Peaceful Embrace.

Picture is mine.

The road was filled with the constant revving of car and trucks engines speeding by. The noise was deafening, drowning out everything else around it. Coupled with a harsh, metallic smell in the air, mixed with the faint scent of gasoline and exhaust.

Amidst all these was a disenchanted young man named John strolling down the crowded street, drowned in his thoughts.

He struggled with fighting off the echoes of a heated argument that had just transpired at home not less-than-an hour ago. A surge of anger and isolation wrapped around him. At that point he so yearned for a refuge, a place untouched by the relentless urban busy life, a sanctuary bathed in peace and serenity.

It was as if the universe heard his cries and decided to answer his silent plea, he got home that night to a letter from his long time uncle James who he barely heard of.

The last time he saw uncle James was when he had visited them years back. Uncle James had tried to intervene in his parents' squabble which resulted in his dad asking uncle James to leave his house and never return. He could remember his dad's words clearly.

"How dare you little wretched soul tell me how to deal with my family." John watched as dad grabbed his car keys and made for the door. "I do not want to see you here when I get back from having a drink," his dad added.

And just like that John watched as his uncle packed up his back and left. And for years nobody heard from him not until he had this letter in his hands from his uncle.

"Hello J, how are you doing? I realised you must be 18 years old now and able to make decisions yourself. So how about you come down and come live with us for some months since college isn't in the book yet. I'm sure a little peace wouldn't hurt." The letter read.

This wasn't the first time uncle had asked him over to the tranquil small town he lived in, far different from the life he had in his dad's mansion and the city's clamour.

John contemplated the invitation, he grappled with the prospect of a quieter existence, a place that was like being plunged into an abyss away from existence. Yet, he didn't care, he felt he had nothing to lose, it was exactly what he wanted at that hour.

So the next morning he packed his bags and embarked on this unexpected journey, hoping for that solace and love.

Arriving at this quaint town, John found himself immersed in a world starkly different from the urban life he grew in. The bustle of traffic was replaced by the melodic serenade of birds, and the urban hustle gave way to the gentle rustle of leaves being caressed by the wind.

The townsfolk were unlike the always busy people he once navigated through. They were amiable and welcoming, inviting conversation with warm smiles.

John found peace with his uncle's family, he learnt of the rich town's history, he learnt of a people rich with charm and simplicity.

Then one day, he crossed paths with Sarah, a girl who with just a look into her eyes one could see the beauty of the countryside and how she so dearly loved it. Like a fairytale, she became his guide to the town's hidden wonders, a muse whose presence painted his newfound life with different colours. Just what he had craved for.

Just as he was getting used to his new life, he got a call from the city that tried to disrupt his newfound peace.

His parents, we're sorry for their behaviour and pleaded for his return. They promised to turn a new leaf. Now John was torn between choosing the comfort of the familiar hell and the peace of his newfound haven, John struggled with this decision as he was gradually falling in love with Sarah.

One day as he sat with Sarah at their favourite spot just on the hills overlooking the town. He opened up to Sarah about his present predicament.

"My family wants me back in the city, Sarah." John hesitated.

She looked at him with understanding eyes, "That's alright." She blinked "So when are you leaving?"

Eyes wide in surprise that she didn't try to talk him into staying; "I don't know. I'm confused" he replied, trying to hide the shock in his voice.

Sarah reached out to him and held his hands " Look at me." She paused, " Search your heart and tell me what do you want, John?"

"I've found something here, Sarah, something I didn't know I needed. And that's what I want"

She smiled gently, "Then stay. I always want you to be happy, no matter where that is, and if here will make you happy, with my people, then stay."

And just as he had confessed that's what he truly longed for. The peace in his newfound environment and he wasn't ready to let it go. He promised to visit his parents often but the back beyond town has pierced his heart like a Cupid's arrow and he wasn't ready to let go.

He was happy here with his uncle and his family, with the people and especially in love with Sarah. So he stayed

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