The first and only time I ever doubted my friendship with Becca was almost a month after my sixteenth birthday--August twelfth. My family was having a private crisis that still gives me shivers to think about today, but all Becca cared about were parties and who was dating whom. Of course, she didn't know about what was happening at home, no one did. Not even Elena, though she could sense the strained air around us back then.
Slowly, I became tired of Becca's jabbering on about the social status of our high-school while my life was unraveling. As my responses became more bleak, her calls became more sparse. Pretty soon, she stopped calling and visiting, and I stopped caring. I learned, just as that summer came to a close, that life was about much more than silly crushes and the perfect skirt. Life was more precious than that, it was worth more than the exact shade of blush.
I took to reading more, though I knew mom just wanted me to maintain some semblance of a normal life before I was told the news that changed everything. I couldn't help it. I was suddenly struggling to stay afloat in the sea of popularity I'd gained over the years, until I finally gave in and let the sharks have at me. I didn't care. Not really, anyway.
"Hi," a low voice cut through my thoughts, making me all too aware of how far I was from my house and how I hadn't turned the page in a while.
I peeked behind me and my breath caught, he was here. He was talking to me with a crooked, shy smile and a lavender top that was taut around his biceps. His scent--sun and salt--hit me and I silently thanked god that I was sitting down.
"I've seen you a couple of times, but we haven't met." He stuck out his hand when he was close enough and I quickly eyed it suspiciously, before taking it. It was rough and strong. "I'm Logan Brown."
"Alexis Hernandez," I began. "But everyone calls me Lexy."
He nodded, his eyes hidden in the shadows.
"Can I sit, Lexy-not-Alexis?"
I hesitated for a second and he must have noticed it, since he added, "I won't bite, I promise. I'm just looking for a friend."
I pursed my lips and nodded. He plopped down onto the sand and crossed his legs. He sighed once and aimed his face at the sky above us.
"Wow, definitely isn't like that in Toronto," he said, referring to the millions of stars in the inky night sky.
"Yeah, the beach is always the best place to see the stars," I paused. "Toronto?"
He grunted and the way he didn't follow this throaty reply with an explanation made me realize that he didn't want to talk about it. In fact, I realized as I watched the curve of his back as he continued to stare up and up, that he didn't need a chatty companion. He just simply needed a companion.
Pulling my legs up onto the chair and propping the book against my knee, I happily obliged. After a few minutes, Logan cleared his throat and said the only words he would utter for the night.
"Best friends are underrated."
I didn't take my eyes off the book, but I knew exactly what he meant.