i often sit on the steps of the pond next to my house. warm summer nights and my feet in the water seem to calm my fears and staring up at the heavens allows my imagination to run wild.
for weeks i had seen her, walking briskly in her plaid shorts and white wife beater, obviously getting a little bit of exercise once the temperature was more agreeable. i would meet her eyes, smile and say hello as she walked passed. she kept walking and i went back to splashing and dreaming. i assumed that because she didn't pass by again that she was taking a different way home. perhaps under the bridge or all the way around the pond.
after a week or so i began to think longer and longer about that smile she would flash me. a small blush would creep over my face as i returned my eyes to the sky. one night, i heard her footsteps coming up from the gravel. i noticed her gait was slower and my heart jumped when i did my well rehearsed turn of the head and the smile at her. she was strolling that night. she smiled in kind and waited to see if my body language changed in reaction to her own. i found myself with a grin and a nervous pull of the one side of my hair to tuck it behind my ear so that i might see her better. that's all it took for her, it was obvious that although she was tentative about me, she was sure of herself.
"Hi, mind if i sit?" she said, as she was already sitting, politely, respecting my personal space. i giggled and said of course. as usual i lowered my head in a submissive and shy way that i just can't seem to overcome. she sat with her elbows on her knees and her hands grasped together. shoulders square and assured. i thought i might vacillate and fall face first into the water and giggled a bit at the thought.. before she could ask why i was laughing i said, "i'm nina, and you are the walker of the green belt." with that goofy smile i wish i could tame, i turned to her to meet her eyes for a minute. "I'm Mel." "hi Mel, walker of the Green Belt" i smiled and said, " you are not walking tonight." "No," she said, "i was beginning to wonder if maybe i was missing something. every night i see you sitting here as i walk by, i decided you might know something more about relaxing than i do. so i decided to try it your way tonight. what are we doing here on the stairs with your feet in the water?"
"it depends, it changes every night" i said. "sometimes i pray or meditate, let my imagination float out on the water." " what are you most comfortable with?" she said, i smiled.... "its all the same thing to me really." "okay, so that explains why you are sitting here.... but why are your feet wet?" i laughed with my head back and loud enough that in the distance a dog started barking. "i dunno, because it feels good. its still incredibly warm and in a few months it will no longer be here. i guess." "besides, my best feature are my feet and i like admiring the red polish sparkling in the light that bounces off the water." and again i assumed that submissive position and blushed. She moved just an inch toward me. Close enough to reach for my face slowly so i could tell she came to me in sincerity. "your feet are beautiful but its not your best feature." she raised my face to hers and our eyes met for a second and then i felt as if i had been electrocuted. my eyes looked down but she asked me softly to look back up at her. "do you want to kiss me nina?". i couldn't control the tears that immediately filled my eyes, all that could come out of my mouth was, "yes, please...." i remember moaning and leaning into her slightly so she knew i wasn't ready to pull away.
once she pulled away, she asked, "are you single?" i smiled, and sighed as i said that i was. "lucky me." she whispered and grinned. I took a big breath and said, "I am much older than you are, you know that right?" she looked confused for a moment as her eyes scanned my face and saw the fear in my eyes. "you're beautiful" she said. i laughed appreciatively and told her with my exquisitely rehearsed self deprecating humor that its a well known fact that the the dark takes away 30 years. she shook her head. "I am not that young." she said. I held my breath while i waited for her to reveal the magic number. teasing me she didn't continue the topic and cradled my face in her hands instead. "can i kiss you again?" but i didn't spend anytime answering her. i dove into her beautiful lips. licking them, giggling as i bit down on her bottom lip and ran my hands into her short dark hair and pulled...just softly enough to see if she would allow me to bare her neck and let me smell her and kiss her and ramble about how incredible she looked. at first she was worried that i would bite too hard but i promised.... " hickeys are soooo yesterday". she smelled so good. soap and water and the salt from the warm day still lingering on her skin. i released my grip in her hair but did not let go. god, it was so soft and slick
i tilted my neck backward and she moved closer so that she could bite my chin, and move to my jaw and then down to the curve between my ear and my shoulder. she drew in all my soft tissue and bit down until she hit tendon and i let out a guttural moan that might have sounded to some as if i were dying... and in truth, i was so close to a delicious, desperately wanted, little death. and i know she knew it.
she pulled back softly. "i really am not that young and you really are that beautiful". she said again. she kissed me softly, lips, chin, shoulder and then she stood up and kissed my hand like gentlemen used to do to show respect and passion. i said, "instead of sandals, next time i will wear walking shoes and you can show me what your evening looks like." "its a date." she said and she disappeared in the direction she always went each time i saw her. i splashed a bit more in the moonlight and went home to find my walking shoes.