Feathers From the Sky(10)

By: Posy Roberts



I looked into Philip’s eyes and saw his worry. My face must’ve had what he called my “daydream look” on it. “I didn’t really have a time planned to tell them,” I let him know. I wanted to be honest. He was going to be here through the New Year, and then we were going to travel back together since I’d bummed a ride home from my sister. “I was sort of waiting for the time to feel right, but I promise I’m not going back to Minneapolis until they know. Okay?” I hoped that satisfied him.

He slid the pad of his thumb over my bottom lip and then lifted my chin so our mouths were at the same level. “I’m not trying to pressure you. It doesn’t even have to happen this trip if you don’t want it to. I’m just trying to support you. Plus, I was a little surprised you hadn’t told them I was coming. That’s all.”

He kissed my lips as his fingers slid into my hair. I wanted it to go on longer so I could kiss him deeper, but I knew I had to pull away so we wouldn’t be caught. It was hard, but I did. I was hard too. It never took much with Philip.

“I love the hair.” He smirked. “Your eyes.”

I released a happy sigh and looked right back at him and smiled. He had the most unusual eye color. On the outside they were dark blue, but then they transitioned to a vivid green near his pupil. It was like he looked at me with the world. I’d never seen anything like it before, and it had been one of those features that made me not want to look away when we’d first met. Combine those eyes with his tan-all-year-long skin, his dark hair, and his birthmarks—a dark one on his cheek and another above his brow that was always hidden by his hair—and I could easily get lost just staring. He was one of my favorite subjects to photograph, and I was lucky he indulged me from time to time.

“Thanks. Now come on before I start trying to take your clothes off and decide to chain you to my childhood bed,” I whispered against his neck.

He pulled back laughing and saying, “Ticklish.”

The thought of my words, “childhood bed,” made me scowl. I’d never even had sex in that bed, ever. And now I never would.

“Hey, what happened there? Your whole face just changed. That was more than just daydreaming.”

“My parents are selling the house. They’re moving.”

“Hey, love. We’ll have a house of our own soon enough. I can afford it.”

“That’s not—”

“Hey, Phil! How was Japan?” Corey said as soon as he barged into the room. “I was thinking of doing a semester there next year if I can. Tell me everything.”

I gave Philip an apologetic smile and left the room. There was no way he was going to get away from Corey without at least spilling some information, and besides, Philip loved talking about his travels. I walked back into the kitchen where Jennifer, Chris, and Jessica—the three oldest—were sipping tea with Mom and Dad. As soon as I sat down, Mom was pouring me a cup of tea as well. It smelled good, so I took a tentative sip. I liked it.

“Why didn’t you mention Philip was coming? He didn’t just drop in, so you must’ve known,” Mom correctly assumed.

“I was going to at lunch.”

“How long have you known he was coming?”

I stared at the cross-stitch wall hanging and sighed. “We talked about him coming down a few weeks ago, but he didn’t know how jet-lagged he’d be after Tokyo. I knew for sure this morning, though.” I finally looked at her. “I’m sorry I didn’t say anything.”

“I just don’t want him to feel unwelcome. Philip has been a great friend, and I don’t want him to think we don’t appreciate what he’s done for you.”

“Done for me?” I was confused.

“The apartment.”

“I pay for half of that, you realize.” I felt my scowl and saw my siblings tense and slightly turn their bodies away.

“Do you really think you’re contributing half of the rent on that big apartment in the prime real estate section of downtown Minneapolis?” Dad asked, and then suddenly I had my doubts. I just shrugged.

“We need firewood,” I said as I pushed back from the table. “Tell Philip where I am after Corey talks his ear off.” As I pulled my winter gear on, I heard my dad trying to backtrack and my mom telling him to let me be. She knew I was upset.

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