The story revolves around a girl named Arabella. It is set in Victorian times and one day as Arabella does her routine visit to the river...something is different. There is a ...man there. Called H...
I force my eyes open and can hear the quiescent murmurs of my mothers voice downstairs.
Ada is here. I get up out of bed and walk sluggishly down the stairs.
"Hello, Bell!", Ada says cheerfully as I enter the kitchen.
Mother just stares at me. "It's one in the afternoon, Arabella."
"You were supposed to be up at ten!", she snarls.
"I'm sorry, Ma'am."
She moves her eyes away from me and back to Ada.
Ada gives me a sympathetic look.
"Where're you going now, Bell?", Ada asks.
"I'm just going down to the river."
Mother snorts to herself.
"You're always down there..you keep going, you'll get attacked..."
Mother hated it when you got up late.
Whether it was 5 minutes or 5 hours; she wouldn't speak to you for the rest of the day.
I say goodbye to Ada and tell mother I'll see her later.
I leave the kitchen and go upstairs to get ready.
I leave the house and set off on my journey to the river.
It was drizzling and there was an eerie mist in the air.
My hair felt like straw, though, and I was looking forward to my routine swim.
Mother hated me going into the woods. She said it was dangerous and I could come across anyone. She never tried to stop me from going, though.
I like it in the woods. It's peaceful and calm. It's far from frightening and even on rainy days, like today, the sun always manages to leisure it's way in.
When I arrive, I walk slowly toward the river, but as I get closer; I can make out the silhouette of a person.
The silhouette of man. There was never anyone else at the river and this'll probably be the first time I have and will ever encounter anyone, willing to come this far into the woods. I come close and can make out the mans face. He was young. Maybe sixteen.
I don't recognize him.
He smiles at me, though.
"Hi", he says.
I flinch. I wasn't expecting him to say anything.
I start to get scared and my throat goes dry.
I don't reply.
I set down my jacket and pull my hair to one side. I dip it into the water and hold the young mans gaze as I do.
"It's lovely here.", he says.
"I haven't been out here since I was about six", he continues.
I sit up and droplets of cold water saturate my arm.
"Do you come here often?", he looks at me.
I exhale hard and shake my head.
I stare into his eyes and it's almost as if he can tell I'm lying.
He begins to walk over to me and I contemplate jumping in the river and swimming away.
But I don't. I don't move a muscle.
He sits down beside me.
I try to cry but don't feel any tears come out.
My jaw clenches but the young man doesn't say anything.
"Are you scared?", he asks.
My heart is beating so hard I assume this boy can hear it.
I don't do anything.
Suddenly; the boy starts stripping. I keep my sight focused on the ground but from the corners of my eyes I can see him take off his shirt; then his slacks; then his shoes; then his socks.
He then jumps into the water and it splashes all over my dress.
I jump up and actually start feeling relaxed.
"Bloody hell, watch it, yeah?", I shout.
He just laughs.
Without even thinking I begin to take off my dress and I jump into the river.
We both laugh together.
The water is freezing and I can feel it envelop my entire body.
"I'm Harrison", he says.