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His experience with loneliness had been quashed recently by Lucy. She made him feel as if he could belong somewhere. She didn't back away from him, shy away from his lack of speaking. She didn't hesitate in holding a conversation with him. Her patience was... amazing. There was something more to her, though, something that made her the person who could be all of that with him and at some point, Grey hoped to find out. As it was, he could only get to know her better, appreciate her presence and the way she made him feel in it. There had been a long moment of time where he didn't think he'd get that ever again. Not after Raegan left. Her leaving had sliced him open. The one person he'd ever felt understood him or who even tried to understand him was pulled from his life and he knew he'd never see her again.
There'd been a point in time where he'd foolishly let himself hope she'd come back, that life would finally give him a break. But of course, it hadn't, and so Rae was gone from his life forever. For a while, Grey thought he'd started to see her popping up - a singer with her face started to grace billboards and magazines. But he wrote it off as a coincidence. His mind playing tricks on him. Grey went about his life in Brooklyn, becoming who he was, making what he did. He thought about Rae often, of course. She'd been the best friend he'd ever had, the first and only girl he'd ever loved. The loneliness the thoughts brought was hard to get rid of, but eventually he learned to deal. And eventually he stopped feeling as lonely. And then he met Lucy and the loneliness almost went away entirely.
Grey wasn't painting loneliness today. He was painting something else entirely, though he couldn't quite name the emotion. It was different, lighter, more whimsical. His music was playing from his stereo in the corner. He wore grey sweatpants and a white t-shirt splattered in paint, his feet covered in blue and green mixed together. He'd pulled his hair back at the nape of his neck a long while ago after accidentally getting some purple in it. Grey was used to all of this. He was a walking art exhibit, just as Lucy had called them the day they'd met. There wasn't any shame in his being covered in paint, there was always some tucked away - hiding - on his body somewhere, which was why when the buzzer for the door rang throughout the place, he didn't hesitate in standing from his kneeling position on the floor in front of the canvas tarp to go and answer the door.
After sliding the giant metal door open, he had to grip it to keep himself standing upright. His eyes widened, his jaw went slack, at the sight of Rae standing in front of him. A ghost from his past that he didn't think he'd ever see again. She was older, of course he was older too, but he knew it was her. If this had been directly after she'd left, Grey would have thought he'd gone insane, but it wasn't and she was standing in front of him. She was real. His heart thudded in his chest and he tried to remember how to speak. Oh. Right. He'd never spoken. Not vocally anyway. Blinking, Grey lifted his hand in a wave, the action radiating as much disbelief as any voice might.