(Also posted at IndieInk, December 2010.)
It was hot and we were restless. We roamed around, looking for trouble. The swimming pool caught his eye. He grabbed my hand and pulled me in that direction.
“It’s been closed for hours. We’ll get in trouble.”
“Not if we’re quiet.”
“I don’t have a bathing suit.”
He looked at me with a wicked grin.
He shrugged, and then took off his clothes and jumped in. I hesitated, but then stripped down to my bra and panties. “Really?” he laughed, and then splashed me. I jumped in the deep end.
The water was refreshing at first, still slightly warm from the day’s sun. I floated aimlessly on my back, lost in thought, while he swam up and down the length of the pool. Occasionally I would steal a glance at his muscular arms.
We stayed in the pool for a long time, too long. My teeth started chattering; my body shivered. He noticed and came up to me, grabbing me in a bear hug. I had never noticed how strong he was, how warm he was, before that moment. He kissed my neck and shoulder; I lay my head against his chest, and time stopped. I didn’t want to be the one to end the magic.
Finally, without words, he grabbed my hand and led the way out of the water, to the locker room, all the way to the back to the showers. He turned the hot water on, and held me up against the wall, kissing me, more and more aggressively. I could feel the cool tile pressing into my back. I held on to him tightly, not because I thought he’d drop me, but because I wanted to stay in that embrace and melt into him. “This is what letting go feels like,” I thought to myself.
All these years later, on hot nights when I can't sleep, this is the memory that fills my head. I wonder where he is now, what he is doing. I wonder if he's lying awake somewhere, feeling the heat, remembering. I hope it's one of those things he can't forget either.