We walk off the curb but then find a bike rack. I plan on continuing towards the car, but Ace is slowly looking between the car and the rack (which has no bikes on it) and he starts moving to the rack.
“Where are you going?” I ask, wanting to drag him across the parking lot and strap him in the car like a little toddler who wants to keep playing outside.
“Bike rack,” he says, smiling.
“Yeah, but why?” He sits on the top and makes a stern face. He pretends to look down and he squints his eyes as if the ground is very far away and he has to be careful in case he falls.
He clears his throat. A high pitch voice comes out mimicking a teenage girl. “‘I’ve been looking out of a window for eighteen years, dreaming about what I might feel like when those lights rise in the sky.’”
I follow his lead and make an annoyed and angry face before taking a deep breath. Ace is pretending to stroke his very long magical blonde hair and I have to think of puppies dying in order to not laugh. “You are not leaving this tower, EVER!”
He makes a sad face and touches his finger to the corner of his eye, dragging it down his cheek for a tear dripping.
“Oh great,” I say, “now I’m the bad guy.” I know I said it perfectly because Ace can’t stop the laughter exploding from his full lips, his head dipping back showing his uvula. I laugh with him before his arms wrap around me and he cups my face for a kiss.
Then he steps on my white vans.
I look down at my shoes and there’s no mark, except for a tiny smudge. I see his black shoes and shrug to myself. I point out into the distance.
“What’s that guy doing? It’s weird.” When he looks where I pointed, I stomp on his foot and hear a squeal. Laughing, I run to the car and hide behind it. I see him walking towards me with his arms stretched wide and he starts dancing like the joker. I freak out because he’s doing a perfect imitation of him and he starts laughing just like him, causing me to scream laugh (if that’s possible) and give up my hiding position. He finds me and runs faster than I am until his hand catches my wrist and swirls me around facing him. He bends down for a kiss, but I only let his mouth touch mine enough to last a peck. He knows that i’m teasing him and he sticks out his tongue making me point inside my mouth and gag like if he has bad breath. He grabs me gently, more gently than I could think possible because his hands are so rough, but then he tickles my side, causing me to kick hard and we both fall down on the ground.
“Yesterday and today was the best two nights of my life. I’m serious. I loved being with you and everything. Everything about these two days was. . . I don’t know how to explain it. It was just . . . Ugh.” I start laughing, but it doesn’t cover up the tear that drips from my eye. Ace never missing anything sees it and his eyes soften to the most lightest green I’ve ever seen. Light, solid, and beautiful. He wipes the tear off my cheek and I continue. “I guess there are no words for what you’ve done for me. Nobody has ever done any of this for me and I’m so grateful. I’m grateful that I was able to do this and I . . I love you. With everything that I am. I’m yours.”
He must not have any words either because he doesn’t say anything. Only holds me tighter to him and I let my head fall into the curve of his shoulder, sighing because I know that I’m home. Wherever he is, is home. He’s my home. I’ll follow him anywhere.
After a while, he talks. “I love you, too. I know that you know that, but I still have to say it. No matter how many times I say it to you, it still feels young. Like our love is young. I’ll never get used to you because there are so many new things about you that I find out little by little. You might not know it, but I do. Like the way you bite your lip when you’re about to argue with me and when you walk, you do it on your tipsy toes. Nobody else that I know does that. You have the thinnest fingers ever, but they’re so strong. Your mentality is also so strong. I really don’t know how you deal with the things you’ve been through, but somehow, you do. And I love all of that about you. Don’t ever change okay?” He’s looking at my face with complete love and I’m looking at him like nothing else in the world matters, but him. He wiped my face again and I realized that I’m crying. “Why are you crying?” he asks, tenderly.
“Because nobody else has ever done or said anything like that to me in my whole life. It means so much to me.” He smiles at me and tilts my face for a long kiss, leaving me breathless after and after, I smile back.
He pulls me up from the ground and we walk to the nearest store which happens to be Best Buy. We walk in and the smell of a dirty gym locker comes through my nose. Like a whole bunch of dirty, sweaty, salesmen walking around. I immediately see a camera I really want and a worker somehow catches my gaze and pops up right next to me, intensifying the smell.
“I see that you want that camera young lady?”
“Well, I was only looking at it, but I don’t have any money,” I say, not wanting the guy to think that if he talks to me for two hours, I might buy the damn thing.
“That’s all right. We have financial plans to help you with that. You don’t have to pay for the whole thing now, but you can do it in months if that would help. We could let you take the camera now with a free SD Memory Card and you could pay the first bill next month.”
“Stella, I have fifty seven dollars right now. I could pay for this month’s bill.”
“Ace, no. I thought you ran out of money?”
“I’ll explain later. Come on. It’ll be a gift. Something you can have to remind you of everything that happened yesterday and today. What do you say?”
Ace looks like he really wants to to get it and that salesmen has a even more pleading look as if he hasn’t sold anything for the past couple of months and he might get fired if he doesn’t. So . . . I agree. We get everything settled and I walk out of Best Buy with a camera and three months already paid for. I turn Ace to face me and then we take a selfie in front of McDonald's where we ate, of the car we’re riding in, and of the bike rack with Ace hanging off of it backwards and a silly look on his face. He stays like that while I run over to him and plant a big kiss right on his lips and take the picture. He stands up to see it and laughs. It’s a perfect picture with him upside down and McDonald's in the background with a kids laughing and me right side up kissing him; the love clearly showing in my eyes and between the two of us.