Unnamed Journal Volume 3, Issue 2 - Page 35

Nehra didn't reply. After several minutes, she made a tiny noise, which prompted Ulysses to flip over to face her. She sniffled and dabbed at her eyes with one hand. Ulysses sat up and switched on the flashlight. He rummaged through his supplies and retrieved a pack of tissues, then handed them to Nehra. Nehra held the pack in her hand, examining it through a haze of tears and dim light. "Uh, here," said Ulysses, pulling the flap open on the tissue pack. He pulled one out and handed it to her. I would definitely like to know where you're from, he thought. Nehra rubbed the tissue between her fingers for a moment, then began dabbing at her eyes. She sat up and blew her nose with another tissue. After a few minutes she seemed better, and tried to smile her awkward, overly toothy smile but couldn't quite manage. "Grateful," Nehra said, sounding hoarse. She put her used tissues into the pocket of her borrowed shorts. "You're welcome," said Ulysses. "I'm going to turn off the light so we can get some rest, okay?" She nodded in response. With the light off, Ulysses laid back down on his blanket and closed his eyes. He felt Nehra's hand grab onto his. She pulled him over onto the bedroll. "Come," was all she said. Ulysses held his breath and moved onto the bedroll with Nehra. She rolled onto her side, facing away from him. Ulysses lay with Nehra facing the same direction, spooning her. He put his arm around her. Nehra gripped his hand so tightly he was certain he'd have a bruise in the morning. "Goodnight," Nehra whispered. Within a few minutes, her breaths were long and even; her grip on Ulysses's hand slackened. Well, good for her, he thought. It was going take him awhile to fall asleep now. + + +