“It’s officially our two year anniversary.” My voice is hushed, like I don’t want to be caught doing whatever it is I’m doing. I turn the camera on myself and the light from the recorder is on, illuminating my face. I look younger, maybe by a year or two. I’m guessing I was sixteen based on the fact that I just said it was our two-year anniversary. I look like I’m sneaking up to a window.
“I’m about to wake you up to tell you happy anniversary, but it’s almost one o’clock in the morning on a school night, so I’m filming this in case your father murders me.”
I turn the camera back around and face it toward a window. The camera goes dark, but we can hear the window being raised and the sound of me struggling to climb inside. Once I’m inside the room, I shine the camera toward Charlie’s bed. There’s a lump under the covers, but she doesn’t move. I move the camera around the rest of the room. The first thing I notice is that the room on the camera doesn’t look like it would be a room in the house Charlie lives in now.
“That’s not my bedroom,” Charlie says, looking closer at the video playing on my phone. “My room now isn’t even half that size. And I share with my little sister.”
The room on the video definitely doesn’t look like a shared room, but we don’t get a good enough look because the camera points back at the bed. The lump under the covers moves and from the angle of the camera, it looks as though I’m crawling onto the bed.
“Charlie baby,” I whisper to her. She pulls the covers over her head but shields her eyes from the light of the camera.
“Silas?” she whispers. The camera is still pointed at her from an awkward angle, as if I forgot I was even holding it. There are kissing sounds. I must be kissing up her arm or neck.
Just the sound alone of my lips touching her skin is enough reason to turn off the video. I don’t want to make this awkward for Charlie, but she’s focused on my phone with as much intensity as I am. And not because of what’s happening between us on the video, but because we don’t remember it. It’s me…it’s her…it’s us together. But I don’t remember a single thing about this encounter, so it feels like we’re watching two complete strangers share an intimate moment.
I feel like a voyeur.
“Happy anniversary,” I whisper to her. The camera pulls away and it looks like I move it to the pillow beside her head. The only view we have now is the profile of Charlie’s face as her head rests against her pillow.
It’s not the best view, but it’s enough to see that she looks exactly the same. Her dark hair is splayed out across the pillow. She’s looking up and I assume I’m hovering over her, but I can’t see myself in the video. I just see her mouth as it curls up into a smile.
“You’re such a rebel,” she whispers. “I can’t believe you snuck in to tell me that.”
“I didn’t sneak in to tell you that,” I whisper quietly. “I snuck in to do this.”
My face finally appears in the video, and my lips rest softly against hers.
Charlie shifts in her seat next to me. I swallow the lump in my throat. I suddenly wish I were alone right now, watching this. I’d be replaying this kiss over and over and over.
My nerves are tight, and I realize it’s because I’m jealous of the guy in the video, which makes absolutely no sense. It feels like I’m watching a complete stranger make out with her, even though it’s me. Those are my lips against hers, but it’s pissing me off because I don’t remember what that feels like.
I debate whether or not to stop the video, especially because the kiss that’s happening right now looks like it’s turning into more than just a simple kiss. My hand, which was resting against her cheek, is now out of view. From the sounds coming out of Charlie’s mouth in the video, it seems like she knows exactly where my hand is.
She pulls her mouth from mine and glances into the camera, just as her hand appears in front of the lens, knocking the camera face down onto the bed. The screen goes black, but the sound is still recording.
“The light was blinding me,” she murmurs.
My finger is right next to the pause button on my phone. I should press pause, but I can feel the warmth of her breath escaping her mouth, flirting with the skin on my neck. Between that and the sounds coming from my speakers, I never want the video to end.
“Silas,” she whispers.
We’re both still staring at the screen, even though it’s been pitch black since she knocked the camera over. There’s nothing to see, but we can’t look away. The sounds of our voices are playing all around us, filling the car, filling us.
“Never never, Charlie,” I whisper.
“Never never,” she whispers in response.
The sound of a zipper.
“I love you so much, Charlie.”
Sounds of bodies shifting on the bed.
Heavy breaths. Lots of them. They’re coming from the speakers surrounding us and also from our mouths as we sit here and listen to this.
Two sharp intakes of breath.
A horn blaring, swallowing up the sounds coming from my speakers.
I fumble with the phone and it falls to the floorboard. Headlights are shining into my car. Fists are suddenly beating on Charlie’s window and before I can retrieve the phone from the floorboard, her door is being jerked open.
“You feel incredible, Charlie,” my voice barrels through the speakers.
Loud bursts of laughter escape the mouth of the girl who is now holding open Charlie’s door. She sat with us at lunch today, but I can’t remember her name.
“Oh, my God!” she says, shoving Charlie in the shoulder. “Are you guys watching a sex tape?” She turns around and yells at the car whose headlights are still shining through the windows. “Char and Si are watching a sex tape!” She’s still laughing when I finally have the phone back in my hands and press pause. I turn the volume down on the car radio. Charlie looks from the girl to me, wide-eyed.
“We were just leaving,” I say to the girl. “Charlie has to get home.”
The girl laughs with a shake of her head. “Oh, please,” she says, looking at Charlie. “Your mom is probably so drunk she thinks you’re in bed right now. Follow us, we’re headed out to Andrew’s.”