"So, we have to pack my entire apartment before the Mavs game tonight," I said looking up at Cayden from my favorite spot on his chest. "Is that even possible?"
"Not if we lie in bed all day," he said, leaning down to kiss my forehead.
I grunted and tried to pull myself away from him. Getting out of bed was the last thing I wanted to do, but we had a lot of work ahead of us. We needed to pack. I needed to go to the bank to withdraw my first month's rent. We needed to meet my new roommates at my new house to pick up our keys and pay our first month's rent. Oh, and we still needed to figure out how to get my car out of the parking garage downtown.
I made us a fresh pot of coffee and whipped up a batch of just-add-water blueberry muffins (don't judge; they're delicious) and threw them in the oven. Cayden came up behind me and wrapped his arms around me.
"I really liked Gayle and Donovan," he said with his chin on my shoulder. "When I move here, we should hang out with them more."
The words 'when I move here,' nearly sent me into hysterics. I wanted to jump up and down. I wanted to spin around in his arms and skip across around the kitchen with him. Instead, I smiled.
"Actually, I like all your friends: Ronnie and Shanna, Carson, Joyce and Joey, Rae. I can't believe there's not a person I haven't liked yet."
"What can I say? I have bad-ass friends," I said, then craned my neck to kiss him on the cheek.
After fueling up with coffee and muffins, we stood in my living room, hands on our hips, empty bins at our feet waiting to be filled.
"OK, I'll pack my books and you can pack my DVDs."
I squatted down in front of my black ladder bookshelf and started separating my books from Stephanie's books. I filled my bin with the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series, The Glass Castle, Oh the Glory of It All, the Post Secret books, Someday My Prince Will Come, My Horizontal Life, and a random assortment of review copies of yet-to-be published books I "borrowed" from the office.
"Are all of these DVDs yours?" Cayden asked from his post in front of the entertainment center.
"Nope, some are mine and some are Stephanies'."
"Is this one yours?" he asked holding up a copy of What a Girl Wants. Ironically enough, that was the movie that made me want to date a British guy at some point in my life.
"Yeah, you know, maybe just let me do that after I get done with the books," I said. "That way you won't have to try to guess which ones are mine and which ones are hers."
"OK, what do you want me to do?" he asked. He looked so adorable in the lounge pants my parents had bought him for Christmas. I just wanted to snuggle up with him on the couch.
"Just sit there and look pretty," I said, gesturing toward the couch. "Relax for a little while, and then you can do the heavy lifting."
He sprawled out on the couch and cradled his coffee mug in his hands. I wanted to be that coffee mug.
I finished packing the books as fast as I could and moved onto the DVDs. I stacked My Best Friend's Wedding on top of Notting Hill, on top of Center Stage, on top of Wedding Crashers. Then I reached in and pulled out The Family Stone, my all-time favorite Christmas movie.
"Babe, have you seen this?" I asked, excitedly.
"What is that?" he said, trying to read the cover of the DVD I was waving around like a crazy person.
"Oh my god, we're watching it. And then we'll pack."
I popped it into my ghetto DVD player (there's no remote, so you have to walk up to the DVD player to push the buttons. Oh, and you can only watch movies with the subtitles on. Luckily, they're in English), and pushed play at the menu screen. I grabbed my mug off the kitchen table and curled up next to Cayden.
The Family Stone had been my all-time favorite movie for a number of reasons: it was hilarious, Luke Wilson was in it, Dermot Mulroney was in it, it reminded me of my family get togethers, it was sweet, sad, touching. Every time I watched it, I wanted to be cuddled up with someone I loved. And I'd watched it about a million times. But that was the first time I'd watched it with someone I loved (besides my family, of course).
He laughed with me, he wiped my lone tear, he squeezed me tighter when I pressed against him. And when it was over, he didn't tell me to get up so we could pack. He let me lay there, snuggled against him, watching the menu screen while little white snowflakes fluttered across the screen. The menu-screen music repeated over and over while I sat there basking in the comfort and perfection of it all.
It was almost 1:00 pm by the time we peeled ourselves off the couch.
"OK, here's the plan," he said. Cayden always had a plan. If he ever didn't have a plan, he panicked. "You grab a cab and go downtown to get the car, then stop by the bank. I'll stay here and pack."
Cayden touted himself as a "packing expert," but laughed to myself thinking he had no idea what he'd just signed up for. Packing a boy's room was much easier than packing a girls room. We have so much random shit. Shit we don't need. Shit we won't let go of. It all piles up in hidden corners, tucked away on closet shelves, tossed in designated "junk drawers." I had no idea what he'd find while packing my room, and had he not already known anything and everything about me, I might have been nervous about it. But I wasn't.
I freed my car from its overnight prison, withdrew pretty much the last bit of money I had in my bank account, drove through Whataburger to grab lunch for us, and made it home before 3.
I walked in to see that my entire closet was empty. My bathroom drawers were empty. My kitchen cabinets were bare. He'd managed to pack 80 percent of my aparment in the matter of two hours. That would have taken me days.
"Babe," I said, wrapping my arms around him. "You've got skills. Mad skills."