12 SAUNCEY WOOD

By Amanda Hein

It was after 4 am, I can remember that. Herded; the change of music to a slow hum, like a pied piper sending the sheep out of the club at 3, flocking to the nearest kebab. Bah. Greasy burgers sopped in mayonnaise, chips drenched in ketchup, the overpriced taxi ride. Yes, it was at least 4. The front door’s latch echoed through the marbled entrance. Bastard. We scuttled quickly, my hand and heels in each of your hands, you balanced like a tightrope walker on a slippery line. Sanctuary is carpeted stairs, politely silencing our steps. Stairs do not judge. Shh, the first door on the right, a stagger and a half past my sleeping parents. The room was a cascade of moon light; I didn’t dare disturb the glow with a bulb. I undressed, leaving stained and smoky clothes in a heap on the floor. You left your underwear on. I stole your shirt, and wore it as a nightgown. Fucking buttons. You were so thin, it barely fit over my breasts. You loved it. We fell into the sheets. My antique, third generation bed creaked and sighed underneath each turn and breath. I didn’t want to sleep, neither did you. Please. You pulled me in close, too drunk to notice my unbrushed teeth. Laughs, giggles; short and long kisses through the night. It came out, bursting from me like a shaken beer can rich with alcohol: “I think I’m falling for you.” Shit.

More kisses.

“Trouble is, I’m falling for you too.” Thank God. My eyes were lead; the alcohol wore off and overcame me. In the last moments of consciousness, you cradled me, your long arms swaddled me. Our breathing slowed, and we drifted away. Your head rested on mine.

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