Running her fingers though my hair, I rest my head on her lap, and wrap my arms around her leg, hugging her thigh like a pillow. The tighter I squeeze the more she trembles. I never let her touch me like this; the girl who cries when I leave the dinner table to use the restroom, abandoning her even though I’m only gone five minutes.
She says, “I love you.”
And this jolts my body as I sit up and look at her face, reaching out to touch her fresh black eye: purples, blues, and a faint undertone of yellow. She tilts her head into my hand, and a tear falls out before I lean in to kiss her.