Chapter Four

She found him at the cliff top overlooking the rocky outcrops. The area was always devoid of people as the waters were treacherous and the land unusable for farming. She would often find him here.

She sat down quietly beside him. Looking out at the ocean she said, “Your mother told me what happened,” Joma huffed as if to say ‘Of course’. “The chief is well-meaning, you know that Joma. What he said shouldn’t be taken literally. He is proud of you and only wants you to be the best person you can be,” she said seriously.

Joma was fiddling with a smooth rock, rotating it around in his palm. “I know,” he said finally, “It’s just that, I don’t know if I even want to be chief. I don’t know what I want to be at all in fact,” he said while further examining the stone.

The girl laughed lightly, “You think you’re the only one who is lost Joma? Join the club,” she said as she took the stone from Joma and began turning it over in her hand just as he had. “The thing is, when you get stuck in your mind and shut everyone out and push everyone away, you’re wasting precious time and resources. If you don’t know what you want, you have to look. The people around you want to help. Use your time wisely to explore your mind and surroundings rather than brooding,” she said with a passionate tremor in her voice.

The girl, Maria, and Joma had been friends since as long as the two could remember. Their families were close too. Very rarely did they spend a day without seeing each other. Maria shuffled closer, allowing her head to rest on his shoulder. Joma sat there awkwardly. “You’re a funny one,” she teased as she took his arm and put it around herself. Joma laughed nervously.

The two sat there as the sun went down and a reddish hue filled the cloudless sky.

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