I'm going to do this disclaimer thing once: None of the recognizable things are my property. But all of the words come from my weird little brain.

Grand jeté is defined as a big leap (in the form of splits, usually propelling the dancer forward)


She snatches the last piece of pizza from his hands at the last second. She's full to the highest extreme, but she loves irritating him. She can barely swallow her first bite, but his scowl is worth it.

"It's your turn," he reminds her. He lies back against the couch and runs his hands over his face, bumping the brim of his ball cap.

She swallows the tepid pizza and hands him the rest. He shakes his head at it, so she throws the half-eaten slice back into the empty box.

"Were you scared?" she asks quietly, looking at her chewed fingernails.

She can feel his eyes on her, but she refuses to look. She doesn't want to know if he's lying or not when he answers.

"Nah," he says finally, grinning at her from between his fingers. They are still rubbing his face, so she knows he is lying without even having to look.

"No?" she asks anyway, letting him lie if he wants to.

"Nah," he repeats. "What was there to be scared of? If I lived, I got to live. If I died, I got to hang out with God. Or not feel anything at all. At that point – it was a pretty attractive option."

"That's awful," she scolds. She kicks at him a little, but her heart isn't really in it. She understands as much as she can without actually being empathetic. She doesn't know, but she knows what he's told her. That's horrifying enough. Sometimes, though, she thinks she doesn't really know him, and never will. He's dark sometimes, with his humor and his laughter and his stupid jokes about morbid things that aren't funny.

"Yeah, it was," he responds finally. "No, Bella. I wasn't scared. But I think…"

"You think what?"

"That if I would have known you then… yeah, I would've been fucking terrified."

She cocks her head at him. He's good at saying things he means. He doesn't say much, but when he does, she listens with all of her heart.

"I guess that answers my next question," she says, scratching at a scab on her knee.

"That's not fair – it's my turn to ask."

"Whatever. I thought of my next question. I wasn't going to ask it – "

"You might as well. You're ruining the spirit of the game with your preemptive question thinking – "

"I was going to ask you if you loved me." She rushes it out, afraid it'll disappear if she takes too long. "And I'm just saying, that it sounds like… it sounds like you do."

He shifts and sits up. He doesn't respond. He scratches his head and rubs his eyebrows. She's embarrassed. She's really embarrassed.

"I guess… if that's what you think," he starts after a minute. "I guess… you would know better than I do."

It's not a yes. But she wasn't expecting one. She doesn't expect anything from him, so when she gets a little, it makes her happy. Even if it shouldn't.

"That's what I think," she repeats.

"Then, yeah… maybe, I do."