The Lunam Ceremony
A loud boom rattles the windows in the building and I hit the floor. It sounds like a bomb has gone off, but I hear laughing and the music comes back on. It was just fireworks. I make my way back downstairs and out the back door. I’ll hide in the woods. By the time the ceremony starts and Layla notices I’m missing, it will be too late to find me.
I see Bonnie and Jessie carrying out the white garments. It’s almost time. I move towards the woods and I spot Cassie looking for me. I flatten myself against the wall and slide across it until I reach the end of the building. I round the corner and take off in a full sprint towards the woods. I make it three steps and then I trip.
That hurt. I spit dirt from my mouth as I push myself up to a sitting position. I look down at my knee and hear someone laughing. When I turn my head, I see Dillan Dukes leaning against the wall.
“Slow down there, speedy,” he quips.
In moments like this, there is nothing you can say. All you can do is laugh. I burst into an uncontrollable fit of laughter. Dillan joins me on the ground.
“Are you laughing with me or at me?” I finally ask.
“A little of both.” His voice is deep and sexy. He smells like sage and cigarettes. “I’m Dillan, by the way.” He holds his hand out to me and I shake it.
“I know who you are. I’m Kalysia.”
“I know who you are.” He smiles and turns my hand over. “Don’t worry about this.” He swipes his fingers across the scrapes on my palm. “After Lunam, you’ll be all healed.”
“So I’ve heard,” I say as Dillan springs off the ground and helps me up.
We stand face to face in silence. I feel his heart beating between us and suddenly something sparks inside of me. This time the burning begins in my chest. My breathing becomes erratic. I taste his breath on my tongue, and I want to kiss him. I edge forward until we are chest to chest. He steps back. I reach for his hand, and he pulls away.
“Kalysia, we can’t,” he whispers into the space between us. “Lunam is beginning.” He brushes his lips across my hand and walks away.