Ava cleared her plate once more, glancing over to Oscar who still hadn’t touched the remaining half of his dinner and sat there staring vacantly at the table.
“Oscar are you alright? You look a little bit peaky.”
“I’m fine. I’m feeling quite tired, that’s all.”
“Hmm that’s come on very suddenly. Are you sure everything is okay, you’re not coming down with something are you?”
“I’m not sure how I feel.”
“You look troubled. Please tell me what that matter is.” Ava outstretched her hand across the table, stroking his arm. Oscar took her hand, smiling feebly.
“There’s nothing in particular. I just feel odd, it’s hard to explain. I’m not un well.”
“Is your Mum okay? You don’t talk about her much.”
“She’s fine, same old.” Oscar gazed up, glancing at Ava’s bare neck, taken aback.
“Ava why aren’t you wearing your necklace? I don’t think I’ve seen you go a day without it!”
“I couldn’t find it this morning.”
Oscar jumped to his feet. “What! Why didn’t you tell me?”
“ I’ve probably just put it down somewhere.”
“It was definitely on your necklace stand, where you always put it.” There was no denying the anxiety in Oscar’s voice.
“Oscar sit back down. We’ll find it! It belongs to me after all, I was probably just being clumsy!”
“You’re not a careless person Ava! Things don’t just magically go missing, not unless they’re moved by someone.”
“Okay! Now you’re scaring me! You’re implying that Sebastian has been here again?”
Oscar swallowed. “I wouldn’t put it past him.”
“Oscar, I think you’re being paranoid.”
“You haven’t suffered the wrath of his fists, twice! I’m bound to be slightly scared. I’m worried about you and our unborn child! It was clearly him who was moving the planchette the whole time as part of his sick and twisted little game plan. He’s not finished yet! I feel like I need to go for a walk and clear my head, but I don’t want to leave you here alone! ”
“I’ll come with you. We needn’t talk.”
Oscar nodded “Alright.”
The pair stood hesitantly in the small hall way. Oscar glanced up from fastening his coat with his large expressive eyes, which were glistening with tears. Ava felt over run by guilt.
“Oscar I’m sorry, I’ve been really sharp with my words, I didn’t mean to upset you.”
“No no, it’s not you. I’m just having quite a strange day, I feel like I’m losing control of my emotions. I can’t quite explain it. No matter, the fresh air will do us both good.”
Ava and Oscar stepped outside into the icy air, laying eyes upon the beautiful orange haze which had gently etched itself across the sky, highlighting the high treetops like burning beacons.
“My that’s so beautiful! Not something you get to witness every day. The sky looks like it’s on fire!” Ava exclaimed.
Oscar squeezed her hand. “I’m glad I’m here to share the moment with you and I’m sorry for the way I behaved earlier.”
“Why are you apologising? You haven’t said or done anything to upset me, you were only telling the truth.”
“I love this walk”
“Me too Ava, shall we sit down? I don’t want you to get too tired, it’s getting later now!”
“Oscar I’m fine it’s only 8.30pm, but yes I think we should sit down for a little while to admire this glorious sun set.” Oscar gently took Ava’s hand, leading her to the lichen-covered, rough wood bench. A secret smile creased over Oscar’s lips as he ran his thumb along the smooth, velvety edge of the small box which sat comfortably in the corner of his jacket pocket.
To be continued….