Caris strode up the stairs to the loft - which doubled as an office and Piper’s room. Her eyes glanced to the wall full of polaroids and developed pictures of their short, crazy friendship in the past year. Overwhelming emotion filled her. Tears flooded her red eyes. She covered her mouth with her right hand and turned around. Rage filled her as she swung at the wall, tearing down a row of pictures. 

*

Annabella opened her tired eyes as she shuffled to find comfort in the amtrak seat. Her parents couldn’t get home from Italy for another week at least because of flooding. How ironic. She looked out the window. In just 24 hours she’d lost her town, her home, her friends, and Kal. Wondering if he was still alive tore her up inside. Just a few nights before he promised her everyone would be together. “Nah. We wont turn out like Candice and Ryder (Ryder’s ex). We’ll make sure of that.” He said. He promised her they would be safe from the storm.

Caris held up a picture of her and Piper. She suddenly remembered the time they went upstate and helped out a sketchy farm on a limb for a few days. They had taken the picture in the field they were working in. They thought they would be volunteering at the peer, but they ended up working for a guy named Greg who was from Onionta. But it just so happened that Greg had a son, Tim, who had super cute messy blonde hair. He took them both out to Cracker Barrel for dinner. Caris picked another picture off the wall of them the day her and Piper got the loft. Piper was able to pull a few strings and fulfilled Caris’ dream of having a coffee shop. The owner of the shop also owned the loft. She remember Piper having to stop her from spinning into traffic she was so excited. She started to breath harder and tear drops fell on the picture. She held up a note that was tacked to a wall. Caris wrote it right after they had their first fight. Her hand shook. She had written, “She never considers me sometimes. She just leaves her clothes all over the place without thinking. When I come home she’s gone and I have to pick it all up. It’s like sometimes I wish she’d just move back to Britain!” Caris stopped reading. No she didn’t wish that. 30 minutes later, Piper had come home, cleaned everything up and they both spent the night crying, apologizing, and eating away their problems. Just yesterday she told her ‘she was done.’ ‘she was leaving her.’ Tears filled her eyes again. God, she just couldn’t stop crying. On the raining cold walk home she thought of what she could’ve said differently to Piper. "I can’t stand here and listen to you lie to yourself. I’m done." That would’ve been better. Or "I can’t do this anymore.". That sounded so much better than "Im leaving you." That sounded so cold, detached, evil, and like she was talking to trash. Piper wasn’t trash. Piper was her best friend. Piper was the reason she didn’t give up and haul her ass back to South Carolina.  

Annabella looked to her right. Ryder was snoring loudly in the seat next to her. He was still wearing his Billabong flip flops. They didn’t have much time at all to evacuate. Piper, his girl friend had said they could stay with her in New york until the dust settles. She felt so homeless. Like she didn’t belong anywhere anymore. It would still be a while till they reached New York. She whipped out her phone. As much as she wanted to save her battery in case any of her friends back home called, she opened a message Kal sent her about a week ago when he was in northern California. (X) His little sister’s name was Lucy. She was such a doll to be around. There was never a time when she wasn’t smiling. Annie let out a laugh. She opened another video. It was her and friends signing Call Me Maybe. (X) The whole night they had spent editing, eating ice cream and doing imperssionations of their high school teachers. “Okay. Okay.. do Mr. Burban!” Annie screamed. Blake stood up and pulled the waist of his sweatpants up to his chest. He licked his hand and slicked back his messy black hair. Then he crackled loudly. A trademark Mr. Burban move. “Right!” He smacked his lips obnoxiously. “History… dahdahdaaaahdaaahh.” He moved his hands acting like he was moving pages. “Honestly who really cares about Lincoln? That Ms. Johnson is a piece ain’t she?” Everyone histerically laughed. Mr. B was a creepy old teacher who had a crush on the new 22 year old substitue teacher. He picked an imaginary booger and flicked it at Annabella. She squealed playfully.

*

Caris stared at the ‘Best Friends’ frame that held about 8 pictures. She thought of the time she called Piper the second Avery asked her out. She waited until Avery went into his apartment until she screamed with excitement on the phone. They had talked about ‘A’ (they called him) So many afternoons while Caris was working her shifts at the coffee shop. Caris was regretting leaving Piper the way she did. but leaving Harry was the right thing to do. They were in love first. She couldn’t except him to get over her that quick. He needed time. She needed time. She also needed her best friend. 

*

Flashes of light was all that Annabella could see in her head as she tune out to the music blaring through her head phones. 

"WE’LL BE GLOWIN’ IN THE DARK" 

for both of them this was life after the storm.