We went to the beach today, the three of us: Gail, Silvia, and me. Gail packed gourmet sandwiches and Silvia brought wine and chocolate; I drove, and supplied all manner of towels, umbrellas, and chairs, none of which I used.
The day was fine and windy, and the water was cold. The tide was coming in when we got there, and the result was a powerful undercurrent and wonderful big waves over whose crests I swam so that I could be closer to the pod of dolphins that was swimming offshore about a quarter mile. I floated there and watched the waves break from the other side, big curling mountains that died in a furious rush of white foam and sand. The noise was all around me, filled my ears, the brine was in my nose and on my lips, salty and fresh, green horizons beckoned and the black crescent fins of dolphins punctuated the troughs of the swells, my eyelashes were sparkling with tiny crystals of dried salt. My senses were completely overtaken by the ocean, and it was amazing, like always.
My skin is brown, but not as brown as Silvia's. I look to shore and I can see Gail's fair, tall frame moving about, organizing, planning, and Silvia's much smaller, much darker one already lounging in my bright orange chair, the brim of her big black beach hat flopping on the wind. She has one hand at the crown of her head, so that that the hat won't be carried off in a gust. They're talking to each other, and Silvia's looking up at Gail from her seat as Gail moves back and forth, setting up a fortress of blankets and umbrellas. Silvia's lime green bikini stands out sharply against her skin, in contrast to the monochrome figure of Gail, who is blonde, and pale, and wearing a light gold suit that flashes brightly when she turns in certain ways. She is like a ghost next to Silvia, in so many ways. I don't want to watch them talk, so I submerge and forget who I am for a moment.
I am surrounded by muted crashes and cool light and the comforting rhythm of the sea. Slippery strands of kelp caress my legs, and then I am crashing through the surface for a breath with the wind and sun and raucous cries of the gulls all around me. I submerge again.
When I finally make my way back to shore, Gail and Silvia are eating sandwiches and chatting. Chatting. Ugh! I hate her right now for her oblivious cheer and the attention that Silvia is giving her. I hate her for making good sandwiches and for not knowing that I don't love her. I don't want her here, and my calm from the ocean has broken, now that I am between the two of them and no one is speaking to me. I hope they don't. The first person who tries to engage me is going to get it. But they don't. They don't try.
I hate myself for being this way. I hate myself for wanting only everything that I cannot have. I hate myself for wanting to buy everything, and then for not being able to buy the things that matter, because contrary to popular belief, there are some things that cannot be purchased for any price. Real things, things that you want to have with you always.
I want to rail against myself, but the effort is too great, so I sleep.
The sand is making glassy scrunching noises underneath my belly, and I am hot. A bead of perspiration rolls from my temple and tracks down my cheek. The sun beats through the clouds and the wind breaks on my arms and back like a battering of butterfly wings. The persistent crashing of the waves lulls me to sleep and I dream.
When I wake, still sullen, I walk to the beach showers, and Silvia follows. She stands close behind me, and, as I am still angry, I do not acknowledge her presence. She moves closer and wraps her arms around my belly, squeezing me until I cannot possibly ignore her. I turn around and look down at her, wondering what she could possibly want of me. She stands on tiptoes and licks the salt from my lips, her soft, pointed tongue sliding against mine ever so slightly. The burnished aroma of dark chocolate still hangs in her mouth, and I inhale her even as her lips still linger on mine. My surprise is so profound that I am unable to reciprocate. I feel compelled to close my eyes for a brief second, because I cannot believe that this is happening, and it's all too much for me to deal with, when I am dealing already with such crippling jealousy. When I am brave enough to open them again, I discover that she is looking up at me, her eyelashes at half mast, brown velvet peering through black curtains into my own.
And still I wonder what she wants.
She reaches up and carefully unties the neck strap of my top, letting it fall past my breasts, and caresses one of my cold, rigid nipples with the ball of her thumb, then looks down shyly. She moves away slightly, but I pull her back, forcefully, and just hold her for a moment. She looks up at me again, I see that she is uncertain, and I know then that she's never done this before. I can't promise to be gentle. I can't promise anything right now. I bend down for the kiss, and it is everything it should be. Her nails are digging into my lower back, she feels as though she is trying to push her entire body into mine, and then somehow I really am pushing into her, my fingers filling her up, and she is crying out in Italian, gasping in surprise, forehead pressed in my chest, and fingernails piercing my flesh, drawing blood. She is hot, and slick, and moving against me. She's so light that I'm lifting her up with every thrust of my hand, and she's riding my fingers like the goddamned apocalypse is at hand. I'm fucking her as hard as I dare, when suddenly her heavy lids open and she is looking full and straight into my eyes. She bites me, my neck, my shoulder, before her warm mouth comes to rest over my nipple, which she nips and suckles in turn. I can hardly control myself. I want to destroy her, I want to protect her, I want to own her, but most of all I want to fuck her endlessly, keep this moment suspended in space and time. If I could somehow die right now and have this second be the apex of my life, I would willingly do so.
I use one hand to restrain her, to hold her upright at the waist as I move back and kneel. My fingers are still inside her, and she's begging me not to stop. She moans as I help her legs over my shoulders and spin around so that her back is against the wall. I slowly rise until I am on my knees, and her feet are not touching the ground. From behind, my fingers are still resting in her, twitching only enough to keep her whimpering. My mouth is level with her clit now, and she is my captive.
I lick her, suck her, fuck her with my fingers, while I press her against the wall and hold her up with my other arm. I consume her, utterly and completely. She thrusts her hips toward me, and my fingers are forced out as she raises her pelvis up and forward so that I have better access with my teeth and tongue. I am covering her with my mouth, tongue resting and pulsing lightly on her clit, when she starts to come. Her divine thighs tighten over my ears, so that I can't hear anything but my own heartbeat for a moment, and then she's thrashing, whispering quick words that I cannot understand, things about Gods and Angels and Fathers and Sins. I leave my tongue on the spot as she opens like a flower and flows into my mouth. She is melting on top of me, but I can't stop devouring her, and she's crying, praying, chanting down to the ravenous beast who is elevating her atop this pedestal of flesh and blood that is me. She shudders, moans, and convulses, coming with a fury that makes me want to believe in Jesus Christ. Hail fucking Mary, so very full of grace.
We're sweating, and I'm holding tight to her one leg and waist. I lower her slowly, but she's limp, so I sit, and pull her into my lap, cradling her tiny frame like a baby. She mutters something softly and touches my lips with her first two fingers. I hold them between my teeth softly and she sighs, half asleep, head lolling. I'm completely at a loss, so I settle down and hold her.
I am holding an entire universe in my arms, and I treat it as such: carefully, and with love and respect. I let her sleep.
We've been like this for some time when I hear Gail's voice call out from somewhere outside the stall. She is saying my name, and unlike Silvia, I am not asleep, except for one of my legs below the knee. Silvia wakes, and just as I am about to call back to Gail, she puts her fingers over my lips again, and presses down firmly. She pulls my head to hers, and I am bent double there on the floor, with only the slim width of this little goddess between my legs and torso. She kisses me fully, exploring and nibbling, until my attention is singular and Gail's voice, along with the pins and needles in my leg fade, and the only sound to remain is that of hot blood crashing in my ears.
She moves, and sits. She looks up at me, and finally stands, giving me a small, wicked smile.
"We do not tell. Shhh." She floats one exquisite finger over her bruised lips and winks at me. She straightens her sarong, and turns to leave. "We tell her I was sick in the bathroom, and you cared for me. It will be fine, my dear. We are only friends after all, yes? This need not happen again. We will forget." She flung her hand up and out, fingers spread wide, and wiggled them as she lowered it, as if to say: POOF! As if to say that she would be able to forget it all with a flick of the wrist, as if to say that it meant absolutely nothing. I suppose, for her, it didn't. Hell, I've been there. In a way, I guess I understand. But that doesn't make the terrible rending of my heart any less painful, though I keep my mouth shut.
Nevertheless, my body felt buoyant as I made my way back to the Rover, and I could not stop myself from looping the scene from the bathroom again and again, to the point of distraction on the way home. I even ran a red light, right as she came for about the eighteenth time in my mind. Gail didn't even notice, and Silvia was slumped in the backseat, her huge, dark insect sunglasses changing her face into something nondescript and indecipherable.
She stepped almost directly from the Rover into her car, and was away before I could say anything more than goodbye. Gail stared after her sympathetically and lamented that poor Silvia had become ill at the beach.
"Yes," I said, "Poor Silvia."