Continuing on my Sable/Tom Nook pairing stories, here is another story. Enjoy, please let me know what you think of it!
[Some years ago]
The rain poured heavily down on the small village by the sea. A dank grey blanket shrouded the skies; there was no chance for the sun to break through. It was four o' clock; there was no soul present at the train station.
Two people arrived, hand in hand, just as a train arrived on the platform. Its wheels skidded against the metal tracks; smoke billowed from beneath the intestines and organs of the train. A steward revealed himself and acknowledged the presence of the man and woman approaching. There was no timetable today: the rain had deterred everyone.
They walked, both underneath an umbrella, both dressed in thick coats to shield themselves from the harsh cold of the autumn deluge. The black of their shoes matched the dank color scheme of the train station and the sky; grey, grey, grey.
The two walked up close to the train doors and the man produced a ticket to the steward, who verified it.
"You may step on board" the steward said, gesturing for the man to enter.
"Give me a minute, please" the man asked, his voice quivering slightly. The steward understood the request and walked down the length of the train, peering out in vain for any other passengers.
Placing his suitcase down on the wet floor, he took the woman into his arms.
"This is goodbye, then"
"If only there was something I could say to stop you from going…"
The man pulled away slightly so he could peer into the tear-glistened eyes of his closest, dearest friend. The train was beckoning to take him away to the city, the land where dreams were made. He was going to miss her, but he assured himself that everything would be okay.
"Sable…please take care of yourself. I promise I'll keep in touch with you"
She fell into his arms again, holding him as tightly as possible. "I promised myself that I wouldn't cry…b-but I'm afraid I-I'm about to break that promise…"
He stroked her quills; it was going to be hard without her. He felt a sense of defiance inside him: he was young, seeking a challenge, holding a burning desire to face impossible odds. He felt the need to prove himself, and the city could grant him that opportunity. This was just part of the test.
"Sable, I'm so sorry, but you'll have to let go of me. The train's about to leave…"
She let go of him, repositioning her umbrella to stop any more rain from falling on her. He took her face in his hands, his heart beating rapidly, and kissed her softly on her lips, before taking hold of his suitcase and boarding the train. Entering the nearest cabin, he opened the curtains and looked out to his friend. She urged a smile; the train hooted as the steward hollered. Within seconds, the train started to move, and Tom Nook kept his gaze fixed on Sable's eyes as she became smaller and smaller, vanishing within the minute. His adventure had begun.
Eleven o' clock. It was time for Tom Nook to close his store for the night. Almost ritualistically, he would throw a rag over every item in his Nookway store to stop dust from collecting on them. Twisting the sign on the window display to 'CLOSED', he set about his business of shutting up shop for the night. He felt pretty glad of the business he had done today: he had managed to sell off three pieces of expensive furniture and mosaic pattern wallpaper. It was more money than he would usually make, so the increase in profit was a welcome feeling. Throwing his large coat around him, he twirled the keys in his hands as he stepped outside of his store, shutting the lights off. He thrust his keys into a mechanism outside, causing the shutters to fall in front of the windows, before placing the keys in his inside pocket.
He began his twenty-minute trek home. The night was peaceful: clouds thinly blanketed the sky, where the hidden moon would mysteriously illuminate the edges of every cloud. It was a pretty sky to look at and Tom Nook far preferred it to the rain. He hated the rain. His walk would take him down a secluded woodland walk; quite far from the small seaside town he did business in, to his small, cozy home. It was a routine that Tom Nook had settled into nicely; his walk accounted for his exercise and his personal time.
Yet that night, as he walked, it was at the point where he was about to take the right turn out of the village and into the woods where he heard a noise that stopped him. It was a quiet noise, yet loud enough to conquer the sounds of Tom Nook's footsteps brushing the autumn leaves from his feet.
It was the sound of crying.
He tuned his ears to the sound; slightly worried that somebody was hurt. He found the source of the noise and his heartbeat increased upon seeing its source.
His eyes settled upon the Able Sisters store, a small, somewhat humble clothing store within the town. Of course, Tom Nook thought, he walked past this store every night! But was it really where the crying noise was coming from?
To his chagrin, it was. Tom Nook spotted a figure sat within the room above the store, the lights on inside. The window was open and the thin, translucent flower-pattern curtains were blowing gently outside of the room as the crying could be heard. Tom Nook nervously started to walk towards the closed store, holding his breath. He never did let go of the memories that tied him to the Able Sisters, and upon hearing the distressing sobbing from the window, he felt his blood grow slightly cold. It grew even colder when his eyes identified who was crying.
It was Sable who was crying. Tom Nook instantly recognized the hazel colour of her quills and her eyes, now blotchy and red from her tears. He felt somewhat enchanted as he listened to her quiet mewling, but a second voice snapped him out of his trance.
"Sable, what's wrong?"
Tom Nook realized that not only was it Mabel's voice he could hear, but that he was in plain sight of the window. Quickly, he stepped briskly to the wall of the store and pressed himself below the window, becoming practically invisible. Closing his eyes, he tuned into the conversation.
"Mabel…please leave me alone"
"Sis, why are you crying?"
"It's nothing, please go"
"B-but I can't just leave you alone; you're crying! Tell me what's wrong: it'll make you feel better"
"I…I don't know"
"Don't worry, I won't tell a soul"
There was a short silence.
"…It's about Tom Nook"
Tom Nook clasped a hand to his mouth, stopping the sound of his gasp emitting into the night sky and giving away his position. Was she really crying about him? A feeling of guilt started to creep up on him as he begun to remember his past with her.
"What? Why is he making you sad?"
"Mabel, I don't want to talk about it right now…"
"Did he say something nasty to you?"
"No, Mabel…take a seat and listen carefully. Tom Nook and me used to be best friends. Don't you remember when he used to come here, to the store?"
"I was a toddler back then, wasn't I? I kinda remember him coming around"
"That's right, you do remember. He bought you some candy sometimes…"
Tom Nook sighed quietly to himself, closing his eyes. His memory was coming back to him in stark, clear pictures; he also remembered the numerous visits to the shop. His heart started to feel heavy, the memories that he had forgotten so easily were coming back to lay its guilt upon him.
"So why are you upset?"
"Well…it was ten years ago to this day when he left this town for the city"
"I'm surprised you don't remember him leaving, considering you remember him giving you sweets"
"I just thought he stopped visiting. I never knew he left for the city!"
"Well, he did just that, exactly ten years ago"
"Is that why you're crying?"
"Yeah…although I feel a little better now"
"If you're so sad about him, then why don't you go and talk to him? His store's only a brisk walk down town"
Tom Nook's heart jumped: he feared she was going to go and find him. He readied his feet to sprint nimbly, waiting for the sounds of her preparations as a signal to leave.
He froze, stopping himself from shooting off into the night. He never felt so nervous; it was a strange experience to eavesdrop on a conversation concerning him.
"Why not, sis?"
"…It's been about a year and a half since he came back here. We…haven't spoken a word to each other"
"I don't know, Mabel! He just appeared one day…and I certainly didn't have the courage to talk to him. He never came to visit, or to relive old memories…I don't know what happened to him, but he just hasn't talked to me since then. Besides, I'm too old for things like this now"
That was the point where Tom Nook could listen to no more. The memories of his halcyon past with Sable were being quickly drowned in his bitterness and sorrow from the city. Without a word, he started to walk briskly towards the woods. He needed the shelter of his house more than ever, but more importantly, he needed a piece of paper and an envelope. He took the memories and good times for granted, and now he was confronted with guilt caused by Sable's tears, he knew he had to do something to find peace again.
Stay tuned, y'all!