“No.” I brushed his mouth with mine. “No. Not yet. Don’t go. Don’t stop.”
That was all the permission he needed. His lips opened mine and my knees quavered as we made out with the intensity of Lloyd Dobler and Diane Court in Say Anything. We were going too fast, our hands fumbling to touch more than fingers, knees, or arms. I felt Jamie’s chest, and his hand brushed my bottom. It was all too much, and I knew it, but I couldn’t stop, because who knew when—or if—we’d ever get the chance to hold each other again.
Stifling a pitiful moan, I turned my head away. Begging myself not to weep in front of him. That was the last thing I needed to do. Let him see me cry, and I would never forgive myself for tainting our last minutes together with girlish emotion.
“It’s okay,” he whispered, burying his face in my shoulder. His breath wove its way through my hair, making me wobble slightly. “I get it. I… I’m sad, too.”
“I don’t want this to end yet.” Sniffling, I leaned into him. “I’m scared.”
“Scared of what?”
“Everything’s going to change.”
Jamie pulled apart far enough to gaze into my eyes. “Molly, just because we’re going home doesn’t mean things will change.”
“But it will. My mom, she’s so—”
He cupped my face, brushing the end of my nose with his. “It’s okay. Nothing will change. My feelings won’t change. I… you’re really cool, Molly, and I… I just…”
I blinked at him, heart swelling in my chest. It felt like my ribs would crack under the pressure. It all felt too big, too great to contain. “What do you mean?”
He smiled, ever so slightly, still out of breath. “I… I love you.”
His words were rushed, and came out in a jumble, but they sounded like the most beautiful music I’d ever heard in my life. My heart began to soar.
“Really?” I whispered. “Because I do, too.”
“Really?” He laughed, his smile growing. “Good. I’ve… I’ve never said that to anyone. You know, besides my mom or something.”
He threaded his fingers through the back of my hair. “Cool.”
I closed my eyes and pressed my mouth to his, letting the hysterical excitement of kissing Jamie take over my entire being, practically lifting me off of the soft dirt at our feet.
“Ahem.” Jamie and I both jumped at the sound of Bree’s grandpa clearing his throat. When we pried our faces apart with an audible smack, my stomach dropped down to the soles of my feet. There he stood, a red bandana tied around his head of white hair, and his blue Camp Chimalis t-shirt stained with sweat as he frowned through the low-lying pine tree branches. “All right you two, come on out. Right now.”
Heads hanging, we obeyed. Jamie gave my fingers a squeeze before releasing them to duck under an awning as we crossed around the edge of the main lodge. Blinking in the bright, mid-day sunshine, we were met by a throng of campers and parents loading their duffel bags into car trunks. A few of them stared curiously as Jamie and I followed with our heads hanging. I could still feel the skin around my lips stinging from his kisses, and wished the cracks in the dusty lot would open up and swallow me whole.