“You’ve never been on your own roof before?”
Through the telescope we placed on the roof, I could see the moon and all her craters. Deep things. Like large potholes if they could appear in the middle of the desert. Inside those potholes were other potholes layered on top of each other in an endless cycle of digging closer and closer to an iron core. There’s a trillion sponges plastered on the surface of a rock 380,000 kilometers away. They must get lonely up there.
“Nah, I always watched from my room or back lawn. Too scared of heights.”
“Here, let me see.”
He ran a hand up my arm and was greeted with the prickly sensation of goosebumps on skin. I pulled away, watching him look through the telescope at a distance. Despite the dark backdrop, the moonlight made him sparkle. Cool and comfortable was the name of his game. Unlike me, the boy whose heart beat too fast when skin grazed his. The boy who had a hard time keeping cool among the muggy weather on a July night.
“I don’t get what you find so appealing about this” he said, still looking at the moon.
“Well, I don’t get what’s so appealing about you.”
“Was that supposed to be an insult?” His laugher filled up the air. “Because if it was, I’m gonna need to put some real effort into this insult boot camp I’m putting you through.”
He pulled away from the telescope, his emerald green eyes locking on to mine. Everything about him was so different and exotic. His gaze could flip between stern and soft at a moment’s notice but under his stern embrace is when I felt most protected. His ears were also pierced with gold and silver studs a year ago on his 16th birthday in order celebrate his newfound manhood. Every word he uttered made me want to give up my life here in Arizona and follow him somewhere deep into the unforgiving night. My body shuddered. We were almost touching each other now.
“You got it, right?”
I nodded and fooled around with the small blue bag that laid near the top of the ladder leading to our attic. Out came the two bottles of Château I stole from my mother’s wine cabinet last night. Little beads of sweat fell on to the bottle when I placed it down in front of him and tossed the black corkscrew over. Off went the corks and down went the sweet and bitter liquid that burnt my throat.
“You’ve never drank before, right?”
I shook my head, my face starting to get red under the heat. That answer made him smile and he leaned forward to run his fingers along my collarbone. I squirmed under my skin. My eyes were closed but I could hear him place the bottle down and feel him start to explore my body. Cupping my cheeks, nibbling my ears, feeling my chest, another visit to my collarbone, and finally a kiss on my lips. My body wanted to touch his as well but nothing would move.
“I’m a bit nervous, sorry.”
“Drink more wine! You’re way too tense.” He kissed me again. “Plus, this is just like what you’d do with a girl.”
“It was so awkward with girls, I don’t know what to do‑”
He placed a finger on his lips. “Just do what feels natural.”
I kept my eyes closed, just letting my hands move on their own. When I moved closer to him, I could hear the air whistle through the half empty wine bottle before he put it down with a pneumatic thump. I grasped in front of me for him but the empty space was the only thing to caress my palms.
My eyes were stung by the air when I opened them. Looking around, I only saw the lonely blue bag in the corner and two almost full bottles of wine. Almost full? My chest began to ache like someone had swapped all of my insides around. Nothing felt in place.
I knew what had happened. I knew what I did. I didn’t want to look at the back patio. But I couldn’t keep my eyes from wandering over the crest of the roof. The grass was perfectly illuminated by the moonlight as a pool of shiny blood spread throughout the field. It was sparkling almost as if the moon had blessed him and his blood was truly made out of magic. I looked away, my heart kicking back into action and the sweat rolling across my skin.
I needed to run.