Christa Maxwell, high school student at Lincoln State, the Nukorient, Guardian of the Night, one and only sort-of-girlfriend of Drake Sullivan, watched that very same person slip into the distortion. A part of her wanted to move, to stop in, to say one last goodbye, but she knew enough of goodbyes to know that it would only cause more pain for the both of them.
"See you later," they had said, when they both knew it was an unreasonable thing to say. There was no 'see you later's, only goodbyes. But he didn't know any better, and she didn't have the courage to ruin that moment.
He gave her a goofy smile, the way he always did, held her hand just a little longer than usual, and left. It was what she had expected to happen, regardless of what she told others. This was how it was supposed to be.
She remembered when they had first met, watching a boy fall out of the distortion and then just stand up and introduce himself like it happened every day. She remembered the way he fought, always fighting to protect the people around him before anything else, regardless of the consequences. She remembered what his face looked like during that final battle, hands shaking as they tried to stop the blood flow. But more than anything, she remembered the little things. Like how terrified he was of Edgar's horror stories, or the way even Hunter and Cody would stop fighting if he stepped in. His naivety, and the way he'd be enamored by things she took for granted. Like the way his eyes lit up when talking of home.
By then, the distortion was gone, and it was as if he had never existed. From that exact point on, he would become a memory, she was sure. They would never meet again, and after he grew up with new friends and his real family and perhaps eventually a wife and children, perhaps he might think of her again, in a passing thought or in a visit or two to her grave.
He was from a time where surely she'd be long dead and gone. After all, she doubted she could live to be so old when she knew she could never move on, could never find another happiness. She would die alone, but she supposed that would be fine.
Christa Maxwell let the love of her life leave without a goodbye.
"I see I've already been left behind."
He leaned against the wall of the restaurant, green eyes bright as always and his unruly hair still white and fluffy. He wore a blue sweatshirt and a pair of jeans, looking much less out-of-place than he had the first time he had come to this time.
The boy, no older than fifteen, looked up at the middle-aged woman, perhaps in her thirties, though in the dim lighting of the dark streets, she could've passed for eighteen.
"Drake," the dark-haired woman didn't have the heart anymore to be elated at his return. It had been too long, the fleeting passions of youth having long been drained from her spirit. She smiled, trying to ignore the wrinkles that now marred her once flawless and young expression.
The edges of his lips were pulled down by that feeling of frustration, as if trying to solve a riddle. "Your voice sounds deeper. And have you gotten taller?" The furrowed eyebrows disappeared as quickly as they arrived, and he smiled, still as innocent as in her memory. "Perhaps I have been gone for too long. I should return more often."
Christa chuckled, a dry, humorless sound. "I think you've been gone longer than you've thought." She replied.
A car roared past, headlights blaring, illuminating her figure. It was only for a second or two at most, but it seemed enough. His face, if possible, was perhaps even paler. His eyes were duller, and the smile had disappeared from his face.
It was the first time in fifteen years that she'd seen him on the verge of crying.
"…How long has it been?" His voice was strained, quiet, as if he didn't want to know the answer. But Christa wasn't like him; she didn't sugarcoat the truth.
"Over fifteen years. I'm thirty-four now." He made a sort of strangled sound, somewhere between a choked sob and a hiccup. She smiled, but there was no emotion behind it. "It's not your fault, Drake. It's never been."
He didn't say anything, but his eyes were pools of emotion. They had always been.
Hers held only the haunted look of the remnants of what had once been love.
Moving hurt her limbs, hurt her lungs, and hurt her heart. The once feather-soft bed felt more like a pile of bricks, but she didn't want to move. Last time she did, it only hurt more.
Breathing was so much work, and Christa Maxwell, now ninety-five, couldn't wait to die. The room was dark, silent, all except for the sound of an old woman trying to breathe. She closed her eyes, so close to just slipping away, when the sound of the door creaking urged her to become aware of her surroundings once more.
It closed just as quietly, and dead gray eyes squinted to see with failing eyesight.
A head of white hair became visible enough, a boy of only fifteen, perhaps younger, tiptoeing across the wood flooring. "It's alright, Drake. I'm not asleep."
"Oh." Still, he whispered. He came to stand over her bedside, looking down so she could see his face clearly.
Christa pressed her lips together with what little strength he had. He was beaten up; the arch of his brow turning a purplish color along the left side, rust red leaking from cuts and scrapes along his face and arms, some seeping through the white button-up shirt he wore. "Did you…?"
He looked down. His eyes were bright. "…Yeah."
She tried to smile for him, a bony hand reaching out, only having enough strength to place the appendage atop the pale hand resting on the bedside. Drake kneeled, cupping her cold hand in both of his. He was warm. "It's alright." They sat in silence for awhile, and Christa no longer saw the innocent boy she'd fallen in love with, nor did she see the boy that tried in vain to rekindle the dying flames. She saw a boy, just a boy.
"Dustin's daughter will be having a baby soon. You should go see them." She spoke, raspy from a quickly drying throat. Drake attempted a sardonic smile. It didn't suit his face.
"Dustin… Is that the name of our son?" It was funny how he didn't know even that.
The boy chuckled, a hiccup interjecting itself in between. "I guess I'll be a great-grandfather soon then."
"…You should tell him. He still wonders why you were never there." She was quiet, keeping a steady gaze on a pair of watery green eyes that refused to respond in kind. Somehow, she knew he wouldn't cry.
"Drake…" It took some courage, but he looked up, stared into warm gray eyes. "It was never your fault."
Christa smiled knowingly. "Drake… you know that I loved you, right? I loved you more than anything." Her cold fingers curled around his hands.
He grasped her hand tightly, head bowed. His tears refused to fall.
Drake Sullivan let the love of his life leave without a goodbye.
So I hate myself right now. It's nearly midnight and I love these two so much I swear to gott. But anyways, Christa Maxwell and Drake Sullivan are part of my Korithia universe. The first couple of characters you meet, actually.
This is probably a little confusing, but I'll try to explain without giving too much away.
Basically, Drake is a time traveler. He was born about 65 years after the events of the main storyline, and 75 years after Christa was born. It was a sort of unauthorized and unexpected travel, thus he didn't have the equipment and stuff required to travel through. Wormholes and time traveling in general is still a pretty questionable technology at this point, leading to the loss of most of the melanin in his skin and hair, which is why it's white and why he's so pale. It's a little of why his eyes are so bright as well, though that's also just a natural thing.
So yah, Drake is a friggin' time traveler and because of historical/timeline issues, he had to head back to his own time, though he still breaks the rules here and there when he can, nonetheless. That's all I can think of right now, but if anyone has questions, I'll either respond in a PM or tack it on to the end of this.