The night of the diner incident...
“I loved you then. I love you now. And I always will...” Carter’s words were currently repeating themselves in my mind as he held me close.
With a smile on my lips, I replayed the past few hours of us in bed, how months of distance were easily erased. As Carter ran his fingers through my hair, I looked into his eyes—unsure of what to say. What to do next.
There had to be some exception about returning to the semester late, some special clause about having your best friend tell you he loves you and your world coming to a complete standstill.
Even if there wasn’t, I was tempted to call the dean of academics and ask.
I didn’t want to go back to France at all. I wanted to stay
“Are you okay?” He brushed a strand of hair out of my face.
“Why are you so quiet, then? What are you thinking about?”
He secured his arms around my waist and rolled me on top of him. “I’m taking you to the airport on time. As much as I’d like for you to, I won’t let you stay this time either.”
“What makes you think I would ever consider staying?” I asked. “I was just thinking about how I can’t wait to get back actually.”
“In that case, I can take you to the airport right now if you like.” His lips curved into a smirk and I rolled my eyes—unable to keep up that charade.
“Three and a half days...” I said softly. “I feel like I’ve already wasted most of my time here being mad at you.”
“No, you wasted it with Sean.”
34. You Are In Love
With the taste of pancake batter still on my lips and the sting of my recent tattoo on my arm, I hugged my mother days later. She’d been right; I’d nearly forgotten to stop by during my last few days. I’d been too busy trying to spend every second with Carter, to make up for lost time.
“I thought you hated wearing turtlenecks.” She looked me up and down. “Did you not pack enough clothes or something?”
“Unfortunately.” I blushed, thinking about the bright red hickeys that Carter had placed all over my neck hours earlier. “So, you can guilt me into coming over but you don’t want to ride along to see me off at the airport?”
“The first time was traumatic enough,” she said. “I experienced enough anxiety to last me a lifetime. No, thank you. I love you all the same though.”
I laughed and handed her a printout of flight information for her sanity. “You’ll get over your fears and fly to France someday.”
“No.” She kissed my forehead. “You’ll always come visit. Speaking of which, have you decided how often you’ll be seeing Carter?”
I shook my head. Originally, his intent of once a month sounded probable, but last night, when we’d discussed it, we realized that often would never work. Between his law requirements, and my weekends spent studying in restaurants, it was nearly impossible. The earliest I could see him again would be during the summer.
Six months from now.
“He’s going to come see me in June,” I said. “He already bought the ticket.”
“Good!” She hugged me again. “And when will you be coming back here?”
“Even better.” She smiled. “Are you going to apologize to Sean when you get back?”
“Definitely,” I said. “I already sent him an email, but I’m going to do my best to say sorry in person. If he doesn’t slam the door in my face, that is.”
“He won’t.” She looked as if she was going to say something else, but Nicole walked into the room.
“Hey there!” She rushed over, giving me a dramatic hug. “Were you going to leave without telling me goodbye?”
“I would’ve video-chatted with you tomorrow.”
“Well, then!” She laughed. “Good to know I’m back in second citizen territory since you’re back with Carter, huh?”
Two Weeks Gone
Two Weeks Gone.
Subject: Crack and Cream
Thank you for sending me your recent concoction of dried waffle chips and buttercream in the mail. I can honestly say it’s just as good (if not better) than Gayle’s. (Josh says they were “just okay” although he fucking stole most of it.) However, I have to be honest with you and tell you that Josh thinks your intent to call it “Sweet Cocaine” won’t be a good idea. He suggests “Sweet High.”
I personally think both are pretty terrible.
The opposite can be said of the pictures you included though. (Are you tempting me to come see you sooner?) I *did* send you a letter last week and I’m not sure why you didn’t get it; check again tomorrow. Maybe it was delayed for the weather here.
Thirty one days.
Subject: Re: Crack and Cream.
Well, good thing I didn’t listen to Josh (or you). My teacher thought it was brilliant and I won our class’s weekly challenge. (Thank you for keeping my supply of Gayle’s batter never-ending. )
Glad you appreciated the pictures. I’ve attached more, and yes, I am tempting you to come sooner. I actually just checked the mail and got TWO letters from you. I’ll open them after we Skype later tonight.
Thirty days, Carter. How many times do we have to go through this?