He laughed, but even without reading his mind Frederica could tell his heart wasn’t in it. The elevator opened and Griffith carefully ducked inside. They rode it down to the lobby. Outside, the wind and rain had faded to breeze and drizzle. Griffith stared up at the sky and sighed.
“Come on,” Frederica said. “Let’s get you home.”
“You guys don’t have to walk on my account,” Griffith said. “No reason everyone should be stuck down here.”
“Hey, I’m not going anywhere,” Frederica said.
“I, on the other hand, have work to do,” Karen said. “So I’ll catch you kids later.”
She unfurled her wings and took off into the sky. Griffith watched her go, then turned to Frederica.
“You sure you don’t mind walking?”
“Of course,” Frederica said. “Most of my friends can’t fly anyway so I’m used to it.”
“Okay, if you insist,” he replied with a shrug.
He looked away, still watching the sky. The dark clouds threatened to reopen at any moment. She hooked her arm in his and pulled him close. They walked like this in silence all the way back to his building. He hesitated at the front door.
“I… kinda just want to lie down for a bit,” he said. “I’m supposed to work tonight but I’ll be no good without some rest. Is that cool?”
“Sure, sure, that’s fine,” she said. “Call me if you need anything, okay?”
“I will,” he said.
He kissed her hastily and headed inside. She lingered a moment, in case he changed his mind. But he was gone. She walked back the way she came for a couple blocks before finally flying home.
Griffith didn’t call Frederica that day, or the next. She texted a couple times but her messages went unanswered. So she was preoccupied with worry by the time she arrived in class Monday morning. She barely even noticed Magh pull up a seat beside her.
“Are you unwell?” Magh asked.