I don’t know why I dreamt about this kid. I haven’t seen him since the 4th grade, maybe? But there he was, an asshole as always, haircut the same; short and choppy, red haired and face freckled just as I knew him. He was just the same and yet… he was in love with me.
I could tell that he liked me, but wouldn’t say it, so I strategically leaned on him and occasionally put my arms around his neck. Everyone saw us and whispered in audible giggles. We ignored them. He never pushed me off, but never reciprocated either. I was determined to rid him of his shyness so I kept on. He seemed to like it, despite.
I remember him pulling out a map to show me. It was a map of the US covered in half naked pictures of women who slightly resembled me. They were pictures taken from magazines, placed in all the places he’d heard I’d been throughout the years. He pointed to one near Florida.
“That one bothered me. Was that you, actually?” I took a closer look at the picture. It was one of my sister’s magazine ads. It was a profile shot of her and another. She posed with a shirtless Arab man. She was behind him, her arms around his neck and shoulder. He looked into the camera as she seemed to seductively murmur something into his ear. I did remember when she took that shot. We were in roughly the same area at the time.
“No,” I said. “That one’s my sister. I rarely have men in my photo shoots actually.”
“Oh, she looks like you.” He seemed to cheer up slightly, rolling his map back up.
I went everywhere he did that day, but we weren’t a couple. We went to sit by the soccer field. There was a game going on.
“Watch out!” Someone yelled, I turned to see a ball hurling toward my face. I caught it.
“Nice!” The girl saw me catch it and held out her hands, signifying I should throw it back. I recognized her as one of the girls who were teasing me and Alex earlier. I smirked, raised my eyebrow, and kicked the ball as far as I could. I had forgotten I was bad at kicking, though. I remember being slightly annoyed when it didn’t go very high and Marielle Cortez caught it with a particularly lovely exhibition of athleticism. The girl who came over to me, looked at me with a what-was-that-about? face and went back to her game. I sat back down beside Alex. Annoyed with my inabilities as well as Alex’s stubbornness, I laid down in the grass, face down, straightened legs toward Alex. He sat upright staring at the field, blank faced, legs crossed.
We had been like that for a while, when Jake Titherley showed up, his side leaning against the fence closest to the field. He was older than when I knew him. I remember his weird cal-licked hair and those glasses my mother always said made him look like Harry Potter. He turned to Alex, arms crossed.
“You like her don’t you?”
Alex looked at the back of my legs, smiled slightly, then looked back at him, remaining silent.
Jake smirked. “You should do something about it then. Isn’t she the greatest thing in the world? Isn’t she what you want to be next to? Isn’t…”
Alex interrupted. He gently wrapped the fingers of his right hand around my left ankle, lightly caressing the area with his thumb.
“It’s not just that she’s mine…” he paused a moment to kiss my jeans at the spot above where his hand laid wrapped.
“Well, she’s not…” Jake rebutted. Alex disregarded him and moved his hand up my leg. I stayed still, silent, smiling in the grass.
“Or that she’s beautiful…” he kissed me in the new spot, but lingered for a moment to finish.
“It’s everything about her… She talks incessantly, but it’s the only sound I’d want to hear. She’s intelligent and interesting and smells like…”
“Like the greatest perfume in the world? ” Jake suggested.
Alex laughed, “Ha! If it smelled terribly! She’s so small and yet she can make such strong, pungent smells…” He crinkled his nose in reminiscence. They both laughed and I giggled embarrassingly into my grass patch.
“But I love them…” he finished, moving back to my legs, he kissed me right at the beginning of my thigh.
“Then say something, man!”
“Shhhhhh…” Alex answers moving his body closer to mine, leaning in so I could feel the warmth of him. “I am…” he says, kissing the small of my back, the first section he found that was left bare, open to his lips. I gasped. I hadn’t expected him to touch my skin directly.
He continued to move upward, my shirt moving with him. I stopped him by lifting my head from the grass. He pulled his head closer to mine so he could hear me.
“Alex…” he kisses my shoulder while he’s there.
“You can’t do that…” he kisses my neck in response.
“We’re in public…” I laugh and playfully pull away.
“Oooooooooooo!” We hear a chorus from the background. I look up. I had forgotten they were there. Everyone on the field had stopped and was watching our side show on the sidelines. I turned red.
“Finally!” They screamed. We all laughed together, despite our embarrassment, and Alex… was finally mine.
‘Twas a nice dream…