I was at a complete loss of what to do.
I thought that bringing Ryder off that bridge would be the end of it, that he would hopefully remain optimistic and call Dinah and everything would be sorted. Oh how naive of me. Things were terrible, spiralling out of control. I didn't know what to do. I had never dealt with suicidal people before and it was a terrible burden to carry, knowing that it was my fault.
I left Ryder alone in the cafe, in a vain attempt that it may calm him down slightly. I could see it in his eyes that I was the last person he wanted to talk to. Even if he never said it out loud, I knew that he blamed me too, I could see the accusation, hear the contempt lacing his tone as he spoke to me.
There was only one thing for it, I had to find Dinah.
I started off in all the places Ryder and I hadn't looked: bars, clubs, cafes. I spoke to anyone who might know her, earning numerous baffled glances and some quite nasty jeers. However, they all told me the same thing: they hadn't heard a thing from her. It felt like a race against time: each minute that passed was another minute towards Ryder's possible second attempt at suicide and for Dinah's hate and betrayal to grow, causing the wedge between them to delve deeper and deeper, until everything was lost.
I knew I should have been keeping an eye on Ryder, to make sure he didn't try anything stupid again, but finding Dinah really was crucial and we weren't going to do it sitting around all day.
I had slumped down miserably in one of the cafe booths, absolutely exhausted and on the brink of giving up when I heard a familiar voice sat behind me.
'Yeah she just sounded really...broken y'know?'
'I bet it's got something to do with Ryder.'
'If he's hurt her I swear to God...'
My heart leaped in my chest, hammering against my ribcage. Excitement and hope bubbled through me and I turned my head slightly to see who it was. As my eyes clasped on the figure sat with his friends, I gasped.
'Anthony?' I said without thinking, causing four heads to turn towards me.
He obviously didn't recognize me, his eyes narrowed in incomprehension, his head tilted slightly to the side.
'Can I help you?'
His friends were staring at me with wide, curious eyes and I didn't allow myself to feel intimidated. This was for Dinah.
'I need to speak to you, it's about Dinah.'
As soon as I said her name, he frowned.
'What about her?'
I really didn't want to say this in front of his friends, some things were personal and I was absolutely certain that neither Dinah nor Ryder would appreciate me blurting out their problems in front of a load of strangers.
'I really need to speak to you, alone.'
'We'll see you back at the club yeah?' one of his friends said and I smiled thankfully at him, watching them all file out of the booth and make their way outside.
'What is it?' he demanded.
'I really need to know where she is,' I began.
'I don't even know who you are.'
'Do you remember that day in the cafe? When you slapped Dinah across the face and got beaten up by that guy? I'm the girl you labelled as a 'fucking foreigner'. I was new to the city and one of the first people I encountered were you and Dinah. Dinah was lovely to me, and made me feel welcome and I've done something absolutely horrible, and I'm afraid for her. I really need to find her, so if you know where she is, please tell me.'
I watched his eyes widen as that day came flooding back to him. His skin flushed very lightly and he began to apologize.
'Don't apologize,' I cut him off. 'Just tell me where she is.'
'Erm, last time I heard from her, she was headed to her parents beach house. In Florida.'
'Florida?' I gaped, both extremely relieved that I now knew of her destination but distraught that I had no way of reaching her.
'Listen, I'll give her a call yeah? She'll probably answer for me, and then I'll give the phone to you.'
'Oh thank you,' I gasped gratefully. 'Thank you.'
He pulled his phone out his pocket and began punching in some digits. As he brought it up to his ear, I waited with bated breath. I didn't know if she was going to answer, or what I would say when the phone was passed over. This part was essential; I had to hold her attention long enough for her to not hang up on me.
'Dinah? Hey yeah it's Anthony.'
A few seconds silence.
'Yeah I'm good thanks, how's everything with you?'
As she was speaking, he passed the phone over to me. My fingers were trembling, the phone felt heavy in my grip, but I was determined to do this, to fix the mess that I had caused.
'...okay. It's a struggle, you know? But ... '
'Dinah!' I interrupted her.
'Lexi?!' she spoke incredulously. 'What are you doing? Where's Anthony.'
'Never mind that, listen you have to come home! Back to New York! You wouldn't believe how much of a mess Ryder is in right now, he needs you. I need you.'
'Lexi I can't. To have him do something like that... I have to stay here for a while, to think things through.'
Though her words sound steady, there's something empty within them and it frightens me a little.
'Dinah, I'm going to tell you what I told Ryder. What I did was a stupid drunken mistake, you can't throw away everything that you have just because of one, meaningless thing. You simply can't. Ryder is in a living hell at the minute, I can see that each day without you is absolute torture for him. He's going downhill Dinah. He...' I bit my lip, unsure if I should tell her over the phone.
'What? What did he do?'
'He...he nearly committed suicide,' I said in a quiet voice.
Anthony's gasp beside me coincided with Dinah's over the phone.
'I managed to talk him out of it,' I rushed on. 'But I don't know how much more he can take. He needs to see you Dinah, it's like there's nothing left of him. He has no emotions, no care left. He's becoming bitter and twisted, you have to return.'
There was silence. I could feel Anthony's steady breath, my own beating heart, the quiet whirring of the coffee machine. All I needed to hear though, were the words that would end all of this torment, this anguish.
Then she spoke. 'I'll come back.'