I knocked on the door at exactly 9 in the evening and waited.
“It’s open,” I heard his voice answer.
I sighed, then pushed the door open, pulling my stuff along inside with considerable difficulty.
I found him in bed, his eyes closed, listening to an audio book. I dropped my things and sat on the floor, exhausted.
He opened one eye. “What the hell,” he exclaimed in surprise when his gaze landed on me. “What are you doing here? And what’s all this stuff?” He got up and ruffled my hair, then poked at the huge black garbage bag with a foot. “Did you run away from home or something?”
I shook my head, trying to get my breath back. “Were you expecting someone?”
He smiled. “Just my landlord. He was sending someone to repair my kitchen sink.”
“Good!” I stood up and massaged my shoulder. “Because I brought over some stuff. Like pillows…my laptop…and snacks.”
“We’re making a pillow fort?” He asked incredulously.
I nodded. “And I have a whole bunch of movies! Ninjas, pirates, robots, aliens…” I trailed off, then blushed suddenly. “I mean, only if you want to. If you’re busy or would rather do something else, I can leave.”
He looked a bit bemused, running his fingers through his dark hair as he thought of how to answer my proposal. “All right then,” he replied at last, opening the bag and pulling out a couple of pillows. But first, we need to construct the fort.”
We worked quickly, stacking pillows into a cozy fort and using a simple pulley system constructed out of rope and clothespins to string a blanket tent over our heads. I set up my laptop on one end, and he crawled inside and lay on his back, surveying the enclosed space. “This is nice,” he said approvingly.
“Which movie first?” I asked, scrolling through my movie folder. “You wanna try a Pirates of the Caribbean marathon?”
“Sounds good to me,” he yawned, propping himself up with his elbow and looking at me in amusement. “Come over here,” he said, after the movie started playing.
I lay next to him and caught his hands, wrapping his arms around me, and he rested his cheek on top of my head. “Pirates,” I whispered, pointing at the screen.
He bit my ear. “Pirates,” he answered. I felt my face turn red, but he stopped biting and lay his head back down on the pillows, stroking my hair soothingly.
We watched for a little bit. But he started trailing little bites down my jaw and neck, playing with my hair, and nuzzling my shoulder.
“You’re not paying attention to the movie,” I complained, sulking. He laughed huskily, biting my shoulder hard and making me gasp.
“I’ve seen it before,” he said, sliding his hands inside my shirt and skimming my waist and ribs with his palms. “Stay here tonight,” he whispered. “I can think of better things to do…”
I sat on his lap facing him and pulled him to me, just looking intently into his multi-colored eyes and feeling my face relax into a smile. He smiled back, his lips quirking up in that adorable lopsided grin that made me a little bit lovesick every time I saw it.
Then he leaned in, nuzzling his cheek on my cheek, his fingers trailing softly down my cheek and tracing my lower lip. My breathing came up short, and I could feel my eyes widen.
“Just relax,” he whispered.
So I closed my eyes, and he kissed me.
Each person has his or her own type of forever.
But, if I could choose mine, I would choose this. To stay in his his arms, his hands cupped around my face and his lips on mine, for my forever.
“You’re not paying attention to the movie,” he murmured, pulling me even closer.
I laughed. “I’ve seen it before,” I answered, reaching over and closing my laptop.