Can a pure soul, haunted by desires, plot gross revolt for straight satisfaction?
Can giving in to the disobedient beasts of want, be an act of “reclaiming power?”
A thunderstorm rolled across early sunrise like a choppy, inverted surf, drowning my usual distractions. In still moments, my heart hurts - as if it were bruised. Peter has a hold on me, he pulls on my life. I need to talk to Charles.
Lisa comes into the sunroom where most of us are lounging. “Looks like the weather’s clearing.” she said, and all eyes turned to the sky. “And there’s a kid, cleaning leaves out of the pool, his arms look like socks full of coconuts.”
“What?” Anna said.
“Where?” Leong asks. Six girls step up close to the windows like mannequins in a shop display.
“Oh, my.” Sophy says, drawing it out like an accusation, “the pooool boy!”
“He’s fifteen,” I say, making an ID through the excited crowd, instantly dousing the fire.
“This place is like a hotel, it’s larger than life.” Anna said. “The other night, when we shared those shooters, the hall leading to my room seemed like an airport concourse.”
“I’d LOVE to have lived here.” Sunny said, dramatically as she slowly reached for a strawberry off her fruit plate. Then turning to me she inquires, “How’d you pull it off?”
“It’s one of the things we don’t talk about,” I answered, conspiratorially, “I’m sure *** was involved,” I add, wiggling my eyebrows.
“Mmm,” she practically hummed, biting into the juicy strawberry goodness, “it always is.”
“Do you miss it?” Anna asks.
“I’m trying to move on with my life.” I admit.
I spot Charles out by the pool, crouching down. He’s testing the water quality and I decide that now's the time. I’m going to tell him I’ve decided to override him and invite Peter here for August - peridot.
I made my way out and around to where he’s working, getting more nervous with every step.
“Do you think we’ve been peeing in the pool?” I said, hoping to bring on a jokey mood, but it doesn’t really hit.
“No,” he says, forever the serious one, “You know that chlorine smell pools get?” I nod, sorry I made the stupid joke. “Well, that smell isn’t chlorine - can you smell the pool?” I inhale and nod yes. “That chemical smell would be the chlorine reacting to *** - and there isn’t any.”
I sit on the edge of a lounge chair, near where he’s working - to lay it all out and tell him what I’ve decided - but as I watch him my confidence fades and my lips won’t move. How can I argue with my parents, have knock-down screaming matches and not be able to say word-one with Charles? I’m so frustrated my eyes fill with tears.
He knows me too well though, we’ve been together forever - since a girl at my school was murdered when I was nine. We’ve shared sagas. He knows and has faithfully kept all of my secrets.
I’d bet he’s been watching my wheels turn for days. “You always think you see a path forward that others don’t,” he says softly, “but you have a lot of runway left, Kid-O.”
I leave the pool and storm inside - not really angry, more embarrassed to be so vulnerable.
I get on the treadmill, and I run.
BLT Marriam Webster word of the day challenge: saga: a long and complicated story or series of events.