“She used to tell me that a full moon is when mysterious things happen and wishes come true.” I stared at the little paper in my hands. “Do you think she tells my sister those stories?”
Daniel didn’t respond. He only listened. I had told him before I had a sister. He had probably assumed I lied, but I hadn’t. It was the truth, and it tumbled out like a story my mom created before bedtime. I tried to picture her telling stories to my sister, but nothing came. I only saw the little girl, with Mom’s hair and Dad’s eyes, standing in the road, saying my name.
“I’ve never met her,” I confessed, staring at the writing bleeding through the folded end. “I think her name is on this, but I can’t read.”
Daniel reached for it. “I can—”
“No.” I held the note against my chest. “I want to learn and read it on my own,” I explained, softer than my previous snap.
Daniel’s head tilted. “Robert never taught you.”
I wasn’t sure if it was a question or a statement, but I responded anyway. “He can’t read.”
Daniel’s eyes swept over me. He took the time to rub his face before looking away.
“He can’t read,” I repeated, studying his reaction. “Right?”
Daniel’s hand lowered to his lap. “I can teach you,” he said, and when he faced me again, he was remarkably closer than I realized. His hand moved to rest on my knee. My heart stabilized. “What else do you want?”
It was a question I had never heard before, and the way Daniel stumbled over the sentence suggested he had never been able to say it before either. Bad bloods weren’t allowed to want anything. Not even life. So, when I was asked, my mind spiraled into obscurity, never actually solidifying an answer even though I searched for one.
“I’ve never been allowed to want anything,” I confessed.
“Me neither,” Daniel agreed, and for a brief second, I was oblivious to the fact that his lips were on mine.