The Glade looks so peaceful at night. I sit at the top of the lookout tower and admire the silence. During the day this place is like a beehive, with boys buzzing around the place carrying out their designated job. Everyone works so hard to pull their weight around here, and there is rarely a chance to ﬁnd silence in a place so alive with activity.
That is why I make it a routine of mine to wake up in the middle of the night and come up to the tower. This is not entirely by choice; I ﬁnd it hard to sleep here in the Glade, and my mind never rests. I honestly don’t know if I’ll ever get out of this prison. Sure, it isn’t the worst place I could be, but being the only girl out of dozens of guys is not ideal. And did I mention the Grievers? Yeah, because giant death machines are exactly what I want in my future.
I sigh and lay back, looking up to the stars. Are they even real stars? I feel myself drifting off…..But I can’t-I shouldn’t……Fall asleep….. Not here…..
“Y/N?” The sound of a voice next to my ear wakes me. The sun is just beginning to rise, and none of the other Gladers are awake yet. Well, except for one.
“Newt,” I reply, rubbing the sleep from my eyes.
“Did you sleep here all night?” he asks.
I sit up and face the boy kneeling next to me. “Yeah, well most of it. I actually didn’t mean to fall asleep,” I tell him.
Truthfully, I’m a little embarrassed that Newt found me here. I’ve always like him quite a lot, and I don’t want him thinking badly of me. “I’m sorry, it won’t happen again.”
“Don’t apologize, it’s not hurting anybody,” he says as he gets up from the ground and walks over towards the ladder. “You must be a lot more comfortable with heights than I am,” he adds.
We stare at each other in an awkward silence.
“Well, I’ll see you down at breakfast then, Y/N.” Newt turns to leave. I watch as his head disappears from sight as he descends from the tower. Newt has a fear of heights? Out of all the things to be afraid of in the Glade….
“Hey, Y/N!” I turn around and get hit in the face with a roll of gauze.
“Jeff, what the hell?” I say, picking up the roll and shooting him a glare.
“Nothin better to do,” he replies, laughing.
I had been assigned as a Med-Jack soon after I came up in the box, joining Clint and Jeff. When there are no injured or sick Gladers, there wasn’t much for us to do. This is usually the cue for the boys to demonstrate their natural immaturity.
Sitting around and doing nothing for hours starts to take its toll on me, and I decide to walk around a bit to stretch my legs. As I wander over toward the gardens, I catch a view of Newt planting some kind of crop. I mentally scold myself for not talking to him much this morning. Like I said before, I’ve been attracted to him ever since I got here. It may be because of his good looks, his friendliness, his sense of humor. Who am I kidding? It’s all of those things. He’s also a great leader, second-in-command. Being stuck in this place tears my mental stability to shreds, and yet Newt can handle every situation calmly and rationally. He also just has a way with people that makes them want to be around him, but maybe that just happens to me.
I don’t really see a relationship between us anytime soon, though. He’s never showed that kind of interest in me, and at this point in time, I think the one thing we should be focusing on is getting out of here. As long as we are trapped in the Maze, something as trivial as a boyfriend will have to wait. I will just have to admire from afar, I guess.
As usual, I ﬁnd myself unable to sleep. I look around and see that everyone else had already drifted off, so I slide out of my hammock and tiptoe towards the tower. As I get further away from the sleeping Gladers, I start to jog without having to worry about waking anyone.
I reach the tower and begin to ascend the ladder. I’m about halfway up when I hear someone clear their throat below me.
“Mind if I join you?”
I look down to the blond British boy and smile. “Not at all.”
I reach the top of the tower and wait for Newt to do the same. When he joins me on the platform I can see how nervous he is. I totally forgot about his fear of heights.
“We can go somewhere else if you’re more comfortable,” I tell him. He’s silent for a moment, thinking.
“No, I’m ﬁne here,” he says. I begin to persist, however Newt shuts down my worry. “Really, Y/N, it’s okay,” he smiles to reassure me.
We sit towards the middle of the tower, as far away from the edge as we can get. For a moment we’re silent, admiring the peace and each other’s company. The night’s wind blows through our hair and the moon shines above us, lighting our vision. Newt breaks the silence.
“So why do you come up here every night?” he asks, still staring off into the distance.
“How do you know it’s every night?” I reply with a slight laugh.
“I’m not being creepy or anything!” he laughs too. “I just fall asleep late most nights and see you walk off.”
Our laughter dies off and he turns to me, still expecting the answer to his question. What do I tell him? I don’t want to seem weak or incompetent, however I decide to tell him the truth anyway.
“I’m just never able to sleep. I think too much, you know? About the future, when we get out of here, if we get out of here. I worry about things I have no control over.” I pause and drop my voice a bit lower. “The things that have happened, the situation we’re in….. I have trouble dealing with it, I guess.” I look over and see Newt listening intently. I can’t read his expression. “I know, it’s pretty pathetic,” I look away from him.
“Pathetic? No it isn’t. Not at all, Y/N. If we’re being honest here, I can tell you that I deal with the same thing.” I look at him, his face of compassion and understanding.
“What are you talking about? You are so in control. Optimistic, even,” I say, doubting his words.
He turns away from me, a sad smile forming. He gets up from his place on the ground and walks over to the edge of the tower. I notice his hands shaking a little as he reaches for the railing.
“Y/N, have you noticed my limp?”
Of course I have, it’s quite prominent when he walks. His injury must have been pretty horrible to have caused it. I rise from the ground, worried. Making my way over to him, I hesitate on speaking.
Instead of answering his question, I say, “What happened.”
“I had trouble dealing with it.”
It takes a moment for his vague words to connect in my mind. Realization hits, and I suddenly understand his fear of heights. I move closer to Newt, putting my hand on his shoulder. After a moment or two, I let my hand fall back to my side. Words had escaped me, I had no idea how to respond.
“You jumped,” we’re the only words that could come out of my mouth.
He doesn’t say anything, but the look on his face conﬁrms what I had said. I can tell that he wasn’t used to talking about it. In the six months I’ve been here, no one had said anything about his limp and neither had he. I was right in assuming that it was a sore subject. Newt was suicidal. Even in my worst condition, the thought had never even crossed my mind.
Newt ﬁnally speaks, “If anyone here is pathetic, it’s me.”
I look over at him in surprise. Learning about this part of his past has only made me think of him as even stronger. He had hit rock bottom, had done the only thing he could think of to stop his pain. But his failure had brought him strength. He regained hope. He kept going, even though he could have given up again. I could never look down on him for that. This is exactly what I tell Newt.
When I ﬁnish, he looks over at me. Our gazes locked, he closes the gap between us and cups my face in his hands.
“Y/N, if you ever, ever, think about hurting yourself, promise that you will come to me.”
His sudden intensity surprises me and I fail to reply fast enough.
“Promise, Y/N,” he repeats.
I nod quickly. “I promise.”
He sighs in relief and kisses me on the forehead. He then pulls me in for a hug.
I know now that I will be able to deal with anything with Newt by my side. Whatever comes our way, we will be there for each other. I will never let Newt feel the way he did ever again. I promise.
So I copied one of the Cuddly Rigor Mortis paintings that I love. I’m proud of it actually, I usually don’t paint well. But I wanted something of hers hanging in my house, and I really like to paint but don’t have any ideas, so I thought I’d combine the two.