sam was an attractive boy, one year older than me and we had known each other since childhood but my parents would never allow a relationship like that between us. Something had started to bud before I left but I was taken away before I could get closure, or clarity.

I was positive they were going to keep me locked up inside the house until everything blew over. It had been four years but they looked at me differently, like I was a stranger strolling around the house and I and no idea how to show I had change. That I was better.

Emmy made a dash after Sam but I caught her hand before she went anywhere, I wasn't going to allow this child take away my whole life. I had come back and I knew I had to prove to her and everyone else, I had come back for good.

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