It was Lydia’s idea.
“Well, you like your scarves,” she’d said at lunch, “so why don’t you just make one? You know? With yarn, effort, and ingenuity?”
Isaac had smirked at his girl from across the table. She was wearing one of said scarves. Her hair was tucked into it, framing her face.
Now, they were seated on her bedroom floor with a medium-weight, corn-colored yarn called Bee and Isaac was fumbling. He struggled with the bamboo knitting needles, casting his stitches too tight due to inexperience.
“See? Like this,” Lydia said. She showed him her first two rows, visibly pleased.
“No.” Isaac grabbed up the pattern they were following. Rather, the pattern they’d equally butchered in 26 minutes. “Yours looks…deformed.”
“You thought you were doing something, didn’t you?”
“I followed every instruction. Unlike some.”
Isaac snorted. He leaned back on his forearms, the project draped in his lap as he watched her trace the paper’s complicated text.
“You’re so pretty,” he said. “You look so pretty right now.”
“I washed my hair.”
“And your lipgloss. Is it new?”
She smiled behind the paper. She was watered by Isaac’s praise and he well knew.
“I like it,” he said.
“You’re just trying to distract me from doing this better than you.”
He laughed. In the full-length mirror propped against the wall across the room, his eyes were brief flashes of gold light.
“Okay. I see my mistake. I’m gonna fix it. But first….”
Lydia reached to collect Isaac’s yarn. She reworked the stitches, casting gently enough to succeed the next step. Leaning back up to receive the pair of needles, he puffed out his cheeks and looked to the pattern returned to the space on the carpeted floor between them.
It certainly wasn’t good the second time.
Nor the third.
The quality of their purls revealed how awkward they felt to switch sides with their needles, untrained as they were in the craft, pattern or not.
“Lydia, Lydia.” Isaac clucked his tongue. “I’ve never seen you suck at anything.”
“I’ll have it mastered by the end of the weekend. We’ll see who’s talking then. Imagine all those girls and boys at school, trotting up to me. ‘Oh, Lydia. Where did you get your scarf?’” She examined her nails. She fluffed out her hair, red and gorgeous and full of dying curls. “And once I tell them I made it, I’ll be a legend. An example of artistic excellence and achievement.”
Isaac barked a laugh. He tackled her to the floor, nipping her nose and cheeks with harmless pressure.
“Don’t be jealous.” She tugged his fluffy hair; swatted his arms.
“I’m not,” he said. He flushed at how tender he sounded, how soft his voice had become and how supple he felt in his heart toward her as they kissed.
“Good. Because if you’re nice to me,” she began, watching as he arranged her ball of yarn upon her breasts, much like a pillow, “I’ll let you have mine after I wear it.”
“You’ll scent it for me?”
He tucked his lengthy body beside her short one. Resting his cheek on her chest, he played with her curls. A sudden content and drowsy sensation descended.