“No,” a woman cried as she woke up. She looked around and saw that she was safe in her room. She stood up and saw that everything was in its place. The bed was in the middle of the room, and the tv was and the foot of the bed next to the wall. The woman's name was Autumn, and she had two children, a boy named Asher and a girl named Grace. The kids were staying with her mother, Ethel. Autumn could not sleep, so she drove out of town to an old house in the middle of the night. The house had been untouched for about a year. The sky was dark, and the rumple of the truck silenced the crickets chirping. As she pulled up to the old house, she got out and looked around. Most of it was the same. The garden was overgrown with weeds, and the dirt road was covered with grass. As she walked up to the rickety porch that overlooked the valley, a flashback caused her to fall. She saw a grassy meadow that overlooked the valley. It had a warm golden glow to it, and then a child around the age of four ran through the grass well. A kind man's voice laughed in the background. When she came back to her senses, she was on the ground, covered in dirt. She got up and ran to her truck, starting it and driving back down the dusty dirt road to town. She pulled up to her house, ran in the door, and locked it on her way in. She ran to her room and shut the door. Sitting on her bed, she began to cry, remembering her past. So cried herself to sleep that night. The following day, Autumn woke up and walked to the kitchen. On the wall by the fridge was the phone. She called her mother and asked her to keep the kids for a couple more days. She left the house to go back to the old house. As she drove up the dirt road last night kept coming back to her head. Autumn wanted to turn back multiple times but kept going. When she pulled up to the pouch, she got out of the truck and pulled out an old fashion key that was dirty and rusted. As she walked up to the pouch, she jumped, hearing a noise. She looked around and saw a bird and started to breathe and relax. She turned the key in there, and the lock clicked; she pushed the squeaky door open and started to walk in. The floorboards squeaked as she walked into the house. The sun came through the windows and lit up the house with a warm, soft glow. The living room was to the right of the door, and the couches smelled of mold. The bedroom was just past the living room. The bedroom door was slightly moving in the breeze from the window. To the left was the dining room, and past that was the kitchen. Another flashback overcame her as she looked around the houses, and she fell to the floor. She heard laughter and saw a child running in the living room, and a tall, nice man came in and picked up the child. She looked up and saw that the face was blurry, and she could only make out a few minor details like his eyes were blue. Then everything went black. Shortly after, she woke up and looked around; nothing was moved. She got up and was shaking all over. Autumn took a few deep breaths and relaxed. She started to look around the house. When she walked into the kitchen, she noticed that one of the tiles had fallen out. Inside the hole was a small button. She hesitated at first but decided to press it. When she did, the ceiling over the dining room started to move and squeak. The ceiling opened up and the stairs started to lower down. The stairs were old and falling apart but some of them were sturdy enough to stand on. She slowly walked up the stairs slipping on a few steps but kept going. When she got up into the room it was small and dark. There was no window in the room. She found a light switch and it worked to the room lit up with a room glow. She could not believe what she was seeing. The only thing in the room was a small desk in the far corner but the wall next to it was covered in pictures. When she got close to the wall she notest that they were pictures of her and another man. On the desk was a photo and a letter addressed to autumn. She hesitantly opened the letter and read it to herself.
I love you very much but I have to leave. I have become aggressive when I drink. I know that this has hurt you. I will be leaving to try to get rid of my addiction. I will come back to you and the kids. I do not think that you will ever find this, but if you do just know that I did not want to leave you. I also did not want to hurt either. Love you and I will be back.
With tears in her eyes, she picked up their photo at their wedding. She ran out and started the truck, but she had passed out again before she could drive away . This time, there was no image but she could hear her and her old husband arguing in the background. And then it went black, when she woke up, she was slumped over the truck's wheel. After a couple of minutes, she slowly started the truck and drove down the dusty road back to town. When she got to her house, she started to pack her bag and looked at the photo again. The photo was of Autumn and Robert's wedding. They had the wedding at the place where they met. It was at a pond on the outskirts of the town about one hundred miles away from her home. She put her old bag in the truck and went back inside to call her mother to keep the children for another week. Ethel was not happy about this but she said that she could keep the children. Autumn drove off in the truck and the paved road. It took about two hours to get to the town and the sun was starting to set. She rented a hotel for the night. The building was beautiful and ornate. Once in her room, she could not sleep, wondering if he was here or if he meant a different town. Or maybe he forgot about her and was living with a different family. That night she got very little sleep but all she wanted to do was go to the pond. So she skipped breakfast and drove to the pond as fast as she could. When she got there the pond was the same as when she left the night of her wedding. The pond was full of fish and birds. The grass was green and beautiful. There was a small forest that blocked the sight of the road from the pond. The birds were flying around, and no one was at the pond that day. She waited for hours, but he did not show. She did not expect him to show he might not even be in this town. She decided that waiting at the pond was not a good idea so that she would ask around. She went back to her hotel room and sat on her bed. She was trying to think of what a guy with a drinking problem would do if he were trying to quit. As she was thinking about it, the grocery store popped in to head. She thought she would talk to him and then call the hotels and apartments to see if he was staying there. She drove down to the grocery store. It was not far; the streets were beautiful at that time of day. The shops were intercity decorated, and they had amazing window displays. The sun was starting to set, so the town had a soft orange glow through it. She pulled the truck off to the side of the road and walked into the grocery store. There were four selves, two on one side and another two on the other side. The counter was at the back of the store and there was a nice guy with a big smile at the counter. As she walked up to the counter the guy asked if she needed help with anything. Autumn asked about Robert and showed the guy the wedding photo and then said that his name was Richard and he used to be a wedding photographer. Autumn asked him what year he was a photographer, and he answered that he did not remember, but he did remember Robert. He said that Robert was a college friend and he wanted him to take Robert's wedding photos. Autumn asked with a hint of hope, “Have you seen him.” Richard said that he saw him here a lot about a year ago, then he disappeared. “I called all the hotels and apartments in the area, and he was not there,” Richard said with a sad tone. Autumn bought some groceries and thanked Richard before leaving. The sun had completely set when she left the store. It was a long trip back to the hotel that night. When Autumn woke up the next morning, she could not recall what happened after she left the store, but she would ask more people about Robert. When she left the hotel she saw a homeless man walking on the road and he waved but she did not think much about it. Noon came too fast for autumn, she had been asking all the people who had lived in that town for about a year. She got the same answer every time “yes about a year ago but then he disappeared”. She was mad and thrilled about the news. She had found where her husband went but she could not find where he had gone or if he stayed in the city. She decided to ask the people at the restaurant and get a bite to eat. She left her truck at the town square because it was not that far to walk. As she was walking up the road, a man in a nice black car stopped to ask for directions. She explained that she was just visiting and did not know where things were. That man left and she kept walking but something was not right about that man. When she got to the restaurant and sat down the people next to her were talking about someone that was coming back to town. When she asked them about it they said that it was a man that came here about a year ago and now he is coming back. Autumn asked the family when he was coming back and they said that he came in this morning. Autumn ran out of the restaurant and talked to different people and found out the man is staying at the same hotel that she is. She ran back to the town square to get her truck. When she gets there she drives as fast as she can to the hotel. She parked on the side of the road and ran in. She asked the front desk manager for the name of the person that came in that morning. The manager said that he could not do that but because she has been kind to him for the last couple of days and if she did not tell anyone then he could. Autumn was shaking as he looked up the name. The manager said, “Robert was the only person that came in this morning, he was in room 102,” and with that, Autumn ran up the stairs and stopped outside room 102. She was nervous because she hadn't seen him in years. When she built up the courage, she knocked on the door; she could hear scuffles inside, and footsteps coming towards the door. She was nervous and excited to see what she hoped to be her husband. A man with a soft, kind face answered the door. He was tall and wearing a suit. The man immediately recognized her. They hugged and cried for multiple minutes before he invited her to the end. They were talking about their lives apart. She told him about the kids and how they'd grown up. She asked him why he never came back; he replied that he had been gone for so long fixing his drinking problem that he was afraid that she would move on. So he left the town and got a job. He became very wealthy but still wanted to see Autumn. He said that just last week, he decided to come to visit, And he was going to stay in town before going out to see her. The next morning Robert and Autumn went back to their old house and lived happily ever after.