The SwitchMature

I woke the next morning on the living room couch, my head nestled into the crook of Christian’s neck. He smelled of sweat and boy, and as I exhaled, I shook my head. I couldn’t do this now, think about him this way. It wasn’t right.

Slowly, he shifted and drew his arms around my body, pulling me closer so that my nose touched the pulse of his neck. I tried to untangle his arms when he cracked one, groggy, hazel eye open. He smiled lazily and blinked.

“You’re leaving?” he asked, frowning.

“It’s morning,” I said. “Plus it’s my house and my mom should be getting up soon.”

“Kendall.” Christian’s voice was calm. “What’s wrong with your mom?”

I glanced behind my shoulder at him; he was sitting up and looking at me with his hair hanging in his eyes. I shook my head and wrapped my fingers in my hair, determined not to pull it out under the circumstances.

“Nothing’s wrong with her,” I said. “Why would you think that?”

He stared at me, his lip twitching slightly. “Please. I’m not stupid. You could have called if you needed a place to stay.”

“This is my home,” I replied, my fingers itching to touch him. “I have to stay here, to help my mom. You’d do the same for yours.”

He nodded. “I would.”

What he was going to say was, I would if I had one

Christian’s mom died in a car accident a few years ago, leaving him and his father to fend for themselves. All of this had been revealed the first night I met Christian, at a party over the summer. I had been sitting by myself and he had taken it upon himself to come over and talk to me.

We had been inseparable since that night, when he asked for my number, and we’d constantly texted after that. I never told him about my dad, or my mom and her drinking problem, and it was supposed to stay that way, at least for awhile.

“I have to go to a new doctor,” I said into the silence. I wondered if he even cared about that, or if he thought I was crazy for even going. “My mom said she made an appointment today.”

“I didn’t know you were seeing a therapist,” he said softly. The couch shifted as he moved off of it and crouched in front of me, reaching to take my hands. “I’ll go with you, if you want. I know it’s scary when you’re doing something new.”

I smiled slightly and leaned my head against his shoulder. “Thank you,” I whispered. I lifted my head to look into his face, my voice tightening from what I was about to say. “There are things about me that you don’t know, that no one knows, and if you come with me, you’re going to hear all of it.”

“I don’t care,” he said, shaking his head. “I want to help.”

I sighed, wondering how he would see me after this day, if he would even want to see me again. I tried not to think about that as we walked out onto the porch, his hand on the small of my back.

“It will be okay,” he said. “I promise.”

When I turned to tell him I knew it would, that I’d be okay because I had a good friend with me, he bent his head and kissed me.

The End

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