This is based on the 100 Themes challenge. Each "chapter" is based on one of the themes, and is roughly 100 words long. Ten per chapter, ten chapters :) The inspiration came from my friend telling us a story about a boy she met while meeting cabbages. Please do review! ^^


I was planting cabbages when I first met him. I had been working for a while and was already well into a routine; the movements were almost mechanical now. Other than me, there wasn't a sound to be heard, and at that moment I felt like I could be the only person left in the world. I liked it that way.

And then, disturbing my peace, there came a sound from behind the hedge. Frowning, I stood up on a rock to peer over the top and scare away what little animal was scratching around.

I'd never seen the boy before.



I don't believe in love at first sight. But he did, and that was enough.

"What are you doing?" I tried to snap – but my voice sounded far gentler than I had intended. Too gentle to be me.

"I'm planting cabbages," he said.

There was a pause.

"Oh," I said, and promptly ducked back into my field, hiding a blushing face.

A shadow covered me, and I looked up to see his inquisitive face looking over the top of the hedge. He was smiling, slightly amused.

"I've never seen you before," he said.



A few hours later, I found myself in a little café waiting for him to come back to the table with a tray of tea. We had talked, and he had seemed nice, and I had seemed nice, and here we were.

"Here we go," he said, placing my cup in front of me.

And we talked some more. We said nothing of importance. It wasn't what we said that mattered, it was that we said anything at all. We talked mainly about cabbages.

A week later, and we were walking through a forest, still talking about cabbages. Usually it was dark in that forest, but I swear to you, he lit the whole place up like the sun itself.



When he dropped me off at home, the sun was already fading out of the sky.

"Today was fun," he said with a smile.

"You make good company," I said with a nod.

There was a pause.

We hurriedly said our goodbyes, and he stepped out of the front door, still with that half-confused smile he always seemed to wear.

"I hope we can do this again some time," I called after him.

And at that moment I saw a shadow fall across his face – something changed. He mumbled a "maybe" and quickly walked away, out of sight. The memory of that look kept me awake all night.



The look was still at the back of my mind as I walked down the road. The autumn colours had even embraced the urban areas, and the yellow of the leaves, orange of the ground and red of the sky had put me in a meditative mood.


That cheerful yell was enough to bring me out of any thought at all. I beamed to see her face – Emma, a friend to be relied on. Of course, within ten minutes she had the whole story out of me – including the look.

"I've heard of that boy!" she exclaimed. "He has a past."


Break Away

"A past? What kind of a past?"

"I don't know. But any kind of past is bad news."

Now another thought was interfering with my peace. A past and a dark look – that was more than enough to awaken feelings of suspicion. I focused on them for the rest of the day and night. I managed a few hours sleep, but even then all that my subconscious could offer were uneasy suggestions for what this past might be.

With the new morning and the new sunrise came a new idea. I would learn about this past or break everything off before it became too concrete.



An hour or two later, I stood on his doorstep, finger hovering on the doorbell. Should I press it? I closed my eyes and tried desperately to imagine what my mother would have advised.

I didn't have time to come to a decision before the door opened. He stared at me, a hint of a laugh flickering on his face, and I stared back, hand still hovering.

"Would you like to come in?"

I stayed for lunch. I stayed hour after and hour, but never once asked him that question – it was gone from my mind completely. All I could think about was the perfection of the here and now.



As he prepared lunch, I was sent through to the dining room to prepare for what I was told, with a hint of sarcasm, would be a truly exceptional meal. As I waited, I couldn't help but notice a weary leather notebook lying on the window sill in a patch of sunlight.

Curiosity overtook me, and I flicked through the pages, not reading the contents. A scrap of paper fluttered to the ground. As I picked it up, I recognized the article printed on it – an old but unwelcome friend.

And then I remembered.

Those strong features, those sparkling eyes – I'd seen them before.



I left without a word, climbing into my little old car parked outside. How had I not seen the resemblance? George Owen, a businessman from years gone by, a businessman with a past. He had had a son. And this was him.

Memories flooded through, smashing down the dam I'd taken such pains to build. I swerved into the little car park by the church closed my eyes. I saw the flames.

A gas leak, they had said. From a factory near by – they hadn't taken the necessary precautions, they had said; it hadn't been safe. None of the words made a hint of sense to that little nine year old. They didn't make much sense now.



I climbed out of the car and stumbled through the dead leaves, weaving between the gravestones. I knew the way perfectly.

My mother, from what I remembered, had been a good person. Of course, I remembered little of her. Most of all, I remembered her cries as the flames took her. They had rushed through the village, roaring, sucking the breath out of the people I knew and held dear.

Suddenly, I felt a hand on my shoulder.

"It's alright," he whispered. I looked at him, and I could breathe again.