In Heat
Joanne Faries
The summer I turned fifteen, Texas blast furnace temperatures prevailed. Days over one hundred degrees created lethargy, torpor. But I cruised, a heady feeling, something acquired from loving Xavier Lopez. His hooded brown eyes, loose-limbed walk, chocolate brown torso, and shiny black hair mesmerized me. We were inseparable, and he knew every gate combination, every community schedule, and so we floated in strangers' pools.  

No one home, no dogs barked. It was too hot for outdoor pets. Languid, we dipped, tiny ripples emanated as we dove and frolicked. Holding hands, we lounged in chair floats sipping forbidden beer or wine coolers, whatever party leftovers we scrounged from ice chests left on patios.   

I'd lie on my stomach, watching sweat bead up on his chest. He'd turn his head, remove his sunglasses, and then leap to plunk me in the pool. I'd cling and pull him with me. Our bodies melded, we resurfaced and slow kissed.   

"I love this seahorse statue," I said one August day. We relaxed at a small oblong pool, hidden in a garden nook.   

Xavier smiled, "Mia, it's yours."   

"No, I couldn't steal," I paused, "but maybe rearrange. What if we took it with us to our next place? And then something from there to the next and next? Our little mark on their worlds."   

He nodded slowly. "I like it." And so the seahorse moved and replaced a gnome that replaced a ceramic turtle and so forth. Our summer love simmered with stealth décor.

First published: August, 2011
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