He moves around the car, showing me all the things he’s done, and telling me about how he found each part, and I follow close enough to breathe in the scent of his cologne. It doesn’t take me long to realize he still uses the same cologne brand I bought him for his eighteenth birthday. I’m so lost in thought, I don’t notice when he stops abruptly, causing me to bump into his back.
“Sorry,” I mumble, as he turns around and grabs my wrists to steady me. My heart beats staccato against my chest when his thumb brushes across my pulse point and I feel like I might combust into fragments right here.
He’s standing close. Too close. Our bodies are just inches apart, and I wonder if we still would fit together like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, the way we used to when we’d curl into each other on the couch while watching a movie. I can see the steady rise and fall of his chest as I stare straight ahead at his body, not wanting to risk looking him in the eyes because I’m worried about what I’ll say if I do. That I’ll admit I regret not choosing him that one day. That I’ve missed him every day since. That I never stopped loving him. I can feel the warmth of his breath skim the top of my head, and when his Adam’s apple bobs in this throat, I know he’s as affected by me as I am by him.
But he’s not mine to have. Not anymore. He belongs to someone else now. Clearing my throat, I try to focus my thoughts on finding a neutral topic, but his proximity to me is making it impossible for me to think. I take a step back, and for a second I think I see disappointment flash across his face, but when I look again, it’s gone.
He turns away from me and heads to the other side of the barn, stretching his arm to grab a key hidden inside a broken birdhouse on a shelf. Letting it dangle from his index finger, he holds it up and smirks at me. “Whaddya say? Want to take her out for her first spin?”