They squirmed next to each other, giggling, legs intertwined; but mostly, the night was still. If either was quiet and unmoving they could hear the other, softly breathing. Her head was on his chest, and his chin, on her head. The whisperings and pokes stopped for a brief moment as they kept wrapped up together. Eventually it became too warm and they shifted, just to move away from each others excessive body heat. Then it was just her hand in his, and he didn’t know what she was thinking, but his mind was racing. Sam’s mouth was dry, and there was a lump in his throat that was familiar to him. It would come before he had to give a presentation in school, or whenever he would lean in for a kiss from a girl for the first time. It was butterflies, he heard people say. ‘Butterflies,’ he thought and smiled, not sure if he should do what he was surely about to do.
“You’re pretty cute,” Sam murmured. He wasn’t tired, but his eyes were doing this thing where they wouldn’t stay open.
“You’re pretty cute, yourself,” Sophie murmured back. A little call and response. Tame and done before, but Sam didn’t mind. He couldn’t recall how the affectionate little phrase started, but it was theirs; an alternative to pet names, it would seem.
Sophie broke hand contact and turned on her side. Sam did the same. His smile broadened, and the butterflies fluttered some more. It wasn’t the movies, so the sheets weren’t up around and over Sophie’s breasts, and he could see them both. He had heard people talk about perfect breasts, and he wasn’t sure what that meant, but he thought maybe he knew now. Or, more likely, he was just…
“You’re staring at my boobs?”
“You caught me.”
She didn’t cover anything.
“Do you wanna stare at my penis?”
“I’m good,” Sophie said, her lips turning up into a satisfied grin. She rubbed her face into a nearby pillow and sighed.
“Sigh,” Sam said. The boy scooched over to her, and they embraced sideways, with Sam’s face up against her chest. This time it was only him that heard the breathing, that could feel the chest rise and fall. He breathed her in and thought it was good she slept here so often. His futon was improved by smelling like her.
“I really like you,” he said.
“I really like you, too.”
He kissed her chest, the area in between her breasts, and then a little lower.
“I love you,” he said. And then the room was silent again. Just the breathing. A butterfly exploded. Sam felt like laughing for some reason, but he wanted to cry. “You don’t have…”
“I… I think I love you, too, Sam.”
He kissed her again, on the chest, right below the breasts. Then a little lower. Then on the stomach, twice, then he kissed her on her hip and, moving lower…
She drew him back up, no more she said, not tonight. They made out for a little while. Then, Sophie just pulled Sam’s face in close and stared at him, with vicious, beautiful brown eyes.
“But Sam,” Sophie said, “I won’t always love you; even if I love you now, know that I won’t always.” He wanted to say ‘what?’ but she continued too quickly. “I like you a lot. I love you. I…” her smile had not faded, “I love hanging out with you. I love sleeping over here, I love sleeping with you,” she kissed him on the nose, “and I could not imagine ever hurting you.”
“But,” she continued, her smile still static, “one day I won’t anymore. One day, I will hurt you, because I won’t love you, and you’ll still love me, and that will hurt terribly.” She kissed him again, this time on the mouth. “So, I love you, but only for right now, okay?”
“Why are you telling me this?”
“You already knew.”
For the first time since they started seeing each other (and the last time, too) Sophie fell asleep before Sam. Her conscience clean, apparently; and besides, the room had had that tired blue tint to it for much too long without anybody sleeping. She had dozed off in that position, the one where she is more or less on her stomach, and her head rests on the boys chest… But, Sam couldn’t get his eyes closed now, predictably enough. The butterflies were gone and he didn’t want to laugh or cry. Somehow, he was even more in love than he had been before his confession. Somehow, he felt sadder and happier than he ever had in his whole short, stupid, little life.