"Mayor Scarlett, there's someone at the train station!"
The girl stepped off of the train platform that warm June morning and stretched. She'd been seated in that uncomfortable train car for a hours now, passing through small towns and large cities alike, through tunnels that seemed to stretch for miles and over endless expanses of sea on tall trestles. The small talk with the other fellow in the car that she'd been forced to endure had left her feeling antisocial.
She took a deep breath and took a long look at her surroundings. Orange trees were beginning to fruit, scattered around the station. Small patches of brightly-colored lilies saturated the air with a scent that provoked nostalgia.
She turned her attention away from the flora and looked east, her eyes falling on an odd crowd of spectators.
"Welcome!" An experienced face beamed, her smile reaching her kind eyes.
Standing around her were 4 quiet villagers, whispering amongst themselves about their new visitor.
"Um, am I in the right town?" the girl asked, confused.
"Of course you are, Mayor Scarlett. You heard the conductor, this is Ecclesia," she replied.
Scarlett was unnerved by the stranger's knowledge of her name. "I think you've got the wrong Scarlett," she insisted. "I'm no mayor."
Worried, her greeter flipped through papers on her clipboard. "Ah! Here," she said, pointing to a line that Scarlett couldn't read. "You said you'd be arriving today, on this train. Though you are a little late..."
"I'm sorry, who are you?" Scarlett demanded, more than a little put-off by the situation.
"Oh! Please forgive me! I'm Isabelle." Isabelle bowed her head, "I'll be your secretary. These are Maple, Pudge, Monty, and Pate." Each of the villagers waved nervously.
Scarlett leveled her voice before speaking. "Isabelle, with all due respect, I'm pretty sure you're mistaken. I'm not a mayor, and I've never spoken to you before right now. Now if you please, I'd like a phone to call my mom."
"There's a phone in your office," Isabelle said, pointing. "Town Hall is that direction."
"It's not my office, but okay, lead the way," Scarlett said.
Isabelle walked quickly, humming to herself. The bell tied to the ribbon in her hair jingled softly with each step. Scarlett scanned the town as she tried to keep up, taking in the trees and flowers and weeds scattered around haphazardly. They could use a gardener, she thought to herself.
They arrived quickly at Town Hall, and Isabelle struggled with the heavy wooden door. She led Scarlett inside, and directed her to the phone on the front counter. "I'll step outside," Isabelle added before taking her leave.
Scarlett lifted the receiver and dialed her home number, waiting for her mother or father to pick up. One ring, two rings, three rings, click!
"Scarlett! It's so good to hear from you. Did you arrive safely?"
"Yeah, but there's a pro-"
"That's so good to hear! You know I was awfully worried about you going out on your own like this, but it's so reassuring to hear that you're settling in just fine."
"Mom, that's the problem. The villagers are... not what I expected. And they think I'm the mayor!"
"That's wonderful sweetheart!" her mother exclaimed. "You picked up a new job so quickly. I'm so proud of you."
"But I'm not the Mayor!" Scarlett exclaimed.
"Well let me let you in on a little secret. Who cares?"
"You moved away from home to get a new start, didn't you?"
"Well, yeah, but.."
"But nothing. You poured hours into selecting the town you would move to. It's scenic, it's small, it's perfect for you. Don't be telling me now that the townspeople warming up to you too quickly is going to be the trigger that sends you home again."
"Stop running, Lette. Stop and slow down and enjoy yourself. And don't forget to write."
Scarlett took a deep breath before responding. "I won't, mom, thanks."
"You're very welcome. I love you!"
"I love you too, Mom, bye."
"Oh, Mayor!" Isabelle turned from her conversation with Maple to address Scarlett as she stepped out of Town Hall. "I was just talking to Maple here and she offered to walk you around town so you can decide where you'd like to build your house."
"Hi, Maple," Scarlett said, stepping forward and extending her hand.
"Hi, Mayor!" Maple smiled, returning the handshake. "If that's okay with you, I mean."
"I'd love that. And call me Scarlett."