The Lamborghini races along the old highway, going nowhere in particular, but going there fast. The road traces the contour of a familiar river; the car becomes a red blur along this road. I am unimpressed by the car. I think it's ugly, but there aren't many like it in the area, indeed there are not many people from a certain income bracket in the area, which makes the car, and its driver, conspicuous.
Strands of my hair whip around my face, threatening to mar the cerise lip gloss I have carefully applied. The wind is strong, but the sun is hot, and it feels good. The flowers on my skirt ruffle with the breeze. My toes, painted red for the summer, are up on the dashboard. Any oncoming cars would have quite a show, but there are none. It's just me, and Justin, and Linda. Linda is the car. He named the car. I try not to judge him too harshly for this.
Unlike me, he is tanned. When I am close enough, I can smell the sun in his skin, as if he's marinated in it. He looks over, and smiles. One eyebrow is raised cockily over his Raybans. God he's good looking, and damned if he doesn't know it. It’s that smile, so disarming, that got me here in the first place. He is charming and aloof, and irresistible to women. He is sure of himself, and sure of me.
At his house, we sit out on the patio, indulging as the night brings cooler air. Wolf Blass, Yellow Label. My toes are in the grass, my sandals long forgotten. We talk of the Mordecai Richler I am currently reading, and sip the wine, wine that will forever taste like summer evenings to me. I am 17, and impressionable. I don't know it yet of course, I feel worldly and sophisticated when I'm with him, but the fact remains that I was young, and a lot of what happened that summer shaped me in ways I am still discovering today.
We sit in 2 scooped canvass chairs; we hold hands between them, watching the sky turn orange, then burn into pink, glare briefly in red, and then go out in a convoluted blue. There is music playing somewhere, it goes well with the wine, intermingling somewhere between my tongue and my heart. He pulls me to my feet. We dance in the grass; there isn't dew on it yet, but it feels cool between my toes. We don't dance cheek to cheek, that only happens in the movies; we dance cheek to chest since in my bare feet I am a good foot shorter than he is. His shoulders are so broad that I get lost in them when he holds me tight.
He tells me I have beautiful collarbones, then leans down to trace their contour with his tongue. Finally, he reaches my mouth. He controls his desire, taking his time, driving me crazy. He leaves me breathless in the moonlight with his kisses, and then leads me back inside.
A little while later, he is tending to my carpet burns. We laugh, and languish, and polish off a second bottle of Yellow Label. I sit between his legs, leaning against his chest, and I feel him stiffen with excitement, ready to go again. He may be a decade older, but he’s as eager as any boy I’ve ever known, just far more deliberate.
As he takes a nipple possessively in his mouth, I think to myself, So this is growing up.