What About Your First Time?
I was 17.
We were by the coast, for the summer.
The White Cliffs of Dover.
We were alone, atop our very own cliff.
A blanket and some cheap cider.
The golden hour had just drawn in.
That hour photographers love, just before sunset.
Everything is, well, golden of course.
The day was clear, perfectly clear for England.
The sun’s falling glow was sprinkling little shards of pure white reflection all across the ocean in front of us.
Too bright to focus on any one spot of it.
She said she hated summer.
Could you imagine that?
For an English woman?
I felt betrayed, I was in love with the summer.
But, I was in love with her much more.
Much, much more.
So, I agreed, I ignored the natural beauty all around me, the birds, the gentle breeze, the comfort of the thick green grass beneath me.
I told her I hated summer too.
She smiled, a rare glow.
Then stood up, her back to me.
She turned, still smiling and outstretched a hand.
I accepted and let her pull me closer to the cliff edge.
The height of it all made my feet feel light and my stomach heavy.
She dropped her dress, down her body, with the kind of slight of hand I imagined must have been practiced for years before.
I hoped that practice was alone.
“I want you to make love to me” she said.
I walked closer.
I went for a kiss.
She turned her face away and put her head on my chest.
I wasn’t very confident at kissing back then, this didn’t help.
“I hate summer” she said again.
For some reason this made me calm.
Her being so close, and her despair.
She must have sensed it.
She grabbed my hand and pulled it into her crutch.
Then walked us both back as she gave me that kiss I so needed.
It felt as perfect as you could imagine.
Then I paused.
I could feel the edge too close.
She said it again.
“I hate summer”
She got so close to the edge my amour immediately replaced itself with a biting fear.
She was too close,
She wasn’t even looking back behind her as she walked.
“Be careful” I begged
But she just smiled, a smile I’d never seen on her.
And then she stopped smiling and she stopped walking.
“My heart is not here” she said. “Life is a benign tumour teasing at death. The party trick of some wicked child in a universe light years away”.
Her words seemed rehearsed.
“I’ve seen something else..”
And with that she took one final step back, and she was gone.
My brain reacted slower than it should have.
That feeling will never leave me.
It’s one of the most intense emotions I’ve ever had and it only lasted a matter of seconds.
That mixture of fear and of hope.
Fear of what had actually just happened, and the still present illusion of hope that it hadn’t actually happened.
You miss a million close calls with death, or your friends do, your pet does, whatever, where that hope usually turns to elation, dashing all fear.
But not that time.
That was my first and last time.
I’ve been here ever since.
What did you think?
I know nobody in here actually admits that they committed their crimes.
But I, I really didn’t commit that crime.
But what witness?
What motive of hers, for suicide, in the arms of her loved one, on such a fine summer’s day, and naked.
Of course they didn’t believe me, of course.
She hated summer.
Of course they didn’t believe me.
What English man or woman hates summer?
Well, I guess, I do now.
I’ve hated summer since that day.
Actually, maybe before, I sometimes wonder if she ever said that at all?
That she hated summer.
Maybe I just wanted her to hate it too.
To hate it all too.
Like I did.
Maybe I scared her.
When she said her heart wasn’t with me?
That look in my eyes after she said that.
Maybe I made her jump.
Maybe I pushed?
The mind fogs...
But my memories of out there are all I have left.
They must be good ones.