The story so far:
Renaissance: Sundown by JD_Renaissance
Renni looked up from her book just long enough to spot him approaching before turning her eyes again to the fascinating words on the page. He waited for her as she finished the paragraph and closed the book, a reluctant sigh upon her lips. He then plucked the tome from her hands and smiled as he helped her from the library chair.
“You want this one?” Maximus asked, flicking it back and forth before her eyes. She grinned and snatched the book back before he realized she moved. “Damn, you’re fast.”
“Yes. I am.” She turned the book in her hands and looked at the catalogue numbers on the spine. Without looking back up at him, she continued, “And yes, I want this one.”
“To borrow or to keep?” He hooked his arm through her's as they walked from the back of the library to the front desk. Renni saw through the glass doors it’d started raining again. In the last two weeks they’d had more rain than in the last two years. Not that the world didn’t need it.
“Borrow first. Then, if I like, keep.” She handed her card and the book to the bored kid at the desk. He looked up at her strangely. Renni usually didn’t leave the library until dark, and then only with at least five books tucked under her arm. He handed back the book, his eyebrows still crunched into a knot of confusion. She smiled wide while Max lingered and stared at the freshman. From the almost frustrated expression on his face, Renni knew Max was trying to fathom how it was the kid had gotten a job working for the community college and he’d been turned down. But such were the times. Jobs were scarce and kids cost less to pay the younger they were.
The book tucked safely into her backpack, Renni and Max raced from the library down the college’s thoroughfare to the back parking lot. They laughed as the rain pelted down, two of the few people who still enjoyed a good rainstorm in the middle of summer.
They bypassed the cars to the sidewalk and stopped at the bus shelter. To any passerby, the two huddled together under the scratched plexiglass would’ve looked like the ideal couple. Renni smiled at the thought and let her mind dwell on it a moment before folding it up and tucking it into her imagination for later perusal. They’d been friends so long, ever since middle school when they both realized they had parents who liked unusual names. Renaissance and Maximus.
The bus came eventually and drove them to the dorms where they said their goodbyes for the evening, promising to study together the next afternoon. Renni watched him leave, a slight smile still playing at the corner of her lips as her mind peeked once again into the possibilities of the future.
Months later Renni would look back on that day and use it as bittersweet fuel. That rainy afternoon, all Renni knew was school and friendship and how vast and bright the future seemed. That and the anticipation of a good book, still tucked in her backpack waiting to be finished. She never returned the book to the library, though she kept it close always. It was the last book on the last day, the day before Them. But she knew nothing of Them. Nothing yet.
'Renaissance: Sundown' statistics: (click to read)