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“I’ll let Anden know.”

Day runs a hand through his hair, opens his mouth to say something, and closes it again. I can tell there’s another part of this whole scenario that he’s not telling me, but I don’t press it. It wouldn’t make a difference, anyway—there are already enough reasons why we weren’t meant to be. His eyes catch the moonlight spilling in from the windows. Another moment passes between us, filled with nothing but the whisper of breathing. “Well, I—” His voice cracks, and he clenches his hands into fists. He stays there for a second, steeling himself. “I should let you get some sleep. You must be tired.” He rises and straightens his coat. We exchange a final, parting nod. Then he gives me a polite bow, turns around, and starts walking away. “Good night, June.”

My heart is ripped open, shredded, leaking blood. I can’t let him leave like this. We’ve been through too much to turn into strangers. A farewell between us should be more than a polite bow. Suddenly I find my feet and rush toward him right as he reaches the door. “Day, wait—”

He spins around. Before I can say anything else, he steps forward and takes my face in his hands. Then he’s kissing me one last time, overwhelming me with his warmth, breathing life and love and aching sorrow into me. I throw my arms around his neck as he wraps his around my waist. My lips part for him and his mouth moves desperately against mine, devouring me, taking every breath that I have. Don’t go, I plead wordlessly. But I can taste the good-bye on his lips, and now I can no longer hold back my tears. He’s trembling. His face is wet. I hang on to him like he’ll disappear if I let go, like I’ll be left alone in this dark room, standing in the empty air. Day, the boy from the streets with nothing except the clothes on his back and the earnestness in his eyes, owns my heart.

He is beauty, inside and out.

He is the silver lining in a world of darkness.

He is my light.

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