Coffee Shop Encounter

Liam read the text message, disbelieving what it held. He sat in the coffee shop loft/library. For minutes his thoughts flew around, trying to make sense of what he was reading. “Is this true? Is it a scam? What should I say? Should I just leave it?”
Finally, he decided to reply with, “Ryan…? Is that really you?”
And then to try and alleviate his own mood he added, “You still have my number, huh?”
He pressed ‘enter’ and waited. His friend’s message had been sent nearly twenty minutes ago.
He must have been too busy writing, with his headphones in, to notice the phone vibrating.

Liam paced the floor, stopping at the railing to gaze down at the people below. Some sat just as silently as he had been, some sat in groups and joked around. While others just stood in line and left without another word, coffee in hand.

Brow furrowed he listened for a sound, any sound to come from his phone.
When a sound did come he nearly jumped out of his skin.With a sigh of relief, he realized it was only someone come up to the library.

He stopped. Hang on. He looked again at the figure.
The figure looked back at him with a  somewhat wary expression.
Liam was speechless. Both stared at the other.

Gulping, he gave talking a shot, anyway. “How…? You, 11? They…You were…”

The man opposite him sighed.”Yeah, it’s me.” He spoke as he raised his phone, “never thought I’d be able to make it back.”

That was it for Liam. “They said you were dead!”

Ryan glanced down at the cafe customers. Moving to the other side of the table, he sat down. Frowning, “Who said I was dead?” he asked.

Liam’s mouth opened, as he tried to make sense out of…Everything.

“Your whole family. They all said you were dead. Everyone thought you were…?”

Liam sat down as well, trying to recall everything that had happened all those months ago.

Ryan looked back at him. “That’s…Bizarre. I’ve been sending them letters…All year…”

“What have you been doing all this time?? Sending letters that never made it home, while on a beach in the tropics? Obviously, you haven’t been spending your time underground, so you must have something to say for yourself.”

“It’s quite a long story.”

Liam refused to budge,”I was made to think you were dead for eleven months, not to mention the whole entire community, I think we both have time.”

Ryan gave in, “I was called away on a job.”

When he didn’t elaborate, Liam raised his eyebrows, arms crossed.

“Piloting for a private company. They wanted me right away. I told my family and went. You canceled our lasting meeting, remember, so I suppose you never heard.”

Ryan stopped as if a light bulb had come on in his mind.

“There was an incident. My family must have heard about it. Did you?”

“No, I never heard.  Except there was some sort of accident. Nothing beyond that. They made it seem as if the details hadn’t exactly been found out. ” Liam explained.

“There was one. A crash just after I started flying, it started in the engine, somehow. They couldn’t find us for days.”

Liam’s eyes widened.

“That explains, everything.”

“I’m glad. It would be terribly boring to recount every single daily detail that had passed over eleven months.”

Liam rolled his eyes, then added, “But what about the reports, they were never updated. And the letters you sent?”

“Let’s just say, it wasn’t the best company to work with…”