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Meet Me Under The Pear Tree

Leila hadn't seen her old flame since he left to live in Australia. Then by pure chance, one of her best friends from school bumped into him one day in Sydney.

By Graeme WaddellPublished 3 years ago 10 min read
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It was late afternoon the weather had been warming up. Leila was preparing her evening meal. Tomorrow will be the first day of summer. It’s time to pick the remainder of Springs fruits and vegetables, she thought. Then finish planting what’s needed for the Summer season. The orchard has supplied a bumper crop with all the winter rains that fell. As did the vegetables and other edible plants growing across the twenty-five garden beds. Plus the fact that Leila returned to the farm two years before her parent’s passed away in a tragic accident. She had turned the farm around from bankruptcy to producing high-quality foods that sell well. They would have been so pleased with her.

Vegetables had been peeled and placed next to a small roast in the oven, the timer was set for forty minutes. Leila decided to have a rest after a hard day on the farm, put on a CD and relax on the couch. The album she chose was The Very Best from the Australian band, INXS, with frontman Micheal Hutchence and set the volume, not too loud to be annoying and not too soft she would need to strain to hear clearly. The first song to play was, Need You Tonight. She closed her eyes and sank back on the couch.

Around ten minutes later, Leila’s phone rang and startled her. She reached over to the coffee table to answer the call. She didn’t know the number and answered it anyway. “Hello,” she said. “Hello”, said the voice. “Is that Leila”?

“Yes, it is”. Leila recognised the voice immediately, “are you, Elizabeth Somers”? She asked. “Hi, Leila, yes, it’s me”. Elizabeth replied. “Hang on a second”, Leila said, “I’ll turn the music down”. She grabbed the remote and turned down the volume.

“OMG Elizabeth, how are you?. You’re a blast from the past” Leila said. “Where in the world are you these days? “What have you been up to”? How did you get my number?” The last I heard you were going around China”.

”Whoa, slow down a bit, one question at a time, please”, said Elizabeth. “You haven’t changed a bit have you? You’re still firing off fifty questions without taking a breath of air”.

Laughing, Leila apologised and admitting to Elizabeth, that she’s the same kooky person she was back in their High School days.

“I’m in Bali now for two weeks, finalising some suppliers and wholesalers for my eCom store. Then, back to the States, finally”. Three months of travelling for work has had its toll on me, Leila. I’m looking forward to relaxing when I get back”.

Elizabeth went on to say, “You’ll never guess who I bumped into the other day, Leila. In Sydney Australia”. “Who”? Asked Leila. “Lucas Swupski”. Leila went silent. “Are you still there”? asked Elizabeth. “Yes, I’m still here”. “Oh good, I thought the call must have dropped out or something”. Elizabeth commented. “You just threw me with that name,” said Leila. “That’s a name I haven’t heard for a while”. “How is he”? Leila asked.

“He’s fine, I was on a train and saw him get on at a station. It was peak hour and the train was full, it took me a while to get to him. I had to almost push through the crowd. He said he’s doing well. He was with someone else, though. She was a bit taller than Lucas and I think she was older than him. I think they might be married, Leila, because when they were getting on the train he was holding her hand. Felicia, I think he said, was her name and she had a wedding ring on”. “He told me that he created this new App, ‘Swup’ and has done very well with it. He also created some type of micro drone or something. The strange thing was that he kept asking about you and it was like, that’s all he wanted to know”. “I hope you don’t mind, but I gave him your email address”. “I would have given him your number, but I didn’t have it. I got your number through Amy Armstrong, who got your number from Trish, who got your number through Susan, I think”. “And one more thing, OMG, he’s so hot, really hot! He’s looking good. It’s a shame that you both didn’t stay together. I know he had to move to Australia and you told him that you were okay about letting him go”.

“Are you there”? “You’ve gone quiet again”

“I’m here, Elizabeth. It’s just a bit to process”. “Married hey, well, I’m happy for him”. “I did tell him that distance was too hard for a relationship”. “I always knew he would find someone else and settle down before I did”.

The timer started buzzing. “What’s that”? Asked Elizabeth. “Oh, that’s my timer, I’ve got a roast in the oven and I think it’s ready. “Okay”, Elizabeth said, “I have to get going now myself”. “When I get back home, we’ll have to catch up”. “Yes, I’d love to catch up with you Elizabeth”. “Love ya, bye”. “Bye”.

During dinner, Leila thought of Lucas, the love of her life. The one she wanted to be with forever. She also knew that with him moving so far away that any type of relationship just wouldn’t work out well. As much as she regretted it, she was the one that ended things with Lucas. Even though she never really moved on, she knew it was the right thing to do at the time.

Checking her inbox, she noticed an unusual one. The sender’s email address was no-reply @ groupl.com. The subject line was. ‘Meet Me Under The Pear Tree At Noon’, but there wasn’t any text that she could see, just the subject line.

~

Sunday morning, “A new day, a new beginning” Leila said out loud. After slipping on her shoes, she was all dressed for Church. She sprinkled some fish food for her fish in the tank in the living room. Then grabbed her keys and handbag and closed the door behind her. Sunday was a bit of a ritual for Leila, her one day that she could leave the farm and be herself. Church at 10 AM, Coffee Express Cafe by 11:15 and a few hours in the library helping other farmers that live around her, with informal lectures on what she does with her farm and passing on her knowledge. Although today, something was about to change that.

Sitting at the Cafe with her good friends, Alice and Johnathon Taylor, Amy Smith, Logan Jackson and Sarah Winters. The Mayor who often attended her small lectures in the Library came over, “Leila, my dear, I have some bad news for you today”. Leila looked up at the Mayor and asked, “Okay, I give in, what is it”?

“We’ve had to cancel your Biowaste lecture in the Library today”. “Oh,” she asked, why?” The Mayor continued with, “It’s my biggest regret that it happened today, but there was nothing I could do to change things”. “The annual fumigating was moved up to today, it was supposed to be Wednesday. That was the day it was booked for, but for some reason, they had to do it today, so I’m very sorry”.

“Oh, that’s okay, looks like I get the afternoon off then”. Leila replied. “Yes,” he said. “I’m sorry that I couldn’t let you know about it earlier but I only found out an hour ago myself”. “Anyway, I must get going, Mavis has some things she needs to do. I’ll catch you on Thursday when I call around to see your new biowaste design”. “I’ll see you all later” and while he was looking at Leila’s friends appeared to wink at them. “See you later” and “bye Mayor” was heard. As he walked over to his wife to leave.

“Did you see that”! Leila exclaimed. “See what?” her friends said collectively. “Mayor Adams just winked at you all. “Hahaha”. Laughed Logan, “That’s his lazy eye, the one that half closes”. Then Amy asked, “haven’t you seen his eye doing that before, Leila”? “The way it half closes and flickers, for that little instant”.

“I have seen his eye doing that before, but this time, I’m sure it was a wink”. Leila said with some confusion.

“What are you doing for the rest of the day?” Alice, grinning, asked Leila. “What’s going on with you guys?” “Everyone is being a little strange today,” commented Leila. Her phone chimed with a new message. “Sorry guys”. “I’m waiting on an email about the pears I’m selling”. She tapped her phone a few times and said, “That’s strange, it just says Noon”. Sarah then asked, “Noon what, Leila?” “The email message I just got. Someone sent me an email yesterday that had something about, meet me under the pear tree at noon. Oh, and it’s from the same email address. That’s weird”, she said to them. “The only one that ever said that to me and me, to him, was”.

Stacey, the waitress, was standing by them and overheard what was being talked about and interrupted Leila. “I wouldn’t worry about it love, it’s probably someone pranking you. That seems to be all the rage these days. Can I get you all anything else”? “Just the check please, Stacey”. Alice said as Stacey walked off. “Today is such a good day, let Johnathon and I pay for everything”.

Leila asked, “are you sure”? “Yes, Leila,” Jonathan said. “When you sell your fruit, it’s your treat next Sunday”. Leila giggled and said, “You’re on”. She then turned her head and glanced out of the Cafe’s window near where they were sitting at their usual table and said. “Is that Mayor Adams talking to someone in that black SUV”? “It could be,” said Logan, “it’s probably a government official, they always get around in dark-tinted SUV’s”. “There is that meeting at the town hall tomorrow night, or did you forget?”. Leila saw Mayor Adams walk to his car as the other one drove away. Turning her head to look at Logan, she said. “No, as if, I’m one of the speakers, how could I forget that,” she said back, sounding a little short with him.

“Sorry Leila, I didn’t mean anything by that”. Logan said to her. “It’s alright Logan, I know you didn’t”. Then Amy said, while she was looking at her phone, “What time is it”? “Almost noon,” said Sarah. “Leila, didn’t you have to be somewhere at noon”? Asked Amy. Leila was looking out of the same window. “Leila”. Amy said from across the table.

“Oh, yes, I do. My Pear tree” She said. “Stacey is probably right though as she stood up to leave, saying her goodbyes.

In her pickup, as she turned the ignition, she thought about how strange everyone seemed to be today at the Cafe and put it down to the seasonal change.

~

Back home, she walked across to the old pear tree that was in the flower garden, next to her house. The swing still works well and she sat down to have a swing, facing the meadow full of flowers. A note dropped to the ground. She bent down and picked it up. It was in two parts, the handwritten part was just, There is a P.S. the other part was a printout of an email message. She opened the sheet of paper and saw a highlighted area with her face made up of lots of different characters with a message above. ‘I’ll never stop loving you!’ “that’s what Lucas always said”. She noticed the bottom of the page was folded over and unfolded it and saw the P.S. The whole town helped. Turn around Leila.

She stood up and swung around in anticipation. To her astonishment, he was there holding a ring and on one knee. She called out “Lucas. Yes,” then, letting her tears flow.

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About the Creator

Graeme Waddell

Graeme Waddell is an aspiring writer, actor, video editor, graphic designer, scriptwriter, and will be soon making his first short movie.

He has helped many on their journey of discovery with many facets of internet technology. Reach out.

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