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Just One Night (Just One Day #2.5)

By´╝ÜGayle Forman

re having a 3 a.m. snack in Willem's bed, do things calm down enough for them to talk. They talk about things like birthdays and ice-cream flavors (March, August, chocolate for both) and scars (he fell on the deck of his family's houseboat, the one his father built; he has much to tell her about Bram). They speak of Willem's apprenticeship and Allyson's college. They spend a fair amount of time discussing the geography and transportation options of the American Northeast.

"Four hours from New York to Boston on the bus," Allyson says. "One hour to Philadelphia on the train."

"I like trains," Willem says as he nibbles her ear. "Busses, too."

"And I could come to Brooklyn on weekends," Allyson says shyly. Only not that shyly. Her hand is drifting down under the covers. Willem is glad she steered him away from the three pack. "And October is like nothing."

"It's practically tomorrow," Willem murmurs.

"I think today has become tomorrow." Allyson pauses. "Which means I'm supposed to fly home today. I have to get myself to Heathrow in like ten hours. Is that even possible?" (She hopes it isn't possible.)

"Anything is possible," Willem says. "You can take a train, or one of the budget airlines. Though we should probably book something now."

He thinks about reaching for his computer, but at that moment, her hand has reached what it was looking for and he is useless. He closes his eyes. The girl he sees behind his lids is the girl who is in his bed. He has no desire to do anything to send her away.

Last year in Paris, she asked him to stay on with her, for just one day. He had wanted to, but he'd been ambivalent, too. And that ambivalence had cost him.

Or maybe it hadn't. He thinks of what Kate and Wolfgang said. Maybe last year wasn't their time. But now is. He knows it. Right in his kishkes.

"Do you have to go back right away?" he asks her.

She has the flight booked. And school starts in September. Though September is not for a few weeks, and flights can be changed.

"Can't you stay," Willem begins. "For just one-?"

Allyson doesn't wait for him to finish the question-hour, day, week-because her answer is the same.

"Yes."

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