35.3: Smile Under the Twilight

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“When you left Old Tenebris,” Wyatt smiled, changing his whole demeanor, “Instead of wallowing in your sadness, you finally decided to give yourself a reason to keep moving. And while we were on the road, I saw the real Elijah. Not the one who would drift out of conversation, not the one who would fumble around with his plate. I saw the Elijah that I met on the first day of kindergarten. The happy, kindhearted, altruistic best friend that helped me cope with my own parents.”

The real me...I never truly felt myself after my parents disappeared. A part of me was torn away that day, and I thought that maybe, I could hide my feelings from Wyatt. I didn’t want him to worry about me. I didn’t want to drag my best friend down into my hole.

“I never got to know who you were before your parents died,” I said. “But sometimes I wonder how life would’ve went if they were around.”

“We definitely wouldn’t be as close as we are now. In some ways, I think it’s a blessing. Even after all of this hardship, I think there’s still a reason to smile.”

“How do you do it?” I asked. “How, in the middle of all of this, do you find a reason to smile?”

“The twilight isn’t all darkness, Elijah,” Wyatt raised his head to the twilight. “There’s enough light breaking through for us to search for the good in the world.”

“Even now? Even after our home has been destroyed?”

Wyatt nodded, “It’s weird, isn’t it? I should be upset. I should hate her for what she did. But I can’t bring myself to be angry about this. I don’t really understand it. Maybe deep down, I wanted a reason to leave Old Tenebris like you did—the urge to experience the rest of Creput.”

“You really are something, you know?” I chuckled.

“Don’t ever forget it.”

“Hey! Elijah!”

Solana came jogging behind us, followed by Keith, Josef, and Melodie.

“Ready to go?” I asked.

“We should be all set,” Keith replied. “We need to pray that Leve has room for all of these people. We’ll need to move fast and get back to the Castle.”

“How long do you think it’ll take?”

“A few hours hopefully. And that’s only if we can house them there. If not, well, it could take a day, maybe more.”

“A day will take too long,” I said. “The twilight is too intense to risk leaving these refugees out in the open.”

“Well, we don’t have another option,” Keith argued.

“It’s a risk we’ll just have to take then.”

“I don’t know…” Melodie mumbled. “What if we can’t house them there?”

“I’m not so sure about that either, Elijah,” Josef added. “The twilight in Leve might be just as strong as it is here.”

“Fine. How about we take a vote?” Keith asked. “Everyone in favor of going to Leve, raise your hand.”

Solana, Keith and I raised our hands.

“That settles it. Leve it is.”

The End

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