If you didn’t already know it was there, you wouldn’t see it. You’d drive right on by, heading north or south on the little island.
But if you did know, and followed the meandering dirt road, you’d find this lake-side clearing.
A hidden gem nestled in a hidden gem.
Heat lightning makes a small patch of tonight’s sky, off in the distance, more exciting.
Neither of them notice.
“Ignoring for a moment that you claim I’m too young for you, yet have taken me to a known make-out spot, it really is gorgeous here,” she says, without looking at him.
“How do you know it’s a known make-out spot, Devin?”
“Don’t ask me about my business.”
He smiles, as he stares up at the positively star-filled sky he hadn’t really looked at since he was a kid.
They both think about how quiet it is, compared to the volume they just endured at the party. Or because of it. Yet neither brings it up, not wanting to take away from the setting.
She leans back against the windshield of his truck, right next to him.
She laughs when she notices how much further his legs stretch down the hood.
He sees it too. But pretends he doesn’t.
She squirms against the windshield, trying to find a spot where the wiper doesn’t stick in her back.
Without a word, he removes his sweater and taps her on the shoulder. She leans ahead. He puts it on the windshield behind her.
She nods a “thank you.”
He nods an “of course.”
She leans back.
She straightens her shirt. It had taken her a half hour to select. She still wasn’t sure about it. But she had caught him looking at it five times throughout the evening. Maybe four times. The fifth time he could have been looking at the cheese dip she had dropped. Details.
“It’s too quiet,” she says to herself. Out loud.
She hops off the truck and runs around and climbs in the driver’s door.
She fiddles with the satellite radio.
She settles on “The 90s.”
As soon as the payday loan ad ends, and the song kicks in, she lets out a little happy squeal.
He knows the song, but doesn’t really. And likely wouldn’t admit it if he did.
She turns on the headlights.
She bounces out of the truck like a lit fuse.
She bonks him on the head with her open hand on the way by.
“I choreographed a dance routine to this song in junior high!”
“Oh yeah?” he asked.
She let her dancing answer for her.
Her eyes shone more and more as the dance moves came back to her.
As the veil of almost-shyness fell away completely.
As he couldn’t stop staring.
“Cherry cola?” he asks, listening to the lyrics.
“Shush,” she laughs.
She is getting into the dancing.
Come stand a little bit closer.
She invites him over with her finger.
Or it’s part of the choreography.
He slides off the hood of his truck just in case.
She grabs his arm and pulls him out into the spotlight with her.
She mostly uses him as a prop, as he dances the white-guy-who-doesn’t-want-to-be-doing-this dance.
She grabs him by the arms and her smile loosens him up.
The song ends and he starts walking back to the truck.
But next song begins and she grabs him by the shirt. She pulls him towards her, as some boy band announces that they’re back. They don’t mention from where.
She dances with him. She dances around him.
He shakes his head and laughs.
The song fades as it follows the meandering dirt road.
It passes fallen trees.
It passes frolicking lightning bugs.
It arrives at the main road and tries to decide between north and south.