We didn’t talk about what happened the night before when we woke up on Saturday morning. Mostly because there wasn’t really that much to say. Sometimes things just needed to be acknowledged, said out loud, shared with someone; and I was more than willing to help carry her troubles with her.

I’d never seen her break like that before—so fucking cut open and raw. Not even that night in the parking lot had been that stripped down. That had been pure terror and trauma. Instinct. But last night, that had been intentional.

When we woke up and decided to go out to breakfast, we let the heaviness of the night just slip off us. And in its wake, there was an easiness between us, a significance to the way we were together, that hadn’t fully been there before.

We spent the rest of the day together, only parting for a while so I could go home and shower before I met up with her at Charlie’s for her shift.

As the night wound down, Jamie started to play her last call song.

I’d learned by now that on the days she was happy and nostalgic she played Billy Joel’s “Piano Man.”

If she was feeling sad it was “Faithfully” by Journey, without fail.

The nights she was feeling wild, she played her favorite: Guns ‘N Roses “Paradise City.” A classic I could appreciate.

And on the nights she was feeling jaded and restless she played “Broadway” by the Goo Goo Dolls.

But tonight she was playing a new song; the slow, melancholic melody filling the emptying bar. I caught some of the lyrics. Something about being kings and staying eighteen forever.

“What’s this?” I asked her.

“Soco Amaretto Lime by Brand New. A little more alternative than I usually go, but I thought it was warranted tonight.” She said with a smug grin, her nose crinkling up a bit, making her even more adorable than she usually was.   

“And why’s that?” I asked, playing along.

“Because it reminds me of how you make me feel.” And as she said it, she looked right at me with nothing but a tenderness in her eyes that made me think of the way her fingers would caress the back of my neck as she slowly slid them up into my hair, sending shivers across my skin.

I cleared the lump forming in my throat with a cough. “Yeah? How’s that exactly?”

She thought for a second. “Young. Brave. Reckless. A little bit drunk. Absolutely wonderful. Like swimming under clear pool water on a hot day and looking up at the bright sun.”

I jumped over the bar. I actually jumped over it.

And I kissed her.