April’s feet squished in the wet grass that was so green it nearly hurt her eyes. It was vibrant and rare considering what the world was becoming. She closed her eyes and listened to the sound of rushing water roaring in her ears. She was thinking about her brother, lost and alone somewhere she couldn’t seem to reach. She was thinking about the people she’d lost in these short few months and the goodbyes she never got to say.
There was beauty all around, but it was like she couldn’t even see it. All she could see was the grief that had become her best friend, holding on no matter how violently she shook them.
She heard someone shout her name from behind. Her eyes flew open and her head whipped around to see Emmett slowly climbing towards her. He was soaked head to toe, his swim trunks clinging to the muscles underneath. “Careful, it’s slippery!” she warned, watching his strategic steps along the ground. He rolled his eyes as if the the possibility of him falling was ludicrous. Men always had a way of thinking they were immortal.
“Were you waiting for me?” he asked when he finally made it to her side. He stood next to her peering down over the ledge. The mist from the waterfall was raising goosebumps across her wet skin as she reached down for his hand. April was waiting for him, she realized. It hadn’t occurred to her that she didn’t want to jump alone.
His presence somehow shifted all the thoughts swirling around inside her. The doubts didn’t lift all at once, no, but they were slowly simmering away, being pushed down in suppression. She could feel them wanting to resurface and hold on tighter than before, but looking at his eyes shining as blue as the water below, she slipped from their grasp.
Emmett entwined his fingers with hers and she asked if he was ready. Instead, he shouted over the noise, “Are you happy?”
“You make me happy,” the words flew out as she tried not to linger on how true this was. It was almost shameful how much of her happiness was based off of his sudden presence in her life.
She nodded, smiling up at him. His hands slid around her waist, drawing her towards him; his own smile appearing from dimple to dimple.
“Me too,” he said in her ear loud enough to drown out everything else as she noticed there were water droplets on his eyelashes. “Just so ya know.”
Before she could respond, his hand was in her hair, pressing his lips against hers, cold and wet. They were skin against skin, arms locked around her, and fingers digging into his waist. She wished it would never end.
Instead, he stepped back still holding her hand. Turns out men weren’t the only ones who thought in terms of immortality. This wouldn’t last forever. Nothing did. But that was okay. He was here now.
They stepped back several feet and took off running. In seconds, they were airborne and shouting into the open sky, blinded by the sun shining above. She could feel his weight tugging in the opposite direction, but he held on. Her heart beat wildly as they traveled through the air faster and her stomach flipped with adrenaline.
She squeezed her eyes shut as they crashed, sinking into the depths below, water overtaking her body and fighting to keep her under. She broke the surface quickly and looked over at Emmett, who was shouting again towards their friends, waiting on the shore and cheering them on.
She laughed loudly with the them as Emmett shook out his hair and swooped up little Ash into his arms. She giggled and shrieked like any five year old. April stayed in the water for a few moments more, feeling the fresh water against her skin and listening to the sound of the rushing waterfall behind her.
She tried to etch their smiles into her mind. They were as rare and vibrant as the grass above and she didn’t want to think of tomorrow when they would all disappear. But for now, it was all they had and that was enough.