He'd only been gone two seconds, but the room got brighter when they were together, as if they were two elements that became brilliant in proximity. At Sam's clumsy efforts to carry the vacuum, Grace smiled a new smile that I thought only he ever got, and he shot her a withering look full of the sort of subtext you could only get from a lot of conversations whispered after dark.It made me think of Isabel, back at her house. We didn't have what Sam and Grace had. We weren't even close to having it. I didn't think what we had could get to this, even if you gave it a thousand years.
She loved all the wolves behind her house, but she loved one of them most of all.And this one loved her back. He loved her back so hard that even the things that weren't special about her became special: the way she tapped her pencil on her teeth, the off-key songs she sang in the shower, how when she kissed him he knew it meant for ever.Hers was a memory made up of snapshots: being dragged through the snow by a pack of wolves, first kiss tasting of oranges, saying goodbye behind a cracked windshield.A life made up of promises of what could be: the possibilities contained in a stack of college applications, the thrill of sleeping under a strange roof, the future that lay in Sam's smile.It was a life I didn't want to leave behind.It was a life I didn't want to forget.I wasn't done with it yet. There was so much more to say.
I missed the sound of her shuffling her homework while I listened to music on her bed. I missed the cold of her feet against my legs when she climbed into bed.I missed the shape of her shadow where it fell across the page of my book. I missed the smell of her hair and the sound of her breath and my Rilke on her nightstand and her wet towel thrown over the back of her desk chair. It felt like I should be sated after having a whole day with her, but it just made me miss her more.