Wait with excitement, with a nervousness that comes from deep within my bones. In a little while we will meet. She will be done with work and I will be ready to take another leap into space. She will smile. I will keep my expression calm, to hide the tremors inside me. Everything will end and everything will start again.
The minutes tick by so slowly. She isn’t in her room, so I wait. Soon she will greet me, her voice like light fingers on piano keys. I’ve exchanged my clothes for nicer ones. My palms sweat. I pace the floor. But there is hope in my heart that I can’t stifle.
The others haven’t seen her. She must be done with work by now. The lab is empty. The kitchen is quiet. I let out a slow breath, my mind spinning in circles. Was it all too good to be true? But she never said no. The truth seeps into me slowly, making my stomach sink and my limbs grow tired.
She never said yes either.
Why look for what doesn’t want to be found? In a rush, I had spoken too soon. The touch of her hand sent me soaring. I believed anything was possible and overstepped my boundary. She must have realized her mistake and went to hide rather than be forced to hurt me. Because she is good – too good for me. We came back together but now I have separated us again with my impulsive dreams that she is too kind to shatter.
I was never more than that after all.
Her hand over mine. The way she stood beside me. A look in her eyes that filled me with life. Did I misread it all? I don’t know. The boy who had the answers drowned in the sea, and I am left with confusion. She couldn’t want me and this proves it. So then why did she say those words to me? With such hesitation but certainty in her eyes she spoke words that should never have existed between us. I don’t believe she would say that without thinking it through. Not the girl who is constantly thinking.
I’m wound tight again, but not with nervous energy. With fear. It’s been hours. No one has seen her and they too worry. She wouldn’t run away, not just to keep from hurting me. That would be a cowardly move. And there is no one more brave than she.
That’s how I know.
The last to see her was me. She was hard at work. At work with a relic that none of us understand.
Even as I watch them search the tapes, I feel as if I already know. Her name fills my mind. But everyone was safe and everyone survived. No one believed there was still danger. We took it all for granted.
Run through the halls we walked through together, hours before. I reach the room that holds the stone. It sits idle in its box, just as it was before. But the girl with smiles in her eyes is gone.
My friends come up behind me, stricken by what they’ve seen. I left before I saw the truth, but now it is written in their eyes.
She is gone.
From a boy to his best friend, part III