I’m afraid some of my readers are gonna hate me for sharing this bit.. maybe even call for my head on a platter, but here goes…
I came out of the bathroom just as she came to find me. “Come here”, she said, grabbing my hand. “Come see the sunset.”
She led me out to the deck that hung off the back of their house. The sky had already turned a deep shade of pink behind the hills in the distance. A swirl of cotton candy clouds were colored in reflection. I stood quietly and took it all in. I could see the sunset from my house too, but it would be dropping behind the old saw mill. It wouldn’t be quiet like it was here. My old man would be getting into his bottle, raging at the TV or something he thought one of us had done. There was always noise in my neighborhood, thin walls didn’t mask the sounds of the neighbor’s TV, or the folks yelling at each other across the street, or the sound of sex from the house where the newlyweds lived. In my neighborhood, you always heard way too much and pretended you heard nothing. That’s how you kept out of everyone’s business at least that’s what my mom said. You may know the folks across the street are heading for a divorce, but you didn’t let on, that was the polite thing to do. Course, that didn’t explain how much my mom enjoyed sharing her auditory gleanings with the ladies who dropped off their mending for her to do.
Standing on Desiree’s back porch, there was so much space and so much quiet stretching out around me, it felt like I was on another planet. It definitely contributed to that feeling of unrealness I was already having.
I was startled back to the here and now by a tapping on my arm.
“Hello, earth to Buddy, earth to Buddy, come in, Buddy.”
I turned to face her, my back to the railing. “Hi” I gave her a shy smile. I hadn’t meant to completely space out.
“My mom made meatloaf, I hope you like it” She sounded sincerely worried that I might not.
“I love meatloaf, I’m sure I’ll like it” I lifted my head and sniffed the air. “Smells great.”
She gave me a look and sniffed the air herself, “I don’t smell anything, goofball.” Smacking me lightly in the center of the chest and I gave her a swat at her shoulder.
“Who you calling a goofball?”
She reached up and mussed my hair, “I’m calling you a goofball, goofball.”
I grabbed her hand and tried to muss her hair, but she dodged me and gave me a punch on the shoulder and then it was a flurry of playful punches and jabs. We were laughing and landing playful insults along with the pokes and smacks. Finally, I lost it and snorted which resulted in peals of laughter from her. She tried to sneak in a poke at my ribs, which she knew by then were ticklish, but I grabbed her arm and pulled her into a hold, intent on giving her a noogie, which is what I would have done with my little sister in that situation. But this wasn’t my little sister, this was Desiree LaConner, the subject of many nights of feverish fantasizing and ardent rub-outs. And I was holding her against my body, though not in the way I’d envisioned. We froze for a second, both of us seeming to realize in the same instant that this had tipped over from something playful and jesting into something.. else. Then she relaxed against me and wrapped one arm around my waist, looking up at me expectantly.
“Well, now that you’ve got me here, whatcha gonna do about it, huh, Buddy?”
I knew exactly what I wanted to do and in a moment that teetered between blind panic and deep, lizard brain instinct, I began to lean toward her lips. She sighed, settling against me even more, pulling my hips against hers, eyes half closed.
And that’s when her mom called us in for dinner.
This content is published under the Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported license.