Are They Dating?
I chased her like honey in a hive, sweet to taste but an arduous process of production. A whiff of her scent, just a flicker of movement, triggers an instantaneous reaction but I'm a little too embarrassed to say exactly what. Skinny love, some may call it, but better that than nothing at all. Subtly, we gave each other a quick glance in the eye, averting contact almost immediately. How cliche we were, playing into the insipid. It's easier to run off with little acknowledgement of each other. I swear there's nothing going on, absolutely nothing out of the ordinary.
A pool of water, warmed by the beating heat of the sun, tempted us to come in. I looked over to the right, her back against me. The sound of summer music blasted from the speakers. The question oft-asked is do I go in first or wait for her to dip her toes in. Who cares, the other side of my brain told me. You're here for yourself.
I dove in. A rush of water filled my nose, ears, and eyes, disabling my senses. Maybe I missed something, a chance to lock her down once and for all. My feet paddled as hard as they could to pull myself back up above the water. The sun glared into my eyes and blinded me. I could hear voices, just well enough to distinguish hers. It echoed from the side, maybe near the sliding doors.
I hesitated. Was this a game? We were playing cat and mouse, enjoying it with little regard for the ramifications of morality. That was fine by me, my mind incapable of thinking otherwise. The sweltering heat disillusioned the images projected by my eyes. These actions didn't represent me, yet it was a complete reflection of myself.
A mystifying aroma came from the grill as the lid flew open. How much did the scallops, ribeye and lobster matter in comparison to where she sat and what she wanted more of. I grabbed a plate, scoured the playing field, and settled down next to two empty chairs.
Plate in her hand, she peered over ever so quickly, and turned away. She paced her way to my table and sat down across from me, distant enough to avoid watchful eyes but near enough to continue our little adventure, dare I call it that.
Shells cracked and knives butchered pieces of meat. We camouflaged in the crowd, saying words that could only be dissected as lusciously sweet by each other. It wasn't so much about how well we knew each other anymore. She offered half a perfectly seared steak and I four pieces of succulent scallops. It was a matter of formality, saying these things out loud, just to test each other's mettle.
Ryan called me over, football in hand, expecting me to play along to his NFL fantasies. I happily obliged, not in support of his dilly dallying, but to act normal in playing my part as "one of the guys." As far as I was concerned, the rest of the night served to upkeep a selfish desire to remain in the loop.
The afternoon waned and night took over the sky. Around me, eyes began becoming dreary. Body by body, people began emptying the pool. Car keys came out, backpacks slightly fuller than just a few hours prior, and the trash can a haven for flys and raccoons. I gathered my stuff and headed to the living room, where she stood by the door, two bags of wet clothes in her hands.
"Headed out? Don't forget to grab a slice of cake. There's a ton over in the other room." I said.
"Yup, work early tomorrow morning and I already had one. Still kinda watching my weight, you know."
I cracked a small smile, as to acknowledge her leave. Her head turned to the door and back to me, fixating her eyes to mine.
"I'll see you tomorrow maybe" she said, turning her attention to the car awaiting her right outside the door.
I didn't respond. She knew the answer: if she wanted to see me, I would be a bee in her hive. I headed outside, following her footsteps in the darkness, but keeping a distance. The car door opened and slammed shut a few seconds later. An engine filled the night with a commanding roar and took off mere moments later. For a second there, in my eyes, her car burst into flames and turned into ashes fluttering in the skies. I felt relieved, a peaceful calm entering my heart.
Too bad logic only lasts so long, as my mind wandered in preparation for tomorrow.