“Nothing can be more heart-breaking and yet as magical as love. That’s why our strongest emotion makes for the most enchanting of tales. Join me for this special love story.”
A Fateful Intervention
‘We regret to inform you, Flight Lieutenant Julian Forman is missing behind enemy lines and is presumed deceased. His Typhoon fighter jet vanished from radar a month ago. All efforts to find and recover him have failed. We are deeply sorry for your loss.’
Adaline had read the letter from the RAF every day since it arrived. She had been in love with Julian since high school. It wasn’t until the day he left for his touring the Air Force when he said, ‘I love you my cuddly Addy-Bear. When I return from my peacekeeping tour of Syria. I promise to settle down and start a special life with you.’ A fateful intervention had stolen his and her dream before it could begin.
The ink had become blotted and blurred upon the letter from all the tears Adaline had cried over Julian’s death. Although she went to work as a veterinary receptionist in the village every day, she felt hollow and empty without him. Most mornings she had to force herself out of bed. There was no happiness, no future to work toward, no reason to live without him. She simply survived every day because her parents and friends refused to let her give up.
One sunny afternoon, she made it home from work and found a mystery waiting for her. A note pinned to the door of her woodland cottage. With growing confusion, she took the expensive paper down and unfurled it.
‘Where a preponderance of water falls, I stand. A magical item lies behind tranquil flows. Come to me Adaline, my solution is only for you.’
Adaline played her smoky brown eyes over the mysterious words several times. She felt her heart palpitating with growing trepidation and the burning desire to know, “What item? Who are you? Why give me this bizarre message?”
Scanning the heavily wooded hillside around her home, Adaline fell into ponderance. She wasn’t a rich or special girl in any way, so no reason why anybody would trap her, right? This had to be her friends or family trying to help her smile again. Or was it? Only one way to find out.
Adaline abandoned her workbag on the doorstep, she decided her cream work dress and cardigan would do, but her clogs wouldn’t. She kicked them off in favour of her comfy, yet earthy hiking boots. They always resided by the front door to protect the carpets inside. Taking a deep calming breath, she freed her copper bun of hair and shook it out as she set off into the trees.
There was only one place, she knew, which had a preponderance of waterfalls. It was a magical place she’d found the little girl. A fairytale world within the trees. Whatever the secret was — it had to be there.
Adaline climbed through the woodland comprising mainly of oak, alder, cedar and ash trees for almost an hour. She enjoyed watching the red squirrels darting about. They seemed like impertinent little children as they threw acorns and chuntered away at each other. A flock of screeching jays left her chuckling, they really did sound like they were swearing at each other.
Soon the mossy fern carpeted ground became rockier and the trees thinned. The sound of cascading water reached her ears and brought a nervousness with it. Usually, this place was tranquil and relaxing, today danger could be waiting. Adaline steeled herself and crept through the last few trees. She chose a stunning pink rhododendron to hide and watch. Through its thick, waxy leaves, she gazed upon a magical pool. Its crystal-clear mineral-rich waters were a heavenly shade of aquamarine. The pool was hidden beneath a chocolate-brown rockface which curved around three sides. Ferns and mossy vines hung around the majestic deluge of no less than five twinkling waterfalls.
Here was a paradise fairies would happily inhabit. Adaline had often imagined them fluttering between the tranquil cascades. For the longest moment, she gazed out from the rhododendron scanning the pool for clues. One side of the bank gave way to a small grassy area. She witnessed a fallow deer doe give birth to the cutest fawn there once.
“Okay, whoever you are? Show yourself!” Adaline whispered. She could see nobody and nothing out of the ordinary around her pool. Yet there was something. The waterfalls had eroded the rockface, creating an alcove behind them. It was possible to walk back there without getting wet. Adaline found her gaze drawn to the alcove by an unnatural glow. “A lantern! There is somebody here.”
Coming out of hiding, Adaline perched on a rock to remove her boots and socks. She laid them with her cardigan and approached the pool. Allowing the soothing, cool water to flow around her ankles, Adaline paddled cautiously around to the rockface. She saw butterflies and dragonflies darting through the rainbow enchanted spray. The cutest water vole stood drinking peacefully nearby. She felt no dark presence here.
Stepping out of the water onto a rocky ledge, she felt herself trembling with anticipation. The burble of falling water was clamorous and yet calming as she passed behind the first of the waterfalls. There the old miners’ lantern sat innocently on the rock. Within its gentle light, something else glittered its invitation.
Adaline knelt at the rock and closed her fingers around a vintage gold ring adorned with a sparkling ruby heart. “Oh, you’re so pretty! Who left you here?” She wondered while realising she was quite alone in the alcove. Rising to her feet, Adaline played her fingers into the falling water. Through it, she saw a figure emerge from the trees and stop on the grassy bank.
The figure tapped his chest and pointed to her
“No! You can’t be here.” Adaline burst into tears as she watched him unbutton and removed his shirt. Casting it aside he walked into the water and opened his arms. By then her heart was thrumming like the wings of a hummingbird. She was trembling with bewilderment, ecstasy and a burning desire. Yet she had to be dreaming.
“Come to me my cuddly, Addy-Bear,” he beckoned.
Only one person ever called her that. Adaline couldn’t contain her euphoria as she pulled off her dress, took a step and dove through the waterfall. She plunged into the lucent pool, scaring a myriad of small fish which finned about the sandy bottom. With a few powerful strokes, she broke the surface close to him. “Julian?”
He nodded his handsome blonde head and gave a magnificent smile.
“But, they said you … Your plane … They couldn’t — I thought I’d lost —” Adaline stuttered to a stop as Julian threw his arms around her in the most magical embrace.
“They missed me, Addy-Bear. But not nearly as much as I missed you,”
She squealed in delight as he turned her in rhapsodical circles within the water. This for her was paradise on Earth. “I missed you too,” she managed before their lips met in the most passionate of kisses.
“Did you find what I left you by the lantern?” Julian asked a while later. Having left the pool they were lying in the grasses allowing the sun to dry them.
Adaline revealed a ring in her hand. “I did, it’s very beautiful.”
“No, you’re beautiful. That’s just a special ring. You see my grandfather gave that to my grandmother when they were to be married. Before she died, she gave it to me for when I found my soulmate…”
A tingling warmth spread through Adaline’s body as he locked his eyes on hers.
“Just before leaving to do my tour of duty, I found you. I promised to return home and settle down with you. Now, with this ring, I give you my love and hope you’ll marry me my darling, Addy-Bear?” Julian took the ring and held it for her.
Adaline flushed to scarlet with delight. She slipped a finger into the ring and beamed a smile brighter than the sun’s rays. The birth of a magical future was upon her. “I accept! You made my dream come true by coming home, Julian. Marrying you will make it even more magical.” Adaline rolled on top of him with a giggle. “Just know, this means I’m never letting you out of my sight again!”
Have a great day.