He had told himself he would never come to this town again.
Yet here he was. Right in the doorway of the post office.
The postmaster glanced up, then went back to sorting mail. "Good morning sir. What can I do for you?
"Does Luisa Bellomy still live near here?"
"That'd be Luisa Hucklebee now, she lives out towards the river."
"Thank you." The door slammed shut as the man left. It was followed quickly by the sound of hoofbeats in the street, going in the direction of the river.
There was a knock at the door. Matt didn't even look up. "Come in."
The postmaster strolled in. "Hey Matt, there was someone at the post office asking about Luisa a minute ago."
Matt's head snapped up. "What? Who?"
"I dunno. He didn't say his name."
"What did he look like?"
"He was an older man. Tall, black hat and coat, red bandana."
Matt stood up quickly, knocking his chair over. "Are you sure?"
"Yep. It was the strangest thing. He asked for Luisa Bellomy too, not Hucklebee. I heard him heading in the direction of your house."
By the time he had finished, Matt had already righted the chair and put his coat and hat on. "Thanks for telling me. If I'm not back in an hour, send someone after me."
"Yessir." The postmaster was speaking to an empty room. Matt was already out the door.
Luisa was in the kitchen when she heard hoofbeats in the distance.
"That's odd," she thought, "why would Matt be coming home at this time of day?"
She walked to the front door and opened it to look out. There was no one within sight, but as she started to step out to get a better view, she almost tripped over a small bundle wrapped in a red bandana right in front of her door. She picked it up, closed the door, and returned to the kitchen to open it.
As Matt approached the house, all seemed well. Nothing looked out of place, and there were no unfamiliar people or horses that he could see. And then he heard a shrill scream.
"Luisa!" There was no response, so Matt burst into the house fearing the worst.
She was standing in the kitchen, staring at a golden mask in her shaking hands.
"Shhh, it's alright. It's just a mask." Matt carefully took the mask from her hands and hid it behind his back. "Where did it come from."
Luisa, still silent, pointed to a red bandana crumpled on the floor.
"Of all the nerve-!" As he picked it up, something small fell out. Luisa was quick to catch it. She gasped.
"Matt, it's my necklace! My mother's!"
"The one that he..?"
She nodded, then burst out crying. Matt pulled her into a hug. "It's alright. Nothing like that'll ever happen again. I won't leave."
He held her for a few minutes before he noticed the sound. "Do you hear that?"
Luisa stopped crying as the two stood together in silence. Faint singing could be heard through the still-open door.
"Try to remember…"
I wrote this years ago after seeing my friend in a performance of The Fantasticks. It hasn't been edited (except for grammar) since then because I don't remember the show well enough, so please excuse any glaringly strange plot points.