Tonight was an important night for both of them. It was their last night in Ryland together before their lives changed. They were leaving for college the next day. It was the first time that the two friends would find themselves in different cities, and parts of the country, in 18 years of life. As a final hoorah they had decided to stow away in the top of the Ryland Monument and spend the night. It was risky, but they knew whether caught or not, it would make a good story to tell their kids one day.
“We’ll always be from here, Kinlin,” said Atwood. “Nobody can take that away from us.” He broke his gaze from the water to look at Kinlin. “Hell, maybe we’ll even move back here after college.”
In the middle of the night Atwood awoke to the feeling of something touching his hand. As he pushed himself toward consciousness through the drowsiness of wine motivated sleep he realized that it was another hand touching his own. It didn’t feel random; it felt deliberate. He turned his head slightly and saw that Kinlin was spooning him. In his haze he thought Kinlin was probably cold and therefore using the heat of their bodies to stay warm. Then he realized that Kinlin’s eyes were open. Atwood fully turned his head and looked into Kinlin’s eyes. Kinlin kissed him—a small kiss—then pulled his face away, almost shocked at himself, gauging Atwood’s reaction.
Kinlin waved then shut the door.
©2011 Michael Rohrer