When I realized Gavin lied about winning the National Math Quiz Bee when he was in sixth grade, I asked him, “But what were you really most proud of as a kid?”

“I just told you, winning the Math Quiz Bee,” he said, poking my bare shoulder.

“Come on,” I said, “You can’t even do simple division in your head. No offense.” I leaned closer to him, my foot brushing his leg under the sheet. “Let’s be honest with each other,” I said; “It’s our first time at pillow talk.”

Gavin sat upright in the bed, my flowered queen-sized comforter draping him from his waist down. “Okay,” he said; “What was I really most proud of as a kid?” He leaned back on the pillow and gazed up at the skylight, the full moon streaking light onto the wall. “Pillsbury cinnamon rolls,” he said, his voice trailing the last word. The way he said it reminded me of their warm, woody, sugary smell; my craving for something sweet coming on.

“Huh?” I turned to him and grinned.

“I was six,” he said; “My mom was in her bed and dying of brain cancer. I remember how gray her skin was, her eyes narrowed as if she were far away. I whispered in her ear. “Mom,” I said, “I have a surprise for you.” I went to the kitchen, opened the fridge, turned on the oven, banged the Pillsbury package open on the counter, rolled out the dough, spaced each roll six inches apart like the packaging said and baked my mom eight cinnamon rolls.

What could I say in response to his words? I lowered my head down on Gavin’s smooth chest. He had a lemony scent. I couldn’t get close enough to him that night.