"Hey, what's this?" I asked, reaching into Ethan's closet to pull out a worn cardboard box.
Ethan glanced over his shoulder at me. "I dunno, open it," he replied.
I shrugged and pulled the heavy box out of the closet. "Where's the knife?" I asked, poking at the thick layers of packing tape over the flaps.
My boyfriend crawled over to me and peered at the box over my shoulder. "Well, if I taped it, it's probably not important. Why would I need to pack it for college?" he asked.
"Oh, come on!" I protested. "You said I could open it! Now I'm curious. Gimme the stupid knife," I insisted. He sighed and handed the X-Acto knife over. I slid the blade out and carefully cut through the thick tape commenting, "You know, if you sealed it this tightly, you'd think you'd remember what was in it."
"I don't clean my room much. I haven't seen that box in years."
"I'd noticed," I grumbled, but I was teasing and he knew it. He'd seen my bedroom.
He fell backwards on the carpet dramatically as I started pulling the box open. "It's too damn hot," he complained.
"I said we should hang out my house today. You ignored me."
"But we did that yesterday, Sky! Besides, we leave for college in four days. I've barely started packing."
"And I said you should've started earlier. You ignored me then, too," I pointed out.
"You aren't being very sympathetic."
"Hey! I came over to help you pack even though it's about 87 degrees in your room right now!" The fan wasn't helping much. And unfortunately there wasn't a breeze for the open window to let in.
He snorted. "You just wanted to see me without a shirt on."
"If that's what I wanted, we'd be in your pool right now."
"Ugh. Don't tempt me."
I rolled my eyes with a smile and turned back to the box. "So let's see what you've been hiding away for years."
He didn't bother sitting up. "Okay."
I pried open the box and started pulling things out. "Hey!" I exclaimed upon finding an old picture. "This is me!"
Ethan sat up. "Huh?" he asked, grabbing the picture from me. I watched his already flushed cheeks turn a little redder.
"It's from 5th grade," I commented, another photo out. Apparently, Ethan didn't invest in things like photo albums. "Look, here's you and Jamison."
Ethan looked at that photo, too. "Yeah, I remember him. He was a jerk," he said, a smile growing on his face.
I snorted. "I noticed. He was your friend."
Ethan grinned and reached over to ruffle my hair. "He was so mean to you, I wondered if he had a crush on you, too."
I shuddered. "Ew."
Ethan laughed and pulled a folder out. "What's in this?" he asked.
"It's your folder, Ethan. How am I supposed to know?"
Ethan opened it up and looked inside. "Oh, I remember this!"
I peeked over the folder. "Our 5th grade art project? Didn't you fail this for drawing a bunch of rocks?"
"I did not fail! I got a D-."
"You drew a house."
"Practice." He kissed my cheek and I started rummaging through the box again. "Ethan."
"What?" he asked.
"Why do you still have a valentine I gave you in the 4th grade from when we were required to give everyone in our grade valentines?"
Ethan flushed and grabbed it out of my hand. "Cause."
I grinned. "Do you still have the ones from all the other grades, too?"
"Probably," he muttered.
"Shut up…" he groaned.
I leaned over and gave him a long kiss. "I think it's adorable," I whispered.
"I want a real one in February," he replied, kissing me again.
"Okay," I agreed as reluctantly pulled myself off of him. There was only so much cuddling I could take in the heat, no matter how much fun it was. "I want to see what else you have in there."
He sat up. "Stupid things. I'm guessing it was a box I packed up when we moved and didn't ever unpack," he said, running a hand through his hair. I loved that habit. It always left his hair messy in a way that made me think of messing it up even more with my hands.
I shrugged. "It's fun to go through. Who's this?" I asked, holding out a picture for him to look at.
"Cousin. She was at my graduation party. How did you forget her?"
"Huh?" I stared at the picture more closely, but I couldn't remember. "Who?"
I looked at the picture again. "How the hell am I supposed to recognize her from this? She looks completely different as a young teenager!"
Ethan sighed. "Never mind."
"Hm." I pulled a book out. "Charlotte's Web?"
"Never missed it," he replied, setting the paperback aside. "I never liked that book."
I looked in the box. "There's not a whole lot else in it."
He looked inside of it, too. "Hey! My rock collection!"
"You had a rock collection?" I stared at them. They looked like sidewalk rocks.
"Yeah! They were my pet rocks! They all had names."
"Pet. Rocks," I repeated.
"Yeah! They could even do tricks! They were great at sit and stay! Oh, and play dead."
I couldn't resist a burst of laughter. "So, do you remember their names?"
"Not a clue," he replied.
I shook my head and smiled at him. "Why did you have pet rocks?"
"Company?" he said, shrugging. He pulled two of them out. "Well, okay, I remember these two."
He smiled slightly and looked at them. "Skylar and Ethan."
I looked at the tiny black one. "Let me guess which one I am," I replied dryly.
He picked up the larger one and pressed it into my hand. "Here, it's yours now."
"Ethan, I do not want your old pet rock."
He rolled his eyes and sighed overdramatically. "It's symbolic, Skylar, sheesh! I was giving myself to you!"
"But I already have you. What do I need a rock for?"
"Well, I guess that means your engagement ring isn't going to have a diamond in it. Saves me money."
"Hey! No one ever said anything about that! Diamonds are a mineral!"