Clara looked like a barbie doll whose hair had been chopped off haphazardly. The thought burned in the back of Adam’s brain as he watched her on the other side of the bed. She leaned against the headboard, long legs splayed across the cheap and tattered covers, her eyes closed and her head tilted back. He liked the way her eyebrows jumped every now and again to the beat of the music while she swayed back and forth. Playing the record had been her idea, although he had no idea how he’d managed to find a way into finally getting time alone with her.
Maybe it was be a part of their little game. Adam was playing his part, he knew that much; he hadn’t stayed up past two in the morning since high school. Clara stayed up just so she could watch the sun sink down in the horizon only to float back up into the sky a few hours later. She had said it herself once when they were going their separate ways after a night of avoiding conversation with each other. He wouldn’t mind watching it too if it meant that he could be with her a little bit longer. Maybe it’d convince her that he deserved a chance, if not just for the night.
Adam sighed, resting his head in his hand, his shoulder propping him up as he laid on one side, trying desperately not to fall asleep to the lull of the record playing. He almost jumped when Clara’s eyes opened again, warm hazels finding his dark brown ones across the bed. She moved closer to him until they were face to face in the same position. Her smile made Adam want to scream his passions out the window.
“You ever heard this one before?” she murmured, her words slurring together with residual drunkenness. Adam shook his head, paused a moment, and nodded, his tight curls bouncing softly against his forehead. Clara giggled, the sound feeling the fuzzy in Adam’s ears. Clara raised a hand and ran her fingers through his hair, pulling him in a little closer. Her nose crinkled as her smile grew wider and her eyes more dazed.
“You’re hair is so…frizzy,” she snickered. Adam laughed along, closing his eyes for a few seconds as he breathed her in, remembering the scent for later.
“Well yeah. It’s an afro after all.”
Clara tapped a finger against her full pink lips, her eyebrows scrunched together. “I guess that makes a lot of sense.”
“I guess it does.” They sat and watched each other. To Adam’s recollection, this had to be the longest conversation they’ve ever managed to have. If he really dug into his mental archive, this was the longest amount of time that Clara had ever acknowledged his existence. The thought made his insides swirl around.
“Y’know, um, I was thinking, maybe, if you’d be into it, it’d be really cool if—” Adam’s eyes were already closed before his brain could process the feeling of Clara’s lips on his, her hands tangled in his hair. He hesitantly let his hand find her waist, only pulling her closer the tighter her grip on his hair became.
Adam didn’t realize an entire song could feel like a lifetime until Clara pulled away as the chorus faded into silence. Clara didn’t look at him before turning behind her towards the open window. Streams of light began to paint the walls of the bedroom, the shades of purple and pink sunrise forming outside the window. It framed itself like a photo as it began to fill the room, the record setting itself on repeat at the sign of a show. As the light hit Adam’s face, he felt his body float away from him as he became overwhelmed with the memento mori.
It took Clara’s soft snores to pull him back down to reality. She was curled up on the pillow, the golden beams making her hair glitter in the light. Adam let out a sigh as he climbed off the bed and pulled on his one-size-too-big hoodie and walked out of the room and into the brisk damn of fall.