We decided to camp there, as the snow from then on was just not not worth thinking about.
"I hope you don't mind that I'm going through your stuff, Abbie" I grinned. I'd put Abbie's tent up for her so she was helping Max put up ours.
"Only if I can go through yours" she grinned back.
"You asked for it" I shrugged as I upended her bag, slaying her stuff across the ground. The last things to fall out were two piles of little pieces of paper, held together with elastic bands. Curious, I picked them up and looked at the ones on the top.
The first one read
I want to tell you how I'm feeling right now, but you wouldn't understand. The only person who could ever understand is Sara, but that's only because she's known me for longer. And no-one can do anything about it. I shouldn't have taken it out on you.
This was obviously personal to Abbie, so I put that pile down and turned to the other one.
I love you ♥
Ben's handwriting. Underneath, it said
I love you too <3
In scrawly letters that could only belong to me.
This was the first time he had told me he loved me. We'd been passing notes in RE, and I hadn't taken his seriously. What I had done was to tell him that I loved him back.
I tried to swallow the lump in my throat.
"You can have them, if you want" Abbie's voice was quiet behind me.
"You kept these from me" I whispered. "All this time"
I flicked through them. It was mainly a conversation about whether we thought such-and-such-a-guy was an idiot, or whether we thought such-and-such-a-girl was a slut. And then I got to that one scrap of paper again.
I love you ♥
I love you too <3
Something had happened after that. The memory had faded away when everyone else did, but now it came to me clear as day.
"Y'know this one?" Ben held out the note about loving each other. I nodded, taking it from him. "I meant it"
"Coarse you did" I grinned, shoving him into a bush.
"Would you believe me if I kissed you?" he grinned back, brushing leaves from his shirt.
"You would never kiss me" I said "You'd be too embarrassed"
"Oh, would I now?" he replied, and then said "I would kiss you"
"Prove it" I folded my arms and raised an eyebrow. Ben stepped in front of me. He put his hands on my shoulders and gave me a quick peck on the lips. I gasped, feeling butterflies in my stomach.
"You only did that 'cause I told you to" I muttered.
"Did I?" Ben leant in and kissed me again, this time for longer. This time, I kissed him back. "Point proven" he whispered against my lips.
"Point proven" I agreed, deepening the kiss.
"Sara? Are you OK? You're crying" Max's voice brought be back to the present.
"I... he... you... we..." I stammered.
"I know" Abbie said "He told me. He said you'd remember if you saw it... that's why I didn't give them to you. I didn't want you to remember... Sorry"
"No, it's fine. You... I mean, I," I spoke through my tears. "That's not what matters, that memory" I pulled out a scrap of paper from my pocket, smiling as I unfolded it. Abbie and Max's faces broke in to smiles, too, at the sight of the stick people. "This is what matters.