Remember Last Knight

the universe


Lunch that day confused me.

Anne was friendly, and kind. Like I had expected her to be. She was funny, and she had a light, airy laugh that flushed her cheeks. She seemed like the perfect roommate.

Except Knight was still off-guard now, smiling and laughing with us, but reserved. His knee, next to mine under the table, kept bumping mine as his leg moved up and down, quickly. I reached a hand out, spreading my fingers over his knee, willing him to relax. He did, but not for long. Moments later his leg was moving again.

Ayden was sitting across from Knight, where they had been talking now and then, straying away from the conversations Anne and I were having. I caught snippets. Ayden talked about the girls here, and the food, and the surprise he felt when he realized the girl to his left was Andy's sister. He said something about telling Andy as soon as he got home, which seemed to make Knight even edgier, his knee stopped bobbing altogether suddenly. His voice was low as he angled away from us some, only speaking to Ayden. I distinctly heard something along the lines of, I wouldn't, they're not exactly on the greatest of speaking terms. But who knew. Nothing would stop Ayden.


I knew that they were leaving soon, Ayden and Knight. I knew they were both tired, and ready to get going, but I needed to talk to them both. I pulled an arm around Ayden's shoulder, patting his back. Then, I pulled him aside, outside of the dorm, leaving Knight and Anne inside, so I could talk to my brother.

I extracted myself from him, taking a step back. He was getting so tall, honestly. His hair needed to be cut, too. I told him that. He laughed.

"So, you're going to call me, right? Every day?" I asked, looking up at him. He smiled.

"What if I forget one day?"

"You mean, what if you get so drunk you forget one day? You better call me twice the next day."

He chuckled, once. "I'm going to miss you, Elle."

"Good," I said, automatic. "I'm gonna miss you, too, bro. So much." And again, automatically, I reached up for his neck, hugging him. "Take care of yourself, and don't get carried away. Know your limits. Don't make dumb decisions, even if they sound good at first. And call me. Everyday."

Ayden, my brother, all grown up and stupid and tall, hugging me back, said, "I will. I'll try. I love you, sis. Thank you."


"I'm sorry about earlier," she said, "I didn't mean to make things awkward like that. I just... I honestly didn't even expect to see you. I knew Elle was with someone, but I had never asked for a name. And it's not like you expected some girl named Anne to be me, Anne. I'm sorry, Knight."

I was sitting on Elle's new bed. I had moved boxes for her, unpacking somethings, and crunched them down to fit between the drawers in her closet and the wall. I was tired. I was frustrated. I was surprised.

"It's fine, Anne," I say, to the ground. My eyes are watching the corner of Elle's desk. "You couldn't have known. I couldn't have known. For all Elle knows, you're just Andy's sister. Nothing happened between us."

"Yeah, yeah, except I threw myself at you, and you rejected me." I looked up at her. She smiled, shaking her head. "Not that I'm not thankful. I mean, where would we have been now, if that had happened? Would you and Elle even be together? Would I even be alive? I mean, I owe you a lot Knight. I honestly do."

I shook my head. What? Anne wasn't making sense. Not a bit of it. "What are you talking about?"

"I won't bore you with it. Long story short, after you left that night, I was feeling rejected. Rejected and neglected. I was at a high school party, as a college girl, and I felt neglected. So when I went for another drink that I didn't need, and a boy my brother's age came up to me and put his hands on my waist, I didn't say no. We danced, and he said sweet, smooth things to me. And then he was trying to take me with him, to his car, to his house. And then I saw my brother. And I thought of you. And how you had said no to me, because you were my brother's best friend. And I wondered how well I knew this kid, or how well my brother knew him, and I just... I couldn't do that. I realized how tired I was, and how right you were to say no, and so I did the same thing.

"That boy died that night. I heard about it. I went to the funeral. I saw you. And that's what I meant when I thanked you. I will always be thankful to you, Knight Harvey. Thank you for saving me from dying along side Louis Campos."


Everything was too much for me. I was on overload. I was ready to break down.

I was tired.
I was already missing my girlfriend.
I was overwhelmed by Anne's news.
I had saved Anne from dying with Louis, at least in her mind. All I had done was say no, conjure up a few morals between breaths, and said no. She believed I had saved her. All these years, that's what she had thought. Anne and Louis. Louis and Elle. My Elle. Elle and I. And now, Elle and Anne.

When Elle came back from talking with Ayden, I was ready to collapse. Everything was too much for me. I was on overload. I was ready to break down. Anne excused herself. Ayden went to the vending machine. I sent a helpless look toward Anne. She walked on. I thought back to the last words we had spoken to each other, moments ago.

"Does she know? Does Elle know about me?"

"Of course not. I mean... she knows. That I've slept with girls, and that I've said no. To you. But she doesn't know that you are that girl."

"Are you going to tell her?"

"I don't know. Should I? I'm so at a loss."

"I would. If I were you, Knight. You love her. Don't keep secrets. Don't start now. You're being separated for some time. Don't start now."

But when Elle came in, and sat beside me, I couldn't.

"Are you okay?" she asked, reaching for my hand. I wanted to say no. I wanted to say that no, I wasn't okay. I was going crazy. I was confused. Help me, Elle. Understand.

But I didn't say that.

I let her take my hand, and run her fingers across it. She scooted closer to me, kissing me. And I kissed her, holding her face between my hands, tucking strands of loose hair behind her ears. I kissed her forehead, and cheeks, and nose. And I kissed her temple, whispering "I love you, Elle Rogers. I love you more than anything in the world. I love you more than anything in the universe."

And then she kissed me again, falling into my chest, and I held her.

I held her like I held the words I wanted so badly to tell her.
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