17 // 2016
We stumble into the room, breathless with laughter, and let ourselves fall onto the bed gracelessly. We’re silent, except for some snickers here and there, still, but we don’t look at each other, eyes glued to the ceiling. My cheeks hurt from smiling so wide.
“And I thought I was the crazy one,” he says out of nowhere, I turn to him, already laughing again.
“What do you mean? This is not my fault at all!”
“Sure it isn’t, babe. Never is.” His reply is sarcastic, teasing, and I reach over to smack his bicep as hard as I can.
“I hate you,” I rumble, still giggling. I can’t stop giggling all of a sudden. Man, I’m too drunk.
“Man, I’m too drunk,” he says, his hands sweeping over his face. He looks so tired and disgruntled, but adorable.
“We really did drink a lot tonight, didn’t we?”
“Yeah,” he looks up at me from where he’s laying, his eyes traveling to my lips, “but that’s what we do best.”
I snort. “Not quite, H. Not quite.”
He chuckles quietly before silence falls upon us again. I really have missed this. I’ve missed him. I may hate myself for it a little bit, though.
“Why’d you leave so soon, last time?”
He turns to look at me, shrugs. “Duty calls, you know how it is. I didn’t mean to rush that much, I’m sorry, kitten.”
There’s a loud crash from downstairs, someone lets out a scream. We look at each other, and burst out laughing. Nothing is funny, but we know our friends, we know what they’re like, and we can only imagine what’s been going on in the living room the past half an hour we’ve spent upstairs.
“Rumor has it you got a new girl,” I quip teasingly, no heat behind it.
He looks at me sheepishly, shrugging. “Oh you know how it is…”
“No I don’t!” I yell, jumping so I’m sitting on my legs on the bed, leaning towards him. “Who is she? Do I know her? She cute? Did you…do… it?”
He starts laughing uncontrollably, the loudest sound in the world, and I can’t help but giggle along. “You’re insane, Miller.”
“I wanna knooooow!”
“Well,” he says, looking at me from the corner of his eye, acting coy when he speaks, “she’s quite something, yeah. But they all were. Don’t think it’s that serious, to be honest.”
“Does she agree?” I want to know.
And yet again, he shrugs. This boy doesn’t seem to know anything at all, does he? “She agrees enough not to seriously ask or complain. So… I’m good.”
“Such a fuckboy!” I yell, for no apparent reason other than that it feels appropriate. I decide that I don’t want to sit next to him uselessly, and on a whim I plant myself on top of him, straddling his hips and putting my hands on his chest. His eyebrows shoot up in surprise, but he doesn’t complain.
“So, what’s this then?” He has his hands crossed over his stomach, looking up at me with piercing eyes.
“Just making myself comfortable.” I say nonchalantly, wiggling back and forth to be a little shit. He doesn’t even try to hide his smirk.
He shakes his head while inhaling deeply, and I laugh, not even caring about if I’m crossing a line. “If Daniel came in here right now, he’d probably kill me with a butcher knife.”
“Why would he do that?”
“Because I’ve got his little sister perched on top of my lap?” he says like it’s obvious, and it is, but I like making his life difficult. Always have and always will.
“Hm, yeah, true. He’d probably beat you up.” I shrug and smile at him innocently, making him roll his eyes.
“And I’d have to let him. He’d be in the right, after all.”
“Ha, sure.” I start playing with his necklace, a golden pendant, his initial. I smile to myself in amusement, at how drunk I still am and how much I’m enjoying the time I spend at this house. My safe haven, in many ways.
“What about you, though?” he asks after a period of silence. “I’ve heard there’s a certain someone you’ve got a bit of a crush on.”
I roll my eyes in annoyance at just having to think about the guy. “Fuck him, honestly.”
“N’aww, tell me about it, doll,” he pouts and starts rubbing his hands up and down my thighs in comfort, expectantly looking up from under me.
“I don’t even know why I’m trying with him, to be honest. I feel like he’s just using me,” I admit, eyes stubbornly trained on the necklace that I’m twirling around in my hands.
He furrows his brows in confusion, partially anger. “Like, sexually?”
“Worse!” I say exasperatedly, throwing my hands up in frustration. “I feel like I’m his personal therapist or something.”
“Yeah, you’ve been known to do that,” he smiles and pointedly ignores the glare I throw his way. “You need to stop trying to fix every good looking but emotionally unavailable dude that comes your way, get your Mother Theresa complex outta here!”
He shoves me lightly but I bat his hands away, suppressing a smile. “I don’t do that, okay! I can’t help that I have a healing spirit, Hugo!” We both laugh at that and we don’t stop, covering our faces with our hands and just giggling away. Medicine for the soul, is what that is.
“No, seriously. Be careful. I know you wanna help people, but not everyone is as good as you think, and not everyone deserves your energy.”
“He doesn’t,” I say quietly, “but it’s hard to let go sometimes.”
“You’re young, little Miss. Seventeen. You’ve got a long way to go, still, and you’ll learn.” He smiles encouragingly and I put a hand on his cheek, my thumb stroking his skin.
I’m not sure if it’s the alcohol or the sudden need for clarification that makes me say it, a sentiment we so rarely allow between us, something emotional to replace our usual teasing nature, but I blurt it out anyway, “You mean more to me than you’ll ever know, H. Our friendship is neverendingly precious to me.”
He smiles at me fondly, and I know how much weight that smile carries. “You’re the most amazing person I know.”
We stay in the room for a little more, not really saying anything, before I get up and we make our way downstairs. We rejoin our friends and the wild party that’s been going on for hours now, and every now and then we catch each other’s eye from across the room and smile. And just like that, I know that whatever’s keeping me up at night, I’ll ever have to go through it alone.