Denise opened her eyes slowly, squinting in the near pitch-blackness of her room, whilst gathering her thoughts. The darkness enveloped her more comfortably than usual; she felt glad to have Carl so close to her, keeping her safe. She felt Carl's hand tangled in her hair, his face just above hers, she wanted desperately to look up at him, to check he was real and that it wasn't just a dream, but if she stirred, even a little, she was scared that she would wake him and disturb his seemingly peaceful slumber. Sighing under her breath, she pulled herself closer to him, wondering how much longer that she would get to feel this peaceful. Surely Carl would wake up, realise that he didn't want to be near her any more, and leave her for Jane again; surely he would realise she might be wrong for him?
As these thoughts swirled around her already fatigued mind, Denise registered that the room was steadily getting lighter and realised that she would need to wake Carl up soon so that he could get home without his mother realising he was gone for the whole night. However, the longer she lay in his arms for, the less she wanted to wake him. Firstly, she wanted to avoid finishing the conversation that they had started last night as she was dreading the way it would end, and secondly, he seemed so calm; so peaceful as he slept that she could not bear to wake him.
Although she knew that sending him back to his room would raise some strange questions from Porter when he woke to see Carl asleep in his clothes on his bed; she knew that it was the best way to avoid talking to Carl again for a while. So, for this reason, she beamed him back to earth and sighed to herself, shutting her eyes again and curling into a small ball under her blankets as if she was a snail in its shell.
Carl blinked the sleep out of his eyes as he stumbled out of bed towards his bedroom door and out of the hallway. It was only as he was about to force himself into the shower that he remembered that he hadn't been at home when he had fallen asleep; and he started to panic when he realised that Denise must have sent him back while he was asleep. What if she had done something stupid? What if she had changed her mind about him as he hadn't even admitted any feelings for her yet?
These thoughts chased each other around his head like dogs chasing their tails as he washed, and plagued him as he ate breakfast alone at the table.
'Hey man,' Carl jumped as Porter joined him at the table. He had been so absorbed by his own thoughts that he had failed to notice him join him at the table. 'How was she?'
'She wasn't good,' Pausing, Carl thought for a minute, not knowing to what extent he could explain what had happened the night before, before deciding that Porter was both of their best friends, so of course it didn't matter if he told him or not. 'I don't know what to do. I think that if I tell her how I feel she won't believe me, but at the same time I have to let her know, or we may not be able to get along as well as we used to...'
Porter chewed on his cereal leisurely, pausing only to shake his head knowingly at Carl. 'You've got it bad.'
Carl glared at Porter; although he knew he was right, he didn't want to admit it too quickly. He knew that Denise felt the same way as him, but he didn't want to jump straight in and tell her; he wanted to show her that he only wanted her. No one else, not Jane; her.
He had been surprised when Denise had revealed to him that she loved him, he hadn't expected her to meet up with him for a 'night out as friends' only to tell him that she liked him more than people normally liked a friend. Denise's revelation had dredged up his similar feelings for her, making him relive the heartache he had felt when he had presumed that she would never feel the same way that she felt about him, with her being an angel and all.
It took him a long while to collect his thoughts before he finally realised that Denise had disappeared and that he needed to find her; needed to tell her how he felt; to tell her that her loved her as well.