Excerpt (pt 2)

We were older; not as old as we’ll ever be in this story, but older than we were at the beginning of it. Alex was standing on the empty football field. It was November and the grass was slick with frost. I can remember sitting on the bleachers while he was looking at the stars. They were bright that night — bright in the way that only seemed to come with winter.
“I should’ve worn a heavier jacket,” I muttered under my breath as I shoved my hands into my pockets.
“What?” Alex asked, turning his head towards me.
“Nothing. I was just complaining to myself.”
He laughed softly but said nothing in response. I tilted my head up, wanting to see what Alex could see. I always wanted to be able to see what Alex could see, but just as often I got the feeling that I could not. That there was something I was missing; that I always looked too late, or in the wrong direction — or maybe that I could see it, that I was looking right at it, but I just couldn’t comprehend it.
“Should I take that as a subtle hint you’ve had enough for tonight?”
“I’ve lost two fingers to frostbite, but I could suffer a couple more minutes,” I told him, quirking my lips up into a rueful smile.
“You’re too good to me, Grace,” he said.
“Not everything is about you, Alex.”
“Yeah,” he said, not taking his eyes off the stars flickering above us, “but this is.”
I remember wanting to correct him — not that he was wrong, but I still wanted to correct him. More than that, I wanted to stay there, in that moment. I loved Alex, and I didn’t, and in that moment I just wanted to stay there, so I didn’t say anything. I just kept on looking up, trying my hardest to see.


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