Chapter Eleven

A few hours had passed, and Finn's feet were terribly sore.  He could feel several holes in his now sad and grimy new socks, the result of stepping on countless twigs and rocks.  The morning's overcast remained, looming over the brooding woods. Day was weighing heavily in his arms, and his lungs were on fire.  His whole body was begging for him to put her down and rest for a while.  

Don't have to ask me twice, he thought quietly as he gently lay the sleeping girl down.  His arms felt relief almost immediately. 

Finn decided he would rest for ten minutes or so.  His internal clock set, he allowed his mind to wander, thinking again how odd it was that the sky was still so dark.  The morning was well under way by now, and in a few more hours, it would surely be midday.  But still, the sky remained that dark shade of gray Finn often associated with the color of whatever was left in his fireplace after his mother finished reading whatever she was absorbed in at the time.  If she was working from home, the only place she could ever concentrate was beside a warm fire. 

His mother was an editor for a publishing company, so she was always engrossed in the work of whichever writer was trying to be the next big hit. She wasn't really around much if she could help it, which had been rough when he was little, wondering if she didn't like coming home because she'd have to deal with him-- a question he still didn't know the answer to.  But it had also lent him the sort of freedom that enabled him to spend all of his time doing whatever he wanted, be it spending time with Day or staying after school for a few hours to play chess with his favorite teacher.

Finn turned his attention back to their present situation.  It was really starting to worry him that Day wasn't awake yet, and he had no idea what to do.  He studied her face again, hoping with all his might that she was okay. 

Her light brown hair was a tangled mess, but that was how it usually was. A strand of it was caught around the earrings in the cartilage of her ear--there were three in a straight line down the side of her lobe.  She'd had them done just before their Christmas break that year, and hated getting hair stuck in them because they were still sore.  Gently, he freed the strand of hair and let it fall back into place with the rest of the mess.  

Every detail about Day was ingrained into his memory.  The way her hair fell into her eyes, or the way she pushed it behind her ears when she was trying to concentrate.  The way her thin eyebrows would arch up when she was surprised or laughing, or knit closer together when she was angry or upset.   Day was an open book, and sometimes it felt like he knew her better than he knew himself.  If she wasn't okay, he honestly didn't know what he might do.  

He sighed and rubbed his temples with his fingertips, hoping to massage his anxiety away.  But before he knew it, he felt himself growing sleepy.  Despite his best efforts to fight unconsciousness, he finally slipped away.

The End

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