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“Please join us for the fireworks, Sarah. It’ll be a lot of fun.” Chris was being persistent in his attempts to encourage Sarah to join a small group of friends who had been hanging at her house and decided to go to check-out the Canada Day firework display.

“Alex will be disappointed if you aren’t there. He’s really hoping you come.”

Sarah and Alex had been spending a lot of time together and had had started texting regularly. This might seem like no big deal but this was back in the day when every text message cost you and there was no such thing as unlimited. If you were texting, it meant that someone meant enough to you to pay per flirt.

But, Sarah just wasn’t feeling it. She didn’t want to be out and around a bunch of people. She liked Alex well enough, but the truth was, she was in love with someone else.

Tonight she was feeling particularly melancholy after having a great evening with Alex and their friends, because she spent the entire time wishing Ben had been there, not him.

Alex was great. He was funny, intelligent, artistic, athletic and kind. He was slight of build which was not really her taste, but had a smile that could light up an entire city. They would talk about movies and art and he would share with her his dreams about becoming a famous photographer. There was something exciting about him and she liked being around him. She wanted to have his energy and thirst for life.

Alex had taken a summer off school and biked across Canada, a thought that would keep her up at night. She wanted to have the guts to try something like that, but felt overwhelmed that she wouldn’t know where to start.

A night of fireworks could have been the perfect setting to take their relationship up a level. This is what was in Sarah’s mind as Chris continued to beg her to join them. And this is why she said no.

She was in love with Ben and didn’t want to have a romantic evening with anyone but him. Chris saw that he was fighting a losing battle and finally left her to join the crew. She clung to her tea cup and listened as the sound of the group of revelers grew further away from her.

She sat in the kitchen for, nearly fifteen more minutes, in the silence, staring at the mustard coloured wall and then towards the entrance to the kitchen, hoping that, at any moment, Ben would walk through the door.

He never did.

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