"The Table of Avalon: Finding Avalon" Excerpt


“Wait,” Tristan said, holding up his hand to silence her. He turned around, leaning against the side of her door. He pulled something out of his jacket but she couldn’t see what it was from the way he was standing. She waited. Then, he bent down on the ground and placed the box he’d picked up from the bakery down on the floor, now empty.

He turned around and Andy gasped with delight at what he was holding in his hands. It was an oversized vanilla cupcake with chocolate frosting on top. Written in baby pink frosting around the edge of the cupcake was “Happy Birthday Andy”. And in the center of the cupcake was a dollop of baby blue frosting. Andy looked up at Tristan. How could he be so sweet? Tristan was smiling. It was clear from the look of satisfaction on his face, he was happy with her reaction to the surprise.

“Did I get your name right?” he asked.

“Yeah, you did.” She still didn’t know what to say.

“I figured I’m leaving tomorrow and I wouldn’t be here to wish you a happy birthday, so I got you this,” he said, pulling something out of his pocket. As he did, she thought she caught a glimpse of something shiny and silver on the inside of his jacket. She wondered for a second what it was, but as Tristan placed a pink candle into the dollop of frosting in the middle of the cake, she dismissed it.

“Happy birthday to you,” Tristan began crooning. He pulled out a lighter and lit the candle. “Happy birthday to you.” He wasn’t an awful singer, but he wasn’t amazing, which made the whole thing sweeter. “Happy birthday dear Andy. Happy birthday to you,” he finished. He held the cupcake up. “Alright, blow out the candle.”

Andy leaned down and blew out the candle. She looked up at Tristan. She couldn’t understand how this was happening to her. “Thank you,” she said.

Tristan shrugged handing her the cupcake and leaning down to pick up the box on the floor. “Thank you,” he said, and like before, it had weight to it, like there was more to it than Andy knew. “You really made my night,” he said. She’d made his night. Just for being there.

“Do you want to come in and share this with me,” Andy asked. “I wouldn’t feel right eating it alone.” She didn’t want to say goodbye just yet.

Tristan thought about it. “I shouldn’t,” he finally said. “You can share it with your roommate, Leslie.”
Andy, although disappointed, thought that would be best. “Alright,” she said. She turned to the door and slid her key inside the lock and turned it. She heard the click of the door unlocking. It was like every move she made, she was getting closer to never seeing this boy again.
She turned to him a final time. She smiled shyly, letting out a sigh. Here it was. “Is it weird that I don’t want to say goodbye?”

Tristan smiled sadly. “No,” he said, with as much weight as ever. Tristan placed his hand on Andy’s face. He looked at her for a moment, then leaned toward her. For a moment, Andy thought he might kiss her. He pressed his lips to her cheek, sending shivers from the spot where he kissed her all the way down to her toes.

“Goodbye,” he whispered.
Before she could get any words out, Tristan turned and walked away. It happed so quickly. Andy wasn’t sure if that had really just happened or if she just dreamed it up. She heard him making his way down the stairs. Andy had never been kissed for real, but that kiss was as real as she knew anything could be. She couldn’t understand how she could have grown so attached to him in such a short time, but what she did know was this night was going in the books.

“Goodbye,” she finally said, as she opened the door.

When she did, Leslie was standing on the other side, her mouth hanging wide open.

“I saw.” She nodded, to make sure Andy understood. “I saw the whole thing.”

She took Andy’s hand and dragged her over to the couch, she already had a plate and forks in her hand to eat the cupcake. “You need to explain everything right now,” she ordered.

Andy was glad too. If Leslie knew the story when they woke up tomorrow morning, she’d know it wasn’t all a dream.