She stared up from her books, lazily scanning the other students reading nearby. The library was a mixture of silence with the occasional hushed whisper, or a giggle from behind the cases. She heard the clicking of keyboards and saw the flirtatious looks come and go as quickly as they appeared.
Channe rolled her eyes as she caught glimpses of a couple between the books. She looked down at her hands. There seemed to always be someone with someone, or a friend getting married, or a collegue engaged, or the neighbor with the new boyfriend.
But everyone seemed to have someone to love, to hold, to kiss- or even to hook up for the night. Everyone but her. Not that she wanted to. Her family would call it a, well, condition. A condition that made her unable to stay long enough to love someone- long enough to settle down.
"Promise me something." His voice still echoed in her mind. Channe closed her eyes. No matter how much she tried, his voice always came back. A haunting that was bittersweet. "Anything." "Stay."
But she hadn't. She had left without a goodbye, a hug, a kiss, a exchange of longing glances. She closed her eyes and opened them, to find herself in a completely different place. The quietness from the library was replaced by pounding waves.
She stared at the cliff in shock. Wave after wave pounded the coast, its frothy foam spraying against the rocks. Channe swallowed and slowly stepped away from the edge, looking up. The sky was grey.
She had sworn it was robin egg blue when she entered the library. She looked around, brushing a stray lock of hair from her face.
A small cottage stood on a small rise, surrounded by daylilies, Dwarf cornel, and bell heather. A lazy stream of smoke rose from the chimney. Channe saw a dim glow coming from the windows, then a shadow passed by the blinds.
Why had she come here? A pull at her gut reminded her of long ago, on a summer holiday when she had packed up and flew with him. He had joked, saying she was his little petrel.
Her eyes widened as the door opened and a bearded man stepped out, a collie close at his heels. His reddish hair and beard were well kept, trimmed, and neat. He wore a tweed jacket, grey slacks, and brown brogues.
He didn't seem to see her, but her gut dropped when she saw his eyes. She'd know those green eyes anywhere. All she had to do was clear his beard and elongate his hair. After so many years, after so many tries to come back: she was finally in Scotland.
"Sully." she whispered. As if he had heard her, Sullivan looked up. Her breath caught in her throat as his smile dropped, his hand resting on the dog's collar. He took a step forward. "Channe?" He asked slowly, as if trying to say every letter in her name.
Oh, how she'd missed his Scottish brogue. "Channe." He said again, this time stronger. He straightened and almost ran to her. He was a arm's reach away from her, his arms outstretched to embrace her.
But she was gone.