he struggled for weeks to figure out exactly  when it happened. Even when he looked back for the moment when they stopped being friends and she came to his bed, he couldn’t pinpoint the switch. It just was. She was completely remaking him and he was both terrified and exhilarated by the prospect. 

Each time he looked up and saw her sitting in his chair, legs tucked up, sketching in her notebook, he was taken by surprise. She was still there despite his best efforts to rid her of him. He’d done everything he thought would extricate her from his life. Pushed back, been cruel, been distant. He’d made fun of her politics, her naivety, her inability to make a plan and stick to it. But the truth was there whenever he was near her; he was addicted to her. To the change she was. To the way she smelled and the laugh that came so easily. She’d seen the cruelty and darkness for what it was; shelter from rejection. A way to protect himself from what she offered.

He thought of that moment. Still unable to figure out how he’d suddenly seen her and seen all the beauty in the flaws. The sudden moment when she was standing close while they worked and he caught a whiff of her hair and she smelled like campfire and vanilla and a promise of something he wanted. He’d had to use every ounce of willpower he had to keep from pushing her up against the wall and putting his mouth over hers right then.

Weeks later, sitting in the front seat of his car, coffee in her hand, she looked over at him and he saw it. She was where he was. The want was clearly written all over her face. He took the cup from her and placed it in the holder. Reached out and pulled her face to his. The feel of their lips meeting was everything. She climbed across the seat and they had sex right there in the parking lot. Her skirt hiked up over her hips, top 40 on the radio, his hands on her skin that first time,the way it felt to finally bury himself inside her; that was heaven, he’d decided. That’s where he’d go when he died.

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