First short non-fanfiction story of mine. This was actually supposed to be the foundation for a joint story a friend of mine and me were going to do, but he moved away and doesn't want to do it anymore. So I just tidied it up myself and… taadaa! I came up with this thing. Let me know what you think of it!

Man in Her Life

He kissed his girl on the forehead. "Time for bed, little one," the man joked, smiling even wider when the girl kissed didn't smile back.

"I'm hardly little," the teen muttered back, sliding down under her covers. She expressed a wry look. "But that won't stop you from tucking me in, right?"

The youth waved a hand in front of her face. "Are you kidding? I'll be tucking you in till you're 90 years old."

She thought long and hard about it, suddenly somber. And presently she laughed: "You'll be driving pretty far just to tuck me in, cause I'm moving out when I graduate. And I mean out out. Out out out!"

With a handful of covers, he tucked the ends underneath her body, making her look like a worm that lost the energy to finish its cocoon. She giggled when he worked around her feet, squeezing her toes through the bed sheets.

"I hope not that far," he said softly, and she looked him long and hard in the eyes. Slowly—and not just because she had been tucked in well—she removed her arms out from underneath her dark covers and laid them at her side. Her skin looked sallow next to them in the night, but she was well.

"This is going to sound weird," she began, but he put a finger to her lips. She then started to giggle, and all seriousness was temporarily forgotten.

"That's no way to start a conversation," he said, smiling at her laughter. "You know what people want to do when they hear you say that?"

"Run away?"

"Or stuff lint in their ears," he smirked, kissing her once more on her forehead.

"But will you really listen?"

"Of course," he said, nodding and looking out her window. She looked out of it too, but there was nothing to be seen. The glass was as black as if it had been painted over.

"Well, I have a confession," she muttered softly, "and it's not like a priest-sinner kind of confession. I mean… I don't think it's a sin. I hope not…" Her voice gradually became so soft that she no longer made a sound. He reached over and placed a callused hand gently on her shoulder.

"I can't hear you," he said, but it wasn't accusing or in any way motivating. It was simply informative, letting her know that if she wished to be heard she should speak up, and if she didn't, then she was fine. She nodded.

"I know."

The dark was so pressing that he began to wonder how he could see her eyes in the dark. But see them he could, and they were of a troubled sort. He placed another hand on her. "Are you alright sweetheart?"

"Sort of," she mumbled back, looking at him in the eye for as long as she dared. She turned back to the windows. "Have you ever felt—well, have you ever felt—oh dear…"

"Well I'll let you know that if I've felt one thing I've felt one hundred of them. Then again I might've not. What is this thing?"

She frowned. "Sometimes," she whispered, "sometimes I feel like… holding a glass over my mouth and nose and just… waiting. Or sometimes I feel like lifting my window up, sticking my head out, and letting it drop on top of my neck." She stopped, looking away. "Suicidal things, you know…"

He hesitated; then presently he whispered back at her: "That's all?"

She nodded slowly, unable to reach his eyes. She felt so silly. It had sounded deep and informative in her mind, but, in the air, it had been flat. She wondered what he must think of her, as silly as she thought herself to be.

He touched her chin and made her look up at him. After a few moments of staring, he wrapped his arms under her and lay still. She felt even more uncomfortable.

"But you don't act on these things, do you?" he asked back, sitting up and piercing through the dark to find her eye.

"No, of course not," she mumbled back. She paused and looked away. He guessed what was bothering her.

"Yea, I've had feelings like that before," he said softly. "Been there, done that. Are these feelings chronic?"

She frowned. "Well… they're random, seldom and temporary if that's what you're asking." He smiled back.

"Then you don't need to fear. As long as you don't act on these feelings, you'll be fine. I think everyone goes through fits like that. But I'm a firm believer in choices making us who we are. As long as you don't choose to act on these impulses, then I see no reason myself or anyone should judge you any differently." She looked up at him. Her eyes would have twinkled had it not been for the dark. "You're my baby, and I hope you always will be. But something like this won't make much of a difference."

He could tell from her shaking that she was crying. He groaned softly and lifted her up, holding her against him. She choked on a laugh, and he looked down at her.

She shook her head, wiping her nose with her nightshirt. "You know, I'm so glad to have you here."

He laughed softly too, intertwining his fingers into her hair. "Yea, I'm glad to be here."

"I love you Paul," she muttered into his shoulder. "You're… really great."

He returned the expression, laying her back down and tucking her in again.