“I can’t believe you did that, by the way,” Molly says, fiddling with the fishtail braid she’s tied into Amy’s hair. She tugs on it, gently, before huffing irritably and unbraiding it, and starting again.
They’re sitting on the sidewalk by the parking lot near the entrance of the school, waiting for Jared and Gigi to arrive, mostly to make sure they’re not dead. Jared had sent Molly a worrying text around ten minutes ago—I think one of the bolts on Gigi’s Vespa just popped off—and it’s been radio silence since.
“Well, I lost the bet,” Amy says, reaching up to pat Molly’s wrist, trying to calm her aggressive braiding. “I think you’re sectioning off the parts too thick. Try making it thinner.”
“I did that already,” Molly complains, but she drops Amy’s hair and begins to section off the parts of her hair again. “You and your bets. Frankly, I find it impressive you and Hope have managed to keep up this tradition of yours for this long.”
Amy smiles, suddenly feeling wistful. “I mean, It’s fun. It’s like a coin toss, except there’s more personal competition. And it’s never unnecessary.”
“Right. Going out of your comfort zone and all that,” Molly says, sounding very distracted. Amy feels another tug on her hair. “Fuck! It’s not even supposed to be that hard! What the hell am I doing wrong?”
“Maybe you should try again, but with a reference? Do you want me to pull up a video on my phone?” Amy suggests, turning around to face Molly.
“Ugh, no. I watched videos until my eyes bled yesterday. Annabelle let me practice on her and she was all great about it, but just like now it was an unmitigated disaster. She didn’t tell me that, though. I saw it in her eyes.”
Amy places her hands on Molly’s shoulders, mouth pulling into a hard frown. “You know Annabelle’s going to love you no matter what, right?”
Molly pauses. “Of course I know that.”
“So why are you freaking out so much? Doesn’t her mom already love you anyway?”
Molly sighs. “I mean, she does, but that was before we were dating. It’s different now. I only have two days to lock this shit down, Amy! I gotta pull out all the stops.”
“Meaning hair cosmetology, obviously.”
“If this doesn’t get her little sister on my side, I swear to God!” Molly grouses, shaking her fist, a gesture reminiscent of a grouchy octogenarian scolding local youths to get off her lawn.
They both laugh at Molly's awful impression of herself in about fifty years, before Molly’s face breaks out into something sour: “Oh my god, also, did I tell you I’ve been trying to keep up with football for her older brother? It’s so bad. Not football, I mean, just me. I hate sports. I never want to force myself to sit through another highlight reel again. If he ends up hating me, so be it.”
“I think you’re a little bit too busy to really get that stuff, anyway.”
“That’s true.” A pause. “I just really want them to like me, Ames.”
Amy wants to smooth all her anxiety way. “And they’re going to like you. But they’re not just going to like you just because you can do a fishtail braid. They’re going to like you because you’re funny, and beautiful, and so, so fucking smart—okay?”
“Yeah, okay,” Molly says, quirking a smile. Molly takes Amy’s hands off her shoulders and motions for her to turn back around. “Everything you said was true, but I still want to nail this motherfucker. I graduated summa cum laude from fucking Yale and I can’t get this braid. Kill me.”
Amy laughs, shaking her hair out. “Do your thing.”
It takes another ten minutes before Jared and Gigi pull into the parking lot. They hear them before they see them; hailing with a sound that can only be described as a collection of heavy screws rolling around in a metal tumbler, some old factory machine in dear need to reparation.
Gigi’s Vespa is practically on the verge of falling apart—gritty and rusted, the paint dull and peeling, the thing actually creaks as Jared swings off it, Gigi following when she cuts the engine and kickstands it.
“That was,” Jared starts, then runs over to a nearby bush to dry heave over it.
Gigi, sanguine, walks over to Jared and begins rubbing soothing circles between his shoulders.
Jared makes a few unintelligible noises, then, “Gege, I’m begging you, please get someone professional to check out your Vespa.”
“The old Italian man who bequeathed it to me told me to never let anybody else tamper with it, lest it anger the spirit living within the engine,” Gigi says, completely matter-of-factly. “And there is a spirit in there. I checked. It looks like David Schwimmer.”
“Oh, Jesus,” Jared sighs, taking his visor helmet off. He turns his head to rub his eyebrow, looking pale and tired, but then his entire demeanour lights up completely as he catches Molly sitting on the sidewalk. “Molly!”
“Are you good?” Molly grins, cocking an eyebrow, fingers quickly wrapping a hair tie around the end of Amy’s braid. She doesn’t wait for a response as she stands up to pull Jared into a hug.
Jared laughs. “Way better now!”
Amy smiles at the reunion, staying seated. Molly’s been harping about how much she misses Jared ever since he flew to Australia a few months ago—something about making the broadway scene in Melbourne more prolific. Amy isn’t quite certain. She missed a lot of the details.
It had taken the both of them a few painful months to catch their footing after their break up way back when—especially considering they dated for like, three years and they were both each others firsts—but they’ve been best friends since. Well, not best friends. But close.
Amy’s so consumed by her own thoughts that she doesn’t even notice Gigi taking a seat next to her, dumping her visor helmet onto Amy’s lap. It startles her enough that she jumps.
“That’s yours, now,” Gigi says. “I bought it precisely for you.”
Amy laughs, shaking her head. She likes to think she’s gotten used to Gigi’s antics after all these years, but sometimes it still catches her off guard. Amy’s tried to dissuade her from it, but Gigi seems to think the best way to bestow affection is with gifts. Still, as much as their cyclical discussions about the dangers of excess under capitalism titillate and educate them both, if Gigi comes around with a motorcycle helmet with Amy's name on it, Amy’s not going to be like, rude about it.
Inspecting the helmet, Amy runs a thumb over the glossy coating. It’s teal, like the Vespa, except on the helmet you can actually tell it’s teal first glance. Turning it over in her hands, an unbidden laugh bubbles up in her throat as she finds Amy embossed on the back in large, pink cursive.
“Have you just been wearing this around?” Amy asks, trying the helmet on. It fits pretty well.
“Yes. I have my own helmet, but I was afraid I would lose yours if I didn’t wear it.”
“Well, thanks, Gigi,” Amy says, trying to figure out what the fuck she’s going to end up doing with it. Maybe she could convince Hope to start using it as her cycling helmet, just so it gets some use. She smiles at the mental image.
“A gas station attendant called me Amy the other day. I didn’t even want to correct him. Is having your name this liberating?”
“I have no idea how to respond to that,” Amy says honestly, before standing up. She holds out a hand to help Gigi up, which Gigi takes happily.
“Did she finally give you the helmet?” Jared says, grinning broadly. Both he and Molly have wandered over to them. Warmth has seeped back into his expression, though his hair still looks sweaty and flat. “I helped her pick out the colours. Do you like it?”
“Of course, I love it,” Amy says, tucking the helmet underneath her arm. “But you know I don’t own a motorcycle or a scooter or anything, right?”
“Oh, whaaaat.” Jared looks at Gigi. “Gigi! You told me she had a scooter.”
“Not yet,” Gigi dismisses, flippant, whatever that means.
“It’s okay,” Amy says, placating. “I’ll figure out something to do with the helmet.”
Gigi makes a triumphant noise. “And that’s why Amy’s the love of my life,” she says, not at all sounding like she’s joking. She throws an arm around Amy’s shoulders and begins to walk them towards Crockett’s gymnasium.
“How have you been, Gigi?” Amy ventures.
Gigi, on the other hand, seems to have no care for small talk. “Has Hope proposed to you yet?”
Amy jerks so hard she almost drops the helmet. “Uh. What?”
“Oh. I see. She hasn’t.” Gigi says, frowning hard. “I will talk to her.”
“What? Gigi, no—” Amy clears her throat, trying to keep it together. “Gigi, no. This isn’t—I don’t—we agreed a long time ago we wouldn’t get married until we decided to stop travelling around.”
“You’ve been asking your superiors about stepping down so you can take that visiting lecturer position at NYU,” Gigi points out.
Amy gapes. “How do you know that?”
Gigi waves her hand dismissively, which is not at all comforting.
It really doesn’t bother either of them that they’re not married. They’ve discussed it multiple times over the past few years and they’ve always settled on the same conclusion: it’s just not the right time. With Amy working at the UN and Hope working freelance, sometimes they travel to the same places, sometimes they don’t. There was no guarantee that they were going to be together, in the same space, on a consistent basis.
“Amy,” Gigi says, when Amy fails to say anything further. “Don’t worry, I’ll have a long and spirited talk with her. We are due to catch up on the finer details of our synchronous circadian rhythms, anyway.”
“What? Are your circadian rhythms actually synced?” Amy asks, before remembering what the conversation is actually about. She smiles, shaking her head, feeling oddly better. “You know what—never mind.”
Amy shuts the waist-high front gate as her host parents pull away from the house, disappearing from view. Amy watches the faint cloud of gravel kicked up by their SUV coalesce, then dissipate. She should probably go back inside, but she savours the cool morning air instead. Here she faces the reality of at least two days alone with Hope. She doesn’t know if she’s scared or nervous or excited or some nauseating melting pot of all three.
“They’re nice,” Hope says behind her, out of nowhere.
“Jesus fuck!” Amy yelps, jolting, before proceeding to jump with enough surprise that her right knee collides with the metal fencing of the gate. Hard. “FUCK!”
“Shit, Amy,” Hope says, concerned, stepping forward to place a hand on Amy’s shoulder, urging her gently to turn around. “Are you okay?”
Amy’s convinced she’s too embarrassed to turn around and face Hope, but at Hope’s gentle urging she finds that she does anyway. “I’m okay,” she says, though her knee throbs. She’s decidedly looking at the ground. “You scared me, that’s all.”
“That was the least convincing ‘I’m okay’ I’ve ever heard,” Hope says, looking utterly unimpressed. “C’mon, we’re icing this shit.”
“Hope, you don’t need to,” Amy starts, but then Hope grabs Amy’s hand to tug her towards the house and words lose all meaning. She wonders if it’ll always just be this easy for Hope to render her inarticulate.
Hope practically bullies Amy into a chair by the dining room table, motioning for her to stay seated and setting off into the kitchen to find an ice pack in the freezer.
“Are you usually that jumpy or is it just the early morning?” she says over her shoulder.
“I thought you were asleep,” Amy huffs, prodding her knee gently.
She remembers the way she woke up this morning, on her side, cheek pressed into her pillow, looking at Hope asleep on the futon next to her bed. They had agreed after… well, everything, that it would probably be best for them to sleep in separate beds, lest one of her host parents walk in unannounced and catch them in an undue position.
It was weird. Weird in the way that Amy, still warm and flushed and loose, crawled into her own bed and felt like she was walking home from a party hookup in the rising hours of the morning. Weird in the way that Amy wanted to stay there, on the hard futon, her arm around Hope’s waist and her nose pressed against the back of her neck, and just falling asleep like that. Weird in the way that she thought if she asked, Hope might even say yes.
Hope had switched the light off not shortly after. Amy stared at her, unable to sleep, though she was just barely looking at the faintest outline of a body. It was really too dark to see anything. Too dark to tell if Hope was looking at her back.
Amy hadn’t expected to feel so… complicated, after sex. Not in the terrible, running-first-chance-she-got way, but like there was a whole new thing for her to explore. A whole new thing opened—revealed, maybe—but still unknown, something still difficult to navigate. Most surprisingly, though, she finds herself unafraid by it. Maybe even braver for it.
Hope returns with a small handful of ice cubes wrapped with a tea towel, tied neatly with a knot. She swats Amy’s hands away as Amy reaches out to take it from her, brows creasing in a maybe-serious-maybe-not glare, and crouching down to press it into Amy’s knee herself.
“Good?” Hope says, not really smiling, but voice light.
“Good, thanks,” Amy says, fidgeting a little.
Hope stays like that for another beat, before motioning for Amy to take the bundle of ice cubes. She stands up, turns away a little too quickly to be interpreted as casual, and wanders over to a smattering of photographs of Amy’s host family on a nearby wall.
“I have a question,” Hope says, facing the wall. Amy can’t see her expression.
“Shoot,” Amy says.
“I noticed there’s a third bedroom.”
“And there’s also a couch.”
“There is, too, a couch,” Amy jokes.
She thinks she hears Hope laugh, but it’s so faint and tiny that she may have entirely imagined it. “Okay. Why am I sleeping on a futon on the floor next to your bed?”
Agh. Amy was half hoping she wouldn’t have to explain this. “Um, well.” Amy starts. “The third bedroom is for these two sisters coming from Melbourne in December. Apparently their academic year doesn’t end until then, so.”
Hope turns around, then, and leans against the wall. She’s smiling. “December is like, four months away. And I'm only going to be here for a few days.”
“Um, right. Not much we can do about that. And the couch, well... the couch doesn’t really look all that comfortable,” Amy says, gesturing to the couch. Threadbare, but with thin wooden armrests. A nightmare.
“Come on, Amy. Don’t play dumb with me. We both know you’re too smart for that.”
Amy sighs, shifting the ice cubes on her knee. She bites the bullet. “My host parents assumed we’d want to be sleeping in the same space since I told them we’re, um, best friends. Like, best friends best friends. Like, childhood best friends. Like, me and Molly—”
“I got it,” Hope interrupts, holding up a hand.
“Right… sorry. Anyway, I made up this whole thing where you moved into the house across from me when we were little and we bonded over critical theory in Sesame Street. Keep in mind we are eight years old in this situation.”
Hope’s face is studiously blank. Amy, nervous, just keeps on fucking going.
“I didn’t know how else to explain to them why a girl I knew from high school was just coming over to Botswana because I’d told her in a fit of nervousness that she’d have a couch to crash on. Not that I don’t want you here! But I’m sorry. I should’ve asked if you wanted to sleep in your own space. Um, do you want to sleep in your own space?”
Hope reaches up to rub her temple, looking like she hadn't expected that to be Amy's answer but is not surprised by the news in the slightest, before an amused smile breaks out onto her face.
Amy looks at her, her own smile spreading against her will. “You’re laughing at me.”
“Maybe a little,” Hope grins, then, thoughtfully, “They think we’re gal pals.”
Amy makes some hysterical strangled noise, a halfway laugh. She sees Hope, sees the amusement on her face, and just starts laughing, pressing her hands into her eyes. After a moment of silence, Hope starts laughing with her, and then they’re both laughing like that, one with a bundle of ice cubes on her knee, shoulders shaking, and the other with her hand pressed against her face, eyes scrunched shut.
“Oh, fuck,” Amy giggles, threading her hands into her hair and leaving them there. “This is so weird.”
“Isn’t it?” Hope grins, pushing off the wall and pulling out a chair to sit by the dining table. Amy likes her like this: moving, constantly, kinetic. Amy hadn’t expected her to be so restless. “This is so fucking weird!”
“It is! This is so fucking weird!” Amy concurs. She feels like she’s going crazy, but in a way that makes her think she might let it happen. She presses her thumb into her knee, to ground herself.
She wants to say what’s so weird, exactly: it’s weird because we’re having semi-awkward conversation in the home of my host family all the way in Botswana. It’s weird because my host parents think we’re childhood best friends but we had sex last night and I really fucking liked it. It’s weird because I don’t even need the sex, I want to kiss you more. It’s weird because I don’t even know you. It’s weird because I want to know you.
They both look at each other, long enough that Amy begins to feel shy again, before Hope reaches for the bundle of ice cubes.
“You still need this?”
“No, I think I’m okay. I don’t think I’ll bruise too bad,” Amy says. She pokes her knee again, pleased when it doesn’t complain too much at her touch, and begins to sit up, reaching towards Hope. “Here, let me put everything away.”
“In your dreams, Amy,” Hope says, stepping out of Amy’s reach. She’s already halfway to the kitchen. “Stop poking your knee.”
Amy makes a frustrated noise to mask the surprise that Hope had even noticed her chronic poking. “I think this is against the rules or something,” she says.
Hope laughs. “What rules?”
“You know—rules! House guest rules.”
“I don’t think that’s a thing.”
“It’s totally a thing,” Amy says, but she’s already slumping in her seat, knowing she’s lost this particular battle.
She watches Hope dump all the ice cubes into the sink and fold the tea towel over the handle of the oven, to let it dry. At their shared silence, Amy says, “I was thinking we could go to the Gaborone Game Reserve today. The wildlife is kinda the thing people come to Gabs for, so it feels fitting.”
Hope raises an eyebrow, though she’s slightly distracted by straightening out the tea towel so it rests exactly in the middle of the oven handle. “Your knee okay?”
“I’ll live,” Amy says. “I didn’t break anything, so…”
“Hmm,” Hope hums, smiling slightly. She’s finished putting everything away, but she doesn’t look like she’s going to go anywhere. Amy had expected to her to move first, to go get ready or something. But she just waits.
“I’ll go ahead,” Amy says, standing up. “By the way, there’s no shower here. Just a bath.”
“Okay,” Hope says, still not moving.
“Cool,” Amy mumbles, feeling shy again. She tucks her hair behind her ears, and begins to move towards her bedroom, hoping to get a change of clothes to bring with her into the bath.
She glances back briefly, just to see if Hope has moved, but she double-takes at the expression on her face: something Amy can’t really name, but only because describing it would take a lot of assuming on Amy’s part. It’s a complicated expression. Warm eyes, but no smile. Crossed arms, but relaxed shoulders. Amy doesn’t know. She wishes she did. Maybe she will.
Hope smiles at her, a brief thing. Amy doesn’t know what she sees, or what conclusion she comes to, but she breathes in, uncrosses her arms, and moves to follow Amy.
Curiously, Hope’s out the front of the entrance of the gymnasium, slumped against the wall, phone clutched—tight, Amy can see the white of her knuckles—in her hands. Amy isn’t sure of what’s going on, so she quickly slips out of Gigi’s hold on her, passing the helmet, and does that weird half-jog people do when crossing the road towards Hope.
“Hey?” she says, reaching out to touch Hope’s shoulder, then, dropping to hold her hand. “What happened?”
Hope tightens her hold on Amy’s hand, and suddenly breaks out into a massive grin that almost knocks Amy off her feet. Her voice is low, but excited. “I got it.”
“Got—wait. The gallery called?”
“Holy shit?” Amy says, and then Hope’s pulling her into a hug, arms coming around Amy’s shoulders, cheek pressed hard into the side of her head. Amy laughs, half-hysterical, with her face buried into the crook of Hope’s neck, arms around Hope’s waist tightening as hard as possible without suffocating her.
“Holy fuck, more like,” Hope says, breathless, voice strained with joy, like she’s trying to keep herself from laughing.
“Holy fuck!” Amy laughs, then, realising what she has to do, pulling away and planting a victorious kiss on Hope’s lips, both of them momentarily forgetting their little viewing gallery just a few feet away.
Hope leans into the kiss, but then she seems to lose a fighting battle, because she’s laughing, and Amy’s laughing, and the kiss falls apart. They grin at each other for a second, sharing the moment of joy, before Hope looks over Amy’s shoulder and pumps a triumphant fist at their group.
“The gallery called!” she yells, sliding a hand against Amy’s back when Amy pulls away.
“Oh my god!” Molly yells back, practically running to throw her arms around Hope, pulling her into a celebratory hug. As she pulls away, she says, “Congratulations, Hope! Not that I had any doubt that you were going to get it, but I’m so glad.”
“Thank you, Mol,” Hope says, voice softening. Her expression changes into worry as she realises something: “Oh fuck, I need to call my mom.”
She turns to leave, but pauses instead, turning to Amy to place a hand over her heart, knowing precisely what the action means, and quickly jogging away.
“She’s excited,” Molly observes.
“It’s been a dream of hers for a while,” Amy explains, not looking at Molly but at Hope, where she’s found a bench to sit on. She’s strangely careful dialling her phone, which Amy can intuitively discern as Hope trying to tamper down on her excitement.
“I’m so happy for her,” Molly sighs happily, then, noticing how Amy doesn’t turn, “We’re gonna head in. We’ll wait for you inside?”
“Oh! Okay, yes, see you there,” straightening, clearing her throat, embarrassed at not paying attention to her best friend like that but grateful for Molly for just knowing. Amy smiles when Molly presses a kiss, brief, to her cheek, and disappears inside the gymnasium with Jared and Gigi in tow.
Before Gigi disappears behind the door she turns to shoot Amy a wink, putting on the helmet and tightening it underneath her chin. Amy doesn’t know what to do with the wink, so she pretends to catch it and tucks it into her inner jacket pocket.
Instead of catching up with Hope, Amy hangs back to watch her: how she moves, how her face slides from expression to expression. Even after all this time it still doesn’t get old watching Hope, what she does, in her all subtlety, never one to wear her emotions on her sleeve. Amy likes to think she knows how to read Hope; better than the average person, anyway. Not that the average person would have much luck reading her.
Amy feels an easing in her chest at the sight of Hope laughing into her receiver, finger wrapped around one of her very many beaded leather bracelets attained from her travels. Hope catches her eye; she makes a come here gesture.
“I can wait here,” Amy yells across the courtyard. “You guys can talk alone.”
Hope rolls her eyes and makes the gesture more insistently. Amy eventually gives in and jogs over to where she sits.
“She was asking about you,” Hope says as Amy slides into the bench next to her, fitting in close.
Amy laughs, feeling delightfully flattered as she does. “Why?”
“Yeah, mom, Amy’s right here with me,” Hope says into the phone, then, turning back to Amy: “she was just asking if I’d told you already. I mean, obviously, right?”
“You want me to speak to her?”
“If she wants—I’ll put her on speakerphone.”
“Hey, Mrs. Carlin,” Amy says as Hope turns speakerphone on, shuffling closer to Hope so they’re both close to the mic. “Don’t worry, Hope already told me.”
“Good to hear!” all motherly delight, then, “Are the two of you going to stay in New York for a while?”
Hope looks at Amy, trepidation leaking into the cut of her mouth. “I don’t know about the both of us, mom, we’ll have to talk about it.”
“Probably,” Amy interjects, “I’ve been thinking about staying grounded for a while, anyway. This is just a good opportunity.”
“Excellent to hear!” A pause. “Does this mean you’re finally going to get married?”
“Oh-kay,” Hope coughs, shifting slightly. “We are not talking about this again. I love you, I’ll call you later.”
“Love you honey! I’m so very proud of you. Thank you for calling your mother. You know how you leave me in the dark sometimes.”
“Okay, mom, love you, bye.”
Hope quickly hangs up the phone. Amy, having held in her amusement until this point, dissolves into a fit of childish giggles, pressing into Hope’s side and leaning her forehead on her shoulder.
“Lately she’s been asking about marriage every time I call,” Hope laughs. “It’s honestly getting exhausting. We just have the same conversation over and over again.”
“We’ve been dating for like, how long? She’s probably going crazy.”
“Seven years? And I’m the one that’s going crazy,” Hope sighs, sounding affectionate in her own weird way. Her voice takes on a steadier, more serious cadence: “Are you going to accept that NYU position?”
Amy nods, tilting her head so her temple is resting against Hope’s shoulder instead. “I think so. It’s a great opportunity, and it’s exactly the kind of thing I want to do.”
“If you want to do it, I’m all here for it,” Hope says, curling an arm around Amy’s shoulders so Amy can nestle her head further into the crook of her neck. “Just, no pressure, right? I know how much you love doing your thing at the UN. Take the NYU job because you want to do it, not because you want to stay here with me. We’re basically pros at long distance anyway.”
Amy laughs. “To think our year long correspondence after you left Botswana all those years ago set the precedence for our entire relationship.”
“We’re just so good at texting.”
“And phone sex,” adds Hope, solemn, earning a shove for her troubles.
“Anyway,” Amy continues, ignoring Hope’s sly smile, “I’ll email them tomorrow or something. It’s practically perfect, right? And maybe our apartment will finally get some use.”
“Done deal,” Hope says, turning her head to kiss the top of Amy’s head. “Does this mean we’re going to get married?”
That makes Amy pull away completely, distancing herself slightly, placing a slice of space between them. Is she—? What is she trying to—? She squints at Hope, attempting to gauge exactly what the fuck is going on. Unwittingly, her heart rate seems to pick up. “Are you proposing to me?”
Hope pales. “What? No!” she reassures. Her eyes flash, nervous. “No, holy fuck, no. I’m not proposing. I was just throwing shit out there.”
Amy raises her eyebrows. “Throwing shit out there?”
“Just with what my mom said earlier—”
“Hope, this is the worst proposal I’ve ever heard.”
“I don’t even have a ring!” Hope insists, holding up her hands, like she’s hoping to reach out and diffuse the situation physically. “I’m sorry! It’s not—I’m not—what the fuck is going on? I promise this is not the worst proposal in the history of man.”
Amy laughs, relaxing. Hope doesn’t get flustered easily, but when she does, it’s glorious. “Should I be offended you’re not proposing to me right now?”
Hope practically deflates in relief once she realises Amy’s just joking. “Oh, fuck you. I just had a fucking heart attack.”
“I forgive you for not proposing to me right now,” Amy says, laughing when Hope presses her hands to her eyes and shakes her head.
A certain blissfulness, Amy finds, at being able to laugh at a conversation that should be so serious, a conversation so often fundamentally responsible for upending people’s lives for the best, or for the worst. There’s nothing to prove here between the two of them: no expectations, just love and words, a sense of sureness surely comforting. Amy feels composed. Not nervous. Just good.
“If I’m proposing to you, you’ll know,” Hope says, once she recovers.
Amy snorts, reaching to intertwine her hand with Hope’s. “Yeah?”
“Because you’d be crying.”
Amy laughs for real this time. “I’m going to remember that, you know.”
Honestly, Amy wants to be the one to propose. She doesn’t quite know how to say that to Hope at the moment, though, so she files it away for something to be talked about later.
Hope smiles at her, tucks an errant strand of hair behind Amy’s ear, and moves to stand up. “Let’s go back inside. Are you thirsty?”
“Yeah, let’s get some drinks, but—wait, hold on,” Amy says, tugging for Hope to sit down again. “You forgot something.”
“Oh?” Hope looks around, patting her pockets with one hand to check everything she needs is still on her.
“Yeah, this,” Amy says, then darts forward to press a kiss to Hope’s lips.
The kiss doesn’t last very long, though, because Hope snorts in the middle of it, forcing her to pull away as she muffles a laugh into her hand. “Oh my god. That was so bad.”
“Thank you, I’m here all week!” Amy says, spreading her arms out—hand still linked with Hope’s—and bowing like she just received a standing ovation.
“Ugh, what a nerd,” rolling her eyes, grumbling like a surly teen forced to speak at a family function, before looking out to the absolutely empty courtyard and yelling: “Amy Antsler is a nerd!”
“Fuck you, dude,” Amy laughs, full of love.
“Oh, I like that photo,” Amy points out. Gesturing to Hope’s viewfinder, the photo in question is a landscape of a terrifyingly large gemsbok mid gallop. “You’re really good.”
They’re sitting on the hood of Amy’s rental car, a little compact Suzuki Swift, parked in one of the popular picnic spots in the game reserve. They’re not sitting that close, exactly, but Amy’s leaning over a little to watch Hope flick through all the photos she’s taken so far, squinting against the glare of the sun on the DSLR.
“Mm,” Hope hums, non-committal, deferring to accept Amy’s praise for some reason. “I honestly got a little freaked out while taking the photo.”
“It freaked me out, too, with it’s long horns,” Amy agrees, protruding her two index fingers from her forehead to pantomime horns. Then, leaning in just a little bit closer, she points at the legs, at how they posit midair. “I like how the whole thing is blurry here. Kinetic.”
Hope turns her head to look at Amy, their shoulders brushing. Amy’s too nervous to look back, so she pretends to study the photo while being keenly aware of Hope staring at her. Eventually, Hope turns away. “I just used a slower shutter speed. And panning.”
“Cool,” Amy says, vaguely aware of what that entails.
She watches as Hope continues to flick through photographs of various flora and fauna, each imbued with a kind of intent palpable even in it’s digital form. Hope really is talented. She opens her mouth to say this, but it seems to become irrelevant when Hope’s aimless flicking lands on a photo of Amy.
Hope’s thumb seems to stutter over the next button, like she wants to skip over the photo completely, but Amy quickly reaches out to stop her by placing a hand on her wrist.
“Hold on, I want to—can I see?”
A stretched out pause, then: “Yeah, okay.”
Hope’s very careful handing over her DSLR. Amy takes it with just about as much grace as she can, respecting the value Hope holds to it. The photo ends up being a simple portrait: her, in the drivers seat, shades pushed up to the top of her head, elbow sticking out the rolled down window, eyes intent on the beaten path in front of them. The lighting is subdued and unsullied, highlighting the gracious softness of the apples of her cheeks.
Amy squints at the photo, leaning forward. She hadn’t even realised her freckles had become so prominent—she can see them dot her arms like an unsolved puzzle. Her cheeks are bright and ruddy from the sun, and her hair is kind of dry at the tips, probably because of the humidity. She thinks about Hope seeing her like this. Eventually she feels weird about looking at herself for so long, and hands the camera back to Hope.
“Thanks,” Amy finds herself saying, tentative. Thankful for what, exactly, she doesn’t know. “You’re, um, really good. Are you… doing anything with that? I mean, majoring in photography or whatever?”
Hope takes on a guarded look. “Yeah. I got into Tisch.”
“Oh… wow.” With all their conversations, Amy still hasn’t managed to ask where Hope is going next year. The fact that they’re going to be in the same city makes her head swim with possibilities. “That’s—wow. Congratulations.”
“Thanks,” Hope says, sounding strangely dismissive. “I mean, it’s no Columbia.”
“Shut up,” mumbles Amy, feeling her face turn red. “Tisch is like, a big deal, so shut the fuck up. You’re going to be so famous you’re going to be like, Columbia what?”
Hope plays along. “I knew a girl who went to Columbia once. I think she’s homeless now. Student loan debt got to her or something.”
Amy actually giggles. “Okay, but really. Tisch. You should be proud.”
The way Hope’s expression smooths out again tells Amy that she’s merely fighting off embarrassment. Amy feels proud at being able to recognise one of Hope’s tells. “Yeah, okay, thanks, Amy,” she acquiesces.
“So… what are you planning to do with your BFA in photography? Photojournalism?”
“The amount of times I’ve heard that question from strangers this trip, you would not believe.” Hope drags her hand through her hair, thinking. “I don’t know. Anything that lets me travel and shoot at the same time, so probably freelance. But I’ve…”
Amy watches as Hope trials off. “Yeah?” she encourages.
“I’ve kind of… always wanted to curate my own exhibition. Myself and other photographers. Portraiture, with a focus on big crowds.” Hope’s voice is quiet, now. “I’ve always liked looking at big crowds. The rush, the noise, the energy. The anonymity. They’re fascinating. I want to capture the essence of that somehow. Then blow it up on a disgustingly large canvas, and stare at it until my eyes become blurry.”
Amy doesn’t know how to properly verbalise all the thoughts in her head right now, so, like a fucking idiot, she says: “You’re very good at capturing essences.”
Mercifully, Hope just laughs. “Yeah?” quirking an eyebrow, “did I capture your essence?”
“I don’t think I even have an essence,” Amy replies, even though the question was obviously rhetorical and most likely a joke.
“Oh, come on, sure you do,” Hope almost scoffs, providing no further explanation. She begins to rifle through her oversized travel backpack, carefully setting out sandwiches wrapped in tin foil and other things they brought from the house. Both of them agreed they’d get some actual Botswana food for dinner.
Amy reaches inside her own—far smaller—backpack to pull out the bottle of iced tea they swiped from the fridge, making a mental note to replace it before her host parents get back. “If I had an essence it would be like,” pouring iced tea into two different paper cups and handing one to Hope, “protest chants and social ineptitude.”
Hope laughs, knocking her cup into Amy’s and taking a small sip. “If you had an essence, it would be co-dependency and ill-advised crushes on high school lit teachers.”
Amy blushes, trying to hide it by making sour face. She’s not even going to try to comment on the Miss Fine thing. “Molly and I aren’t co-dependent.”
“You’re practically glued to your international flip phone,” Hope points out, smiling in that way that makes Amy think she should be baring her teeth. “Either you’re waiting for a text from Molly, or you’re waiting for a text from your parents. And I doubt you have such an established rapport with your parents.”
I have an excellent rapport with my parents, Amy doesn’t say, lest she give Hope more ammo to strike her down with. Half-heartedly, she defends: “I talk to other people.”
“But not in the way you talk to Molly,” Hope points out.
Amy frowns harder, so much so that she doesn’t think very much about her next words: “I talk to you the way I talk to Molly.”
It’s not until Hope’s draining the rest of her iced tea and pouring herself another cup, tucking the bottle between her legs to screw the cap back on, does Amy realise what she’s basically implied.
She’s talked to Hope so much these past few months that her days take on an unmistakably sour texture if she doesn’t wake up with a text waiting for her. Or if several hours pass by without a reply back. Amy’s specifically been trying not to think about it too hard, but it’s almost impossible.
“I—I mean—” she starts.
“It’s okay,” Hope interrupts, waving her free hand. Her thumbnail picks at the rim of her cup; she looks like she regrets having interrupted Amy.
Amy’s starting to see a pattern, here, in the way that they talk. There’s conversation and laughter and it’s good, really good, but then sometimes the both of them seem to realise the absurdity of their situation—because that’s what it is, absolutely batshit—and the reality cuts through like a knife in between their ribs.
Amy takes one of the sandwiches wrapped in tin foil, unwrapping it—carefully folding the foil into a neat square to reuse later—and handing Hope a triangular slice; a peace offering.
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to make things weird,” she says, dusting the crumbs off her hands.
“I think you just made it weird by apologising for being weird,” she laughs lightly, but looks marginally more relaxed.
Amy turns to look over her shoulder. There’s a gaggle of European tourists—Amy couldn’t possibly pinpoint from where—taking up two of the picnic tables nearby. They’re loud and joyous and the majority of the reason why Hope and Amy are sitting on the hood of her rental instead of at a table.
“Have you met a lot of people while travelling?” Amy asks, turning back around.
“Sure. All of us hipster backpackers have a group chat, you know?” Hope says, eyes flicking to the European tourists.
“Oh, yeah?” Amy prompts, grinning slightly.
She’s gently ripping the crusts off her sandwich, creating a fine balancing act with her cup between her legs and placing each crust on an unfolded tissue on her thigh. Her parents always spoiled her like that. Economically, she knows that she should probably eat them, but she’s trained herself into hating crusts. Sometimes she likes to wrap them to feed to the ducks at the local pond.
Hope, seeing Amy deferring to eat her crusts, reaches over and plucks the crusts off of Amy’s lap, popping them in her mouth. Amy feels immeasurably thankful towards her for not making a comment on the fact that she doesn’t eat crusts. She takes a wispy napkin from her backpack and places the rest of her crusts on that, before pushing it towards Hope.
“I’ve met a few people, but I usually keep to myself.”
“Don’t want to get murdered?”
Hope laughs. “Yeah, something like that.” She chews pensively around her mouthful of bread crust for a second. “Well, I met this girl on the train to Vienna who tried to teach me a bunch of French phrases. You know French, right?”
“Je ne parle pas français,” Amy says, grinning when Hope squints at her suspiciously. Then, “Wait, how do you know I speak French?”
“Didn’t you tutor Ryan during your free periods or something?” Hope says, pursing her lips together. How and why that’s a piece of information Hope knows is lost on Amy, and she can only pray Hope doesn’t know the details. Amy had looked forward to her tutoring sessions with unbridled glee. Now she just feels embarrassed.
Hope’s pulling out an A5 sized moleskin from her backpack, flicking through it with the singular focus of someone decidedly avoiding eye contact.
“J’ai le cafard,” she reads out, slow. “I know my pronunciation is shit, don’t say anything.”
“Le cafard? Cockroach?” Amy translates, confused. Then, frowning at Hope’s self-deprecation: “Your pronunciation isn’t shit. Don’t stay stuff like that.”
Hope looks charmed. “Okay. I won’t,” she concedes, before continuing. “Cockroach is the literal translation. It’s a phrase, remember? It technically means I’m feeling blue.”
“So it’s not I have a cockroach?”
“Not unless you want it to be,” Hope says, sounding oddly flirty.
Amy blushes, even though she definitely should not be.
“Here’s another one: je n’en crois pas mes yeux!” Hope continues, inflecting her exclamation mark with an almost cartoonish quality. “Written underneath: use every time you get a girl naked. Her notes, not mine.”
Amy snorts, muffling a laugh into the crook of her elbow. “I think if you used that on some unsuspecting French girl she would slap you in the face.”
“I mean, I can’t believe my eyes! isn’t that bad, right? You could use that as a compliment.”
“Not in the way that the phrase implies. You’re supposed to use it when you’re pleasantly surprised. Or dazzled? But still.”
“Ah,” Hope says, amusement lighting her posture. Her mouth turns soft. “Hey, you know, like, four different languages, right?”
Amy ticks off the languages she knows in her head: English, French, Spanish and Mandarin. Four. She’s trying to learn Setswana for the sake of things but she’s not really conversationally fluent yet, so she doesn’t count it. She looks at Hope curiously. “Yeah, four. How do you know that?”
“I paid attention to you in high school, remember?” she says, referencing their conversation from the night before, tucking her notebook away. She refills Amy’s cup with more iced tea, not noticing—or, at least, ignoring—the way that Amy seems to still completely.
Okay, here’s the thing: Amy likes to think she’s pretty smart. Not to toot her own horn or anything, but she does know a thing or two. She’s been around the block a few times. So it feels like a slap in the face to her own self-proclaimed intelligence when her traitorous idiot brain calmly sweeps into the abrupt conclusion of: oh my god, did Hope have a crush on me in high school?
“You bitch!” is the first thing Annabelle yells at Hope, hounding towards her at a running leap and practically launching herself into Hope’s arms.
Hope, skinny and not exactly known for her athletic prowess, barely manages to keep herself from toppling over, staggering a few steps backwards.
“What the fuck—” she wheezes, immediately wrapping her arms underneath Annabelle’s thighs to support her weight, “—is wrong with you?”
“You got the fucking gallery, didn’t you!” Annabelle yells her in ear, before hopping down, out of Hope’s arms.
Hope rubs the ear that Annabelle yelled in, wincing, but her face is flushed red and Amy can tell she’s immeasurably happy. “You’re such a pain in the ass,” she says.
“And I’m so fucking proud of you!” Annabelle exclaims, manhandling Hope once again by pulling her into a hug.
Save me, Hope mouths at Amy over Annabelle’s shoulder, but then Hope sinks into the hug, finding comfort in the happy exhilaration of her best friend, and Amy’s pretty sure she doesn’t need any saving at all.
“I couldn’t resist, I had to tell her,” Molly tells Amy, having been at Annabelle’s side before she accosted Hope so unscrupulously. “And, you have to admit, that’s kinda cute.”
“Remember when they were all bro-y backslapping and,” Amy lifts her chin in a classic frat boy wassup gesture.
“We were all such emotionally repressed weirdos in high school.”
“Some more than others,” Amy says gravely. She lifts her gaze up to see how many people paid witness to Annabelle and Hope’s antics, but everyone seems to be doing their own thing. “Hey, are we playing any games tonight or something?”
“Nick and I thought about it, but we eventually decided to just let the night play out like it did at prom. We do have this little thing at the side that I forgot to show you, though.”
They both turn to their respective partners, and, seeing both Hope and Annabelle still engaged in conversation, come to an unspoken agreement to leave the two of them to do their own thing. Molly talks over her shoulder as they make their way to the left side of the gym.
“This was mostly Nick’s idea,” Molly explains.
On the left side of the gym are two large, portable partition walls, one labelled THEN and another labelled NOW. The wall labeled THEN has a large smattering of photographs of their entire senior year cohort back in high school, pinned everywhere and without rhyme or reason. The now wall is similar, except it’s photos from all the years afterwards, and somehow even more chaotic.
“So, we asked people to bring in photos, as many as they wanted, and they could just pin the photos on this wall wherever they desired.” Molly gestures to a little basket of push pins on a small table by the side of the two walls. “I was waiting for you so we could put these ones up together.”
Molly lifts the basket of push pins to reveal a thin stack of photographs underneath. The first one on the pile, Molly reveals, bringing up the photograph so both of them can get a better look, is a photo of them together. It takes Amy a second to place where it’s from, but once she does it’s pretty obvious that it was taken one of the very many bridges in Amsterdam, the both of them looking very touristy, wedged next to each other and smiling brightly.
They look so young. If Amy remembers correctly, it was for their model UN trip, and their teacher supervisor had taken it for them, since all of the other students were off doing their own thing, and left Molly and Amy alone. It was also the day before Amy got high for the first time.
“Oh, wow,” Amy says, leaning closer to look at it. “Holy shit.”
“Indeed,” Molly agrees, passing the photo to Amy. “Would you like to do the honours?”
Amy laughs lightly, taking a push pin from the basket before pressing it, and the photo, into a relatively free space on the then wall.
The next photo is also the both of them at the Tournament of Champions during their junior year, in front of Patterson Hall. They had gotten knocked out by the semifinals, but it was one of those rare days where Molly was completely fine with not being the absolute best, and they had gotten ice cream afterwards.
“You know, this one surprisingly ended up being a good day, even though we lost,” Amy says, taking another push pin and tacking the photo up.
“I think that’s why it was a good day,” Molly says. “I didn’t mind losing. And I wasn’t being an asshole about it.”
Amy grins at her. “I’m glad you can admit that now, because you cannot imagine how much I wanted to make a comment on the fact that you weren’t being a sore loser for once.”
Molly laughs, waving her hand. “I know, I know, I was a snobby academic with a superiority complex, etcetera, etcetera. Come on, look at the next photo.”
“You weren’t a snobby academic with a superiority complex. Nobody thought that.” Amy frowns, poking Molly. “You were just a sore loser.”
“Thanks, Ames,” Molly says drily, before nudging the next photo on the stack towards her. “Look at this.”
Amy looks at the photo, and then bursts out laughing. “Oh my god, you’re such a fucking asshole.”
The photo, taken senior year, is in Crockett’s library, featuring not Molly and Amy, but Amy and Ryan. It’s during one of Amy's free period tutoring sessions that Ryan managed to absolutely sucker Amy into doing for free—without even trying, really, Amy had offered to do it for free, even though tutoring was her job—and Molly had decided to be a particular kind of menace that day and insisted taking a photo of them together. For posterity.
They usually sat next to each other during the tutoring, so Ryan had done the only logical thing and slung her arm around Amy’s shoulders, pulling her in closer and throwing up a peace sign. Amy remembers barely keeping it together, and it’s pretty plain to see in the photo: her face is an almost concerning shade of red, mouth in the tightest, most uncomfortable smile ever, shoulders folding inwards. She looks like she might die.
“I sent it to Hope and she thought it was pretty funny,” Molly says.
“You sent that to Hope? You asshole.” Amy whacks her on the shoulder. “You actually spent money to print that?”
“Worth every cent.”
Amy groans. “You’re not actually going to put that up, are you?”
“No, I just wanted to see your face,” Molly snorts. She presses the photo into Amy’s hands. “You keep that one safe.”
Amy almost rips it in half, but instead exercises some self control and folds it, tucking it into her inner jacket pocket, to be thrown away later. She hopes it never sees the light of day.
They flick through some more photos, most of them in the same manner to the first two: Molly and Amy at school event, Molly and Amy winning some tournament, Molly and Amy at an extra curricular.
“Okay, here’s an interesting one that Annabelle found,” Molly says, showing her the next photo.
The next photo is interesting, mostly because Amy had almost completely forgotten about that moment. It’s Amy and Hope, their freshman year, standing at the front of the class for some presentation that Amy doesn’t remember. Amy’s reading off cue cards, one of her hands perched, in the middle of pushing her hair behind her ear. Hope stands off to the side—still in her classic vintage Levi's, but in the era before she found her signature tassled jacket—looking quite intently at Amy, arms crossed over her chest, like she’s absorbing everything she’s saying.
“Where’d you find this?” Amy asks, running a finger over Hope’s face. If she remembers correctly, this was right after her growth spurt—she looks so gangly.
“The deep recesses of Crockett’s website,” Molly says. “I think yearbook kids were crawling around for photos that day.”
“But I don’t remember this being in the yearbook.”
“Yeah, I don’t think it got in. Annabelle said she found it on the 2016 in review webpage, so maybe they just plastered all the nice rejects there.”
“Huh,” Amy murmurs.
“Look at the way she’s looking at you—how did we not realise she was totally in love with you? I can’t believe this.”
“I don’t think she had a crush on me freshman year,” Amy says, carefully pressing the photo onto the wall. “Do we get these photos back after tonight?”
“Okay, but she was totally interested in you freshman year, right?”
“Maybe? It’s been ages since we talked about it, but I think she said she only realised she was crushing on me until senior year.”
“Wow. Slow on the uptake.”
Amy laughs. “Haven’t we had this conversation before?”
“I just love rehashing it,” Molly sighs, fluttering a hand over her heart.
“You’re so lame.”
“Thank you! Also, yes, we do get the photos back after the night, but it might be a little free-for-all with everyone trying to remember which photo is theirs.”
“I’ll bring my helmet, then,” Amy says, leaning over Molly’s shoulder to look at the rest of the photos. “Oh, are these the now photos?”
Molly hums in affirmation.
This photo captures one of Molly, Amy, Annabelle and Hope's rare gatherings in the great outdoors, a location usually frowned upon by both Molly and Annabelle who are both a) homebodies and b) notorious workaholics, because being outdoors means that they have to a) exercise and b) not have the privilege of checking their phones for work emails because there isn't even any wifi. Usually, convincing them to go camping was like convincing a dog to do taxes—impossible and laughable—but it ended up working, somehow.
They had set the camera on a timer and taken a cheesy little snapshot of them roasting marshmallows over a campfire. Hope looks miserable at such blasphemy to the art of photography by taking plebeian self-timers, but Amy knows she was just faking it for laughs.
“I like this one, because we’re actually with other people in it,” Amy says, putting the photo onto the now wall.
“I actually noticed that while looking at photos! All our then photos are just the two of us, maybe the occasional third person, but mostly just us. But we’re in a lot more group photos now.”
Amy hums thoughtfully. And Molly’s right: the next few now photos are mostly group photos, unlike their then photos, where it was Molly and Amy at their most isolated. They scan through a few more, their cast of characters rotating with each photo, until it culminates into the first single Molly and Amy shot in the now pile.
“The day you passed your bar exam!” Amy registers, pointing excitedly at the photo.
Molly is crying in the photo. So is Amy.
“I don’t think we’re gonna put this one up,” Molly says, eyeing her crying face.
“Aw, babe, but you look so good in it,” Annabelle cuts in, appearing by Molly’s side, startling the both of them.
“Did you add this one to the pile?” Molly asks, greeting her with a kiss on the cheek.
“Sure did,” says Annabelle, grinning wildly. “Hey, did you show Amy that freshman year one with her and Hope?”
“You found that one, right?” Amy asks.
“Yeah. You know Crockett’s website goes back until 2007?” Annabelle says. “I don’t know how they manage to still keep all that stuff up, but it’s like a goldmine of memories. Did you know Miss Fine used to go to Crockett?”
“What?” Molly and Amy say at the same time.
“Yeah, there’s some of her senior year stuff there. She won a bunch of interstate poetry competitions. She was really good, actually.”
“Um, holy shit,” Amy says, at the same time Molly says, “you’re showing me as soon as we get home.”
Annabelle laughs. “Sure thing, babe. Also, Amy—Hope went to go get drinks.”
Amy looks over Annabelle’s shoulder to try and find Hope by the drinks bar, but can’t seem to spot her. “I can’t see her for some reason. I’ll head over there and look for her. Thanks, Annabelle.”
“We’ll just be here,” Molly says, gesturing to the wall of photographic memories. “I need Annabelle to point out to me all the embarrassing ones.”
“And this is why I love you,” Annabelle laughs. They both wave Amy goodbye before turning to peruse the wall of photos together, Molly laughing when Annabelle leans in to whisper something in her ear.
Her search for Hope turns up strangely fruitless. She checks the drink bar, the snack bar, the DJ booth, the dance floor and behind the makeshift stage. Nothing.
“What the fuck?” Amy says to nobody in particular.
She figures Hope might be lost somewhere between all the bodies in the banquet area—as unlikely and uncharacteristic as that seems for her—so Amy wanders over to all the people mingling around and eating and trying hard to find a Hope that just isn’t there.
Eventually her search takes her back to the banquet table, where Tanner and Theo have wandered off somewhere but Nick and Ryan still stay, chatting.
“Hey, have you guys seen Hope?” Amy asks, scratching a nervous itch on her elbow.
“No, we haven’t, sorry Amy,” Nick says, leaning forward and frowning. “You need any help?”
“It’s okay, I’m just—” Amy starts, but pauses as her phone buzzes with a message. She pulls out her phone and squints against the brightness of the screen.
“Is that Hope?” Ryan asks, also curious.
“Yeah,” Amy says, brows furrowed. “Thanks for the help, you guys, I’ll just take this.”
Nick gives her a two fingered salute. “Sure thing, Ames.”
Amy wanders off to a secluded part of the gym and dials Hope. The call stops after the first ring.
Hope: sorry. can’t answer ur call. think i just got kidnapped by gigi
Amy: Where are you???
Hope: i have NO idea
Amy: You’re still in the school… right?
Hope: yeah but like gigi took me through like a million different corners and now we’re in this small room
Hope: i THINK it’s one of the art rooms on the second floor but don’t quote me on that
Hope: amy crockett is fucking labyrinthine
Hope: how did i never notice what a fucking maze this school is
Amy: Public school infrastructure. Always surprising
Hope: oh fuck gigi just noticed i’m on my phone ok please come save me i love you bye
Amy: I’ll come find you. Love you too