Partly Cloudy

There came a knock in the darkness. I sat up in bed and looked at the white door to my room, which crept open slowly.  Liz poked her head in, cautiously looking to see if I was awake.

“What’s up, everything okay?” I asked genuinely.

“Yeah, yeah...I couldn’t sleep,” she replied tiptoeing in.

She sat on the edge of my bed as I perched myself up on my elbows. She looked fragile, almost vulnerable, which was so unlike her outgoing and bubbly nature. She stared at the ugly grey carpet, and struck up some small talk about how the rain outside was pouring incredibly. Memorial Day Weekend had been a wash on Cape Cod; Liz and I had been stuck hanging around inside my house the past two days with no chance of heading outdoors. I rotated my body so my feet were now by my pillow and my head down towards her. She asked me to move over and laid down herself, next to me, face to face, with her head leaning on her outstretched arm. Lightning crashed outside my window, briefly providing us fleeting light through the blinds. Subconciously, we started to hold hands as we laid there. I don’t even remember what we were talking about, it was insignificant, we were both clearly taking note of what the other’s body was doing instead. I laid face down, and she made a strange manuever to lay ontop of me, but facing up towards the ceiling so we were back to back.

“Doesn’t this feel really good? I don’t know why, but it does, right?” she observed.

“Yeah, it does,” I mumbled, fighting internally to not analyze what was going on at the moment.

Eventually, we rotated, and I was on top, trying to see what it was all about. It was nothing special, but the physical contact itself was enough for me to agree that it was “pretty good”.

She turned again, this time laying with her head above my pillow against the headboard. I scooted up next to her, a little lower down. Memories and thoughts started rushing back into my head; I remembered the first time I felt love for her in seventh grade at a dance on the verge of collapsing the relationship.

She guided my hand to her waist, pulling the elastic in her sweat pants down slightly, pulling my fingers like a Ouiji Board to her pointed hip bone.

“Do you feel that?” she asked as she slid her hips to make a small pop with her bone. I gave a neutral answer again. This was the girl who I had agonized over for two years, wrestled with my feelings for her before admitting them in return for the most relieving and liberating rejection ever.

She moved my hand up slowly around her waist, and looked at me, then shot her eyes in the other direction nervously. We laid there for about five minutes like that, that felt like about two hours. I wondered what had motivated her to come into my room this late at night, and doubted that her lack of sleep was due to the rain storm. My eyes had adjusted to the darkness and I could clearly see her face, her mouth slightly puckered as if they didn’t know what they were going to do next. Occasional streaks shot across her face from the lightning outside, illuminating her bright blue eyes.

She broke the silence. “What are you thinking about?” she asked me, clearly a trap question trying to get me to commit or decommit to something, anything. It was a hell of a question for this girl to ask me, who had become my best friend in a matter of months and was currently dating my best friend from middle school. She knew what I was thinking about because she was thinking the same thing, and we both knew and we were both too scared to admit it. So I decided to venture the obvious.

“I’m thinking the same thing you are.”

“What would that be?”

Time for a trap of my own, “You tell me.”

She paused, looked at me, then looked down with a half smile, “I’m thinking that I really want to do something with you right now, but I don’t know if I can because of Luke.”

I nodded in agreeance, “It’s up to you.”

We laid there in silence for a little longer. Every few seconds, one of us would look at the other, waiting for something to happen, and then were forced to look away by the tension. I wrestled in my mind; even though I had not really hung out with Luke since 7th grade, he was still a friend of mine and would never expect me to do something like this. At the same time, I finally was with the girl I had wanted and lost twice for two years. I couldn’t take it anymore.

“I’ right back,” I said as I got up out of bed. She looked at me blankly. “I’ve got to go to the bathroom.”

Somewhere in my mind I knew that was going to be all it took. Sure enough, when I got back from the bathroom, Liz was in the hallway, waiting.

“Hey...I think I am just going to try to go back to bed,” she said.

“ too,” I mumbled.

I gave her a big hug as she went into my sister’s room where she was staying, and I turned and walked back into mine. I sat on the edge of my bed for a moment, looking through the blinds at the lightning and listening to the rain hit off the wooden panels of the house, and the deck below. Surprisingly, my mind was quiet, no analyzing what had just happened, what the Strum house was going to be like when we woke up in a few hours and how different it would be, just quiet, taking in the silence of the room that was offset by the din outside. I laid down, pulled the sheets over me, and tried to think of something else.

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