They stepped into the building and peered up the stairs. Nila shot Frederica a grin. Frederica rolled her eyes and turned so Nila could climb up on her back again. Then they flew together back up to their floor. Frederica let Nila down more carefully this time.
“Hey, can I give you some advice?” Nila asked, still slurring her speech a bit.
“If you insist,” Frederica replied with a chuckle.
“Don’t do this to yourself,” Nila said.
“Do what?” Frederica asked.
“Make yourself miserable over a guy,” Nila replied. “It’s not worth it, even for someone as cute as Griff.”
“I’m not miserable,” Frederica said. “I’m just… giving him some space.”
“No, you’re stalling,” Nila said. “You know what you have to do but you’re scared to do it. Just rip off that band-aid, girl. Stop torturing yourself.”
Frederica opened her mouth to reply but Nila held a finger over Frederica’s lips. Then Nila turned and stepped into her room, shutting the door behind her. Frederica turned to her own door, key in hand, but she couldn’t bring herself to go inside.
Instead, she flew out of the dorm and back across town. She was exhausted, felt like she might drop out of the sky at any moment, but she wouldn’t let that stop her. She reached Griffith’s apartment building and hovered outside the window.
She knocked on the glass.
The curtains ruffled and a bleary-eyed Griffith peered out at her. He opened the window.
“Fred?” he muttered. “What time is it?”
“Late,” she said.
“Do you… want to come in?” he asked.
“No,” she replied. “Let’s go for a walk.”
The streets were mostly empty this time of night. A chill hung in the air, waiting to be banished by the dawn. Frederica and Griffith walked in silence for a while, not even looking at each other. She still wasn’t sure what she wanted to say, only that it couldn’t wait.