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"Come on Tom, you canít stay in every night!" Tom was thinking very hard as to whether or not he should go out tonight. He didnít normally like going out, he was more the staying in type. But Ed, his friend of 2 weeks, was trying to persuade him that he should come out tonight. "You should meet some of the other people on our course."
Tom thought a bit more. If he was going to do this Uni course for the next three years, it made sense to find out who else would be doing it with him. "Alright," he said, "Iíll go, just this once!"
Their department had organised a social, a pub crawl around town, so that the new first years could get a chance to know each other, and settle down to Uni life. Tom was having a little bit of difficulty getting used to Uni, the change was big shock to his system. But Ed, who was on the same course as him and lived in the same Halls of Residence, seemed determined to help get Tom into the spirit of things.
At the first pub they went to, Ed immediately started chatting to some girls on their course. Tom, who was always shy around girls, was a little bit surprised as to how easily Ed seemed to be able to talk to them.
But then, Ed went off to the bar to buy them some drinks, and Tom was left alone with them. Not being able to think of anything else to say, he said, "So, how are you finding things here?"
"Not too bad," said one of them, "Although itís going to take some getting used to, everythingís come as a bit of shock to the system!"
"Yeah, I know what you mean!" So, Tom wasnít alone in trying to adjust to things. Maybe things werenít going to be too bad after all.
He soon found out that the name of this girl he was talking to was Sarah, and he thought she was really pretty. Normally, he wouldnít be able to say anything to pretty girls, he would always get tongued tied and make a fool of himself. But with Sarah it was different, he somehow felt comfortable talking to her.
He and Ed ended up staying with these girls for the remainder of the pub crawl, and Tom even danced with Sarah at the last bar they went to (even though heíd hardly ever danced before in his life). But after that they went home to their separate Halls of Residences.
Tom was really happy as he went to bed that night, the night out had gone a lot better than he had been expecting. Sarah seemed like a really nice girl.
And, as he slept that night, the dreams started...
* * * *
He was settling into his new house in the town of Dreamville, a small, quiet town by the coast. The house was lovely, and overlooked the sea, where the sun set in the evenings. Sitting outside in the garden in the summer evening sunshine, all he could hear were a few birds in the trees, and the sounds of waves crashing on the beach. Everything was so calm and peaceful here.
He could hear his doorbell ringing. That seemed odd, who would be visiting him here?
As he opened the door, he saw a beautiful girl standing outside. She introduced herself as Sarah, and she had recently moved into the house next door to his.
He invited her in and offered her a drink, and then they both went out to the garden, where they chatted for what seemed like hours. About what, he couldnít remember. All he could remember was that they had got on well. But what stayed with him the most was the image of her smiling face being lit by golden sunlight as the sun prepared to bring the day to a close.
* * * *
Later that week, Tom and Ed had their first seminar together, and it turned out that Sarah was in the same group as them. Tom chatted to her before the seminar started, not about anything in particular, but he was glad that he was able to say anything to her at all. They seemed to be getting on really well, she seemed interested in what he was saying, and he liked listening to her.
During the seminar they were split into two groups, and each group had to prepare a brief presentation for their next class. And this meant that they had to meet outside of the class. Sarah was in the same group as Tom, as was Ed. Tom was pleased when he heard this, as it meant he would be able to see Sarah again.
Somehow, he couldnít quite explain how or why, but somehow he was starting to fall for Sarah.
* * * *
Dreamville didnít have that many shops, but that was because there werenít that many people in the town to buy things from them.
As Tom left his house to go and buy a few essentials, Sarah was walking pass. "Hi!" she said, with a beautiful smile on her face.
"Doing anything exciting today?"
"No, not really. Just popping down to the shops to buy a few things."
"Me too. Mind if I join you?"
"Not at all!"
As they did their shopping, they spoke about how they were finding life in Dreamville, and for both of them it was going well. They both liked being in this out-of-the-way town, miles from anyone. And getting to know your neighbours seemed to be a lot easier than it was in the busy cities that they were used to.
As they headed back from the shops they walked pass the townís cinema. Sarah asked if he had any plans that night, and he didnít, so she suggested that they go to the cinema together. After all, what else was there to do in Dreamville, other than spending an evening with your neighbour?
* * * *
They had agreed to meet up in the library to discuss what they were going to say in their presentation. Sarah knew exactly what she was doing, and had seemed to have become their groups leader.
Tom was really impressed with her, he admired the way she was able to take charge of the situation and sort it all out. She was really smart, and knew what she was doing.
He didnít say much during the meeting, he just found himself agreeing with what Sarah was saying. But his mind kept wandering from the task in hand.
He liked her, and he wanted to say something to her. He didnít just want to say the sort of things that they usually seemed to talk about. He wanted to tell her that he liked her, he wanted to share with her how he felt. But he was too shy to do so. What if she didnít feel the same way? What implications would that have for their friendship?
* * * *
The cinema seemed quite busy that night, most of the town looked like it was there. He nearly got separated from Sarah as they crowded in, but he managed to stay with her.
They found some seats at the end of the back row. As they sat down, Sarah got out a scrapbook from her bag, and showed it to Tom. "Itís about all the things Iíve been doing since Iíve been in Dreamville," she told him.
During the adverts before the film Tom tried to read the scrapbook, but he had trouble doing so, he couldnít seem to see the words properly. He was aware of other people looking at him, probably thinking that he was a little odd in trying to look at a book whilst they were in the cinema. But he wasnít too bothered. They didnít matter, he was only thinking about Sarah.
She was looking so lovely tonight, smiling the beautiful smile that she always had. And somehow, even though he couldnít read it, her book had made him think of her as lovelier still.
Yes, she was wonderful, simply wonderful.
* * * *
Ed had popped round to Tomís room so that they could work on their bits for their presentation the following day.
"So," said Ed, "Are you looking forward to it?"
"Yeah, kinda. Not the presentation bit so much though..."
"Oh, what díyou mean?"
Tom felt OK to tell Ed how he felt about Sarah, perhaps Ed would be able to give him some advice. "OK, but donít tell anyone I said this. I... have a bit of a thing for Sarah..."
"Oh really," said Ed, in a really sarcastic manner, "You could never tell!"
Tom realised that other people must have noticed the way he looked at Sarah, and the way he spoke to her. "Is it that obvious?"
"OK, so what do I do about it?"
"You should just tell her how you feel, ask her out for a drink or something."
"Thatís easier said than done."
"Yeah, but think about it. The worse that could happen is that she says no."
"But if that happens what about our friendship? I donít want to mess that up. Iíd be happy to just be friends with her if she doesnít want anything more than that, and if she isnít interested and I ask her out it could mess that up."
"Maybe, but if you donít say anything then youíll never know. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, my friend."
Tom knew Ed had a point, but that wasnít going to make telling Sarah how he felt about her any easier.
* * * *
After the film they went for a walk along the beach. Nobody else was about, and the sun was low on the horizon.
She took hold of his hand, and that felt nice. Heíd never walked along hand in hand with a girl before.
They didnít say much to each other, they were just admiring the scenery.
They stopped walking, and looked out to sea, as the sun prepared to set.
"Itís so beautiful here," said Sarah, "Donít you think?"
"Yes, I never want to leave."
"What do you think is the most beautiful thing about this town?"
Tom looked deep into her eyes, and smiled. He didnít have to think about his answer. "You."
She returned the smile. Her head moved towards his, and their lips met as he put his arms around her. She was the most beautiful, loveliest thing about Dreamville.
* * * *
Tom got to the seminar with plenty of time to spare. Sarah was already there, but no one else was.
As they made their usual small talk he wanted to tell her how he felt about her so badly. He thought about Edís advice, but he just didnít have the courage to follow it.
Instead, he just said, "So, are you all set for the presentation?"
"Yeah it shouldnít be a problem. I havenít been up all night worrying about it or anything!"
"Iíve... had other things on my mind."
"Oh, like what?"
"OK, but youíre probably going to think that this is really strange. Promise not to laugh, OK?"
He promised, he could never laugh at her.
"Iíve, been having these dreams recently..."
"Dreams?" Tom thought about all of the dreams he had been having recently, and how happy they had made him feel.
Then Sarah took his hands in hers, and looked into his eyes. And then, with her beautiful smile, she said, "About you, and me, and this town called Dreamville..."
Copyright © Sophie Green, 2003
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