heaven was underwater that summer, among the freckled pale and the sun-browned legs of the teenage girls come to swim in my uncle's lake. the sky would be bright and i'd be hold-breathed under the blue (all sky and lake of it!) for minutes at times, blinking happy under red goggles. they wouldn't notice me, then a ginger hair boy with a sunken chest and gym shorts for swimmers, but holy spirit i noticed them.
one wore blonde hair down to her waist which would cover her back in a wet, silky mess. another wore thick, red lips which'd pout naturally and look very able to be kissed upon. another was quiet, and she was the one i'd make love to in a less sunken part of the earth past the lake.
samantha had short mousy hair, cut awkward around her ears like a long-haired boy. she was plain like the colour brown. and that's always how i saw her when i closed my eyes, brown. but it was nice, i quite like the colour brown. she wasn't brown for long though. of what i know she knew how to say a few things. hello, goodbye, no, yes and later: i like you. but nothing more.
the other girls were birds, splashing about in the cool water, squawking and dancing in a flashy array of coloured feathers. but sam was like a water insect, moving softly across the surface of the water as not to cause ripples. the birds were pretty to look at but sam, i don't know, she made me wonder.
i was only staying there a few weeks, my mother and father were so sick of me by summer every year that they'd send me to my uncle. he was rich and the girls were plenty so i had no complains. although we didn't have much in common, he seemed nice.
one afternoon i'd left the lake to pee (my uncle would say, the lakes going to dry up if someone around here doesn't fill it now and then. and pee in the lake. but i think that is disgusting.) and was running down the hallway when i heard a girl in uncle's room. her voice was smooth against uncle's and they were being a hushed kind of loud. she sounded young. she sounded my age. i'm usually a water insect myself but as if to prove what i was imagining wrong, i pushed open the door.
on uncle's bed the red lips girl had her red lips around my uncle's penis. they didn't notice me for a moment or two but when they did she covered her breasts with her arms and my uncle said what the fuck alex, what the fuck.
after dessert he told me it was just between us, a secret. i asked him if he and the red lips girl were in love and he laughed. i laughed too just because i didn't want to feel young and boyish and stupid. i did anyway.
it was the last day i was there, the weather man had said it was the hottest day of the year so i had worn extra sunscreen. before i fell asleep, in my heavy-lidded bedtime drowsiness (when i can always think the most vivid) i decided i would kiss sam the next day. i felt pathetic being there for two weeks and three days and not so much as talked to her. or any other girl. i had hope though, somewhere inside me had a little shining bit of hope. like a shard of mirror i'd swallowed, that was reflecting the sun through my open mouth.
but she wasn't in the lake. i watched the watery movements of the other girl's legs dancing under the water, but i missed her. i missed my little water insect that was like me and went unnoticed. after a while i went to pee.
when i came back she was in the tyre swing, folding into herself like a lawn chair. i smiled out loud. but then, scared i would scare her away with my gapped toothiness i swallowed my smile. i walked to her, pushing my chest out like i wasn't the boy i really was. but i wasn't sure if she'd like that so my chest kind of hovered in between trying and being.
she didn't look up. i coughed and said, hello. her voice was almost lost in the air. but i heard her murmur hello after a while too. i didn't really know what to say after that and i began to shiver despite the heavy sun. i was so awkward and fumbly and shy that all i could think of was: isn't it hot? and even though she was biting on her fingers, she stopped and nodded. i was feeling very warm.
i sat beside her while she gently rocked. outside my head was all quiet and niceness but inside was very, very loud. i wanted to kiss her. i wanted to kiss her hard and tender on the mouth. i was telling myself, do it now, do it now but i was not moving towards her mouth. i was not moving anywhere.
there is a sacred spot just past the lake. it wasn't sacred before that summer, but i guess special happenings seem to make things that way. it is a moon shaped clearing where the soil is like carpet under your toes and you are hidden from all but a patch of sky, where you will see the occasional bird and at night; the silvering stars.
alex, i was thinking to me, what are you doing? when i asked her, would you like me to show you this place i found? it's quiet there. and bless the angry sun in all it's burn because she watched me and then said yes. i discovered heat must do crazy things to your head.
i kicked my feet coolly in the water as we passed and i looked around for my uncle, wanting desperately for him to see me walking alongside a girl. maybe even getting to kiss one later. he wasn't near. maybe he was with the red lips girl. she was sucking on her bottom lip and fingering the hanging strings on her t-shirt. i was feeling very, very warm.
when we got there i ran ahead and lay down on the ground. when she came she lay down too. we were a hands breadth apart and my heart was working like a machine. my cheeks were, uh, deeply sunburnt. she didn't see though, her eyes were closed as though she was sleeping. now alex, kiss her now. but i didn't.
i began to fall asleep myself. it was silent here. there was no wind and we were both wrapped in summer's blanket. i felt the dreams coming into my thoughts, little stories playing like films behind my eyes. and then the lull of sleep drifted up and upon me.
when i woke i was naked.
sam had her head against my bare stomach and she was curiously watching my penis. it began growing when she felt it with her fingers. it felt good. she pressed it against her cheek. i didn't know what was happening but it was all so fast and so nice feeling. i was suddenly aware of the nighttime dark and the stars up above.
do you want to go? i said, looking around for my shorts. she pressed her forehead up against mine. she bit her lip, no.
that's when she began kissing me. i felt explosions in the walls of my head. her tongue lapped around my tongue and her hands were on my secret place. i was not thinking. i was blank. i was in love.
after a while i started to smile at how loud people can be without talking. then i was making love to her and she wasn't making noise but her fingers were clawing at my back and i was breathless. i was in a place i wanted to live inside of, but soon she pushed me off her and dressed and left. i caught her by four fingers and she paused.
do you love me? i asked. and she laughed like uncle did. i like you. she said. i felt young and boyish and stupid again, even after making love to a girl. even after falling in love.
you've got this mind that likes to think things upside down and sometimes backwards; i like to think that way too. the nostalgic tone that always is pulsing through your work and pumping it to life, the emotions that are young and silly and very much real, the way the earth can breathe like a person - and the way that the people can move like the earth. it is obvious that you should deeply consider publishing a book filled with your short stories. i think if you asked, the majority (who am i kidding, all!) would agree.
I recommend you look over your grammar next time. Complete absence of capital letters and speech marks plus a few other hiccups. I felt you were trying too hard to describe things poetically and trying to be edgy.
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these are simply my
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See the light and
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`anmari has been spreading her infectious positivity throughout our community for over 6 years. Throughout this time Ana has been at the core of all things devious, passionately developing an eclectic gallery, helping organise devmeets, participating in chat events and also recently completed dedicating her time as a Community Volunteer. We are absolutely delighted to bestow the Deviousness Award for May 2013 to `anmari, congratulations! Read More