Hi! Meepmeep123 here! I felt like doing a story about Sammy later, after Hazel had died, and how he sort of handled it. And cute little kid Leo! Let it commence!
Sammy Valdez sat in the big wicker rocking chair outside of his great grandson's Mexican style house, attempting to rock him to sleep. Leo, an almost two year old, was decidedly stubborn when it came to sleeping. His mother and grandparents had all tried, and now the burden was passed to Sammy. Not that he minded. Leo reminded Sammy of when he was younger, with black curls all over his head, and the same brown eyes, he was an exact replica.
"Grandpa", Leo mumbled sleepily, "Will you tell me a story?"
"What kind of story Leo?"
"Any story Grandpa."
Sammy racked his brain for a story, but only one came up. With a sad smile, he began.
"Once upon a time, in a far away place, there was a beautiful girl named Hazel. Hazel was the prettiest girl in all the land."
"How pretty Grandpa?"
"Extremely pretty Leo. She had darker skin, and beautiful shiny, curly brown hair. You could stare into her eyes, and get lost for hours."
Leo's eyes widened. "Whoa..."
Sammy nodded. "Except no one loved Hazel. Everyone claimed that she had a curse."
Leo perked up. "What kind of curse Grandpa? Did she turn into a frog? Or... Or...", Leo narrowed his eyes in frustration, trying to think of another thing, " Or a taco?"
Sammy bit back a smile. "No Leo, Hazel's curse was a secret. But people thought it had to do with gold and jewels. They thought that Hazel cursed them, and gave them out as payment to her mother's debts, the money she owed people."
"But Hazel told everyone that that wasn't true. But no one believed her, except for her friend", Sammy paused, thinking of a name, "Sam."
"That's like your name grandpa! But different..."
"Yes, that's right Leo. Anyways, one night, Sam and Hazel were together, riding horses, when Sam finally got enough courage to kiss Hazel."
Sammy cracked a smile and continued, "So when they stopped the horses in the middle of a great big green field, and got off. Getting all his courage together, Sam kissed Hazel. He felt complete when he felt her soft lips touch his, and stayed there. When they broke apart, he looked into Hazel's sparkling eyes, and whispered 'Happy birthday Hazel'."
"He probably made Hazel feel a lot better, right?"
Sammy nodded. "Sam made Hazel feel a lot better. And Sam felt", Sammy hesitated for a moment, lapsing into memories, "Sam felt amazing."
Leo looked up at Sammy. "Grandpa? Are you ok? What happened next?"
Sammy nodded, blinking back a tear. "They rode back, and Hazel walked home. That was the best evening in Sam's whole life. He felt complete. He walked back home, silently celebrating."
'Whoa", Leo whispered with wide eyes, "Hazel made him that happy?"
Sammy nodded again, blinking back more tears. "Hazel", Sammy started, his voice breaking, "Hazel made him that happy."
"What happened next Grandpa? When did he see Hazel again?"
Sammy let the tears slid down his cheeks. "Never."
Leo gaped at Sammy. "Never? Where did she go?"
Sammy bit his lip, tears leaving stains on his face. "She just… left. Sam got a note on his doorstep the next day, telling him she was going away with her mother. She told him she loved him, and… and…" Sammy couldn't help it. He broke down crying harder.
Sammy regained the majority of his composure before continuing, "And that she hoped he had the best life he could possibly have. It was written on a thick sheet of expensive drawing paper, in a charcoal pencil."
Leo had started crying silently. "But how could she do that? Sam loved her!"
"I know Leo. I know. But Hazel couldn't do anything about it."
"Did he ever find out what happened to her? After she left?"
Sammy nodded slowly. "Are you sure you want to know Leo? It's not nice."
Leo nodded quickly, "Yes!"
Leo looked distraught. "How?"
Sammy hugged Leo closer before answering, "A cave collapsed on her."
"But she watched over him after, right?"
Sammy nodded. "She watched over him after."