It was New Year's Eve. Emma and I were sprawled out on her bedroom floor eating popcorn and candy and watching movies. Julie and Mark had dates and Spencer was at New Year's party chasing something new. So Emma and I decided to ring in the New Year slumber party style. She was already about asleep and I was halfway to a sugar coma by the time midnight came around. But we both reached for our cell phones to send out the annual 'Happy New Year' greeting to the friends we wanted to hear back from.
About ten minutes later my phone chimed in a new text message and I clicked it open. One new text message from Spencer Allen. I had texted my typical New Year message to most everyone else, but to Spencer I sent something a bit more detailed and told him I hoped he was having fun. The message I opened in response though, was not what I expected. Thanks! Happy New Year to you too! And surprise, I've got a girlfriend!
"Oh!" I said aloud, though I didn't really mean to. But Emma glanced over at me and raised her eyebrows.
"What's oh?" she asked.
I met her gaze and widened my eyes. "Spence has a girlfriend. Apparently."
She frowned. "Really?" I nodded, turning the phone around for confirmation. "Huh. He must be pretty into Molly." She shrugged. We were both a little uncertain of Molly. She'd dated Mark for a while a couple of years before and that relationship hadn't ended well. Though, that didn't mean she was a bad person I supposed. Still, we'd both warned Spencer against her when they'd first started talking. It hadn't made any difference, apparently.
Emma was asleep within the next hour or so, but I couldn't seem to fall asleep after that. I laid awake and waited. For what I wasn't sure. But not sleeping and not being up felt like I was waiting for something.
It was about two in the morning when I heard the front door shut. Spencer was home. A few seconds later his footsteps sounded on the stairs above my head. He was going up to his room. I waited a little while. I'd sort of expected him to come and talk to me, to tell me about his night, thought I'm not sure now why I ever expected anything of Spencer.
About half an hour after I heard him climb the stairs I sent him a text message. You awake? Nothing. I waited another fifteen minutes or so but he didn't reply. I still couldn't sleep so I got up. I decided it couldn't hurt anything to just go and see if he was awake. So I got out of bed and went into the living room. I climbed the stairs slowly, but they squeaked something awful so I decided somewhere in the middle that it would be best just to take them quick.
When I got to the landing I took the few steps to Spencer's door. It was open just a touch and I pushed it open a little further. The lights were off and when the door swung open I could see him, tucked under the blankets, rolled onto his side, one arm tucked under his pillow. He was asleep.
I stood there for a few more seconds and just looked at him. It wasn't very often that I was able to just look at Spencer. His hair was a mess and his leg was sticking out from under the blanket. I considered waking him up. I wanted to hear about his night. I wanted him to want to tell me every single detail. I wanted to hear something that wasn't 'I have a girlfriend.' I wanted him to need me. For something. But he didn't. So I pulled his door closed again and went back downstairs. I curled back into my blankets on Emma's floor and buried my face into my pillow. And sometime between quiet tears and the sunlight hitting my eyes, I had fallen asleep.