Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Sometimes Marco Polo can go all wrong



Melissa contemplated the dangers of playing pool games with Sarah, the neighbour’s daughter. Was this a good idea? Should you allow a child to move willy nilly around a pool with her eyes closed? There was no point. She was trapped. There was an audience. They had all managed to escape.

She glared at the other adults lounging on the deck with their drinks and their laughter and their chatter. “Bunch of hens,” she thought. Melissa’s eyes lingered on Mark or, as she had referred to him earlier that day “Fresh meat in the neighbourhood”. She was distracted just long enough to miss that Sarah had managed to make her way close to her. Her fantasy was disturbed by a very loud “Marco” yelled in her ear.

Melissa was prepared – actually thrilled - to embrace her defeat. Melissa’s bikini top wasn’t equipped or prepared to deal with Sarah’s exuberance, Sarah’s excitement, Sarah’s grasping hands.

All the friendly chit chat ceased. Time stood still.

Melissa’s considered shielding herself with Sarah’s body and diving under water. But it would be wrong to drown the child. And it was too late. Everyone had already gotten a really good look.

With a faked casualness, Melissa tried to cover herself with her arm. She noted Mark was frozen in time. “Could you maybe… you know… toss me that towel?” Mark closed his mouth and obliged.

Melissa attempted a breezy stroll into the house. “I’ll just get changed.” Really she intended to go drink herself to death in the kitchen.

Alone in her mortification, she considered her options. Suicide. Moving from her home. Killing everyone at the party. Never leaving her house. Her plans were interrupted by the door opening.

“Tom asked me to get the buns,” Mark sheepishly explained his presence.

Melissa took his sheepishness as a good sign that he was going to be a gentleman and pretend it never happened. Mark reached behind her, his arm brushed across her shoulders. He leaned in a little closer. His lips were so excruciatingly close to her ear lobe she could feel his breath. “If you were trying to get my attention,” he whispered. “It worked.”

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