by C.W. Bigelow
It was early Saturday morning and Ted was guiding his Camaro along Bly Lane. His girlfriend, Mary, spent the night with you.
It was already scalding, and we had all the windows open. The leaves on the line of Maples bordering the lane were drooping like tears. The river was silent and stationary, yearning for rain. My feet hung out the window and even the breeze was hot.
We were early because I didn’t want to be late. Even at that age I hated being late and knew it was nothing but a power play, which was not what I was going for.
There was little sleep the night before – between dreams that flipped between disaster and euphoria – screams and moans of joy – all coming from you. Expectations hovered above the misty clouds.
“Ready?” It was the third time he’d asked me. Checking my watch and seeing we were within the acceptable window – not too late, not too early – I nodded.
I really was far from being ready. I imagined arriving home and waving to Ted, the sun setting over my own house and our day beyond successful and behind us.
He pulled through the black iron gate and slowly rolled down your long driveway. I’d pulled my feet inside and sat up straight. The gravel crunched under the tires. The green and brown carriage house we pass was larger than my house. We’d been told by Mary to park by the side door, which she explained was the kitchen door. I smirked to myself. The servant’s entrance.
“Better crawl in the backseat. Otherwise they both may get back there.”
He was empathetic. We were both swimming in the deep end and wondered how long we could tread water before sinking. At least he’d been with Mary for a couple of weeks.
I crawled into the backseat and moved the beach towels we brought with us onto the hump on the floor and scooted behind Ted, leaving both doors wide open, which invited the air to move enough to allow me to realize I had broken into a sweat. It wasn’t a heavy, athletic activity producing sweat, but it was enough to make me aware, which wasn’t surprising in my hypersensitive state.
The side door squeaked open and you led Mary out, holding her hand and laughing out loud. I jumped nervously when it slammed shut behind you like a gunshot. The sun seeped through the thick oak limbs hanging over the driveway and reflected dazzlingly off your shoulder length blonde hair.
You crawled into the backseat, the plastic upholstery squeaking in harmony with the sharp cackle of a crow in the branches above - filling the air like giggles.
We were new – pre-exploration new – and my excitement and anxiety ebbed while my hopes fluttered, because to soar made me too vulnerable and I wished the events by the end of the day would build a deeper connection. The strength and flow of incendiary feelings were enough to ignite a voluminous explosion. It was our first real date after having spent the previous Saturday dancing throughout the night.
Your pert, circular lips protruding over your slightly bucked teeth were the picture of off kilter perfection. I leaned into you, my skin electric with eagerness, but came to a halt in mid-reach. Stopping me, nauseating me and making me cringe was the thick crust of egg-yolk stuck in the corner of your smile. Back then I performed surgery on my fried eggs, eating only the whites while discarding that disgusting glob of golden embryo and I quickly engaged in a fierce internal debate: how could you not bother to look in the mirror to make sure you were looking your best arguing with the fact I was impressed by your laissez-faire attitude and wished I was that confident.
Your laugh was engaging and contagious – a song filled with delight I hoped to hear for weeks and years to come and was a weapon with which I couldn’t compete.
As you leaned toward me with your wide smile, I froze. Should I mention it? Would it be rude? I had been stubbornly arrogant in previous relationships, feeling the power, or maybe lacking the passion. I had never run into such wild, unrestricted beauty and I was overcome by the rush of endorphins and realized for the first time that I never cared for another more than myself. But in a relationship two should unite – accepting each other in total, if the feelings you share are that strong.
Your freshly showered, apple-fragranced wet blonde hair was cold on my face and I winced at the acrid taste of egg on your tongue and the glob at the corner of your lips that fell into my mouth, but didn’t pull away, in fact, was shocked as I pushed my tongue further, finally succumbing to the gurgling sensation churning in my chest and loins, which became potent enough to power past pet peeves.
About the author
C.W. Bigelow’s short stories and poems have appeared in Fish Food Magazine, The Flexible Persona, Crack the Spine, Sick Lit Magazine, Midway Journal, Poydras Review, The Blue Mountain Review, Glassworks, Blood & Bourbon among others, with stories forthcoming in Drunk Monkeys, The Courtship of Winds and Good Works Review.