Theodore (a mystery) – Chapter 2

"I… I missed you, Sera." He stutters, pointedly avoiding my gaze

My eyes widen in surprise and I feel my cheeks flush. Did he just say he missed me? I can't help but wonder if he really meant that.

He walks a few steps toward me and plop down on the couch. As his briefcase falls to the floor, something shiny rolls out of it.

"What is that?" I ask, unable to contain my curiosity

I can see him stiffen at my question as he scratches the back of his head.

"Oh, um… that…I found it on my…journey."

I eye him suspiciously. He's still refusing to tell me about this mysterious journey of his. Expecting him to elaborate would be foolish so I bend down to pick up the shimmering object. I barely contain myself from letting out a loud gasp when I realize it's a diamond. Or at least it looks like it. He must have noticed the look on my face because he makes an attempt to say something, struggling to find the words.

"Sera...I…that…" is all that comes out

I walk over to him and put the diamond into his big hand. Knowing him, there's no point in trying to get him to explain what this is all about or where did that diamond come from. So I just sit on the couch next to him, not saying anything. For a while, the only thing I hear is the sound of Lucius scratching my wodden chair. A few moments later, my head slowly falls down onto his shoulder as I drift off to sleep…

Opening my eyes and shielding them against the sun, I sit up and realize I fell asleep on the couch. I'm covered with a warm blanket even though I don't remember even having one. When I look around, Theodore is nowhere in sight. Nor is Lucius. I wonder where they have gone off to…

When I get up, the first thing I notice is the emerald green diamond glistening in the sunlight. I pick it up from the armchair, wondering why Theodore left it behind. I quickly brush my hair, straighten my wrinkled dress, then dash through the door with the diamond safely stored in my pocket. The street is empty, except for a few men rushing to their workplaces. Today is my first day as the apothecary's apprentice. I'm both nervous and excited. Who knows what awaits me?