“Wouldn’t it be romantic,” she said, “to marry your high school sweetheart? When people ask us how we met I’ll say, ‘We met in high school. I saw him, and I just knew.’ And they’ll say, ‘Didn’t you ever wonder what it would be like to be with someone else?’ And you’ll say …Lincoln, what will you say?”
“I’ll say, ‘No.’”
“That’s not very romantic.”
“It’s none of their business.”
“Tell me, then,” she said, unbuckling her seat belt and putting her arm around his waist. “Tell me now, won’t you ever wonder what it would have been like to be with someone else?”
“First, buckle up,” he said. She did. “I won’t wonder that because I already know what it would be like to be with someone else.”
“How do you know?” she said.
“I just do.”
“Then, what would it be like?”
“It would be less,” he said.
He looked over at her, just for a second, sitting sideways in her bucket seat, and squeezed the steering wheel. “It would have to be. I already love you so much. I already feel like something in my chest is going to pop when I see you. I couldn’t love anyone more than I do you, it would kill me. And I couldn’t love anyone less because it would always feel like less. Even if I loved some other girl, that’s all I would ever think about, the difference between loving her and loving you.”
Sam squirmed out of the top half of her seat belt and laid her head on his shoulder. “That is such a good answer.”
“It’s a true answer.”
“What if”—her voice was soft and girlish now—“someday, someone asks whether you ever wonder what it would be like to …be with somebody else.”
“Who would ask that?”
“This entire scenario is hypothetical.”
“I don’t even know what it’s like to be with you.” Lincoln said this quietly and without resentment.
“Yet,” he said, focusing on the road and the gas pedal and breathing.
“So …won’t you look at other girls and wonder what you’re missing?”
“No,” he said.
“I know you want more than a one-word answer. Let me think about this for a minute, I don’t want it to sound stupid or desperate.”
“Do you feel desperate?” She was kissing his neck now and leaning hard against him.
“I’m feeling …yes. Desperate. And like I might kill us both. I can’t …I can’t keep my eyes open when you’re doing that, it’s like sneezing. We’re almost to the next exit. Let me drive, just for a few more minutes. Please.”
She sat back in her seat. “No, don’t get off at this exit. Keep driving.”
“I want you to keep talking. I want you to answer my question.”
“No,” he said. “No, I’ll never wonder what it would be like to have sex with someone else for the same reason I don’t want to kiss anyone else. You’re the only girl I’ve ever touched. And I feel like it was supposed to be that way. I touch you and my whole body …rings. Like a bell or something. And I could touch other girls, and maybe there would be something, you know, like maybe there would be noise. But not like with you. And what would happen if I kept touching and touching them, and then …and then, I tried to touch you again? I might not be able to hear us anymore. I might not ring true.”
Attachments - Rainbow Rowell