This story was written for Pensitivity 101’s Three Things Challenge #335
Today’s threes Prompt’s are: Plum, Gold, Rich
This story also includes The Word of the Day Challenge:
India Moyer, the daughter of Henry Moyer the owner of the Moyer Plum Orchard, was weeks away from her eighteenth birthday. She enjoyed life in the six-bedroom colonial plantation house, she lived in. Surrounded by the orchards it was a pretty, relaxed and natural place to live. The downside was having to listen to all her school friends and now collage mates telling her of all the wonderful times they had in the city nightclubs. The Orchard was fifteen miles from the nightlife, India knew she could never get home if she went out and so she hardly ever did.
Today she was sat on her bed in the big house. She was alone with her parents away making new contracts for selling their plums. With her phone in hand, she was laughing at her friend’s selfies. She took on of herself, capturing a ray of light through the window across her smooth sun-kissed features. It sparkled in her hazel eyes as she hit send and flinched at the doorbell ringing.
Standing, she pulled on a dressing gown having not bothered to dress so far today. She left her room, traversed the walnut panelled hallway and descended the wide staircase. Her bare feet made almost nose noise as she skipped beneath the large deer antler chandelier. She stretched out a hand to answer the door and froze. A note lay on the mat.
India peered through the glass — nobody awaited her. She scooped up the note and unfurled it
Please come and find me beneath the tree, India
Let me wine and dine you, my sweet, pretty maiden
Under the canopy, I wish to kiss your soft hand
Make my day and come to the Quercus dear lady
India grinned at the note. “I would meet you if I knew who you were and where you are. Hiding the word ‘plum’ is no clue. We have a hundred and fifty acres of plums out there.”
Intrigued, she returned to her bedroom and pulled on a pretty cream pinafore dress. A butterfly barrette dressed her ponytail and a pair of pump shoes to protect her toes.
As she left the house, India nodded to herself. She knew who this was, he too was hiding in the note. It had to be him; he was the most cryptic person she’d ever met. “I know what a Quercus is. You must be over there.”
India gazed around the yard. It was surrounded by coniferous hedges. The wide path through it was the main driveway leading to the storage barns, jam-making facility and eventually the road. The eight smaller paths each led into different sectors of the plum orchard. Only one of those sectors interested India; that being the southwestern one.
Heading along the sun-dappled path, she smiled at the rabbits playing beneath the purple fruit-laden plum trees. Above them just ahead was an ancient and enormous English Oak tree; a Quercus to give its Latin name.
“You have to be there.” India drew a deep breath as she left the path and wandered through the lines. A gentle breeze blowing her mousy fringe.
Coming under the gnarled branches of the oak, she noticed the corner of a red gingham picnic blanket visible on the far side. She allowed her fingers to graze the bark of the trunk. India had fond memories climbing this tree, spending hours sitting in it as she grew up.
The blanket was complete with a basket, two glasses and a bottle of wine. Yet nobody seemed to be around.
“Andy?” India called with a cute smile on her face, “You can come down now.”
“Good afternoon my darling, Indy. You weren’t supposed to see me.”
India gazed into the canopy to see a boy of her age perched upon a stocky branch, supporting himself with an arm around the trunk. Dressed in smart jeans and a white buttoned shirt, he was handsome. He had a relaxed expression on his dimpled features and sat munching on a plum. “I’ll have to charge you fifty pence for that plum, you know,” she told him.
“Well, then I better work hard to repay you.” He slipped from the branch and landed gently in front of her. Straightening he took and kissed her hand.
India blushed. “Why are you out here and doing this?” she asked.
“Do you remember telling me that you sometimes wished you lived in the city as nothing happens here?”
India nodded, bashful beneath his adoring gaze. He’d said that when he came to visit on a homeworking excursion a couple weekend’s ago.
“Well, I decided to do something to prove special things can happen here.” He led her to the blanket and invited her to sit.
India did, she tucked her dress over her knees and reclined on the blanket. “You chose a beautiful day to dine alfresco, anyway.”
“Only the best for you.” Andy poured glasses of the red wine. “Non-alcoholic but delicious for you, milady,” he said handing her a glass.
“Cheers.” India chinked her glass and took a sip. As she lowed her glass, he came in for a kiss. She smoothed her hand over his cheek as their lips met. India felt her breathing quicken; she’d never thought about loving Andy. Now, as she became absorbed in the passionate embrace, she realised she had deep feelings for him.
“Mmm, that was magic.” Andy grinned as he parted the kiss and delved into his basket. He produced deli-style ham salad sandwiches on deliciously seeded rye bread. “Your favourite, Indy.”
“Thank you. I didn’t know you had more in mind with me than just friendship.” India took a bite and settled her gaze on him.
Andy blushed a little. “You know, many people favour money, diamonds, gold to make them rich and happy. They—”
“You know my daddy is rich right?” India cut him off.
“I don’t care about that. I realised, I found what would make me rich and happy. I found it on those odd occasions when its been just you and I studying or hanging out at the cinema during the matinee. I found the important wealth for life in you. Your energy, your pretty smile.” Andy kissed her again. “The way you laugh so cutely. The way you’re always so kind, caring and your way of supporting me when I need a friend. Those things are what leave me feeling rich and happy.”
“You’re so sweet, Andy.” India smoothed her fringe aside and took a bite of sandwich.
“I don’t want a vault full of gold. You are my gold and so long as you’ll allow me to be with you, I’ll always be rich.”
India said nothing, just smiled, tantalising him as she ate her sandwich. When she was done, she led him to his feet and hugged him close. She began to dance with him in the beautiful green light beneath the grand oak.
“Does this mean, I can be with you?” he asked.
“It means … that … I’m enamoured by you gifting me a picnic and …”
India giggled. “Did you see the hearts flying when we kissed. So, long as I get more kisses like that — I’ll let you stay.”
Have a great day!