When she met Narcissus, she was certain he was the most beautiful man she had ever seen.
Echo had just arrived to L.A., from her small town in New Mexico. She didn’t have much with her – she certainly didn’t have a college acceptance letter.
She had a bag on her shoulders filled with her favorite clothes and her phone charger, and a strong back pain after more than 24 hours on a bus. She had stopped at a Starbucks to get a frappucino, which she had never tried before because no coffee shop in her hometown sold them, and something to fill her belly. And also, she really needed to charge her phone.
She sat on a couch near the outlet, plugged it in, and let herself look around.
A coffee shop in Los Angeles.
She made it.
A giggle escaped her mouth, despite the tiredness, despite the hurt in her chest when she thought of the last words she exchanged with her mother. In L.A., not even the loneliness felt bad.
She raised her phone and scrolled up to open her camera.
Echo didn’t have anyone to send a selfie to right now. Everyone back at home thought of her too much, a forest fire that burned everything she touched.
But she was taking a photo for herself.
She moved her phone from one side to the other, trying to find an angle that would make her happy. A frown appeared on her image on the screen when she seemed unable to find one.
She was pressing the button when another face popped up on her screen. It was a man, who seemed a bit older than her.
His hair was blonde and well kept. A sharp jawline and blue almond-shaped eyes. He looked like- like the sun, like an angel, but her thoughts were anything but holy. Her latina catholic mom would sure cry about it if she knew.
He smiled at the camera, a dazzling smile, while Echo’s own face came out blurry on the picture, looking over at him.
His hand reached over her shoulder and tapped on the picture to make it pop up full on.
“Oh, I look good.” His smile turned upwards, sounding incredibly pleased with himself. He looked away from the picture towards her, but it took him a moment, as if he was sad to part with the image of himself. “I’m Narcissus.”
“Hi.” She replied, her voice tiny, her mouth open in a tiny O, and she knew she was so over her head. That this boy would break her heart, would make her cry in taxis, would get tired of her just like everyone else did.
She didn’t care.
She was in the city of angels after all.
It was her time to fall.