When he appears, it’s like “Let there be light.”
It’s like the universe begins right then. And nothing I’ve done or said or prayed before matters. None of the times he didn’t come matters. He’s there, and nothing happened before he got there.
I never waited during a long night. I never whispered anything embarrassing into a dark room, the kind of thing I’d never admit to saying. I never put my head in my hands or knocked back a bottle because I couldn’t stand to face it all alone.
He appears, he’s there, and that’s all there is.
My body moves before the rest of me. My voice is still trying to break free. My brain’s frozen solid.
But my body’s moving. My legs are in a full-tilt run. My arms are out like I’m gonna take off, but they’re curling forward, and they reach him before the rest of me, grab his arms, let go, lock onto his shoulders and slide back. Then my chest hits his chest and then my face hits his shoulder and then his hands are on my back too and that’s never happened before.
I mean, he’s hugged me before. He was crazy at the time and it was a kind of a group thing with Sam and it’s not really worth talking about, but he has. And I hugged him. At least once. But he’s never hugged me and I hugged him at the same time, and something happens with that. It’s like, with his arms around me and my arms around him, the rest of the universe just falls away.
Imagine that. A minute ago he appeared and the universe was created, and now we’re hugging and it’s gone again. Short universe.
But without the world, with just him and just me, I can ask. “Did you hear?” My voice breaks against his neck like a wave that’s tried to form too close to the shore. “Did you hear me, Cas? Any of it?”
He takes in a breath. I feel it, cold wind sucked through the air, near my ear.
And there’s more that he doesn’t say, about why and why not and why now, and I don’t need to hear it.
My mouth finds his mouth, and I suck in a little of that breath. It’s gone suddenly hot.
I draw back. His eyes are wide.
Let there be light.