It was a beautiful day. Honestly, Amelia would’ve preferred being anywhere but here right now raking leaves. Her family could have decided to go to an amusement park or to go hiking, but instead here they were. She understood that the community clean up was important but it was dreadfully boring. At least afterward there would be a fun picnic and bonfire. All these leaves and any fallen or dead trees would be placed in a massive pile and burned.
The bonus of these being a community thing was that all of her friends were here. Amelia took a breath and focused back on her work as she pictured the bonfire tonight. There would be music and hopefully her crush, who also was her best friend, would finally see her as more than a friend. Their parents were neighbors and childhood friends so Amelia had grown up with Derek. Her older sister said that Derek liked her, but Derek had never told her so she couldn’t fully believe her sister.
A high pitched ‘Ching’ interrupted her thoughts and brought Amelia’s eyes to the ground at her feet. Through the remaining leaves that she had just raked through, she could see something glinting. With a small frown, she crouched down and reached for it. The coldness of the object helped her grasping fingers find it.
When she lifted it up off the ground Amelia couldn’t help the small gasp that left her lips. It was a small half circle with a moon engraved on it. Where the flat side would’ve been there was the cut out of a wolf instead with a section that shot off and lined the wolf’s ear. It was beautiful. Amelia knew there was great meaning to it and she felt a sudden determination to return it to whoever had lost it. Unfortunately, the only hint the necklace gave her was two letters ‘D & A’ engraved neatly under the moon.
She looked around her and frowned, not even the location gave her any hint. She wasn’t in front of a house, but she was in the community’s park. She had spent a lot of time here with Derek even when it was steadily getting colder she was here a lot. Everyone was though. The park was rarely empty, especially right now with the community clean up.
She frowned once more as she glanced down at the necklace. There were a number of couples she knew of whose names started with D & A. Luckily, they would pretty much all be at the bonfire tonight. Amelia nodded to herself before placing the necklace into her pocket, she would ask them all tonight and hopefully not ruin a surprise present for any of them.
No matter how hard she tried, Amelia couldn’t bring her mind off of the necklace in her pocket. Constantly running through the couples she knew. It always seemed so far from her and yet like she’d almost figured it out. No one that she knew of had a necklace that looked like it could complete the one she had found.
Amelia pulled the necklace back out again a few hours later, but instead of looking at the necklace itself, she found herself investigating the chain. It was clasped and unbroken, which made Amelia believe that whoever lost it, wasn’t wearing it. The necklace could’ve been inside someone’s pocket and either fell out when they were running or when they took something else out of the pocket. Either way, it had to have fallen out without the person noticing or else they would’ve picked it back up right there.
Chances are, the necklace was meant to be a gift and it hadn’t been given yet. The realization made her frown as Amelia put it back into her pocket and continued packing her final bag of leaves. Hopefully, who it was who had the other half still had it.
“Amelia, you done?!” Her mother called out from the parking lot. Amelia looked up at her mom as she finished tying the bag and gave her a thumbs up. Her mom smiled and before Amelia could grab the bag she found her feet leaving the ground.
A squeal flew from her lips as she was spun around before settling into a cradle carry. “Derek! How long have you been behind me?”
He grinned down at her as he replied, “Long enough to see you were done. I have missed seeing you all day.”
“Yeah right, because chopping trees is sooo boring,” Amelia said while rolling her eyes but couldn’t help the massive smile covering her face. Movement over his shoulder caught her eye. Her brother was grabbing the bag she’d just finished tying and when their eyes met he stuck out his tongue before taking off running toward the car. “Thanks Bro!” Amelia called after him.
Derek chuckled at that causing Amelia to bounce in his arms slightly. “True, we even got to use the chainsaw this year to split up a large tree. But it is awfully exhausting carrying those logs around and loading them into the trucks.”
Amelia couldn’t help the giggle at how his eyes lit up and just the thought of the chainsaw. “If you're so awfully tired from lifting logs, why are you carrying me to the car?”
“That's simple, I’m sure your legs are tired from raking leaves most of the day.” Derek quickly answered to which Amelia simply raised an eyebrow at him before he added on, “And I just wanted to hold you.”
That wasn’t exactly the answer she’d been expecting, not that she knew what she was expecting. Her face quickly flared red which caused him to laugh, which made it even worse so she hid. Of course, she was in his arms and he refused to let her go so the only place to hide ended up being his chest. That led to Amelia being able to smell him and his cologne, and she was pretty sure she took too big of a sniff. Her hiding caused him to laugh even more.
She could hear his footsteps change as they started hitting the pavement. Just before Amelia could pull her face away from Derek’s chest having finally cooled off, she heard her brother call out, “Awww, have the lover birds finally accepted their fate?”
The red on Amelia’s face flared back up but she pulled slightly away from Derek before throwing her gloves at her brother’s voice, “Shut up!”
Her brother, who was much closer then she had initially thought, caught the gloves while grinning mischievously at her. Her brother had overheard a conversation she’d had with her sister and was well aware of her crush. She had done a number of his chores just so he wouldn’t say anything to Derek, although recently he’d stopped blackmailing her as much. “Amelia, I didn’t know you were part tomato!”
His words had Amelia retreating right back to Derek's chest as they all started laughing. She quickly slapped Derek’s chest and said, “Shut up, it's not funny.”
Derek then spoke up, “You’re right. James stop laughing, it's not funny.” The laughter quieted down, but she could still hear her brother and her mom chuckling. Even her mom had joined in! Her hand hit Derek’s chest again causing him to ask, “What was that for? I told them to stop.”
“I can still feel you laughing,” Came her only reply. He placed her down in the car and pulled away grinning at her pouting and still red face. After that they all got in the car and luckily left me alone so by the end of the short drive to the bonfire clearing my face had once again cooled off.
Derek had to go help with finishing setting up the bonfire so Amelia walked by herself toward a gathering of people. Her fingers brushed the necklace as her eyes found the first couple she was going to ask.
Eventually, she found herself sitting in a singing circle close to the fire. Not one of the couples claimed the necklace, although some of them had given her a weird look when she showed it to them. Maybe the necklace belonged to someone outside of the community, but we didn’t have too many guests. It was a beautiful necklace, but maybe she’d never find who it belonged to.
Someone suddenly sat next to her, and she couldn’t stop the smile that spread across her face the second she saw Derek’s face. “There is something I wanted to tell you tonight. We’ve been friends for a long time, but recently my feelings for you have changed.” He started to reach for his pocket as he continued, “Amelia, I like you and I got you this…” His words faded out as he looked down at his hand suddenly worried.
In his hand was a necklace. In the firelight she could see the half circle shape with a howling wolf protruding from the side that would’ve been flat. Amelia’s eyes widened as they could make out the initials D & A on the bottom. “I don’t understand, I put it in my pocket this morning…” Derek said, but her hand was already reaching for her pocket.
The half circle of the necklace in his hand was the right side, while the one in my pocket was the left. She pulled it out and lifted her hand next to his and his rambling suddenly stopped. Amelia looked up to meet his shocked eyes. They stared at a while for a bit before he said, “You found it.”
Amelia nodded before asking, “I found it this morning, not long after you left for the woods. Is it for…” She didn’t want to straight out ask, there was still a slight fear it wasn’t true.
But he smiled and said, “Yes. Amelia, will you be my girlfriend?”
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