TITLE: 'Til It Happens to You
GENRE: Young Adult
I breathe slow and deep, trying to catch my breath. The ceiling fan moves the air made warmer by our thrashing about, slowly cooling the sweat on my body. The room has a certain scent that I couldn’t have placed a short month ago but now is as familiar as my name. JP’s smoking fails to improve the air quality. I steal his cigarette, take a few quick drags and pull on my clothes. He smiles and lights another.
Completely at ease naked, sprawled across the blankets, he sighs and asks, “Where are you going?” The blue plastic ashtray on the end table looks like a whale. I grind the cigarette into its blowhole.
“Some of us work for a living.”
“You could try depending on the kindness of strangers.”
“That only works for pretty people like you and Blanche DuBois.”
“You’re beautiful and you know it.”
“You have to say that.”
“I don’t say things I don’t mean.” He looks up at me with heavy-lidded, dark brown eyes and gently kisses the back of my hand. My everything tingles. “So I’ll see you later?” I nod. The answer’s always yes. His arms wrap around me, fingers tickling my belly, pulling me to the bed. I jump up, fighting the urge to stay there. I give him a quick kiss goodbye, wishing for the thousandth time that his confidence was contagious. Being with him should be a dream come true but I’m scared crapless. How long before he completely sees through me?