Rylie peeked into the room, seeing her two men waiting patiently for her return. She was so embarrassed that she could hardly gather the courage to talk to Luke or Michael for that matter. But she had admitted to herself that she was in the wrong, and it was the honorable thing to do to apologize for her faulty behavior.
She took a well needed breath, having air seep into her lungs. She felt like she hadn't breathed in hours, so it was nice to feel the air calm her shaky nerves. She clasped her hands together behind her back, and shuffled into the room. Her eyes met Luke's but she quickly looked down to avoid his judgmental eyes.
"My dad's fine." she said, her voice as small as an infant's. Finally, she looked up to meet ocean blue orbs and the relief was sensational.
Luke smiled weakly at her, offering as much comfort and happiness he could muster, but the pain of her harsh words earlier resided evidence in his eyes. They were a darker shade of blue than usual, and Rylie had come to the conclusion they weren't as full of gleaming stars as when he was happy.
She stepped closer to him, sensing his shadow creep upon her, and she planted her gentle hand on his smooth chest. She looked up at him to make sure she had his full attention. "I'm sorry Luke. That was so uncool of me to let all my frustration out on you."
Luke nodded, and blushed as Rylie looked closer at him. "Do you forgive me?" she asked, desperate for his clarification. He was larger than her, but his actions were so small and shy, and she was overwhelmed at how adorable he was.
He looked down at her Hershey kissed eyes, and that beautiful smile spread from ear to ear. His finger reached up and bopped Rylie's nose, making it scrunch up as she blushed. "How could I be mad at that pretty little face?" he asked, his eyebrows knitted together in a question.
How was he so understanding? It blew her mind that his body was of an 18-year-old boy still learning the ropes of life when his mind was of an old man's, full of wisdom and understanding. He had every reason to drop her and move on, but he stayed, and she was grateful. She knew how hurtful it felt to feel like the bad guy, and she cringed at the thought of giving Luke those feelings. She seemed to always screw up, but somehow he understood. After all, humans make mistakes. Not very long they had known of each other's existence, but Rylie felt like they were meant to cross paths.
She wrapped her arm around his waist, and looked up to meet his eyes. At that moment, the fire constantly burning between the two saw the spark and ignited off into a frenzy at the idea of the perfect couple.
"My dad finally approves of us." Rylie told Luke, waiting for the excited cheer.
He smiled, and tucked a loose strand of hair behind her ear. "I guess everything's falling into place, huh?"
The statement was so very true. Rylie was very happy, and there was no way anything else could go wrong. She wanted to believe it, but ultimately, she was clever enough to know happy endings were comical.
She took a deep breath, and realized how desperately she wanted fresh air.
"I'm gonna go outside for a bit."
"Want me to join?" Luke asked, grabbing her hand, but she softly let go.
"No, I'll only be a bit." she smiled, showing Luke she kinda wanted to be alone, and left him where he stood. She took the elevator down to the first floor, and exited through the stain-glass doors. She looked up at the dark sky, absent with stars on the very night. She took a seat on the curb, and dusted the scuff marks off her Converses.
It was such a dreary night, and it bummed her happy mood. Rylie missed the stars. She loved them so much. Each star was different. Each told a different story. She looked at the stars, and compared them to people. Each star was a person in this world, all bright in their own way. She smiled at her symbolic reasoning.
She sensed a presence beside her, and shuffled in her position. She waved her hand out beside her, and felt the warm body. "Luke?" she asked, but the person's arm didn't feel like Luke's at all. It wasn't as sturdy.
"No, its Michael."
"Oh." was all Rylie said for she was caught off guard.
'Yea, I just wanted to see how you were doing." Michael answered, his voice sweet with worry.
"You don't seem fine."
"I am. Just tired. Thanks for the concern." Rylie turned her head, and squinted to make out Michael's features. The moon hung awkwardly, sparkling just enough light for her to see his eyes gleaming. He was so cute, and sweet. At that moment, he turned to her as well, and smiled, meeting her eyes.
"You know why there isn't any stars in the sky tonight?" he asked.
Rylie furrowed her brows at his question. "Um...why?"
"Cause they're all in your eyes."
She sat still on the curb, leaning back on her palms to examine the charcoal black sky, and allowed a sigh to escape her lips. She was blushing hard, and she was thankful Michael couldn't see. Why would he say that to her? It was sweet, but completely unexpected. She was left with no words to say, but she knew seconds more of silence, and Michael would regret his words.
"Thank you." Rylie said, and cursed under her breath at the lame response. Thank you? He said something very meaningful, and she answered with a thank you?
"Uh...yea no problem."
She could tell Michael was taken aback. Now she felt bad, but she couldn't think of anything to say. "You're a good friend." she decided, and smiled as Michael's face lit up.
He met her pupils with timid eyes. "That means a lot."
Rylie flashed her ivory teeth that glowed in the dim light. "Good. You really are. I have a feeling we'll be really close."
Michael nodded in agreement, and they sat there in silence as they became lost in their own thoughts. Eventually, he broke the quietness.
"So what are you and Luke now?"
"Um...we're kinda dating." They were dating but she said it awkwardly because it felt like so much more. Dating was a weak word to describe their amazing relationship.
Michael frowned, and Rylie had no idea what she had done to make him sad. Was her answer not sufficient?
"Well that's good." With those three words, Michael pushed himself to his feet, and nodded a goodbye at her level before turning on his heel.
"Wait." Rylie commanded. She pushed herself up too, and stood in front of him, looking up slightly to meet his emerald eyes that were a dark gray on that very night. "No hug?" she smiled, and opened her arms wide, waiting for him to engulf her. His pale cheeks turned an obvious pink, and he wrapped his plump arms around her small waist, cocooning his head in her neck.
Rylie locked the hug as she wrapped her thin arms around his neck. In that moment, their hot breaths intermixed, and their hearts beat at different intervals, and the only sounds made were those of the bustling of the city around them. She noticed his hugs weren't as great as Luke's, but something was different and even more pleasant. Michael was like a little teddy bear that she needed to squeeze to get the satisfaction she yearned for. At that very moment, she felt something deep in her bones, in the root of her heart, something for Michael. It was unexplainable, but it told her she didn't want to lose his friendship, or...him.