~ an imagined memory ~
Whenever I daydream, and I do a lot, I think back on my last summer with my grandparents. I was thirteen, about to start high school, ready for my life to begin.
Summer days at their home was idealic. Lemonade always cool and waiting on the table on the back porch. The swing ready for lazing and chatting, but especially hearing Granpa’s old war tales.
And the river, the beautiful river just steps away from the back of their home. I spent so many days just lying down in a small boat, staring up at the beautiful blue sky, wondering what my life would be like in high school.
Would I finally be cool? Would I finally get a boyfriend? Could I become a cheerleader? What about student council? Or sports?
The possibilities were endless then, the idea of what I might be not yet set.
There is one particular day, though, that I dwell on when work is unsufferable or my day just will not give me relief.
It was August the twenty-sixth, the last day of my vacation and my times with Grandma and Grandpa.
It was late afternoon. I was in a boat again, staring up at the sky, thinking on everything that could be, daydreaming about how cool I would become in just a few short weeks, when somehow I fell asleep.
I finally woke, opening eyes, and seeing the most beautiful face I’d ever laid eyes on staring down at me.
Her hair was dark, short, and uneven, like she’d chopped it off because it was in the way. Her eyes were jade green. Her faced had a patchwork of freckles across her forehead, cheeks, and nose.
She wore jean shorts that were obviously cut from pants, an old concert t-shirt that was at least two sizes too big, and chucks almost near their end. On both her wrists was a maze of bracelets stacked on top of each other. Her lips shimmered from just a bit of lip gloss. And she wore just a hint of green eye shadow, the more to pop the natural color near them.
I thought she was perfect.
I sat up with a start. Looking around, I realized my boat had landed at another home pier. But I wasn’t sure what part of the river I’d ended up at, whether I was near my grandparents’ home or had ventured miles away. The girl who sat cross-legged on her pier was now eye level with me, closer than before.
I felt foolish, embarrassed in front of this beautiful rough and tumble girl.
“I… Um…. Where am I?”
She smiled at me, a grin that gave me pause both in its allure and in its calculations.
“That will cost you.”
I swallowed hard, realizing I had no money to offer her, and wondering what awful thing she’d make me do instead. I’d seen the local boys dare the young kids to do stupid things. Beating on bees’ or wasps’ nests. Eating live worms, bugs, or even mud. I braced myself for what she’d ask of me.
“Ah… what do you want me to do?”
At once her lips were on mine. She kissed me, soft and gentle. She was better than the boys back home. She didn’t try to bite my lips or stick her tongue down my throat. She was slow, exploring how I liked to kiss, and never pushing me too hard or fast as our lips danced. I loved the berry taste of her lip gloss.
I parted my mouth, an invitation for her tongue, and she accepted. Her massage was sweet; I could also taste the recent candy in her mouth. I loved kissing her, for a moment forgetting anything more than her lips.
She jumped back and stood right up. I heard a door slam open and closed. It took me a few breaths to open my eyes again.
“Yes Daddy! Over here. We have a vistor. She fell asleep in her boat and got lost. I think she lives up the river.”
Issa’s Daddy was tall and thick, arms the size of cannons and a chest that looked like it was made of muscle. He stomped more than walked down to their pier.
When he arrived at my boat, he looked down on me not unlike his daughter, and broke out into a boisterous laugh within moments of seeing a thirteen year old girl in a sundress sitting in a little paddle boat with nothing else.
“You’re gonna need a ride home, hun. It’s getting late. Probably past your supper time.”
It was 7pm. By now I was sure my grandparents were worried sick and I’d be in big trouble.
Issa’s Dad showed me inside, had me call my grandparents, and drove me home. I’d floated about two miles down the river.
During the entire drive, Issa and I sat in the back of her Daddy’s pickup holding hands.
When he drove off, she stayed in the back, watching me watch her ride away, dust kicking up on the country road. It felt like she was slipping back into a dream I had had, a dream that had conjured her, fading back into my hopes and wishes for my future life.
I never saw Issa again.
Categorised as: Gen Fiction
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