A Bird on a Windowsill
A Clip from Chapter 18
She keeps her stare on the black image a few seconds longer, and then she sets the camera down—but keeps the photo—and lays her head on my chest. I want to kiss her, but in the back of my mind, that boyfriend word lifts its ugly head. So, I just lie there, with our hearts touching. And after a few moments, I can’t tell if I feel my own heart beating...or I feel hers. But I just keep lying there, breathing in, breathing out, until the moon is high above us.
I lift my head so that I can see her. Her eyes are closed. Strands of her hair are falling over her face and onto my chest. She looks peaceful. It’s a sharp contrast to the dark-clouded storm brewing above us.
“Are you sleeping?” I ask.
“But you just answered me.”
I smile and let my head rest back on the wooden boards of the dock again.
“My heart’s awake,” she mumbles, just loud enough that I can hear it.
I lift my head, rest my eyes on her face and just watch her.
“My heart’s awake, daydreaming of you,” she adds.
I pause, my head suspended in the air, my thoughts suspended in time. And then, I smile. I smile and lay my head back down. I don’t know if she really is sleeping or if she knows what she just said, but it doesn’t matter.
“I love you, Vannah,” I whisper.
I can hear leaves in the catalpas around us swooshing, their branches bending back and forth in the wind. I can hear the weather shifting. But mostly, I just hear my heart beating.
“I love you, too.”
It’s just a soft whisper, but I hear it, loud and clear. I close my eyes and let her words get swept up in the hot and cool air swirling around us. They tickle my skin and then fly up and brush past the willows’ arms, swaying to and fro. They’ll soon be lost, but I’ll remember them. And I’ll remember this moment. And mostly, I’ll remember her...always.
I write about rain on tin roofs, gravel roads, old trucks with holes in the floorboards and small-town summer nights. I grew up on a farm in a little Midwestern town. Now, I live in Kansas City, Mo., with my weatherman husband.
Laura Miller's first contemporary romance novel, Butterfly Weeds, hit the Amazon Best-Seller's List and Top 100 in October 2012. The sequel to Butterfly Weeds, My Butterfly, released in June 2013. For All You Have Left, By Way of Accident, When Cicadas Cry and A Bird on a Windowsill followed. Look for The Life We Almost Had, releasing Sept. 19.