Two weeks later, Aurora and Eli had already created an unspoken late night agreement. She would dance on the beach while he watched from the pier and then she would join him on the ledge where they talked until about an hour away from the sunrise about anything and everything. She had gotten to know him so much in such a short time.
Now it was around 3:45 in the morning on a Thursday. Eli stood in the sand a few yards away from Aurora, who was fidgeting nervously.
“You trust me, don’t you?” Eli called out. She couldn’t see him or the smirk she knew he wore but she rolled her eyes. “Quit rolling your eyes and answer!”
Aurora stuck her tongue out at him and sighed loudly. “Yes, I trust you … but you said you quit … and you have yet to tell me how long ago that was.”
“My dancing days are another story. Yours is here and now. So do you trust me or not?”
“Fine, yes.” She crossed her arms in mock anger.
“Then come on.”
“What if you don’t catch me?” she asked hesitantly and he scoffed.
“Oh please. Just come on and jump already.”
“Fine.” Aurora shook out her limbs for a second, readying herself before taking off in a sprint through the darkness at Eli.
For one brief second she feared he wouldn’t catch her but he did, effortlessly. He caught her waist and held her above his head, spinning in a small circle before dropping her down gracefully into his arms.
She was speechless as she looked up at him and he was smirking. Aurora slapped his shoulder. “Put me down now!”
“Why? Don’t wanna be in my arms? Don’t you feel safe?” He joked and he danced around in circles with her helpless.
“Eli if you don’t put me down right now I swear I’m gonna hit you again.” She warned, keeping a smile off of her face.
“Do it,” he dared her; “I might like it.” Eli laughed out loud and finally set her down on her feet as she crossed her arms over her chest.
They stared each other down for a second before walking up to the pier. “Why did you quit?” she whispered.
“Later, Aurora. Please.” The subject seemed to pain him and she dropped it reluctantly as they walked up the steps to sit down under the light. Although she hadn’t gotten an answer in the last two weeks, she wasn’t one to give up. She was determined to hear the truth, yet the slightest bit fearfully of what it was.
Eli on the other hand was determined to avoid the truth because he didn’t feel like facing it. He just wasn’t quite sure if he was ready for that yet. She was smart, funny, and talented, but he had no idea how she would react. In retrospect, it wasn’t the worst thing that had ever happened to anyone but it was so real and huge to him. He had to wait until the right moment to reveal all his secrets. At that thought, Eli smiled to himself, remembering what he had said to Aurora on the first night they met.
“Are you hungry?” he asked out loud. “I could really use some waffles.” He took her hand easily, staring at her until she answered.
“Waffles? At this hour?”
“Yeah, come on. The diner up the street is 24-hour. And I noticed you’re not in pajamas tonight.” She blushed but didn’t answer; just fell into step with him as they walked up the pier away from the beach.