“Is your mom crazy as well?” he asks, leaning against the door frame to the dressing rooms. I tell him that she’s dead, because she is and I shrug because she’s been that for a long time and he doesn’t apologize. His smile falters just enough to lose the dimple but he doesn’t apologize which is nice.
He says something else about his own mum, something about fashion and I look at the way his lips curl and how intently he looks at me and I can’t help but feel self-conscious. The blue bandana pushes his hair back and it explodes in small curls at the top of his head, a mane of a lion with beauty spots and tan skin. His eyes are brown and golden and green and I want to look at them longer but I look at the ground instead. His name is Marc and he doesn’t think of anything when he runs.
He teases me, and I’ve never been good at speaking up. He looks at me until I lose concentration and smiles at me from across the tracks when I should be listening to our coach. I imagine he can hear my heart beat speed up and feel the heat radiate off of my cheeks and I want to ask him if he knows what it means because god knows I don’t. He says I’m fast and doesn’t look at my face when I mention what parts of my body coach wants me to focus on. He looks at me like he’s confused. He looks at me like he wants to say something or like he’s forgotten my name. When I touch him or when we’re running or when we’re both lying at the edge of a lake, skin wet with silence and sea water, he looks at me like he’s hungry.
When he kisses me - when I kiss him - and I tell him ‘I’m not gay’ he looks at me with pity and regret and a towel around his neck and says ‘of course you’re not’.
Serf meets a girl called Kim who has a friend called Jessica, with bright eyes and pale skin and blonde hair and lips narrower than his. She’s shorter than Marc and stands on her tip toes to kiss me. She’s light and narrow and silver and very pretty. I think she might be in love with me.
Marc is solid and warm and golden. He plays guitar and sings like a sawblades against oak and he looks at me across the campfire with eyes that aren’t meant for other people to see. He likes to use his heights to his advantage so when I do the same and press my lips against his neck when he’s not looking and the moonlight makes everything soft and bright he smirks and presses me into the sand, kissing me, asking if we can stay forever, kissing me. He smiles against my mouth and I think he might be in love with me.
His hand on my shoulder burns through my shirt and when I introduce him to Jessica at the fair and see his eyes flicker, the cotton candy tastes like cough medicine and dust at the back of my throat. I hand the teddy bear to Jessica and see her eyes twinkle and listen to Marc’s silence and I think I might be in love with him.