“Think anybody will find us?”

Silence and the dark wrapped like blankets around them.

“Nobody’s looking.”

So confident. So crazy. This guy.

“Think we should go back?”

The moon stood watch, staring without a single blink.


He did something crazy. Unheard of. Something more unexpected than them sneaking out and sitting on the hillside overlooking the ocean.

“You’re holding my hand.”

She could see his smile since the moon was kind enough to shine on them. His gaze seemed to compete with the sight above.

“That’s ’cause it fits.”

Carefully constructed to connect. Two out of two billion. Hands that suddenly felt like one.

“My father used to hold my hand. But the guys I’ve known—they skip that whole thing.”

Like a rock thrown out to sea that refused to skip but instead stayed waiting on the surface, he simply smiled.

“Don’t lump me in with those others. Keep them inside the box. Let me roam free.”

The breath of the Pacific let out a beautiful and warm exhale. The endless waters before them were a mirror.

Yet it didn’t take much to shatter a mirror. Just a simple rock thrown in the right way at the right time.

God to only be able to step through and patch it all back up . . .

If only she could go back. To keep things there by the ocean, back in her early twenties, back when she was so full of herself. Back when she realized this young man really was the right one.

Instead, Allie had been foolish to believe he’d wait. To think there might be others. To wander off and never come back again.

There were others, indeed. Ones that waited in pitch black rooms with doors that locked. Ones that took her and then wouldn’t let her go.

Allie, the adult and not-so-confident version, had grown used to escaping. But it was always with her mind and her heart. She’d go back to the rock looking over such beauty. High enough to take her breath away. She’d go back and find salvation, only for a few moments.

Even now, in the silence of the cabin now, Allie had gone back. Just for a brief moment. Just to remember and try to say goodbye.
It never came.