A/N: We are very close to the end, guys. Probably a few chapter left.

Chris' note had been crumpled in my hand at least a dozen times when I got done hurling. A part of me really wanted to read it. But all I could see was the entirety of our relationship flashing before my eyes. My throat was tight when I finally did open it. His familiar chicken scratch sprawled the page

A box, under your bed, behind your baseball cards.

I slipped off of my bed and peeked underneath, the light from my ceiling fan made it shadowy. I felt around in the dark, my throbbing cheek pressed against cool metal of my bedframe. I pulled the shoe box full of baseball cards out and slid it across the floor. What the hell could have Chris Chamber's left under my bed. I wrapped my fingers around the box his note mentioned. A layer of dust had caked on my sweaty forearm.

It was a little smaller than my baseball card shoebox. Wrapped like a gift in Sunday funnies. I held onto it firmly as I stalked across my bedroom to lock the door. Just for good measure. I shook it next to my ear, not hearing much of anything. I sat it down on my bed and paced a little. My chest felt squirmy and weird. I balled my fists. Fucking Chambers, I tore into the paper impatiently.

I lifted the lid and looked inside suspiciously. It was full of folded up papers. I swallowed hard, suddenly aware of the sweat rolling down my neck. They were notes. I dug through them; some of them had doodles on the outside. Some had Chris' name in dainty bubble letters. Some were plain. I took a deep breath and dived right in. I unfolded it, like it was a bomb.

Gordie-

Today sucked, you're mad at me. I know you are. I am so fucking stupid.

Extremely short, I folded it back up and sat it next to me. I picked up another, one with Chris' name on it.

Chris

I heard a really silly rumor. Fern said she heard something crazy about you and Gordie Lachance. Walk me home today after school. Meet you by the steps.

Xo Marlene

I dropped that one on the pile, like it was going to bite me. The next few were Chris'

I want to make all this bullshit up to you. I just haven't figured out yet.

Judy was a test. A fucked up test. I don't know what's wrong with me.

You're mad at me all the time. I guess I deserve it.

One with hearts on it after I folded up all the ones I had just opened.

Chris

Why are you avoiding me? I'm ready. Guys are always ready. My mom won't catch us I promise. I got a C on that math quiz, have you gotten Gordie's notes yet?

Xo Marlene

I started quickly unfolding them.

I did not have sex with Marlene. I did not have sex with Marlene. I did not have sex with Marlene. I feel so guilty. Please don't hate me.

I just left your house. I'm disgusting. I hate myself. You hate me.

Dan Yost wanted to know if you were gay. If we broke up, I told him to shut his fucking mouth or I break his teeth. If Eyeball finds out we're fucked.

My mom won't let me see you. Your mom won't let you answer my phone calls. I'm so fucking sorry.

Why can't I ever give you these stupid fucking notes? I'm such a pussy.

They weren't in any order but each one of them meant something. They highlighted a time over the past year that I could recall vividly.

You fucked Kelly Wilt.

Chris

I can't believe you beat Gordie up. Just because he had a crush on me, first you try to spread that awful rumor about him just so you can be with me and then you beat him up because you're jealous of his feelings for me. You're disgusting Christopher Chambers. We're over.

Only a few more to read, I slowly plucked them out one by one.

Teddy went god damn ballistic, he found out Vern's been seeing a guy. They'll run us all out of town.

Chris had lied to me about what Teddy had told him. I suddenly felt angry, why didn't he just tell me? Then I remembered I hadn't shared about Vern.

We won't make it to the end of the year. We're already tearing each other apart and it's not even March.

You kissed me today and I thought my heart was going to explode.

That last one made my whole body hurt. My chin wobbled and I started to fucking cry. Chris had hated himself just as much as I had hated myself this year. I gathered up all the notes and stuffed them back in the box. I pushed it back under my bed, sniffling the whole time. I laid face down in my pillow and cried until I passed out.

I dreamed or remembered. Chris and I were fourteen at the time. We were out in the woods with my bb gun I'd just gotten for my birthday. I was shooting empty coke bottles off a leveled tree stump. He stood very close to me, as I lined up the barrel and squeezed my left eye shut. "Hey Gordo, what do you do when you have a crush?"

I pulled the trigger and missed. I dropped the gun from my shoulder and turned to look at him. "I don't know." I shrugged. "I guess feel the butterflies in your stomach or whatever."

"Yeah but what are you supposed to do about the butterflies?" He took the gun from me and took his turn at it.

"Keep letting them live in there until they die." I told him. I didn't know what to tell him. I'd liked Olivia Towns most of seventh grade and I never got rid of the butterflies. At least not until she had moved, even thinking about her then made my palms sweaty. I rubbed them on my jeans.

"I don't want them to die. Why would you ever want them to?" He broke the coke bottle. Chris flashed a grin at me. He was locking his sights on the bottle next to it.

"Because it makes you talk like a moron." I sighed, "Your tongue forget how to stay out of your way and fucks everything up."

"I got good at learning how to act around them." He popped off another shot, sinking it.

"Then you shouldn't have butterflies. Maybe it's diarrhea." I joked. Chris laughed and missed his shot. He passed me back the bb gun. Our fingers brushing, he swallowed and looked away.

"I guess you're right Gordo."