We sat cross-legged in the grass, watching everyone run around like little children, collapsing into laughter after throwing the small, water-filled balloons. When Cullen asked a seemingly simple question about what I wanted to do (tomorrow, next month, in a year—what is it that people really mean when they ask?), I could feel myself becoming increasingly drunk as the words poured out, and I was both unable and unwilling to stop them once they came out. It doesn’t matter if it sounds dumb, I told myself. You can blame almost anything on too much alcohol.
“It’s like you spend your whole life between lost and found. Like…I don’t know…like, there are places and people that make you feel at home, understood, really. And there are places and people that…well, they don’t, I guess. And my whole life, I’ve felt pretty, like, found, I suppose. Until graduation. It was like everyone I knew had someplace to go or something to do, and I just drew a big blank. And so, I got a call about this internship and it was just like, ‘Hey, you wanna come live in the mountains and help some troubled kids?’ and how could you not be like, ‘Sure! Sign me up!’ Right? So, yeah…I guess I was just feeling a little lost, but not necessarily in a bad way, because I need to go someplace and do something. I’m not really in a hurry to be found, if that makes sense,” I rambled, but my words were loud and clear as the alcohol created a beautiful haze around everything.
He sat, staring, and the intensity was crushing. I, once again become self-conscious and mumbled, “Does that answer your question?” I feigned sarcasm as he dropped his gaze.
He opened his mouth to speak, but didn’t. After a moment, he tried again, that lazy smile nearly turning into a smirk: “No, it’s…perfect. I have a hard time staying in one place. It’s like, I guess, sometimes…I chase that lost feeling, to borrow your phrase.”
Another pause, and then, “You are incredible,” and I could feel his heat as leaned in, his exhalation across my cheek and a hand coming up to brush a stray hair from my forehead. It was oddly comforting, the last thing I expected to feel from an almost-stranger the night before skipping town, and I wanted him to kiss me, badly.
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