Katiebird suggested a romance long ago, and I said it would happen eventually.
Saturday, July 18, 2015
Young Love in the Time of the Junta
Hm. That would have been a good name for a movie or something. Directed by nobody, and I once again end up a spectator.
For the summer, we’ve moved our bed to the screened-in porch, and the kids to screen tents (boys in front, girls in back). Guillermo and Maria remain in what used to be the guest bedroom — they say they don’t mind the heat, and they leave their window open so they can hear (and shush) the boys. We do the same for the girls, of course.
So last night, I woke up from a nightmare about a guard dog at some kind of camp (seems like most of my nightmares involve a dog attacking me). I don’t get back to sleep right away from one of those, so I figured I could grab a beer and sit out in the driveway with a dog that would only lick me to death. I was trying to be quiet, because I didn’t want to wake Mrs. Fetched or spook the kids outside (or the dog, who would wake everyone up with the racket he’d make), so I used the flashlight to see where I was going. But when I got in the garage, I saw another light through the open door, so I turned off my flashlight and stayed quiet.
It was a new moon night, so it was dark otherwise. But I could see Kim sitting on the edge of the driveway, shining his flashlight down toward the girls’ tent. It wasn’t long before Christina walked up, following his lighted path, and plopped down beside him. Kim turned the flashlight off, and it was dark and quiet again. They talked quietly in their own Spanglish argot, which I’ve learned mostly in self-defense. Translated:
“I can barely see,” Christina said softly.
“If you can see at all, you’re doing better than me,” Kim replied. “I can barely see you and you’re right here next to me.”
“That’s OK. We don’t need to see, and besides, nobody can see us.”
“Makes it hard to see anything to draw.”
Christina laughed, Kim snorted, and they were quiet for a few minutes. Finally, Christina said, “Hey. Did you ask Farf-Dad about getting a scaffold?”
“Not yet. We won’t be doing much inside until it cools off anyway, September or maybe October. We have plenty of time.”
“It’ll be so cool. Don’t you think?”
“Yeah. I think they’ll like it.”
“Maybe we’ll be famous artists some day, and it’ll make the house worth a lot of money to have our painting in the stairwell.”
They were quiet again for a while. I recognized it: people who are completely comfortable with each other might take long pauses in their conversations, but (and it’s heresy for a writer to admit) words aren’t everything. Finally, Christina took a deep breath. “Kim?”
“You wanna kiss me?” She said it fast, probably nervous.
He laughed. “Sure.” Smack — he landed one on her temple or maybe her forehead.
Christina huffed, and was quiet for a moment.
“What?” Kim asked.
“That wasn’t what I meant.”
“Um… what did you mean then?”
“I meant like this.” It got quiet again, except for the breathing. Given the time it went on, she had put a serious lip-lock on Kim, and he wasn’t exactly struggling to get loose.
They finally broke it, and Kim’s voice was muffled — maybe he’d buried his face in her shoulder. “We shouldn’t do that. You’re still eleven.”
“So what? I wanted to kiss you when I was ten. And I’ll be twelve in December — is it that big of a difference?”
“It probably is to our parents.”
“I don’t care. I’m smart for my age; they tell me that all the time. That should count for something.”
“Yeah, but still.”
“You’re not going to do anything I won’t let you do.”
“I know… but that’s what scares me.”
“I love you, Kim. You’re… I trust you.”
He sighed. “I love you too. I wish I knew why, though. I thought we’d be like partners, working on our drawings and stuff.”
“We can still do that, you know.”
“Yeah, but… I don’t know. I guess it’s going to be different now.”
“It’ll be better.”
“I hope so. We need to get back to our tents, though. It’s late.”
“OK. After you kiss me one more time.”
“It’ll be OK. One more time, then I won’t ask you again until after my birthday. I promise.”
“Well… all right.” Again, the quiet breathing, and even longer than the first time. I was starting to consider making some noise, when they finally broke it off. Kim turned on his flashlight again, and pointed the way for Christina to get back to her tent, before standing and walking back to his. I went back inside and got the rum… nightmares got nothin’ on reality (or potential reality) at FAR Manor.
I guess it’s time to have The Talk with all the kids, one at a time.