Authors: M.S. Willis
“Just jump in, Hunter! You’ll torture yourself if you walk
in slowly. Trust me, once you get past the initial sting, you’ll thank me for
suggesting it.” She was even farther out and all I could see was her head
floating above the surface of the water.
“This sucks!” I screamed out before quickly lowering my body
into the water. A cry escaped my lips almost instantly, but within seconds, my
skin adapted to the frigid temperature and my muscles relaxed as a heavenly
feeling crept through me.
Ellison swam in my direction and took my hands before
pulling me out deeper. Just below the surface, I could make out the fact that
she was in her bra and panties and I prayed that little Hunter wouldn’t make an
appearance outside of the thin material covering him. Okay — not
Hunter, it was far larger than
that, but you know what I mean.
“Come on out to where it’s deeper. I want to show you
something.” I hoped she meant something that involved more of her skin but when
she swam me out to where the bottom appeared to drop out and when I looked down
in the crystal clear water, I saw schools of fish swimming below us. “You can
swim down there with them if you had a mask and snorkel. It’s magical when you
get in the middle of them and watch the sun reflecting off their bodies; kind
of like mini rainbows springing out in all directions around you.”
We stayed there for a few minutes watching as the school of
fish swirled beneath us, swimming in one direction before being disturbed by
some unseen force only to swirl over themselves and head like a wave in the
opposite direction. It was disturbingly silent and the only thing I could hear
was the light swish of water from where we were swimming and the occasional
bird song from the trees. Other than that, there was — nothing. No
honking cars, no distant radios, no mumbled conversations, nothing. It was
disturbing to say the least. I had to break up the silence.
“So, how long before we have to get going again”
She looked up from the fish and smiled. “Can’t take it, can
you?” She started to swim farther away from me, but kept her sparkling blue
eyes trained to mine. “For some reason, I thought you’d be different. What a
shame.” Then she went under.
I had no idea what the hell she was talking about and the
two minutes it took her to resurface drove me mad. When she finally popped up,
my words flew. “What do you mean, I can’t take it? I’m in the water, I’m hiking
this crazy death march with you, what can I not take?”
Her smile was nothing more than a small curl to her lips. I
knew that smile. It was a judging smile — and she was really good at it.
“You can’t take the silence. It gives you too much time to think. It’s like I
said, people are comfortable when they are surrounded by outside stimulation.
It’s safe, they don’t have to pay attention to their thoughts or feelings.”
Swimming closer, she reached out and took my hands, our feet kicking in unison
as we worked to keep our heads above the water. My eyes kept flicking down to
sneak looks at her body and she watched me intently until I gave up. Stupid
water was distorting the view.
“That’s my favorite part of being out here. The silence. It
allows me to think through things. To take a moment of introspection and figure
out what’s important in my life — and what has no meaning. I don’t want
to be one of those people who, at the end of their lives, look back and realize
they missed it.” She pulled me closer to her and our feet brushed across each
other from their movement. I knew she was trying to help me understand what she
was saying, but the proximity of her body was distracting me.
“I know what’s important to me already, El. I don’t need
silence to think about it.”
“So, what’s important?”
Well, damn, after being put on the spot, I had no idea how
to answer that, so I turned the question around on her. “You’re the one who’s
had all the time to think. What’s important to you?”
A small laugh floated across her lips. “Nice deflection. But
we were talking about you.”
The silence returned and I stared into the eyes of a girl
that was nothing like I’d ever met before.
“Okay. Having fun. That’s important to me. And, well, having
fun.” Damn. Actually having to articulate my feelings, I determined quickly I’d
never really put a lot of thought into the subject. It was unnerving.
“So, what’s fun for you?” Her hands slid along mine while
she toyed with my fingers and the touch was almost intimate, even in its
“Going out, hanging with my friends.” It was lame. I know.
But, dammit if she wasn’t right
I’d never really
thought about it. I was too busy with … with the mundane, the normal activities
of a19-year-old man.
I pulled her to me, forcing the water to swirl over our skin
and the heat from our bodies to mingle in the water. Her mouth opened slightly
and her eyes widened. She was extraordinary. A beautiful girl who thought
strange deep shit, and at least to me, did strange things. But there was
something about her and I wanted to know more.
“What about you, Ellison? What’s important to you?”
“Are you trying to deflect again?” Her voice was breathy and
brushed over my senses awakening every nerve ending in my skin.
“No.” I smiled. “Just trying to get to know you.” I may have
forced the dimples out again and I desperately hoped my blue eyes were as
impressive to her as hers were to me. I would have never guessed it, but out
here, surrounded by nothing but plants and animals, water and dirt, I suddenly
felt connected to Ellison, completely absorbed in a shared moment that belonged
to nobody but ourselves.
She forced herself away from me again and it felt like we
were dancing — like some inherent mating dance where she teased and I
chased. If it had been any other girl, I would’ve thought she was playing hard
to get even though she had every intention to get in my pants. However, I
didn’t know with El. She seemed honest in her behavior. I didn’t think she was
simply playing games.
“A lot of things are important.” Her words snapped me back
to the conversation. “Family, friends, my future, my sense of self.” She kicked
out farther away from shore — and from me. So I chased. I eventually
caught her and, in the spirit of the game, I pulled her against me. Her chest
and thighs pressed up against mine and our skin slid against each other. It was
incredibly hot despite the cool temperature of the water. I knew little Hunter
was about to emerge, but I didn’t care. I would never have believed I would be
thinking this — but nature was a fucking godsend at that exact moment.
There was nobody to interrupt us, nothing to distract us from the moment. I had
to kiss her, to taste her. Every sense in my body wanted to explore her: sight,
taste, smell, touch and sound. All five were brought to life around her and I
Lowering my head, I kept my eyes locked to hers. There was
no expression on her face and the golden tan of her skin was lightly brushed
pink over her cheeks. My heart pounded in my chest as I leaned in. I’d expected
her to move, but when she didn’t pull away my lips brushed against hers and she
closed her eyes. I moved in to deepen the kiss and just as my tongue flicked
out to seek entrance to her mouth, she raised a hand out of the water and
placed a single finger between our mouths.
“Stop, Hunter.” Her eyes popped open and she pushed away,
completely disengaging from me. Disappointment set heavily on my shoulders and
I didn’t chase her again as she placed distance between us. She turned around
and after a few long strokes of her arms, she moved back towards the shore.
When she reached a point where she could stand, she turned back to me. We were
quiet for a moment, just staring at each other and I couldn’t get past the fact
that she was an absolute knockout. Her hair was plastered to her skin and she
didn’t have a lick of makeup on, and yet she outshone any girl I’d been with in
the past. It was remarkable — magical even — to find myself alone with
this girl in a place I could finally admit was breathtaking.
“You’re only going to be here for a couple of months and
then you are heading back to your home. We can be friends, Hunter, but I don’t
think we should be getting any more involved than that. I don’t know about you,
but I don’t like to risk my heart when I know something won’t work out in the
end. I’m not a fling. I’m not some girl that’s okay with having fun just for
the sake of the moment. Plus, I don’t know anything about you, like what you do
with your time, what you want to do when you get older — or even if you
have a girlfriend.” She turned and walked completely out of the water. The
water glistened as it rolled down her skin and my hands clenched when I forced
myself to show some respect and look away. When I finally turned back, she was
laid flat over the table, still in nothing more than a bra and panties. She
appeared to have no shame when it came to nudity.
“Are you going to get dressed or what?” I called out.
Her head popped up to look at me and she had a confused
expression on her face. “You’ve already seen me like this. What do I have to
hide? Plus, it’s no different than a bathing suit.”
She laid back down, and I treaded water while trying to come
up with something to say. She was right. The deafening silence was pounding
against my head and I felt these weird thoughts and feelings bubbling up inside
my head. The constant activity of my life, mixed with the numbing effects of
alcohol and drugs had suppressed them, shoving them so far inside that I could
feel them pushing their way back into my head. It was almost painful. Thoughts
of my parents, school, my friends — Tiffany
of it started to swell up and I was instantly saddened to think that none of it
really mattered to me. I’d been going through the motions of life, developing a
routine that acted as nothing more than a distraction. What the fuck was I
going to do when I got older? I had no interest in college, even less in
actually going to a job every day. It seemed like it would be so monotonous:
getting up at the same time, arriving at the same place at the same time,
leaving that place at the same time, only to go home at the same time. Add in a
wife and children and what was left?
And what the fuck just happened
“What in the hell are you doing to me, El?” I called out to
her and she sat up to look out over the water at me. The sunlight bounced off
the waves of the water and it looked like a small light show was swirling all
over her body.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” She smiled. She
knew exactly what I was talking about.
I powered through the water towards shore. Climbing out, I
was thankful for the button in the front of my boxers as I walked practically
naked in her direction. Her eyes traveled over my chest and legs and I wanted
to growl in appreciation of the blush to her cheeks and the desire I was sure I
saw in her eyes. So yes, even though I was having this enlightening experience
with a girl I barely knew, sex was still part of the equation. I was 19 years
old and sex was important. It was natural. It was something I wasn’t ashamed to
admit: I wanted to have sex with the blond sitting on a picnic table in the
middle of the woods. I wanted to run my tongue all along the smooth skin of her
body and just taste her —
her. This girl was already better than any drug I’d taken and I hadn’t even
done anything with her yet.
When I finally reached her, I sat down on one of the seats.
She turned to me and placed her feet on the seat beside me, her wet braid
hanging loosely over one shoulder and her eyes alight with humor. I grabbed the
backs of her calves and fought hard not to spread her legs and pull her down on
In a moment of absolute honesty that I had no idea where it
came from, I confessed, “I don’t know what I’m going to do later in life. All I
know is that I’m supposed to go to college, and I’m supposed to get a job after
that. Once that’s accomplished, I’m sure I’m supposed to get married and have
kids and grow old and shit. And to be completely fucking honest with you, I
to do any of it.
It’s so boring. There’s no challenge to it. Everybody does it.”
She looked surprised to hear my confession. “So then, don’t
do that. Pick something else. What are you interested in? You could do
something where you have to travel, where you get to explore the world. Take
the image of what you think your life should be and make it a reality. Travel
the world until you figure it out, live life like a pirate if you want.”
I laughed. “Like a pirate? You’re kidding, right?”
She shrugged. “Yeah. But you know what I mean.”
“What are you going to do?” It was weird, but I really
wanted to know. She was fascinating.
She motioned around at our surroundings. “Well, we’re kind
of doing it now. I want to be a forest
to help take care of the environment. I want to make a difference. It won’t be
a huge one, but it’ll be something. I start college at the end of the summer
and Finn and I both are majoring in forestry.”
Finn. My heart sank and a lump formed in my throat at the
mention of her on again off again boyfriend.
“So, you and Finn will be seeing each other every day? Won’t
that be rough if you don’t want to be with him?” There was a little bit of
jealousy in my voice. I didn’t intend it, but it happened.
Thankfully, if she noticed, she didn’t act like it. “Finn
and I can be friends again. That’s how we started. He’ll move on at some point
because he has no problem attracting women. I refuse to let a failed
relationship destroy what we had before it happened. Maybe it’s stupid of me,
but I think it’s a shame when two people can’t put aside their differences and
still remain in each other’s lives. He’s a good guy. He understands me. It’s
rare for me to be able to find someone like that.”