November 7, 2011
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Kate looked at Tommy in the sort of way that every boy wants to be looked at. It was a willing sort of look, a look that questioned but was ready to believe. She did not speak. Her eyes fixed firmly on his and he smiled.
“What,” he said.
He did not expect an answer but was curious to know what was behind those devastatingly brown eyes. Her lips curved up into what was almost a smile; she did not reply.
“Kate,” Tommy said.
Kate’s eyelids drooped only slightly and the curve of her lips became more defined. Tommy giggled and Kate’s eyes flashed wide as she let a laugh escape her mouth.
Tommy was lying on his bed; his head hanging slightly over its side looking down at Kate, and Kate was lying on the carpet looking up at him, her head cocked. She had a flashlight in one hand with which she had been using to write her name in a scrawling script on his ceiling.
A movie was playing and Tommy’s friend watched the screen attentively, unaware that his companions were talking. Kate lay the flashlight on her stomach and thrust her hand to the ceiling as if making an abrupt offering. When her arm was straight the hand nearly reached the top of Tommy’s mattress. Tommy watched her unmoving palm for a moment before asking what she wanted; she did not reply.

Calyx Reed
He brought his palm to meet her hand and extended his fingers over hers. Their palms pressed against each other. It felt nice to stretch his arm through the gray of the evening and reach her. The hands wavered in the darkening bedroom for a moment before he directed them in a pendulum motion past her head and down to her feet. Head to feet, head to feet, his hand on hers.
“You have such small hands,” he said softly.
“No, I don't” she replied, her voice high.
“And my hands are average,” he continued.
To illustrate his size compared to hers he folded his fingers over her fingers and they again swung, stopping when her hand was once more over her head. The two palms, young, warm, and smooth, were motionless. Their outline was made crisp by the last of the evening light that filtered by way of tree branches through the window.
It was windy out and smelled of rain, but it was still unseasonably warm for the late fall evening that it was. She could see the silhouette of Tommy’s body above her on the bed, but could not make out his face. She let her fingers slowly intertwine with Tommy’s and they rested together that way.
Kate closed her eyes and was filled with a wonderful sort of confidence. She was, at that moment, quite sure that nothing would ever break. She was sure that Tommy’s hand would always stay with hers, that the world was true, that the universe was at peace. And if not the world, if not the universe, then Tommy’s bedroom and herself.

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