“I’m going to miss this, Iz,” he laments. His voice, trailing off as if he has something else to say. “Sitting here with you. The town. Just everything.” He pauses. “Maybe, I shouldn’t go.”
“This is your dream, Alex. You can’t just turn your back now. This is your chance to change your life. Why wouldn’t you go?”
“You,” he answers quietly, but without a single bit of hesitation. All the while, not looking at me. My breath hitches, as my chest seizes. Why now? After all this time. Is it because he’s leaving, and he’s trying to check another girl off his list, or is this one last desperate act of a boy finally admitting what I have been feeling all this time? Neither seems likely, but yet, here we are. Alex adjusts to face me, and I notice his knees, bouncing with his nervous tick.
“Me? Alex, are you crazy?” I fire back. “There is absolutely no reason why leaving me behind should be any reason for you not to chase this. I’m not that special. There’s bound to be hundreds of girls already lining up in Nashville, waiting to take my place.”
“That’s where you’re wrong, Iz. No one can replace you,” Alex leans in. His face is so dangerously close to mine. “None of this makes sense without you.”
“What are you saying?” My voice is soft and cautious.
“Come with me.” He leans in closer. His lips so close to mind that I feel the heat rolling off of them. I move closer, but the front porch light flickers on. I turn to see Dad standing behind the screen door, scowling. I stammer out an excuse, but when I turn back trying to explain Alex’s presence on our porch yet again in the middle out the night, he’s gone.