Posted on December 12, 2013 by Patricia Ann McNair12.12.2013 Journal Prompt Photo by Erich Lessing December 12, 2013: Behind their backs… Share this:ShareClick to email a link to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Like this:Like Loading... Related
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I can smell the sea and I can taste the sting of salt on my lips and feel the sun pricking my skin. Behind me stand Charlie and Bob and James, close enough I can hear them talking, close enough and too close. And beside me is Julia and if I keep still in my chair I can hear her breath, the rise and fall of it, like the sea and the sound of the waves breaking.
Beach-Julia and she has her hat pulled over her eyes against the sun and she holds her arms by her side, stiff and turned to catch the best of the light, and her bikini is bright and new, and she smokes a French cigarette, holds it loosely between the nip of two fingers, the filter marked with her kiss. And though she does not know it, I love Beach-Julia.
With my hat like her hat, pulled down over my eyes, no one knows. I can watch her without being seen. And there’s fine sand on her skin, like flecks of gold, sand blown on the shallow wind and sticking to the sun-cream I have applied for her, on her arms and her shoulders and her back, and I lift my fingers to my nose and breathe in the smell of her.
And Charlie is being smutty with his words and he’s saying what he’d do with this girl or that, talking his own cock up. And Bob is laughing at Charlie’s boast, and James says if he’s not careful he’ll have to go into the water to cool off.
Beach-Julia laughs, but only I see it. Under her hat, she laughs without waking. I don’t know what it is that she has found to laugh at, but I laugh, too, just because she did. And I want to reach out then and to stroke Beach-Julia’s arm, with no sun-cream this time, and I want to feel the warmth of her through my fingers, just the tips. And I want to kiss her, just where the fabric of her bikini nips the skin a little, the salt sting taste of Beach-Julia and the sand-grit bite of her skin.
Of course, I never do. Instead, we climb the steps to the beach each day and she talks of what she did the night before, with Charlie or Bob or James. And I am wet between my legs at what she says and she admits she is too, just with the retelling. And she turns her back to me so I can rub on the sun cream, and I do all that she asks of me.
Beach-Julia, and she is the girl of the summer of eighty-six, and I hold her hand sometimes and from the way that I hold it I think she knows. She looks at me funny, her face all quizzical, and if words could be hung on the air she would hang just the one word and it would be a question: ‘Really?’
And love is a beach and a seat next to Julia so close I can hear her breathing, and Charlie says some girl has a bitchin body, and Bob doesn’t fancy James’ chances with the likes of her; and they stand with their backs to us, and they do not know what’s under their noses, not ever seeing Beach-Julia sleeping beneath her hat and her skin all warm and brown and the line of her bikini a little crooked so you can almost see the aureole of her left nipple. And no one sees it but me and I ache.