Opening my eyes, I stretched out. Moaning and sitting up, I glanced over at the clock. It was six in the evening. I realized with a start that I was at Peter’s house, and that I was alone.
“Peter?” I called out.
Getting up and walking across the room, I eased open the door and walked out. The house looked empty. “Peter?” I called out again.
Walking back into his room, I picked up my phone and called him. A sudden, loud ringing filled the air, and I realized that he had left his phone here. Where was he? I walked out of the house and stood in the yard, calling his name. He didn’t answer. Tired of looking for him, I went back in the house and lay out on the couch. I cuffed my skinny jeans for the lack of things to do. I then sighed, and just sat there staring off into space. I kind of felt like shit, considering that I had just broken up with my boyfriend and now my best friend had ditched me.
Thirty minutes later I heard a car pull up and a door slam. I was half asleep, sprawled out on the couch. I sat up when I heard this, and met Peter at the door. “Where the hell have you been?” I said, as soon as he stepped foot into the house.
He looked surprised to see me awake. “Uh, I had to do some stuff.”
I narrowed my eyes. “What kind of stuff?”
“Just, you know, stuff.”
“No, I don’t know, actually. That’s why I was—” I stopped mid-sentence when I saw a fresh bruise on the underside of his jaw. I then noticed that his knuckles appeared to be bright read, even a little cut, as if he had just been punching something. “Peter. Where were you?” I said, my voice flat.
Glancing down at his hands, he quickly stuffed them inside his sweatshirt. “I, uh, went over to Tyler’s house.”
“You what? Why did you do that?”
His eyes suddenly turned hard. “He slapped you.”
I had never seen Peter hurt a fly. “You punched him?”
“Well, uh, yeah.”
“You’ve never punched anyone before.”
“Well, I had to do something.”
I looked over at Peter. He was so tall, practically towering over me. Looking up at him, I loved him so much. He was the best friend I could ever ask for. Reaching over and brushing the hair out of his face, I leaned up and gave him a peck on the cheek, something I’d never done before. When I leaned back, his looked serious. He was staring at me intently, seeming to study my face. He looked like he had when I’d first met him, quiet and observant. He used to not talk to anyone. But I slowly worked my way around the walls he had put up and ever since then we had been close. His nostrils flared slightly and he let out a breath, giving me a tight smile and stepping around me. I frowned for a second, but didn’t give it a second thought as I followed him back into his room.
Two hours later I took a bite of my hotdog as I studied Peter from across the room. We had been talking nonstop since he had gotten back. I made him tell me every detail of what had happened. How he had shown up and knocked on the door. How Tyler hadn’t opened the door at first, but after Peter stood out there for ten minutes, he finally came out, only to be punched in the face. How Peter had simply turned around and started to walk away, when Tyler tackled him, starting the whole fight. How Peter, somehow, had come away hardly even hurt except for a bruise, whereas Tyler had a bloody nose.
“Hey Peter?” I asked.
“Hm?” he said, his mouth full of hotdog.
“Do you ever think about the future?”
“What do you mean?” he asked, swallowing.
“Like, do you ever try to imagine where you’ll be in ten years?”
“Um,” he said, blushing, “no.”
“Why are you blushing?”
“That’s modest,” I said teasingly.
He rolled his eyes and stood up. Tugging off his sweatshirt, he sat back down. “You’re not wearing a skirt,” he said suddenly.
“I don’t like skirts.”
He nodded, but didn’t say anything else on the subject.
The next morning I awoke early. Peter was curled against me, his arm draped over my stomach, holding me close to him. The heat from his body was radiating onto my skin. I smiled happily and drifted back off to sleep.
The next time I awoke, it was when Peter was getting out of bed. I vaguely remembered him telling me that he had work this morning. I rolled over on my back and closed my eyes again. I listened to him moving around the room. He walked over to me and paused. I could feel him looking at me. I remained very still, pretending to be asleep. However, at that moment, actual sleep took hold of me. He stood there next to me for a long time, meanwhile, I started drifting back to sleep. Seconds before I fell back into the black pit of sleep, Peter leaned down. I felt something brush against my lips, so lightly that I could’ve imagined it. I fought to stay awake, but I was too tired. Before I could stop myself, I fell back asleep.