Twelve year-old Sarah was walking around in the bus that would lead them back to Athens, where she would grab a plane and go back to the USA. She was red-haired and bright for her age, she even looked somewhat grown-up. She had a small problem though, and that was that she had fallen in love.
But not the normal way of falling in love; she fell in love with a guy that was five years older – and she was twelve years old. His name was Arnold; he was blonde, tall; he had blue eyes and had a tanned face; he wasn't too popular amongst the girls, something Sarah didn't understand – she had fallen in love with him because of his patience. Even though she shouldn't, she did. They slept at the same hotel and they had done the same tour together, that was how she met him. They both lived in the USA, and even pretty close to each other, so that was a very fortunate coincidence.
Sarah was only twelve and at that age, one isn't really good in subtle things; neither was Sarah. This way, Arnold quickly figured out what Sarah felt for him.
Arnold himself was free; he didn't have a girlfriend, but he wasn't a paedophile and didn't fall for girls that were still on Elementary School. But he saw, he saw the beautiful woman Sarah was going to be when she was grown up. He decided to give her a chance for her own sake.
Sarah conquered a seat in the bus next to Arnold, which wasn't really accidentally. Arnold knew Sarah needed to be cut some slack.
As soon as Sarah sat down, Arnold began talking.
"Listen…" He said to her.
"You like me very much, do you?" Arnold said, trying to keep the words simple, even though he knew that wasn't necessary for Sarah. She was twelve, she wasn't six years old. But he did it because he was so very nervous.
Sarah nodded eagerly.
"Listen. You are twelve, I am seventeen. We differ too much to ever try anything." Sarah's expression changed from eagerness to sadness and then in amazement, not understanding why Arnold had seen right through her. But, Arnold stopped her.
"However, later on, maybe we could try something." Sarah's expression changed again, back to eagerness. Arnold gave her a roadmap and marked a street on it.
"If you ever meet a guy of your age, someone who made your heart beat faster than it already did, forget me. Can you promise that?" He looked her in the eyes.
"But…" her little girl-voice said.
"Can you promise me that?" He repeated, sounding more demanding this time. Sarah sighed.
"Okay." Arnold nodded and smiled.
"But, if there is any chance you still have feelings for me… any chance… come to this road." He handed her the road map and Sarah took it.
"Ten years, Sarah. Ten years. I'll be there. If you still love me – and you made a promise to forget me if necessary – come there, exactly ten years from now on. Can you promise me that?" Sarah nodded.
"I will make the same promise," Arnold replied. "Ten years, Sarah. Ten years."
He looked on his mobile phone and saw it was the 27th of July, about to be five PM.
"On the 27th of July, five PM, in ten years, you'll be there. But only if you haven't met another guy yet. Promised?" Sarah nodded.
They were silent the entire journey back home, about to go to the USA, both having lots of things on their minds.
Arnold was there.
A proud twenty-seven years old and he was studying English literature. He was standing at the exact spot he led Sarah to.
He hadn't forgotten the small girl that was called Sarah. He hadn't forgotten his promise to be there.
He wasn't popular amongst girls of his own age. At seventeen, he was still a virgin and hadn't kissed a girl in the 'special' way. In those ten years, he had met someone and fallen in love with her.
But he got rejected.
After that, he was free for one year, after which he met another crush. The girl replied his feelings and loved him for who he was. Their love proved to be strong, very strong.
But there was something in himself, something that was whining that something was very wrong. Something that told him she wasn't the right one.
That something continued to whine and he noticed he had gotten more rows with the girl he went steady with. Eventually, Arnold decided their personalities didn't match as well as they should.
He decided the right thing to do was breaking up with her. She was devastated.
That was one year ago and suddenly, Arnolds memory came back to haunt him. Suddenly, he remembered Sarah and how he had adored her – perhaps even loved – for the beautiful woman she was going to be. He searched all his stuff and found the note he made, found a copy of the road map he had given to Sarah.
Then, he remembered. He remembered she loved him despite the age difference. He remembered he had cut her some slack and told her he would meet her there.
The rest of the year, he was free. It wasn't like he was trying, but girls just didn't like him that much. But eventually, the time had come for him to be there, to meet the Sarah that had changed so much in those short years.
On the corner of 17th avenue and 2nd street, he was waiting for her. Exactly the place he had marked and the place he had remembered marking. He was curious to see her, but to be honest, he didn't have much expectations. Of course not, because he wasn't able to make an unclouded image of Sarah.
But he wanted to know how she looked like, what had become of her in those ten years, wanting to know her again, wanting to have a good friend.
He was looking around and checked his watch and saw it was a quarter to five. He hoped she would be there, he hoped they would meet again.
Finally, he saw a red-haired woman walking down the street, but he wasn't sure. All he remembered of Sarah was that she had red hair, beautiful red hair.
"Sorry, can I ask you something?" The red-haired woman was now standing in front of him and wanted to ask him something. Arnold nodded absent-mindedly.
"Is this the corner of 17th avenue and 2nd street?" Arnold felt his eyes widen as she asked that question.
Was that possible? Had the small girl become this beautiful woman, this beautiful red-haired woman? Was she… Sarah? Arnold nodded eagerly.
"Why?" He asked her. She sighed.
"I'm supposed to meet a guy here…" Arnolds eyes couldn't have been bigger and the red-haired woman started to notice it.
She had done the math very quickly.
"ARNOLD?" She shouted in amazement. He had changed so much… and Arnold felt his heart beating faster when she saw the woman that was still five years younger than him.
But it didn't matter now, not anymore. His patience was rewarded; he was looking at a gorgeous woman.
"You never met another guy?" He asked her, smiling. Sarah was laughing in surprise and happiness to find him again.
"God, Arnold, you're still gorgeous." Arnold smiled, hearing that.
"You never met another?" He repeated. Sarah shook her head.
"I've met some boys here and there, but none of them proved worthy. What about you?" And Arnold told her what he had been through.
He knew the feeling he had back those ten years ago had blossomed like a flower; it had grown like a flower in him, along with the woman to whom it belonged. And now, it was a full-grown flower, shining as bright as a flower could. And so did the woman.
"You're still gorgeous," Sarah said, smiling. He offered her his arm.
"Perhaps you'll like a drink from this gorgeous man?" Sarah chuckled.
"Of course I do!" Together, arm in arm, they walked off the road to a nearby restaurant.
They would stay in touch, the two of them. One month later, Arnold went from his house to hers, even though the houses were far apart. That was the day he slept in her house as a guest. That was the day Arnold confessed his true feelings for Sarah.
They were replied.
They were together for the rest of their lives.
Author's Note: Hope you liked it! Don't forget to leave a review =)