Adagios This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   With myhead in your lap, I lay on my back, feeling my entire body flatten -chest, thighs, stomach - a false ability to feel my ribs, a false senseof slimness. Smacking my lips with raspberry gloss. You remember thatday at the hotel in New Hampshire, with the gentle humidity and thenharsh sun. We sat in the stuffy lounge with the brown velour couches;Lord knows what had fallen between the cushions - matchbooks, crumbs,loose change, ticket stubs. Listening to the jukebox in the corner,wondering which James Taylor song it was. "Fire and Rain," yousaid during the chorus. Perhaps. Then you jumped up, suddenly chargedwith electric brilliance, exclaiming that we should go for aswim.

The sunset was tempting, like your proposal, swirlinglavender and tangerine with the black night. I'd only go swimming if wekept our clothes on, on account of my insecurities. You said it wasbetter that way, more like in a movie when people do things on the spurof the mo-ment, realizing only later that they forgot to take off theirjeans and watches.

With that you took my hand and we ran throughthe lobby, past folded plastic chairs and into the pool. Dizzy withdarkness, under the orange glow of a hidden light source, we sank. Asound in my ears, popping, like spinning spokes on a bicycle. I couldfeel my long mermaid hair swaying like seaweed. I twirled in the deepblue and felt your gaze burning through the frosty water. You mumbled ina bubble language; I imagine it was something like, "You smile likea dolphin." I flushed under the heat of your eyes, so I turned tothe mosaic fish in smooth indigo tile along the side of the pool. But Ilooked over my shoulder for you, and sought out your brown eyes, foryour hands to take mine, and we rose to the surfacetogether.

Walking to your room, with my wet sandals in hand, Ishuffled along the carpet. I showered quickly, not wanting to wake yourfather next door, the water falling over me, hotter than the smokylounge. Hair flattened, through my fingers, through the wide teeth of acomb, the thick ripping sounds of unknotting, untangling, unraveling. Ibreathed deeply and reentered. You were in your pajamasalready.

The strange jazz tape Toby made drifted around the room,like adagio breezes. An intensified feeling of nonchalance. It would beBillie Holiday, Miles Davis, then silence as the remnants of the firstside blended with our nighttime voices. Quiet overcame the awkwardnessof our shy breaths. Damp skin soaked my tee-shirt.

Layered - thesheets over your arms around my arms around you. The room dark enough soI couldn't tell if the blinds were open, if the streetlight made slitsagainst the pale blue walls. If the O in the HOTEL sign outside wasstill sputtering fluorescent red or if there were clothes strewn on thecarpet.

As I shifted, you looked down among the printed coversand laughed, "They're dolphins," so I smiled. Your presencearound me was reminiscent of earlier that day when I was lying on thesidewalk, and you sat on the curb, asking me to describe myself in fivewords. I stared at the length of my hair, and the pine needles scatteredin it, blown there by cars from the highway slapping air across thetrees. It was shadowed where we were, and the people walking to theircars smiled and I smiled back. I always do. But after I'd told you thatshy was one, there was so much more to think about: how I wished I couldhide from you, and the feeling of scrutiny.

I clenched againstthe warmth of your body, trying to let the solidity maintain the beatsin calm cadence. Trying so hard not to be alone. And after so manyminutes went by that I was gasping in fear, you asked what was wrong,that you were comfortable, that you wanted to know what I wanted. Iwanted to know, too.

I whispered as I burrowed into you, that Ijust wanted to be safe.

And your answer was soft like the fadedcomforter, soft like the pale light, like strawberry ice cream, like ahill of cotton wildflowers.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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Made_Of_Greed said...
Feb. 27, 2015 at 9:41 am
Wow, I am seriously the first? This is an amazing story on teen insecurities. Loved it all the way through.
 
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