I looked at him slyly as he laughed at my suggestion.
“Are you serious?” He questioned with disbelief. He gave me that look, the one that always made me feel like the innocent teenage girl I was supposed to be.
It stemmed from having certain expectations of me, ones I’d always break. To my father, I wore too much eyeliner. To my teachers, my attendance was low. To the girls at school, I smelled of smoke. To my advisors, I hung out with the wrong crowd. To the others, I was socially awkward. The look was always the same–those pitying eyes paired with a soft smile that said “you can do better”.
All I wanted to do was destroy it. I grabbed the bottom of my t-shirt, rolling it up passed my head to reveal the small, black push up bra I was wearing underneath. I knew it was cold, but the drugs pumping through my blood created some kind of barrier for me. I couldn’t feel the breeze, only an on going rush that fueled a flame inside me.
“Blondie’s getting naked!” One of the boys behind us called out. I stared into Kevin’s now widened, light brown eyes, exposed by the flickering street lamp that hovered above us. Everywhere else was dark besides where the two of us stood, vulnerable to the group of friends who sat at the picnic table deep within the back of the park.
“You’re crazy,” Kevin shook his head, yet he took off his large white t-shirt at the same time. I grabbed the zipper of my jeans only to be stopped by Kevin’s firm grip around my wrist, “I don’t want them seeing you.”
I followed Kevin’s glare and looked over to where the back tables were supposed to be, but all I saw were shadows. I just smiled and waved towards the empty abyss as Kevin pulled me out from under the light.
“Ay! What the hell, Kevin?” I heard someone call out in disappointment as Kevin and I walked toward the empty field. Once again, I started unzipping my jeans, throwing my shirt onto the grass. I felt Kevin’s arm reach around my waist to pull me against his own. He was already stripped down to his boxers and I couldn’t help but let out a chuckle.
“You got stripped down pretty quickly,” I turned around to face him, still being held firmly by his strong arms. Even though I couldn’t quite make them out in the darkness, I imagined his freckles spread out on top of his shoulders that then sprinkled down to his large biceps. Tracing the potential marks on his arms with my fingers, I remained silent. With nothing but the clicking of sprinkler nozzles making noises behind us, I was trying to figure out how it was that I could feel so safe, yet held captive at the same time.
“Take your pants off already,” He said playfully while helping me pull down my jeans to my ankles so that I could step out of them, sliding off my sandals in the process. I was standing in front of him with just a bra and thong, looking back up into his eyes that I could hardly see as my own started adjusting to the darkness.
“Let’s go!” I exclaimed as soon as I could visualize where to run. I pulled away from him as I headed for the middle of the field, still at a loss of my senses. Seeing close to nothing, I focused on the feeling of soaked mud in the grass seep through my toes. As soon as the air around me became misty, I put my arms up so I could touch the drops of water from the sprinklers surrounding the field. Everything felt tranquil, like I was suddenly being cleansed of the pills I had popped earlier.
“You’re about to get soaked!” I heard Kevin shout to me, igniting that thrill of ecstasy once again as he came rushing towards me. I quickly turned around and screamed as he picked me up to throw me over his shoulder.
“Kevin!” I shrieked. The drops of water were quickly turning into sprays, and then full blast as he carried me closer and closer to the sprinkler’s nozzle. I heard sounds escaping the bottom of my throat in the form of both laughter and squeals.
“This is what you wanted, right?” He laughed out over the sprinkler’s loud clicking noises as it spun from side to side. I pushed myself off of him and almost fell over while trying to land on my feet.
“You asshole!” I rushed back towards him. Attempting to push him down onto the same sprinkler he had just soaked me with, I blindly forced my arms out. It was no use. I was already clumsy enough during the daytime. He dodged my tackle only to quickly grab me from behind to then release me onto the swampy ground. I grabbed his arm with all my strength and took him with me. We wrestled on the floor, each trying to get the other closer to the blasting spray of water. Bursts of laughter broke out from both of us as we finally stopped struggling, intertwining our body parts so that we were awkwardly pinned down in the middle of the field.
“You know I’m going easy on you right?” He stated as he got on top of me and smiled. I felt delirious and as the pills finally wore off, I knew these feelings could only be lingering because of the boy that was straddled on top of me.
I couldn’t help but roll my eyes, but said nothing when I met his through the darkness. We stared at each other in silence, completely disregarding the fact that we were both half naked, soaked and covered in mud.
“I love you,” I finally let out in a choked whisper. I bit my lip as soon as I heard the words, as if that was enough to take them back and swallow them whole before he noticed. The moment took control over me, just as his body was taking over mine.
He arched over, holding onto my arms spread above me so that I was completely stuck, laid out on my back. His face got closer to mine, his breath heating the skin of my cheek.
“Say it again,” He demanded in a whisper as I felt his lips curl into a smile next to my ear.
“I love you,” I said again, this time without restraint, and he softly pushed his lips onto mine. I closed my eyes and lifted my lips into his, the flicker of water drops intruding in between each gentle kiss.
As he pulled away, he looked down at me. A smirk appeared on his face and no longer did I see a reflection of an innocent girl through his darkened, glossy eyes. My image was changing, like the sun falling into the dark night sky and he was time, guiding me through the course of a sunset.