WHAT I CARRY meets EUPHORIA. Fleeing her toxic ex, 17-year-old Amélie Cœur wants to rebuild her life in NYC. New foster family. New love. New beginning. But a secret sister and a shocking death force her to face her demons before they destroy her future.
He does not sleep over. He shows up at 12:30 and leaves by two. When Sue and Dave are deep in REM sleep. I wave, mumble something synonymous with goodbye, and roll over. It’s a simple system.
But he’d fallen asleep and I figured I could give him, like, thirty minutes to rest before kicking him out. And this is why you can give boys nothing.
I crawl over the body in my bed to turn on the lamp. Soft, golden light pours onto a face completely swaddled in my sheets. Head nestled into the pillow. Comforter pulled up to the chin. Eyelids fluttering, like he’s dreaming of a vacation. Like this boy’s on a boat off the coast of a place with a Spanish name. In my bed.
I slap him.
My voice is barely audible, but the look in my eye speaks for itself. He stares at me as he slowly begins to materialize in this present moment. His eyes flicker to the clock on the nightstand. They return to me with the appropriate amount of alarm.
Yes. Welcome to hell. It’s chaotic here.
He jumps up. We don’t talk. We just spiral, gathering his clothes from my floor. His phone and wallet from my desk. His shoes from under the bed.
I crack the door, listening for any sounds of my foster parents. I will die if they catch him here. I’ll spontaneously combust from embarrassment. They’ll have to scrape me out of the carpet.