Her eyes never once so much as fluttered.

April 22, 2012 § Leave a comment

A portion of  this will look familiar to some of you. I was desperate to see it into a larger project, though not necessarily the one I’m currently engaged. It seems to fit pretty well.

* * *

The injustice of it all, he felt, was that she was the one who asked to see. As far as he could recall, the subject of their bodies had never before come up between them. “Girl” and “boy” were up until recently but abstract differences that existed, if at all, in terms of hair length. Other boys at school talked, of course, so he had a rough idea about the differences that are kept covered by clothes, but not the precision necessary for a full-blown curiosity.

She made her offer, —I’ll let you look, after hearing his story about the prayer circle at camp.

—No, that’s okay.

—Really? I’ve let your cousins. I don’t mind. There’s not much to it.

The circle had gathered near the tree R. used for shade while he read. He was struck by how seamlessly they could change their speech and manner, replacing their poolside flirting and lunchtime dirty jokes with deathbed drama. This was, their language said, a serious business with consequences that reached beyond the grave. R. could not look away, and even found himself standing amongst them and very much in the moment, fully invested if not vocally so. The spirit, ever willing, however, was outdone by the flesh he previously had never so much as considered. An innocent peek revealed, just across the circle, in full view, the pure from sin white bra of a girl whose name he could no longer recall. He had seen bras before—his mother’s hanging embarrassingly, the department store’s folded innocently, the mail order catalog’s worn scandalously—but never before, so close, on one so close to his own age—never so starkly contrasted by sunburned crimson—rarely with the rise and fall of breath, and never the returned wink of a nipple just under a not quite filled bra cup. As the prayer continued, R. considered the possibility she knew he was looking, that maybe she was showing. —Yes, Father, he whispered in agreement with whatever was being said. Her eyes never once so much as fluttered.

—Can I see yours then?

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