“No, I feel really horrible about it.”

Crystal’s animated gestures and high pitched voice contrasted heavily with the mellow atmosphere of the coffee shop. Normally this would have made Emily more than a little self conscious. Briefly reminding her of why she never hung out with Crystal in public. However, that thought found no purchase in her current melancholy mood. Crystal exaggeratedly slumped over the narrow table between the two. She continued speaking.

“I mean, who is left of the old gang? Mary is off to California. Sue ran off with that dude to Florida. I think she’ll come running back when she figures out the guy is a flake. Dave left for M.I.T. Even Kevin left town shortly after Graduation. OH, and James, he just left. Did you guys break up? Have you even heard from him?”

Emily looked away. This was the last thing she wanted to talk about. James had promised her they’d stay together. That they of all people could make a long distance relationship work. But, Emily deep down knew that those words were superficial at best. He’d left her behind like everybody else. Leaving her to rot in this hick town. She glanced back at Crystal. She was staring intently at Emily. Emily quickly focused back on the bar where Murph was peddling cappuccinos. She tried to change the subject.

“Naw, he is busy with moving. How about you? When are you leaving for Boston?”

The sandy haired, lanky girl’s eyes started to grow misty. This is exactly why Emily had brought Crystal along tonight. Her dour spirits needed soothing and Crystal always put on a good show of sympathy. The girl would cry over a mushed house fly. A faint tear started down along Crystal’s aquiline nose.

“I’m sorry.“

Those words were very satisfying to Emily’s ears. But, a twinge of guilt quickly followed this selfish pleasure. She would have to do something nice for Crystal before she left town. Emily let out a sigh and leaned into her left hand. With a wistful smile she mused. 

“Don’t be. I’ll get out of this dump yet. Who knows where I’ll be next year.”