In his dark room, balanced on the edge of his twin bed, I was curled around Raphael, talking over the ups and downs of a very long day.
"Remember when you were so mad at me?" I said, my voice carefully gentle. "And you said I was just being mean and I hated your guts?"
He sighed and burrowed into my side a little more.
"Yeah. I know. You don't. I just said that 'cause I was mad."
"Even when we're having a hard time, you know that I love you, right?" He nodded, one hand tangling my hair, adoring and oblivious that the little hairs at the nape of my neck might not want tugging. He is still young enough to misplace the boundaries between us. "As a matter of fact," I went on, "I love your guts."
"I love your guts too," he said, "I love your organs and your muscles and your heart. And you know, your heart is technically a muscle."
A muscle, I thought. I wonder if exercising it makes it stronger, if loving your way through days like today makes you better at loving tomorrow.
"And your eyeballs," he went on, "and I love your brain. And your bones."
I listened to him chatter on in the dark, choosing to believe that tomorrow we would only love stronger.