I stood up and walked towards the bookshelf. I browsed until Under the Sun, Above the Moon appeared in front of me. I slid it out of the shelf, handing it to Solana, who was still beside herself in misery.
“Solana, take a look at this,” I requested.
She looked up at me, seeing the book in my extended arm, “What’s this?”
“Page fifty-five, paragraph three.”
Solana turned to the excerpt I gave her, and began to read it aloud, “‘Humanity has a constant need to reach a perfection that it can never achieve. Ancient peoples created beings of perfection called gods. They set the precedence of evolution that we continue to follow. And so, we all strive for something that we can never reach.’”
“Leonard Lusk,” I explained. “Keith showed me this book yesterday. It was the one you saw me reading this morning, and I have to say, it’s given me quite the insight.”
“I-I don’t understand,” Solana gave me a dumbfounded stare.
“We’re not meant to be perfect, Solana. We make mistakes, all of us. You, me, my parents, Celeste...we’ve all made mistakes, and will continue to make them. It’s just natural.”
“So what if your friendship wasn’t genuine when we met? Things change. You said it yourself: it’s not like that anymore. You and I have both grown from when we first met. In a way,” I chuckled, “we’re both pretty similar. I only ever wanted to bring my parents home, and you only ever wanted to change your Essence color. And we were willing to do anything to get what we desired. How can I possibly judge you when I did the exact same thing?”
Solana brushed away more of her tears with her the back of her hands, “But the only reason we met was because you wanted to find your parents. We wouldn’t even be here if…”
“That’s exactly why you can’t keep dwelling on the past. Mistakes will happen, but sometimes, those mistakes can lead to wonderful things. It was by chance that I even found you in the first place. Had I decided to leave a day earlier, or the day after, I would have never heard you wrestling that bear. I never would have discovered the Order, and you never would have become my mentor. You have done so much for me in this past month, even if behind those charitable acts was a hidden agenda. I can’t be angry at what you’ve done, because all you have done, even though all of it was unintentional, has shaped me into a better person. I just hope that now, I can do the same for you, because I care about you.”
A portion of that bliss she had earlier returned, if only for a second.
“You looked so happy when you saw your parents again. That beaming smile, the way your cheeks perked up in their embrace...it made me realize how wonderful I felt when you were happy. Seeing the radiant sparkle in your eyes, and feeling the warmth resonate from your Essence...it filled me with delight.”
“Solana, you mean more to me than you could ever know. I...I—”
It was so quick, so surreal. Without a second thought, Solana’s lips connected with mine. At first, nerves did their best to try and pull me away. But there was a certain euphoria, the kind I had never experienced in my life. I held her in my arms, and her smooth, full lips continued to press against mine. I imagined us soaring through the heavens, like Icarus and his makeshift wings. Except, rather than being scorched by the sun’s rays, we were hovering towards the twilight.
“I feel the same way,” she smiled.
And we remained there, within each other’s jubilant embrace, allowing the minutes to pass in our company. All of our guilt, all of our pain, all of our negativity were abandoned in an instant.
Perhaps perfection was achievable, together.