âIâm not going out.â
She laughs; itâs the most beautiful noise Iâve ever heard. I donât think Iâve ever heard her laugh properly like that. My mouth drops open slightly before I pull myself back together. She pretends to wipe her eyes and grabs hold of my hand again, pulling me through the open door. âItâs adorable you think you have a choice.â
I swipe my keys off the counter as the door slams shut behind us. âWhere are we going?â I ask. She doesnât answer, instead she keeps a hold of my hand as we jog down the staircase and once we reach the sidewalk outside, she turns to me with a smile.
âThe stars are beautiful tonight, arenât they?â
I frown in confusion, and then tilt my head back to look up at the sky. I didnât realize you could still see the stars this close to the center of the city, but there they are, shining dimly amidst the light pollution. âI suppose.â She laughs again, shaking her head at me and dragging me down the street. âWhatâs so funny?â I nearly have to run to keep up. She pauses at the end of the block and lets go of my hand.
âYou, Kristian. Youâre funny. What have you been doing with your life? Why have you got such a bleak outlook on everything?â I open my mouth to answer, but she stops me with a finger on my lips. âNo, donât answer. When youâre ready to tell me the truth instead of the bullshit you were just about to make up, just remember, Iâll be here to listen.â
She looks up and down the street and then crosses the road without looking back. I stand frozen to the spot, staring after her. I donât have any words to describe how I feel. Exhaling a heavy breath, I look both ways, then jog across the street to catch up.