Since it was 95 in the shade, we did what any God fearing young couple would do on a lazy afternoon: we sat on the back porch and ate ice cream. Mint chocolate chip, to be precise. Out of the carton, of course, with two spoons. Audrey and I took turns and despite a few unfortunate spills, we finished it off quickly. We weren't exactly cool, but we both felt better.

She leaned back against the screendoor and stretched her arms over her head-very cat like. As the bottom of her t-shirt reached her sternum I had a flash of white skin where the edge of her swimsuit had stopped.

"Nice tanlines there, girl" I said, although I resisted the temptation to trace it with my fingertips.

What is that anyway? She said, self consciously wrapping her arms around her chest and wincing at me as if she couldn't see clearly (something she did often when trying to concentrate). Why are men so taken with the untanned, the pale skin?

I put one hand on each knee, small and brown, and looked at her squarely in the eyes, so she knows I wasn't focused on some other part of her anatomy. (At least, temporarily).

I think it is about anticipation. The what if~that feeling that the pale unexposed skin will be shared with us later, that we will have a taste of something not shared with others. And, also it is the contrast of shades. That cool white next to warm brown, powdered sugar on a stack of warm pancakes. I think it is like that.

Some image, she whispered, smiling at me. She rose to her feet and walked into the house before stopping a few steps inside. A quick turn and her shirt rose above her and flew down the hall. She didn't turn around to see my reaction, but I know she heard the slamming of the screendoor. She was running toward the stairs, but not too fast .


for scribe, by request.