There were five of us, I think.
Five, although there was only one that mattered.
We stepped from rock to rock, occasionally slipping on a wet one so that our toes would end up in the wet sand, muddy.
It seemed like we walked forever, but not long enough, as I stole looks and got the same from her sparkling dark eyes.
It was the evening, it was the lake, and I was with her.
I would have walked for days.
Around a thicket of brush and weeds, though, was our destination.
There was still a nice circle of rocks, some powder, and shards of logs, from whomever had slipped up there before us.
The grass was soft, and we threw down our bags and pulled out the CD player.
I spread out in the sun, fingers entwined behind my head, not hitting the water quite yet. Two of the others, one kid from school and his friend from another town, dove behind some trees to put on their bathing suits.
The girls laughed and threatened to take their clothes.
She sat down next to me, finally, and put her hand out, lightly grasping my elbow.
We’d done this before, but it hadn’t been love, not yet.
We hadn’t known what to do – I hadn’t known what to do.
We were almost too close.
It was odd to kiss a friend.
Her touch now, though – I just wanted to close my eyes and stay here on the blanket forever.
“Let’s try again,” I said, “Forever this time.”
She let go of my elbow, settled in closer, and held my hand.
I felt the nod of her head on my cheek.