This is a continuation of a short story written on this blog over two years ago. The girl had lived by herself for so long it was a hard adjustment once he had moved in. His lifestyle was so foreign to her, but she accepted him because she had loved him and longed for him since that fatal day. He had been on his own for so long, it was a hard adjustment for him living there. Her home was so distant from any other home that it made him feel lonely, even with her around. He loved the company of others, even if he was conning them in the process. But he couldn't leave her, now that they had found each other. It had to be a miracle, the way their paths had crossed. He had believed her dead, that he was all alone in the world, never knowing that family was just around the corner. But there had been more than family around the corner. It had occurred to him that she must be very wealthy, but did not know it. Now he stood to gain from finding her and being an heir himself. He knew he had to stay with her, because she would fall apart again if he left. But the longer he stayed, the more the sadness overtook him. He became morose and depressed even as she laughed and chattered all day long. She had even taken to visiting the town and talking with strangers, something she had never done before. He knew he was the reason for her happiness, but he continued to feel the urge to leave. One day he decided to wander around the forest, and, telling her he'd be back by nightfall, he left to explore. He fully intended to keep his word, because he cared for her more everyday, despite his misery. He walked for miles, away from the town's border. He knew if he went back to that town, he would not be welcome. He hadn't stolen from the villagers, per se, but he had made some promises he had never intended to keep. On and on he walked, away from her and the town. He didn't know what he expected to find, but soon he came across her house. No, it couldn't be her house, but it looked very similar. It was set in a large clearing and the evening sun shone on the leaves in just such a way to make it look like a painting. His heart beat fast in his chest at the thought of meeting new people. Perhaps even bringing her to meet them, too. He quickened his pace to the front door and nearly pounded it down in his excitement. But there was no answer. He waited, much longer than is customary to wait in these situations, pounding over and over. The sun was setting and he knew he should be getting back, which exasperated him. He had to know who lived here; it was a matter of his own sanity! So he grabbed the handle and pushed. It was unlocked, as he knew it would be. People who lived this far from the village never locked their doors. She never did because there were no other people around to keep out! His first step inside, he glanced inside and nearly fainted. There she was, happy as ever, smiling at him as if he had been expected. He looked around, confused. This was not the house he had left that morning. He had been walking away from her, away from the house, away from town. He had not circled back, he knew it. Besides that, though the house was similar, it was not the same. It was slightly larger and had different furnishings. She watched him gaze around the room. His confusion amused her. She didn't want to but she knew she must explain. So it was with a heavy heart that she told him what she had done with the money. She was letting him go, releasing him from his duties to her. She knew what it meant for her life and though she was saddened, she cared for him more. He had to leave for his sanity and just knowing he would occasionally come back to this house, his house, gave her some sanity, too. He loved her more than ever in that moment. His heart ached to leave her, but her solution seemed best. He had forgotten her inner depths that had realized what he was going through at her expense. He left minutes later, knowing he would be back, promising he would be back. But he would not come back alone. He had a mission, and he would fulfill it before returning here, before returning to her.