They were following her again. Runa was used to it by now though, after all, its something that happens daily, regularly, and she can’t be the only one who notices. She makes sure to walk quicker. She was only sought out when she was alone, a rare occurrence. Her friend group was inseparable, they had all known each other for years. On the darkest day of their lives she had proclaimed that they would never split up, eyes glistening with unshed tears, receiving murmured agreements from the rest. The heavy mood of that day, offset by their bond, lightened up the slightest amount as she realised that these were the people she could never let go of.

Despite this, Runa found herself distant, it was clear that the others had caught on, their eyebrows caught in a subtle frown as they shot each other wary looks whenever she excused herself and fled the room. She didn't mean to hide away from them, she loved them, they were the most important people in her life, but would they still love her? Would they react kindly when they knew the truth about her, who she loved? She had spent too many nights worrying and imagining, smiling and crying till the sun crept up and shone through her bedroom window. She couldn’t gamble with this, one simple mistake and she could end up alone. Utterly alone.

Cervusborough was a quaint and calm town with a slender river stringing it together from top to bottom. It would take about 3 hours to walk through it all, two while it was raining and everyone was hurrying and rushing to find shelter from the abysmal weather. Everyone in their town knew each other, her neighbours owned the cafe down the street and her geography teacher was only two roads away from her house. She couldn't risk anyone finding out about her Lily. What would her parents say? What would everyone else think of her? While she only had a couple close friends, the ones she'd come first to with good news and who she would depend on when she had bad news, She was well liked by everyone at school, and though she wasn’t particularly joyed with the label, she was considered one of the popular girls. It had taken years to reach the point she was in, She couldn't bear the thought of all her efforts ruined, that despite bending and twisting for those around her, all to keep them happy, they would ever end up disliking her- turning on her. So she kept her and Lily a secret.

Lily was the polar opposite of her, she didn't care about a single thing people thought or said about her. It was that fearlessness that drew Runa to her, she had tried everything to stay away, not to be engulfed in the enigma that is Lily, yet she failed spectacularly and couldn’t even say that she regretted it. Surrounded by the fake smiles and pleasantries, Lily became her safe haven, somewhere she could spill whatever her inner thoughts were, the false pretences disappearing. She knew that Lily wouldn't judge her and that was why she loved her.

At first, confusion gripped Lily. Runa seemed to be a stereotypical popular type, golden brown hair perfectly styled without a single hair out of place, immaculate makeup making her glow, and one of the most noticeable things about her; heels that signified her approach. She would be lying if she said she didn't feel her face heat up slightly when she heard the telltale click of those heels. The more they talked, Lily found that Runa wasn't just a vapid stereotype, she was considerate, funny, and pragmatic. Lily’s favourite thing about her was her gleaming eyes whenever she spoke, so full of life and happiness.

Her phone chimed with a message, breaking her away from her thoughts. It was Lily, she had texted saying that she was running a little late and won't make it on time to the rooftop as they planned. It had been a month since they started dating and even though Lily had insisted that anniversaries weren’t ‘her thing’, she had quickly caved into Runas insistence of a celebration and decided a date on the rooftop, watching the sunset was a perfect way to celebrate. Runa couldn’t agree more as she took the last steps to the roof and carefully opened the dusty, creaking door. She was immediately bathed in the warm orange and burning red hues of the sky. Taking her pink fleece jacket off, she stalked to the edge of the roof, taking in the sight of the whole village. From here she could see all the places she loved, that she would remember for life. The park near her house she frequented as a child. The mall where she hung out with her friends on the weekend. The neighbourhood she lived in. And most importantly the cafe that Lily took her to on their first date.

Runa didn’t notice the time passing until she heard quick footsteps behind her and a hand gripped her shoulder. Her spine went rigid, face as pale as the icy snow of winter. That wasn’t Lily. Lily's hands were small, something Runa always teased her girlfriend about, yet the hands digging into her shoulder were bigger, colder. She shuddered a breath.

”I-” the masked voice behind her began. It was rough and scratchy and above all not Lilys smooth melodic voice.

Her eyes fluttered shut, her heart felt like it was in a vice grip. This was it. She would never see the people she loved again, Dahlia, Aster, Onyx, mom and dad, and most of all, Lily.

Oh Lily, she wished she could see Lily. Embrace her once again. Be brave like her.

”I'm sorry Runa,” the voice whispered hastily as the hand dug into her shoulder one final time, eliciting a slight hiss of pain from Runa before it pushed.

She was plummeting to the ground before she could react.

She supposes that she can’t be too upset, not when her last sight was of the sun enveloping the town she had known her whole life with its warmth, and her last thought of Lily's smile. The only consolation was that she didn't have to see Lily's face drop, bitter tears streaming down her face

Oh, Lily. Poor Lily, they didn't have their date.