“Will you tell me about Connor?” I whispered. I hadn’t forgotten that day in the gym. But I felt like the words were made of glass; too fragile to bring out at just any opportunity.
The van jolted and as Alex yelled back, “Sorry! Bus with nuns!” I windmilled in the air for a second before falling flat on top of Neil.
He made a surprised “whuff” noise when I hit and knocked the air out of him, but his arms opened automatically and he hugged me to him.
I said, "Sorry," but anything else I might have added was cut off as Neil squeezed me to him like a kid grabbing onto its teddy bear when the night-light goes out for the first time. He was even stronger than he looked and I gasped for breath, but quietly. I didn’t want him to hear me and feel like he had to let me go.
We lay there for a long time, the sound of the engine drowning out our breath and jolts from the bad suspension making it difficult to fall asleep. Neil didn’t say anything, and I didn’t either. I was too afraid to break the moment, and I felt in a strange way that maybe Neil was answering my question in the only way he could.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
From my recently completed novel, Timekeeper.