My cheeks were still wet. I quickly wiped the tears and patted my pillow. Then I walked to the windows facing Brighten Avenue and looked down the street. The maple leaves covered the pavement, making a mosaic of colors. The fallen leaves in the shadow looked soggy. As I opened the window, the crisp morning air rushed into the house. The orange sunlight reflected off the windows of the neighboring apartment complex.
I thought of Kevin. Again. I didn’t contact him since our last walk along Santa Monica Beach one year ago.
“Kevin,” I said, “I decided to go to New York next week. I got a job offer from a library in Brooklyn.”
“What?” The sound of waves cut in his voice. “How come you never mentioned that to me before making the decision, Claire?”
“If I had, would anything have changed?”
He didn’t reply, but he was gazing at the seagulls flying over the pier for a while. “I have no right to stop you. But I want you to understand. I can’t do anything now.”
The sun was westerly above the horizon, and the surface of the ocean gleamed with the orange rays.
A squeaky noise signaled a car pulling up outside my house. Now it took off again. The door bell rang. Opening the door, music floated in. Kevin was smiling there. He handed a tiny wooden case to me. It was a music box, the one we had found at an antique shop in Santa Monica. While the small box was playing our song, I took his hand and led him to my room.