There were moments, during the dark months, that the only way I drew a breath was to forge myself in hope. For the people around me, such as the other journalists, Dashner, Fury, and even Rogers at times, their hope seemed to be dwindling on a cliff. Maybe mine was too, but never did I feel my heart dim in my love for him.
A month before Grace and Steve’s wedding, I was at the café. I was sitting alone in the place James and I always sat, in the stools facing the window. It was later in the morning, so naturally the café was busy.
I sipped my hazelnut coffee and tried to keep my thoughts off of James. Instead I focused on the clouds hanging in the sky, casting shadows over the sunlight. A stretch of cumulous puffs dotted the blue sea, every wisp and curl drifting with the wind. It seemed that there were shafts of air that would catch a cloud and tear it up. One part of the cloud would detach itself and swirl around until it came to another. It was a humble display of separation.
I cast my eyes down to the level of the trees. The wind was blowing harshly, promising a coming storm. The leaves quivered and danced until a few broke from its branch and carried off in the current. It was a discrete display of separation.
In my mind, I compared the two separations. Eventually, the conclusion I came to was this: The separations did not result in disaster. The cloud did not vanish from existence, and the leaf did not die. No, they kept moving.
“Good morning, El. Mind if I join you?” a voice startled me.
I shook myself out of the trance and rested my eyes on my visitor, who settled himself in the stool next to mine, with a coffee in his hand.
“Hello Dylon,” I muttered.
“You seemed lonely. I thought I’d give you some company,” he replied, as chipper as always.
You’re just a few years late. I thought silently, thinking back to our high school days. I would have fainted at the chance just to have coffee with him.
After a moment of silence, he started humming. I cringed. It was his voice that set the flame in high school.
“Remember when I told you looked familiar?” he blurted out.
I shifted uncomfortably in my seat and tapped my fingers on the side of my coffee cup
“I remember now. We went to the same high school, didn’t we?” he flashed me a smile.
“I’m surprised you even remember,” I scoffed, turning away from him to sip my coffee.
I felt his eyes on me. “El, it’s been months…” Dylon ventured.
“Yes, it has. I suppose you’re going to tell me that he’s probably dead and that I should move on with my life?” I snapped.
“If I have done anything to—“
“You’ve done nothing, that’s what you’ve done. Now, if you don’t mind, I have work to do,” I gathered my things and stalked away before he could retort.
I felt his hand grab my arm harshly. He loosened his grip quickly and reeled back his hand as if embarrassed. I looked back at him, hoping to find him in a state of defeat. Instead, an amusing smirk contorted his face.
“I know you had a crush on me, El. I can give you a chance now.”
“I’m sorry, Dylon, but you’re eight years too late.”
“Well, I’m here now. You can have me,” he smirked and reached for my hand.
I dodged his reach. “That’s just it, Dylon. I don’t want you anymore.”