I wake with my fingers tangled in your hair, my body wound over yours. Or else you burrowed under me in our sleep. You get so cold.
But your forehead is tucked against my chin, my palm cupping your ear and my fingers buried in all that silky black. You take a shallower breath—my waking is beginning to wake you—and I untangle my fingers as gently as I can.
I pull back, and you follow me, your shoulders pressing to each side of my collarbone, into the hollows.
I must untangle from you. You can’t follow me, even in your sleep; I have to let you go.
But when I roll over, ready to turn out of the covers and slide out of bed, one foot after the other on the wooden floor to slip away, your arm is suddenly around my waist and pulling me tight against your belly. Your breath is in my hair, and I manage a quick, strangled laugh as you tighten your arm under my ribs.
Where you going?
I shake my head. I thought I was going to make coffee or something.
I was going to feed the dust bunnies.
I was going to iron our shadows. They get all rumpled in the sheets.
You laugh, soft. How will you tell them apart?
Yours is totally shorter than mine.
You run your hand into my hair, teasing. That depends on the light. Malign my size, will you?
I shake my head. I would never malign you and your shadow. I would line them up perfectly, so you don’t trip over it. Or I guess so it doesn’t trip over you.
¡Gracias a dios! You laugh again, press a kiss to my neck. I melt a little, my shoulders relaxing a little into yours, and you feel it. Your voice gets softer. You’re winning. Where were you going?
I get still. I can feel you frowning, the skin at your temple tightening a little against my cheek. You rub your cheek along mine, though, and wait.
I was getting you another blanket.
You wait another moment. You sneak your other arm under me so you’re wrapped around my waist. The pale sheet moves over your hands, like you’re shaking out a ghost.
Finally you say, your voice slow, That’s sweet, Britt. I’m warmer if you just stay in bed, though.
That’s why you need another blanket.
You shiver, and it startles me, and I feel you tense, so it startled you, too.
You’re better than a blanket, though, Britt. Your voice is a little breathless.
I almost say six different things. I’m harder to fold into a suitcase, though we maybe could manage it. You’ll have to learn—I can’t go with you. A blanket can’t flunk senior year.
I want to come.
I try to think. I can’t think.
I can’t think. I have to get out of this bed. I have to get used to your going.