|“I bet you will try and stop this” He said in his deep voice, I laughed loudly. He stood with eyes tightly closed and his teeth bared and I could see the clean, pink gums.
“Maria I need your help” He said in a southern American accent
“Why Peter you don’t” I replied in a horrible British accent. I looked at his face; the red mark on his cheek where the sun kissed him while we sat on the warm brown sand closed our eyes and reverently welcomed the sun. We both had earphones plugged into our ears, drowning and rejecting any form of communication. I tried to touch his warm pink fingers, but he would pull away and continue nodding to the classic James Brown blaring from the grey earphones.
“Maybe we should go into the water” My voice was shaking, and I had no idea why, maybe I did
“No Maria” He drawled and his eyebrows twitched the way I liked. He grinned at me and I forced a smile, trying to figure out if he was serious or not.
I scooted under the makeshift shade as the sun threatened to turn us into roasted sausage. He lifted the dark sunglasses and smiled at my fear. I shrugged and he scooted further towards the heat. Suddenly as I was about to open the book I was meaning to finish, he grabbed my arm.
We ran towards the shores and I screamed. He picked me up and threw me into the warm, salty water that we spent months dreaming of in Zach’s coffee shop. We would sit by the window and blow on the windows and trace funny faces, other times we would stare at the darkness, the snow falling and passers-by trying to run from the wind, or maybe it was pushing them away.
When I looked at him, he was never staring back. He would only be swishing the warm brown liquid in the small white cup, twitching his eyebrows the way I liked. Everyday a new girl would join us, he would call me his sister and I would shyly bow my head, trying desperately to hide my scowl. They would try to touch me, and without realizing I would shrug and mumble something about “coffee refill”. Every time I looked back, he was never staring back.
We would always walk back in the cold with our hands shoved deep into our coat pockets. The cigarette smoke he blew would comfortably warm my face. We never said goodbye, he would only grab my petite frame into his hard, well designed one and squeeze me as though I was leaving forever.
“You liked her?” The scent of the cigarette went deep into my nostrils.
“Yes Peter” I said with a laugh. I knew there would be a different one tomorrow.
He read my laugh and chuckled in that deep sound that reminds me of a car warming up. He released me and I slowly walked inside thinking of his Hazel eyes and the way he ran his fingers through the brown, soft waves.
The water stung my eyes and he laughed and slapped his knees. I splashed him and he screamed like a girl. We held hands and floated, squinting at the sun and how his long fingers spread across the bright blue, finally landing on the green blanket slowly bobbing us, down and away.
I felt his fingers grip mine tighter, not in an intimate way, only because he was sinking and I was there to keep him up. I sighed and he playfully pulled me under. I kicked him under the water and he grabbed my waist, trying to pull me down even more. I laughed and bubbles exploded from our mouths and collided, then disappeared. I let go and swam to top.
I ran towards the shore, pretending to get a drink from the cooler. When I looked back his back was turned and he stared at the rocks that rose high almost touching the sky. I pressed the cold glass bottle to my salty lips and drank all its content even though I wasn't thirsty.
He was walking back, sort of strutting and I turned away because I felt awkward. He dropped on the towel, the same way he did when he first came into my third grade class those years ago. I was the only one who spoke to him because he had a booger hanging out of his nose. He was not well developed and a bit slow, I was the only one who helped him. When I found out he lived nearby, I was the only one who went to the lame birthday party and accepted the sloppy kiss on the cheek and allowed him to feed me cake with his sweaty fingers.
Now he is well built and nobody remembers the booger face and the dirty, brown unsightly hair. He doesn't remember either, and he doesn't seem to remember that the scar on my elbow was because I was there for him.
He drew in his breath, stained with coffee and cigarette and pulled me towards the high jagged rocks. He climbed to the top and I stopped a little lower, his cheerleader, his assistant.
He stood at the top and screamed, his voice spreading across the horizons. I laughed, and then I suddenly felt sad and empty as I watched him, happy and carefree, while I craved his stares and more than a hug and “little sister” pecks on the cheeks. I disliked all the girls and a selfish anger rose from my toes straight into my heart, and for the first time I acknowledged the hurt and accepted the anger.
He lifted his strong arms above his head in a dive-like stance. The water roared below and groaned for the sea goddess to fall into their arms.
I sadly stared, a voice kept telling me to hit the road Jack and don’t you come back no more!