Runner – The End

This is the last chapter of my serial novella, “Runner.” Thank you so much for your support!

Here’s a link to Runner – Part I if you haven’t read that yet.

***

Part 19

I walked with Angel to the bus stop. The town had lost half its population with the departure of students, and it felt deserted.

“I’ll miss this town,” Angel said. “But now I won’t have to drive 45 minutes to Chipotle.”

I laughed. “You’re gonna go on a fast food binge?”

“Chipotle isn’t fast food!”

“You know what I mean.”

The bus stopped at the curb. Angel handed her suitcase to the driver and he stowed it inside. We were left standing together.

I had thought about this moment for a long time. But I was nowhere close to figuring it out — Angel was an enigma to me. She was a mentor and friend. And I couldn’t deny I was attracted to her too.

“I hope the audition goes well,” I said.

“Thanks. Me too.”

We embraced briefly.

“Good-bye, blondie.”

She got onto the bus, the driver started the engine, and the bus drove away. I watched. I imagined myself chasing the bas and catching it. But I didn’t have any words to say if I caught it so I stood still.

The waning sun stained the sky with streaks of gold, and its last rays hurt my eyes. I had no reason to stay in this town. It had been stripped of importance for me, reduced to an empty house. I had come here for an education, and when the school closed I stayed for my friends. Now they were gone too, and all I had left were memories superimposed on empty streets and vacant buildings.

I smiled. I turned and started walking back to my dorm room, my hands shoved into my pockets. Sometimes memories are enough.

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