Posts Tagged water
She could hear before she could see. The sound of waves, but softer and more tangible, like paper being crumbled very slowly. She turned her head to the right and felt the ache from sleeping in an odd position. She turned her head all the way to the left to try and nullify the pain, which never worked. Then she opened her eyes. The sound was the trees, the leaves rather, rustling and blowing while clinging to the branches. The sky was still bright, meaning she couldn’t have slept for that long, in less this was a different day all together.
She rolled over to her side and pushed up to sit. She spotted Danno. He was sitting on one of the slate rocks a few yards away, talking on his cell phone. His pants were still rolled up from the climb and his face had gotten color from being in the sun several hours. She wanted to kiss him. She got to her feet and hobbled over, still weak from the climb and lack of water.
As she approached, Ala saw him pull the phone away from his ear and hold it so that the receiver was directly in front of his mouth. Then he said something very loudly, but the wind made his words inaudible to her. He tapped a button and put the phone back into his pocket. He smoothed back his hair and turned toward her.
A thin smile appeared and he stepped off the rock and met her halfway.
“You were out cold.”
“I know. I was so beat from the climb.”
“I’m sorry,” he said, taking her hand. “I thought it would be a nice way to spend the day.”
“Oh, it was, really,” she said, the fear creeping back that he may be looking for a way to leave her.
“Should we head back?”
This time they walked the outer perimeter of the hill, which was more of a downward ramp, to take their time. Ala could not imagine climbing back down in one piece.
She almost began to cry when the car came into view. She wanted to run, but didn’t risk it, because the boat shoes were sure to fall apart with any added impact.
They got in and Danno turned the air conditioning all the way up. He opened the glove box and took out a pack of cigarette’s that said Shepheard’s Hotel on the gold foil on the front of the pack. He pulled a shiny lighter from his pocket and lit one while it dangled sideways from his lips.
Ala hated smoking more than anything she could think of at that moment. She pushed the button to roll down her window. He turned the air conditioning off.
“I didn’t know you smoked,” she said, trying to sound casual, while also trying to evaluate whether or not the smoking was something she could live with. As if he had asked her to marry him.
“Does it bother you?” He asked, looking straight ahead.
“A little, yes,” Ala said.
She watched his face for a reaction. All she could see were the tiny lines in the crevices of his eyelids raising slightly. He opened the window and tossed the cigarette out. Ala rolled her window up. He turned the air back on.
“What if I told you that I only smoke when something bad happens?” He said, keeping his eyes on the road.
There was a low breeze that brushed across her ankles as she trudged upwards. He had a long stride and a determination toward the direction they were headed. This was a new side to him, who up until now had not seemed rushed to do anything.
She started to feel warm and was sure to take deep breaths. The heat was intensifying and she realized they had not brought any water with them. She never thought about drinking water, but always grew panicky when none was available.
They stopped in a shaded area next to a small stream. She perched on a rock and the icy cold released of some of the pent up heat. He opened the canvas bag and took out the bread. They ate and listened to the birds flap around in the branches. The preserves, though warmed, still tasted refreshing like summer fruit always had to her.
“After we’re finished with this, do you want to see a really great view?”
“Yes,” she said, nodding and tucking some crumbs into her mouth with her tongue.
“We’ll have to climb a little.”
“I don’t mind.” She wiggled her feet around in her shoes. There was no pain, but there was a gritty sweat in some of the creases and she was concerned about blisters forming.
He took her hand and the started in east, up to a small cleft with rock jutting in and out through the middle . She saw what he was thinking. It would be easy to climb up this way instead of going all the way around the base and facing a steep incline.
“You go first and I’ll get behind you in case you slip.”
She nodded and began by stepping her foot into a small crevice for leverage before reaching both hands to grip the brittle stone and hoist herself up. Lifting her body weight was not something she had tried before and proved to be difficult when not being able to stop or rest or lean back for support. She became terrified when it was time to reach for the next rock. She didn’t trust the bottoms of her shoes to grip properly.
She closed her eyes and reached. Her fingers shook, but she was able to pull hard enough for her left foot to find the next step without her looking. She heard his quiet grunting behind her and tried to climb a little bit faster.
“How am I doing?” She said between panting.
“Just fine. We’re almost at the top Ala,” he said.
She smiled when she heard how he said her name with adoration in his voice. Seconds later, her mind flooded when she understood that she was climbing up the side of a mountain with a man he had spent the night with, and had no idea what his name might be.
Ala couldn’t remember if she locked the front door. She didn’t know where her purse was. She even forgot whose yard she was standing in for a moment; seeping with joy she watched her hand graze over her warm shoulder and removed one strap of the sundress. He stayed reclined, unmistakably watching her but exemplified no change in attitude. She spun around, her bare feet touching the smooth stoned patio, and dropped the other strap. She lifted all of her hair and moved her hips from side to side. She was surprised at the ease of her movement. Of course if a giant mirror were placed in front of her while she was dancing, she would most likely stop. Not tonight though.
She spun around and the dress fell off of her. She hadn’t planned for this because of all she had eaten that evening. She immediately jumped into the pool. It was so quick that he, a little drunk by now, must’ve thought she fell in.
She saw the quivering blob of him standing at the edge of the pool through the water as she surfaced.
“Are you all right?”
“Of course,” she said, spitting a stream of water up toward him. “You didn’t have to get up.”
She gazed at the quivering water in the in-ground pool and thought about going skinny dipping. The sun seemed very bright at the time and, while there were very tall shrubs surrounding the yard, she decided against it. Skinny dipping was to be done in the dark. This was, without a doubt, the greatest job she had ever had. Why she hadn’t considered assisting the rich before, was baffling. She curled up sideways in the crook of the chair and drifted off for a short nap.
She awoke upon hearing her cell phone ringing from inside of the house. She jumped up and hurried inside. Her bag was by the front door, along with her luggage she had forgotten about unpacking. She answered.
“Ala, where are you?” It was her mother. While Ala was pretending to be wealthy, she had forgotten to call and tell her parents that she had moved out while they were gone.
“Oh, hi. I, I couldn’t find you or dad this morning and had to move quickly.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, I took a job for the summer.”
“Really? That’s wonderful. Where?”
“I’m housesitting actually for Emmanuel.”
“Emmanuel! I had no idea you had met.”
“At the Neely’s, yes, we talked for awhile and when he found out I was looking for a job, he asked if I would want to watch the house while he’s away on business.”
“And you said yes?”
“It’s the first offer I’ve gotten.”
“It’s really a low key job.”
“You barely know him.”
“But he’s not going to be here.”
“You expect me to believe that?”
“That Emmanuel just met you and asked you to stay in his house all summer and he’s not there going to bed with you?” Ala nearly dropped the phone.
“What in the Hell are you talking about?”
“Everyone knows about Emmanuel, Ala.”
“He has some very strange habits, well sexually, and I really don’t think you should be staying in his house with him.”