Temptation to Leave

Day #17: A character is sitting on a rooftop with an animal. This character must speak to the animal. What the animal does in return moves the character to make a decision.

The snow had begun to subside. Greg pushed his fingers through the thinning blanket of snow to press them into the soil. The pads of his fingers tapped into the soil, feeling it’s softness against him. He was surprised that the moisture hadn’t frozen over. It had been a few weeks since he first met Emilia. He noticed a lot about her; the way her loose curls would frame her face. Even when in a bun, little spirals would hang loosely around her face. He noticed the way she’d hum anytime she did housework; a sweet tune that would make it feel easier to push through his own chores. He noticed how none of her clothes truly matched, yet looked perfect on her. He shook his head and pulled back his ungloved hand from the snow. He stood up and breathed into his hand before shoving it into his pocket. He pushed open the back door, turning to lock it before removing his boots. He could hear Emilia humming again. It was then that he noticed the smell of food wafting throughout the house. He removed his other glove and put it into his coat pocket. He hung it up on the coat rack near the kitchen. He leaned against the door frame while she pulled a meatloaf out of the oven.

“That looks good,” he said. She looked up with a bright smile.

“I promise it taste even better,” she said. He felt an uncomfortable feeling in his stomach. There were twists and knots he felt every time she beamed at him.

“I appreciate that… all of this,” he muttered out. Emilia looked over at him, her smile slightly smaller.

“It’s just a meatloaf,” she said with a nervous giggle.

“It’s been nice here, nicer than anyone I’ve lived before,” he continued. She slowly took off her oven mitt and set it beside the pan with the meatloaf.

“You’re kind of freaking me out,” she said carefully.

“I should,” he said. He crossed his arms over his chest. “Having me here is dangerous. You very well should be freaked out.” Emilia looked up at him. He glanced at the curls that reached her collar bone. She fiddled with the ends as she looked up at him. He looked away from her with a sigh.

“I just… don’t want to inconvenience you,” he said. She shook her head.

“You’d never be an inconvenience. Not to me,” she said. The quiver in her voice left him tempted with the thought of wrapping his arms around her, doing anything to make her feel less pain. He pursed his lips together. No, this wasn’t the first time he had felt tempted with hugging her, holding her hand or sitting close by to her, just watching the snow fall. He swallowed heavily and looked down at her.

“I-“he cut himself off when he heard a knock at the door. It was less of a knock, and more of someone banging their fist. She looked over at him. She pointed at the hallway.

“Take the stairs to the attic to get to the roof,” she whispered. He nodded and ran to grab his coat and boots. Tugging all of the clothing on, he rushed to get up the stairs and into the attic. By the time he pulled the retractable staircase up and close it shut, he could hear Emilia open the door. He quietly tip toed to the little latch that opened up to the roof. He sat down on one of the flat surfaces. A small bird flew down beside him. He looked over at it, its little gray wings were covered in snow, which matched the color of its feathers on its puffed out chest. He smiled at it. Greg brought his hand down, extending his index finger. The bird didn’t flinch away. He was surprised when it toddled to perch on his finger. He brought it close to him, cupping his hand around it.

“Hey, there little bird,” he said. The bird flapped its wings causing snow to plop down onto his hand. He smiled sadly at it.

“I’m in quite the dilemma,” he said. He rubbed the bird’s wing.

“Emilia, she’s so kind… I don’t want to cause her any trouble. But even now, she’s going through something just because I’m with her,” he said. He worried at his bottom lip with a grimace. “I like it here but…” he trailed off. He looked down at the bird but stayed quiet. After a brief moment the bird shook the rest of the snow off of it wings and flew off of his finger. He looked down at his empty hand. He closed his eyes and stood up. He looked over his shoulder at the house.

“I’m sorry… Emilia,” he said quietly. He looked around at edge of the house. There were a few vines that clung in thick groups onto the wall of the house. He leaned down carefully to tug at the first group of vines. When he realized that it was secure, he swung his leg over the ledge. He carefully crawled down the wall. He looked up when he heard Emilia’s voice. He close his eyes tightly. He let out a breath and jumped down from the rest of the way. He ran without stopping. He could hear Emilia call out to him, but he pushed himself to run even faster. He could feel a heaviness in his eyes, but he bit down on his lip and continued to run.

This one’s a bit longer than my usual posts. I hope you guys liked this! Again, this is a continuation from the other short stories.

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