It was a cool, early fall, day and with the energy of youth we’d played football for a couple of hours straight. We had watchers; two girls. One was a year younger than me, my 17th birthday wasn’t far off, and the other was a year older so 17 or maybe 18. The game over, I used the garden hose to wash off, held it over my head to rinse my face and hair, and gulped some water. I shook my head, finger-combed my long hair back with one hand, and looked around. Everyone had split except the oldest girl, Carol. I had seen her a few times and knew she was a cousin to the younger girl who lived where we were playing that day.
She smiled at me and gestured at the hose. I raised it for her to drink splashing some on her shirt-front. “Sorry…” I apologized for getting her wet.
“It’s okay… what’s left of yours is worse.” I nodded and bent to turn the hose off. As I straightened she glanced over her shoulder toward the house then back at me. “I have a new album… wanna hear it?”
Maybe that’s where the others were. “Sure,” I told her trying to pull the pieces of my t-shirt together.
We climbed the steps to the house to the back porch. Inside the back door and immediately to the left was a bedroom. I guess it was her cousin’s since she went into it. No one else was in the room. She went to the table in the corner on the other side of the bed and picked up an 8-track tape. A triangular corner-shelf about head height above the table held a stereo and she popped the tape in. She pressed the button three times to skip through to the one she wanted. The song started to play. Her back to me she began to sway and I couldn’t help but follow her hips. Mesmerizing. She sang softly as she turned to me fingers busy with her shirt. “Baby, I’d love you to want me. The way that I want you, the way that it should be…”
Her long-sleeved flannel shirt was now unbuttoned. The inside swell of bare breasts caught the overhead light. A hint of right nipple peeked out. She came around the bed. The song slowed down—everything slowed down. I shit you not. I’d experienced that in sports. Where you’re so dialed into the moment… to the game and play… that it all slows down. She smiled and pursed her lips. I saw her breasts were still damp from the wet shirt. She came closer and put her hand on my chest, into the tear in my shirt resulting from the game, and moved it lower to the flat of my stomach. I felt the muscles there tense as she leaned in.
I was 16. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t move. Well, part of me jumped. She pressed her lips on mine. They parted and my body took over … such sweetness I’d never imagined even in the fumbling fantasies of puberty. My hands went to her breasts as she tugged my belt off. Then somehow we were on the bed my hand inside her unzipped pants and hers in mine. I was where 16-year-old boys dream of. I couldn’t believe what was happening. She was gasping, hips bucking under my hand, and I could hardly breathe. It was so right and I was so close…
The door burst open. It was her aunt (back early from shopping with her sister). “Not in my house!” she screeched.
I must have jumped through the wall and into the backyard. I don’t remember racing by her through the door and porch, but I surely must have. I’ve never run so fast in my life. [I take that back. Except in La Spezia, Italy five years later when I was 21 but that’s another story.] Not looking back, I made the two miles to home in about eight minutes.
I never saw the girl again.
I never got my belt back.
I liked that belt.