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I was jolted awake by my phone vibrating in my hand. I groaned and rubbed my eye with my free hand. A roll of thunder crashed and I was able to work up the nerve to open my eyes. I looked at the illuminated screen of my cellphone and saw a text message.
‘Milo: Are you okay?’
“Psst, Elle.” I hissed.
“Are you awake?”
“I am now.” She sighed heavily.
“Can we talk?”
I climbed down the ladder and crawled into her bunk. She removed her eye mask and slid it to the top of her head. We lay on our sides, facing each other.
“Is it the storm?”
“No. Milo texted me. I know how this is going to end. I’ve seen it, both second and first hand, but it hasn’t stopped me from loving him too. I’m not built for this.”
“Like me, you can’t be in a relationship with just anyone; we have barriers that make that impossible, but we’re worthy of love, just like everyone else. Make him an exception.”
“What if it goes away?”
“It could. I’m not going to lie to you and say it won’t. What did his text say?”
“’Are you okay?’ He knows I used to have trouble with storms.” I smiled uncontrollably at the thought of him.
“You know what I’m going to say.”
“He makes me happy and treats me well. He’s worth the risk.”
“Are you okay with that?”
“How’d you reply to his text?”
“I haven’t yet. What should I say?”
“What you need to.”
“You’re not even trying to help now.” I joked.
“It’s 2 am. I’m working overtime. I’m allowed to be lazy.”
“You’re still the best.” I hugged her.
“I do what I can.” She dragged her eye mask back over her eyes.
I returned to my bunk. I picked up my phone and typed.