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Forever Right Now

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Peter sits outside her house in his Jeep watching her window. Her light is on so she’s up but the rest of her house is dark. His phone says it’s 11:37 and it’s a school night and he should just go home and talk to her tomorrow. Rain starts to softly fall and he taps his fingers on the steering wheel and wills her to open her curtain and happen to see him there. With another glance towards the warm light of her room he picks the phone up again.

                Hey are you up?

He stares down his screen for her response while outside the rain starts to fall a little harder. He wants to talk to her. He just really, really needs to talk to her.

                Yeah, just finishing some reading. You’re up late

                Can I come over?

                What, now?

                Yeah can I talk to you?

He is feeling restless in his own skin and he knows that talking to her will smooth him out, set him right.

                Look out your window Covey

He sees her curtain move and under his breath murmurs, “c’mon Lara Jean.” The curtain falls and he’s already shoving his keys in his pocket when he sees the door open.

***

“You’re soaked!” she whispers as she shuts the door quietly behind him. “Yeah, just started pouring.” He stands there already feeling better in the warmth of her house, in the calmness of her presence. When she looks at him her face changes and she says, “Peter, what’s the matter?” and stepping closer she puts her hand on his arm and he wishes he could just pull her against him and hold her there. But that’s not what their situation is about, much to his ever-growing regret. She knows something is wrong because her Peter Kavinsky does not show up close to midnight on a Thursday. And if he did he would be his usual teasing, charming self and not this nearly silent, sad boy standing in front of her. “Here, take your shoes off and give me this” she moves her hand and starts unzipping his hoodie as he kicks his sneakers off. “Stay here” and he does as she takes his stuff and goes towards the laundry room and returns with towels. He bends down towards her and she wraps a towel around his shoulders and takes the other and gently starts rubbing it across his head. It feels so safe here. How does she make him feel so comfortable so easily?

In the living room she turns on a lamp as he takes a seat and when she returns she has mugs of hot cocoa, “it’s too late for coffee and I know you’re not into tea” she says handing him his and of course she’s put whipped cream on top because she’s Lara Jean Covey and she’s amazing. He looks over and she’s pulled her legs up and is in her pajamas with her hair pulled up in a bun and she looks so worried he feels bad he’s put that look on her beautiful face. “I’m sorry to just show up it’s just I had a kinda shitty night and I needed someone to talk to.” She nods, “No, that’s not entirely true” he pauses and she puts her mug down, her eyes never leaving his face. “Not just anyone, Lara Jean. I wanted to talk to you. I like talking to you.” He swears she blushes, “I like talking to you too.” He smiles then, not his usual one, but a small one which is a first for tonight. Resting his head back he closes his eyes, “my dad showed up tonight. Didn’t call or ask. Just came walking in the door like he still lived there. He wanted to take Owen and I to dinner. I didn’t want to go because, you know, I’m not the biggest fan of my dad right now but Owen was really excited and basically, I didn’t want him having to go without me, so I went.” “How did it go?” He tilts his head to face her and starts telling her everything. About how his dad seems to think that nothing has changed between them and acts like his walking out and into a whole new family shouldn’t be something that bothers Peter, “He said, ’it’s been over two years Peter’ Can you believe that?? He’s never said he’s sorry or asked how we feel about it, it’s like it’s inconvenient for him that I still have an opinion about it!” Lara Jean just watches him quietly letting him talk. It’s this patience she has, this willingness to listen and not judge or jump right in with solutions or advice. He can’t believe the irony of the one person he can confide in being the same person he is bound to by a lie. “And maybe it makes me an asshole but I just don’t think he still gets to parent—I mean yeah, he’s my parent, but he’s not there doing the day to day stuff you know? And I don’t respect him because of what he did so I feel like I shouldn’t have to respect his rules when he only wants to be my dad when it’s good for him.”

He hadn’t realized he was clenching and unclenching his fists until he felt her hands rest on top of his and gently squeeze them still. Lifting his head he sees she’s moved closer to him and her face is so full of compassion and he can almost believe he sees love there, he wants to see love there because he thinks he’s falling very deeply in love with her. He has never been able to talk to anyone the way he talks to Lara Jean, telling her his darkest thoughts that he never felt he could tell Gen or his buddies. She slides up next to him and moves her arm around his shoulders and he instinctively slips down lower and rests his head on her shoulder as she moves her hand into his hair and strokes her fingertips along his hairline. All the upset and frustration seeps away as they sit there together in the midnight hum of her house and everything about her feels right and he’s so glad he came here after wasting two hours being pissed off by himself. “I’m sorry” she whispers, “none of this is fair to you or your mom and Owen. It’s OK that you’re mad. I would be mad too, I am mad for you!” “Thanks Lara Jean” he murmurs, “I’m sorry I’m going to make us late for school tomorrow.” He feels her shrug under his weight. “You’re worth it.”

Feels like this could be forever right now...