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I was thinking about first kisses. And one of my first kisses was so traumatic… Like, um, really traumatic… So, traumatic I had to put it in the third person, but here it is ….
They bumble around a bit on the boat. Their parents party a dozen slips away. They kiss long, slow, the best fifth grade kiss ever and he says, “Let’s go to the back berth and lay down like we’re married.
His thumb runs over a Band-Aid on her hand. Beneath it is a gash from a fish hook that stuck there this morning when she tried to cast.
“I don’t know what I’m doing,” she said as her dad took the hook out.
The cut is still there, lying beneath.
He moves his finger from the Band-Aid.
“Let’s go to the back berth.” He squeezes her hand like he did the first time they met and he’d built a sand castle and said, “I’ll be the knight and you’re the princess and I’m protecting you.”
“Okay,” she’d said then.
Now he wants to be the husband and she the wife in the back berth.
It seems a natural progression.
“Okay,” she says.
They get up, hand in hand. She nods at their shoes. Her mom worries about staining the maroon, velour upholstery that covers the boats back berth. Her mom worries about dirt on the carpet too and she’d forgotten that and their shoes are still on.
“Sorry, my mom.”
He bends in half and unties her sneakers first like her mom used to when she was little. Back then she’d stomp her feet if it took too long. He takes too long. She doesn’t stomp. His fingers shake. Her fingers touch the top pf his blonde feathered hair.
She decides to marry him, as soon as they are of legal age
Which is what in New Hampshire? It’s thirteen with parental consent. That isn’t too long to wait.
He yanks off his own shoes, pulls her into the berth and they flatten themselves, stare at the fiberglass ceiling. His foot hooks around hers. His fingers sweat next to hers. They are just like grown ups, next to each other, next to each other in the night, just the same.
She smiles. He moves closer. Then … boom … plops his body on top of hers, weighing her down. His tongue pushes between her smiling teeth. She softens beneath him, heart pushing her on, a boy’s tongue in her mouth
Just like grown-ups.
Her hand reaches towards his hair, but the Band-Aid catches on his watch and rips off, reveals her unhealed cut, her wound.
Her knight, her husband, he doesn’t notice, just slides against he r… and then … and then …
He leaps away… groans. She’s alone on the berth in the night with her shoes off and he runs,
Hands rush to his zipper. He turns frantic, pulls on the zipper as she sits up, watching, mouth open and alone.
He slams into the head and she creeps out of the back birth, creeps out and looks down on the floor by their shoes at the spiral of white wetness,
A spiral of something that came from him. What? Pee?
She wipes her closed lips with her fingers, steps back, stares at the closed door to the head.
A moan comes from behind it.
The cut on her hand begins to bleed and she wonders, wonders about things, what’s happened, why she’s alone, what’s on the floor, what’s happened. She wonders and wonders … just like grownups.
IN THE WOODS – READ AN EXCERPT, ORDER NOW!
My next book, IN THE WOODS, was born yesterday!
It’s with Steve Wedel. It’s scary and one of Publisher’s Weekly’s Buzz Books for Summer 2019. There’s an excerpt of it there and everything! But even cooler (for me) they’ve deemed it buzz worthy! Buzz worthy seems like an awesome thing to be deemed!
You can order this bad boy, which might make it have a sequel. The sequel would be amazing. Believe me, I know. It features caves and monsters and love. Because doesn’t every story?
You can buy limited-edition prints and learn more about my art here on my site.
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WHAT IS PATREON?
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