He stares up at me. I wonder if he really wants to think of me for the last—I check the TV countdown—55 seconds of 2012. We’ve been sitting like this for the last hour, me slumped on the couch, his head on my hip, him cuddling my arm against his chest. My other arm rests along his side, slick with his heat. This closeness isn’t how our relationship usually is, and I’m afraid if I move, the spell will break.
“So, are we gonna toast each other?” he asks.
“Is there another tradition you know?” I mean it innocently, sarcastically, but then I realize there is another tradition, one for a boy and a girl. I swear his gaze drops to my lips for a moment. Keep yourself together. “Well?” I ask.
His lips quirk. I love his lips, both so full, the upper slightly pointed where it meets the bottom. I shouldn’t think about his lips, but they’re a giant stop sign in my mind, sending my thoughts to a screeching halt.
He motions me down. His hot breath tickles my neck. “There’s the kissing one.”
My stomach flips. I force my muscles to relax. When I turn to look at him, we’re maybe a centimeter apart. If we weren’t at an angle, our noses would touch.
“FIFTEEN!” The countdown. Also how old we are.
“TEN!” How many years we’ve known each other.
“FIVE!” How long I’ve liked him.
Maybe what he says is a joke, maybe he’s just going to laugh about it with his friends, maybe he’ll pull back at the last minute and say gross, maybe he just wants a kiss, maybe maybe maybe, but I don’t have time for maybes, and I don’t want to miss this, so I nod right as the TV yells, “ONE!”
Before I know what’s happened, he lifts his head and there’s a feathery pressure sideways on my lips, and then it’s gone, and all I know is I want more.
His eyelashes flutter before he winks at me. “Cheers.”