The Forgotten Secret/C8 #8 Meeting your Family
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The Forgotten Secret/C8 #8 Meeting your Family
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C8 #8 Meeting your Family

Caspian stares at the sky thoughtfully. Slowly, the pale grey starts to show a little light. The sun will soon start to come out from the East.

He lazily walks to his spot under the willow tree. He is holding a single green rose with one hand and his staff on the other.

He idly draws circles on the ground with the end of his staff. He is thinking of what to say...

Coming from the forest, he hears laughing sounds. He abruptly stops doodling and starts to get nervous. He has not figure out what he would say after all.

Caspian looks towards the direction of the trail and soon enough, he sees Anna with Popsie Reed slowly coming into view, walking while laughing at the same time.

"Good morning Anna! Good morning sir!" he exclaims as he stands, feeling a bit awkward.

Anna walks towards Caspian while Popsie Reed stares in surprise.

"Sorry for interrupting your morning.”

“I am Caspian, by the way. I am Anna's friend from the valley." Caspian explains politely to Popsie Reed, offering his hand for a friendly greeting.

"So, you are Caspian, the friend Anna was mentioning to us about. Her Marmee and I thought you were just an imaginary friend for we have never met you. Well, until now..." Popsie Reed gives him a warm smile.

"Popsie, that is so much details... I never thought you didn't believe me.” Anna cuts her Popsie’s teasing.

“He lives in the valley beyond the forest so… I guess he might have been busy at times when you and Marmee are here. But we often meet here under the willow tree." Anna rationalizes to her Popsie Reed to explain further.

Anna starts to get self-conscious too.

"Again, I apologize sir, for the intrusion this morning. I know you and Anna have your early morning jog together." Caspian repeats.

"Call me Popsie. I'm glad Anna has other friends. Well, Jo is her only friend then." Popsie Reed adds.

"Why are you here very early in the morning?" Anna asks turning to Caspian and finally notices the green rose in Caspian's hand.

"I just like to give this to you. It is the first green rose to bloom from our place. It reminds me of you, your eyes." Caspian answers.

He finally gains some courage to hand the rose to Anna at the same time as he gives his timid explanations. He seems unsure what to say next.

"Oh, thank you, Caspian" Anna replies while she blushes uncontrollably.

"Wow! That's a beauty that green rose." Popsie Reed says with admiration.

"Just like our Anna here..." he adds with another teasing tone, as he places his arms over Anna’s shoulders in a loving way.

"Popsie, stop that! We better get inside, Marmee might be waiting already." Anna tries to ignore the teasing.

"Young lad, would you like to join us for breakfast?” Popsie Reed asks.

“Marmee makes such good toasts with cheese omelettes." He says proudly.

Caspian hesitates, and is about to decline the invitation.

Popsie Reed even suggested.

"Maybe we can have breakfast outside. The rising sun is such a nice view to miss.”

“I will go ahead inside and tell your Marmee we have a guest. We can set up the bench and make us a lovely outdoor venue. Wait here young man."

Popsie Reed winks at Anna and hurries to the house to start preparing.

Anna and Caspian stares at Popsie Reed going inside. Anna averts her eyes from so much shyness. Instead, she stares at the green rose in her hands.

"Thanks for this rose again. I'm sorry if Popsie seems imposing.” She states shyly.

“If you have other things to do, it's okay. I can tell them you had to leave already." Anna inquires doubtfully.

"Oh, it's fine. I'm happy that your Popsie is very friendly. He seems to adore you so much.”

“I really like to meet your family." Caspian assures her.

At that instant, Popsie Reed comes out carrying the movable bench.

Anna and Caspian cross the street and start to help Popsie Reed set up.

Marmee Rose comes out from the house carrying a tray of toasts, omelettes and orange juice.

"Good morning ma'am," Caspian greets her.

He offers to carry the tray from Marmee Rose and places it on the table of the bench.

"Good morning dear. We are glad to finally meet you and I hope you enjoy our simple breakfast. Call me Marmee." Marmee Rose says with a smile.

"I will get the plates and glasses." Anna excuses herself.

Popsie Reed, Marmee Rose and Caspian are seated on the bench as Anna comes out again.

Anna serves everyone while they admire the beauty of the early morning sun. The four of them takes their time as they eat while enjoying the warmth of the sun. It surely seems to starts the day really bright.

"So, how is the valley nowadays?" Popsie Reed turns to Caspian, after finishing his orange juice.

"We are starting to see the growth of some of the rare blooms that the valley once had before the fire. That green rose is a proof that the valley has a chance to recover after all." Caspian narrates.

"Yes, yes, Marmee and I used to take our time there admiring the rare flowers that seem to bloom only on that valley." Popsie Reed says in nostalgia.

"Remember that rare blue rose you bought from one of the markets there? I loved that one. It stays blooming longer than the average rose here. I wish I could see one again." Marmee Rose recalls wishful thinking.

“Yes my darling Rose. It looks so lovely but not as pretty as you.” Popsie Reed replies lovingly to Marmee Rose.

Anna and Caspian stare at Popsie Reed and Marmee Rose at the time. They look so much in love despite the years. Then, as if by pull of magnetism, Anna and Caspian automatically meet each other’s eyes. They avert their eyes just as quickly as they met.

"We are slowly growing some of those roses too. I will try to bring one to you, too, Marmee" Caspian promises in response, hoping Anna’s parents did not notice what transpired between him and their daughter.

Anna stares at Caspian, her Popsie and her Marmee. She thoughtfully listens to their conversation on the beauty of the valley in the past and on what the valley looks like now.

She smiles and feels very content that her parents finally meet her special friend Caspian. By the looks of it, Popsie Reed and Marmee Rose like her friend. She gazes at them again as if fascinated in the scene.

Now, she only needs to wait for Jo to return. She is pretty sure her best friend will also warm up to like Caspian, too. She frowns upon remembering her best friend again.

Without a warning, Anna felt the glowing warmth of her locket. She touches the part of her shirt where the emerald locket is underneath. She is so much used to it by now. However, she hopes that it will not give away her emotions so much.

Anna glances at her parents and Caspian once more. Marmee is looking at her with a worried expression on her face. It is as if her Marmee heard her thoughts.

Her Marmee gives her a forced smile then looks away. Both boys do not notice the exchange. They are still busy talking about the valley.

After a while, Marmee Rose stands and starts gathering the breakfast leftovers. Anna helps too. Popsie Reed and Caspian folds the benches.

When tidying up is done, Caspian expresses his thanks and takes his leave as he wave goodbye to Anna and her parents.

When Caspian has gone towards the trail, Marmee Rose holds Anna's hand and gives it a little squeeze. She takes a deep breath.

"Anna, i think it is time that we have a talk. Your Popsie and I have something to tell you." Marmee Rose informs her softly.

Anna appears troubled by Marmee's announcement. What could this be about?

Popsie Reed puts his arms on both his ladies' shoulders. Popsie Reed seems relaxed.

"My darlings, let's go inside to talk," Popsie utters calmly leading both Marmee Rose and Anna through their blue door.

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