Lucy stared out the window of the apartment she had been staying in. It had been a long couple of weeks, both physically and emotionally. Her car had been ticketed and impounded while she had been teaching art, and she had to fight with them to let her get all of her belongings out of it while she found the money to pay off her tickets. After that, she had been hiding her stuff at the shelter she frequented while she was at work, with the owner’s consent. Unfortunately, someone had decided to steal most of her art supplies, including a painting she had been working on. She began to lose hope at that point.
Thankfully, she had met a guy who had been kind enough to give her his contact information if she ever needed a friend. Despite knowing he had meant something else, she reached out to him, asking if she could camp on his couch. And he said yes. So here she was now, left to her own thoughts while she waited for him to get home from work. Her emotions from all the recent events started to get the best of her, as a tear rolled down her cheek, followed by more.
She was startled back to reality as the door to the apartment opened up. Taking a quick moment to wipe away her tears, she steeled herself then turned around. “Hey, Cecil. How was work?”
Cecil could tell that something was wrong with the girl, but he chose not to pry, at least not now. Instead he entertained her with small talk.
“It was work. Nothing special. Did you get to work alright?”
“What, don’t think I’m capable of walking?” She scoffed. “I got there fine, yeah. Plus, I only glared once at the other people.” She walked over to the couch as she spoke and sat down, patting the cushion beside her. The corner of her mouth turned up slightly as he obliged and also sat down.
“Well done. Can’t say I did as good. Every customer got a glare from me.” He chuckled as he spoke. “You’ll have to teach me your ways.”
Lucy chuckled with him, nodding. Her face then dropped a bit. “I was thinking about my father today,” she spoke softly. He was the first, and only, person that she had trusted enough with the truth. Or at least parts of it.
He was taken aback by how blunt she was, though he had come to learn that she was naturally blunt. “What about him?” At least now he didn’t have to try to pry from her why she seemed down.
“Just about how he should never have been arrested, and it’s the government’s fault that I have no family now. Or job,” her eyes began welling up again. It was weird, she never cried, or at least hadn’t since she left Italy. “Or money, or a car, or a home.” Tears were streaming down her cheeks again at this point, despite her efforts to wipe them away.
The next thing she knew, she was pulled up against the boy. “Hey,” it was his turn to speak softly, “you have a home. Here. As long as you need it. And family, if you want.” She looked up to see soft, brown eyes staring at her. “I can’t promise money or a car though.” A pause. “But…”
He was then standing up, pulling her up with him. “I can promise a place to scream at the world.” She tilted her head as he began leading the way to the door, grabbing both his helmet and the spare one he owned.
One motorcycle ride later they were… In the middle of nowhere? Lucy climbed off the bike and immediately took off her helmet, fixing her hair. “We need to get you a car. Or me my car back.” She looked around the emptiness until he walked up beside her. “Where are we anyway?” Her head tilted as she turned to face him.
“Just a little place I like to call emptiness. Not a soul to be seen for miles, plus it has a hell of a view of the sunset.” He began walking forward, this time leaving her to follow on her own. “There’s some rocks up ahead that give the best view,” he spoke over his shoulder at her.
After a moment, she followed after him. As long as he didn’t plan to kill her, right? Her mouth formed an “O” shape as they reached the rocks. The sun was just starting to set, proving him right. She sat down beside him at the edge of one of the rocks.
“How did you find this place?”
“You’re not the only broken person here. I was in a really bad place a couple years ago and stumbled across it accidentally.” He turned his body slightly to face her. “Since then, I come here whenever I need to just yell at the world.” With that, he let out a scream, then turned to face her expectantly.
Lucy just stared at him, not sure if he was on to something, or just crazy. She was leaning to the latter. But… “What the heck,” she let out a scream of her own. And it… felt invigorating? All of her negative emotions were starting to slip away. So, she let out another one. And another one. And soon they were both yelling into the sunset.
When they had both had enough, she turned to face him head on. “Thank you, C. For everything.”
“Any time, Lulu.”