Ayn's story can be found here.
Her laugh was thunder on the quad – loud, sudden, and unmistakable.
“Ashley?!” Years ago, I would have run and tackled her joyously. I was no longer so energetic.
“Emily?” she asked, shocked. “What are you doing here?”
“I live here.” I should be the surprised one. “You disappeared without a trace. We searched, but…”
“John was redeployed. We had to leave immediately. I lost track of you in the shuffle.” She was crying. “I never thought I’d see you again.”
I pulled her brittle bones into a fierce hug. “You should have called.”
“I know. I’m sorry. I missed you.”