The shadows were lengthening when they reached the bridge. Halfway through, she stopped and leaned on the guardrail, letting the orange sun strike her face in full. The half-empty juice pack was still in her hand.

"Ah! Don't you wish vacation could come sooner?"

He let loose a slight laugh in agreement, and leaned in beside her. When he looked, she was staring intently at the pinpoint lights twinkling into existence from the far side of the bridge. There was a wistful smile on her face, and he could only guess what she was thinking.

She let her gaze drop to the ground, as the plastic straw moved slowly to her lips.

"You know... I'm sorry, I can't..."

It was a moment before her answer registered. When it did, he felt his heart sink. The light breeze gently brushed his skin, but he can't feel it against the weight of her words. He looked up again, meeting her gaze.

"Hey... are you okay?"

He laughed again. Why wouldn't he be? He hadn't really expected her to say 'yes'. He just took a chance, and maybe... just maybe...

Her hand lightly touched his as she moved to tame her wind-swept hair. There was something else in her eyes now. A gleam, a spark, an excitement that shone through the gathering dusk. He could only look at it in envy.

And there, on that bridge where night clawed its way past daylight, he felt the tender flame of his emotions strain hopelessly against the shadows.

She stood up and stretched. "Let's go?"

He nodded as they made towards the pinpoint lights. It's going to be a long evening.

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