Monday, June 11th, 2015
Jamie lays on the grass in her backyard, arms tucked behind his head, staring up at the swirling sky. He briefly remembers something from Chemistry about how humans live with the entire atmosphere crushing them; he wonders if it’s anything like living at the bottom of the ocean, pressure-wise.
A bug crawls around on his leg, but he leaves it be. It’s not like it’s hurting anybody, right? He’s the one invading its home. The tingles it causes are weird and a little unsettling, but he figures they’re probably a good thing, as he often hears how he’s far too comfortable in his own bubble.
His eyes don't dare look towards the sun, even for second, but he feels its heat on his face nonetheless.
Just what I need, he thinks, breathing deeply and shutting his eyelids. A face to match my hair. Jess always snickers at his sunburns. It’s not like he tries to get them; sunblock just doesn't work that well for him.
I don’t tan; I burn.
He perks up a little when he hears the sliding door open. The tinkle of ice against glass tells him she’s holding lemonade, and the clack of plastic tells him she’s dragging a lawn chair with her.
He glances to the side as she settles by him--or rather, above him. She’s wearing his aviators and has crossed her legs, bouncing one sandaled foot over and over.
“You’re gonna hit me in the face,” he greets.
“Might want to move, then,” Jess answers, sipping at her huge glass of cold, lemony deliciousness. She peeks down at Jamie over his aviators as she speaks.
She doesn't stop bouncing and he doesn't move.
“It’s too hot,” she announces, setting her drink down in the grass he hasn't mowed in a while. She sweeps her mane of dark hair over one shoulder and braids it smoothly, fingers twisting in a well-known dance.
Jamie sits up, and while she’s distracted, sneaks a few gulps of her lemonade. The beverage is the perfect combatant to the sun, though his head and neck aren't covered with as much extra insulation as his companion’s.
He’s just laying down again when she picks up her (now significantly less filled) glass. Her head turns from the drink to him and back to the drink; Jamie tries not to snicker as she leans over the side of her chair, raising both her eyebrows over
her his shades and holding the glass out.
The cup gleams in the sunlight, perspiration from the ice dripping down its sides.
“I see the gnomes work quick,” she says.
He raises a single eyebrow, something she can't do, and shrugs in the grass. “It would seem so.”
She sticks her tongue out at him and leans back in her chair, straightening her legs and stretching them out as far as they can go. She’s in a loose Panic! at the Disco t-shirt and high-waisted shorts that stop mid-thigh; Jamie closes his eyes again. The hotter it gets, the harder it is for him to remember to not notice her legs.
“Panic! at the Disco?” He throws the question into the ether.
“The ticket was cheap,” she says, nonchalant.
He waits for her to elaborate, but she doesn't.
“They’re not close by,” he says. “Also, even I’ve heard of them, which means they've gotta be expensive.”
“You could come with me next time.”
The offer isn’t a new one, but he re-considers it anyway. He thinks of being in a huge crowd, jam-packed with conflicting thoughts, feelings, emotions, all of them crushing him--
“Yeah, I’ll pass. Masses of screaming fangirls aren't really for me.” He taps the side of his head.
“Jamie, you really need to get out more. It’s summer! People do stuff during summer. You can't hide in my backyard forever.”
And there it is again. “But it’s so nice here.”
He catches her look and sighs. “Oh, I dunno. Maybe I’ll get a J-O-B. You're right, though.”
“Come on! We can go practically anywhere. Be more creative.”
“We could get jobs at the same place--it’d sure save me the gas money.”
“Maybe a little more creative?”
“We could find an art shop?”
“Seriously? That’s the best you can come up with?”
“Get it? An art shop? More creative?”
“Yeah, well, I don’t work very well under pressure. But," He elongates the word, making it two syllables. "...working together could be fun. Think of all the money we could save earning!”
Even he has a little trouble working that last sentence out. “It made sense in my brain…”
“Y’know, I don't know why I even bother,” she says, swirling the last bit of liquid in her cup. The ice clinks against the glass.
He grins at her like an eight-year-old told to say cheese! “‘Cause I mow your lawn for free?”
“Since when?” She gestures at the too-tall lawn.
He makes a face. Oh. Right. “Umm...My stunning wit and rapier looks? Wait, I meant--”
She smirks and downs the rest of the lemonade in one gulp. “Sure. Let’s go with that.”
A shout out to my young nephew, who wrote the skeleton of this story with me on a summer day much like this one.