Zest Lit Issue 2, October 2013 - Page 216

Paul nodded. ‘Even so. You can’t just put your arms around people like that out of nowhere. I thought you were a tiger or I don’t even know what.’

‘Sorry.’

‘I was scared.’

‘I’m sorry.’

‘I thought a snake was trying to suffocate me.’

‘Alright already. I said I was sorry.’

Paul paused, pressing against his ribs where Chevy’s arms had been. ‘I need all my insides for living. I can’t have them being squeezed just all the time for no reason.’

Chevy put his hands in his lap and didn’t look at Paul. Paul didn’t look at Chevy. They didn’t look at each other for awhile. ‘You know – ‘ Paul said.

‘I was just –‘ Chevy said, then stopped.

Paul’s shoulders moved up and down. ‘If you wanted to do it again – if it seemed like the thing to do – then. . . Yeah.’

Chevy looked up. ‘Yeah?’

Paul smiled. ‘It isn’t terrible once you find out a tiger isn’t trying to kill you or a snake isn’t trying to kill you or a person isn’t trying to kill you and you’ll still be alive when it’s over.’

‘Okay,’ Chevy agreed.

There was more silence, but it was nice silence. Chevy poked at the fire with his finger and drew it away. He was always forgetting about fire.