As he walked with Shallan after saying their goodbyes to Clair, Mec was content to tread along silently. The cool night air was refreshing after being perched in the "crow's nest" for a time. It flowed gently, gentler than a slow river stream, and helped to carry the weight of the day's tiredness. Shallan's warmth at his side was a welcome contrast, like finding a sun-warmed spot when swimming in cool waters. Even if Mec was not particularly ardent about finding beauty in silent moments, he could not help but wish for this particular moment to last.
He carefully pondered over his companions words, letting them soak in as he reflected on his own feelings. "Liberating... That's a good way to describe how it feels," he said. His steps slowed somewhat as he spoke. "I never thought the prospect of living like this would be so appealing. You can just get up one day, and leave behind anything that bothered you. No need to force yourself to dwell on the past."
Memories of the old shop presented resurfaced. Mec already had the revelation before about how absurd he must have been to be content with being stuck behind a counter most of his days, but such a concept never lost its profoundness. There was some security, but there was so much more outside of those walls that were his for the taking. The sights, the smells, the people. Maybe rather, a particular person.
Without giving it a thought, perhaps due to the night's drinking, Mec reached down and took Shallan's hand in his to give it a gentle squeeze. "You know, I don't remember why we ever stopped being friends back home. But, I'm sorry to have let it happen. And don't say it wasn't my fault, since I know for a fact it is. It wasn't like I even had friends at home, just my parents when they weren't traveling."