“I like that lipstick you’re wearing today,” he said. I remembered thinking that it was a touch too light for my skin as I stared at my mirrored reflection just a few minutes earlier, but I didn’t say it. I just threw a slight smirk his way and brushed playfully against his arm with my body. The heat of the road warmed my feet more than I would have liked, but the turquoise nail polish he’d paid for was invisible in my tennis shoes.
“You look real cute today,” he flirted more. I smiled. Big this time. With young, white teeth sparkling somewhat strangely in the late sun.
The further we walked, the more sweat gathered on his skin, and his shirt clung tightly to the places I liked to hug and press against in the gym at our high school dances.
“You’re really gonna do it?” he asked. I didn’t want to fight. I just wanted to hold on to this moment as if we could go on walking like this for the rest of our lives.
I diverted my eyes from his and watched my turquoise toes pop in and out of sight: left, right, left, right, left, right, left, right, left…
The air felt heavy all of a sudden, and my chest started to heave with each passing breath.
“So you’re ignoring me now?”
“No. I just don’t know what to say.” Right, left, right, left, right, left…
“Just tell the truth. Say what’s real.”
“Yes, I’m gonna do it.” I, with head still down, tried to see what his reaction was, looking coyly out of the corner of my eye.
“It’s okay,” he comforted unconvincingly. “You gotta do what you gotta do.”
“Yeah,” I half whispered. Left, right, left…
“Well, we can have fun one last night, right?”
“Yeah,” I giggled, clasping my fingers through his.
He picked up his pace, causing me to jog a little. The road seemed less hot now, and the air began to lift. The faster he moved, the more the freedom came, and I held on tightly to his hand.
I often wonder what ever happened to him.