It had been a long day, spent hiking through the snowy woods, baking cookies, eating them fresh and gooey from the oven, and solving a 500-piece puzzle in record time.
In the early evening darkness, Mike Wheeler slid into the car he’d borrowed from his mother and turned the key in the ignition, after only minimal fumbling with his gloved hands. Waiting for the car to warm up just a few degrees, Mike glanced up at the Byers’s porch, now empty, though the light over the door remained glowing like a beacon. El must have already ducked inside and was probably watching from one of the front windows to see him off—she always did.
Focused on the twinkling porch light, Mike was struck by the realization that he already missed El. It was a strange sensation, to miss her when she was so close. Almost half a decade ago, they had been apart for an entire year and he had hopelessly yearned for her to come home everyday. But that seemed to pale in comparison to the feeling of missing El when he knew he’d see her in a few hours; the buzzing anticipation of waiting for the phone to ring or hearing the familiar static from his supercom. It was a happy sort of missing her that he wouldn’t trade for anything in the world.
Mike made up his mind without another thought, turning the car off and jumping out. He bounded up the porch steps, coated lightly with the ongoing flurry. His hand hadn’t even reached the doorbell before the door itself cracked open, a sliver of light and warmth escaping into the night. El stood there, a smile dancing on her face.
“Miss me already?” she asked. For the thousandth time since he’d asked her to be his girlfriend, Mike wondered if El could read his mind.
“I thought maybe we could watch a movie before I go home,” Mike replied, leaning down to kiss the tip of her nose, “Can I come in before I freeze to death?”
(For @baileytsample who requested the prompt: “Even if I spent the whole day with you, I will miss you the second you leave” Thanks Bailey! You’re awesome!)