Practice


     On a typical summers day, we would sit in my garden, sipping on tequila sunrises and laughing about the times we shared at school. She would strip down into her bathing suit, black or green or gold but never matching. Her ivory skin would turn shades of pink. ‘Do my back?’ She’d ask. Always. 
     I longed for those summer days of laughter, of intoxication and of fire. I longed for the sound of her voice, the gold in her hair, the emerald in her eyes. I ached for what she calls practice, but what I called love. I ached for her hand in mine, the spaces between my fingers where her own fit so perfectly.

     I longed for the adventures we would take, on the break from school. I longed for her sparkling smile and the fire that I felt when she touched me. ‘It’s just practice,’ she said. 

     One day, I told her, I’m going to marry you. I’ll whisk you away to Paris and we can elope. ‘No way’ she said, ‘I’m with Jake, remember?’ Was it Jake? Or was it Tony? Or Elliot? Or Mark? All I remember is her being drunk when she touched me. 

     She was always drunk when she touched me. And then she would say that she was too drunk, and couldn’t remember a thing.

     I look back on those summer days, grateful for my first love and what she taught about life. And once, she wasn’t even drunk when she touched me.

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