Another Day Page 82

We will remember this together. All three of us.

I want to stop time. I know I cannot stop time.

Holding hands. Then, inside the room, stopping to take off our shoes. Nothing else, just shoes. I crawl into the bed. He turns off the lights.

Only the glow of the clock. He gets into the bed next to me, lying on his back. I curl into him. Touch his cheek. Turn his head.

Kiss him and kiss him and kiss him.

’’I want you to remember that tomorrow,’’ I say when we come up for air.

’’I\ll remember everything,’’ he tells me.

’’So will I,’’ I promise.

One more kiss. One last kiss. Then I close my eyes. I steady my breathing. I wait.

If I could hold on to him, I would.

Lord, if I could hold on to him, I would.

I do not sleep. I wish I could sleep. But I cannot sleep.

Instead, I lie there, eyes closed, safe in the dark.

I feel him reach over and touch my heart.

I hear him say goodbye.

I feel him close his eyes. I feel him fall.

I open my eyes. I turn.

I look for the moment. I want to see the change.

But instead I find a beautiful someone, beautifully asleep. Left behind by another beautiful someone, now also asleep in some other house, in some other bed.

I want to wake him. I want to ask him if he\s still there.

But I don\ wake him, because I don\ want Alexander to ask me why I\m crying.

It isn\ until I\m turned back to the wall, until I\ve decided to will myself to sleep, that I feel the sticky note on my shirt.

The heart I gave him.

He\s taken it, and given it back to me.

Chapter Thirty-Two

I open my eyes. There is sunlight.

’’Good morning,’’ Alexander says.

At some point in the night, I must have turned toward him. Because he\s right there in front of me, also waking up.

’’Good morning,’’ I say.

He doesn\ look confused. He doesn\ look surprised. He understands why we\ e in his bed, fully clothed. He remembers the tree house. He remembers meeting me in the bookstore. It\s unusual, for sure it\s not the kind of thing that happens every day. But it\s possible. On a very lucky day, it\s possible.

He looks so happy. And completely unafraid to show it.

’’Why don\ I make breakfast?’’ he says. ’’I seem to recall my parents left us with plenty of breakfast options.’’

’’Breakfast would be good,’’ I say, sitting up and stretching out.

’’Okay,’’ he replies. But he doesn\ make any move to go. He just looks at me.

’’What?’’ I ask.

’’Nothing,’’ he says, bashful. Then he corrects himself. ’’No. Not nothing. The opposite of nothing. I\m just really glad you\ e here. And I\m looking forward to another day with you, if you\ll do me the pleasure.’’

’’Breakfast first,’’ I say. ’’Then we can figure this out.’’

’’Sounds good,’’ he says, bouncing out of bed. ’’Help yourself to clothes, towels, shampoo, books, Post-its whatever you need.’’

’’Will do.’’

He teeters in the room for a moment. He looks so sweet.

’’I love this, whatever it is,’’ he says.

I can\ help but smile back at him. ’’Yes,’’ I say. ’’Whatever it is.’’

’’No oatmeal, right?’’

’’Yup. No oatmeal.’’

He whistles as he heads downstairs. I listen until he\s too far to hear.

His laptop sits on his desk, beckoning me.

I know what I should do. I know what A wants me to do.

Only, I\m stubborn now.

I like Alexander. But I want A.

I want to find A.

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