Never Let Me Go

The Middle (Hope)

Matt had thought that he’d been in love before, but Lily had proven him wrong. She was beauty, and light, and laughter, and everything good in the world that he hadn’t known about.

They had met at the wrong time, of course. Second half of senior year, college plans already put into motion. And of course they were going to different colleges, neither near each other. But at the beginning that wasn’t an issue. They had time to figure things out, to make plans.

In the middle, time felt like it was running short. They felt desperate, like animals trapped in cages. He felt it in the way that Lily clutched at his shirt when they kissed, saw the anxiety in her eyes even when she was smiling.

He hated seeing her that way, their futures dimming that light inside her. They were heading towards the inevitable faster than they realized.

“Why don’t we just run away from it all?” he had asked her on a Saturday afternoon. They were laying in his bed, the sun blanketing them in warmth through his bedroom window. His parents had gone away for the weekend, and for that he was thankful. She had laughed at first, but he could see the idea worming it’s way into her mind, could feel her warming to it.

“And just not go to college?” she asked in return.

“Yeah,” he said. “We’ll drive till we hit the ocean and we can just lay on the beach all day.”

She stretched out beside him, eyes closing and smile growing as she pictured it.

Her eyes reopened slowly and she moved closer to him, pressing her lips to his cheek.

“I love you,” she mumbled.

“Is that a yes then?” he questioned, rolling over quickly till he was on top of her. She giggled as his hands skimmed up her sides.

“It’s a maybe,” she replied. He grinned down at her before pressing his lips to hers.

They both knew it would happen, that they’d get away from it all, spend their days together on a sun-drenched beach.