A bead of water crawled down the wine bottle on the coffee table. Trish leaned back against me, head pressed to my shoulder. Strands of hair tickled my nose. Dusk had succumbed and we began the first of two planned nights at her beach house in southern New Jersey.
“I’m glad you came,” she said, just loud enough to be heard over the music.
“I’m glad you let me. This is a nice place. I can see why you like coming.” I kissed her hair and she hummed with pleasure. “Ever rent it out?”
“No, I use it too much. Especially during the summer. After a hard day laying out on the sand, it’s nice to relax on the patio.”
“Yeah, I’m sure you work up quite a sweat getting a tan. It’s a nice night. We could go out there now, I think.”
“Mmm, no. I don’t wanna get up.” She reached a hand back to my face. “I never wanna get up. This feels too good.”
“Don’t get used to it. I can only stay to Sunday and then it’s back to reality.”
“Don’t remind me,” she said with a mock pout.
For a few minutes we sat together. I listened to her breathe and felt her chest rise and fall under my hand.
“Funny, isn’t it?” She took a sip from her glass.
“What’s funny, beautiful?”
“The way things happen. You know, how we met and all.”
“We know each other so well. Even though we’ve only talked online and on the phone, I feel more comfortable with you than just about anyone else. It wouldn’t hurt if you let me win a game, once in a while, though.”
“It wouldn’t hurt if you increased your vocabulary a little.”
“Go to hell. My vocabulary is just fine, thank you very much.” She giggled. “Besides, it’s hard making words with seven random letters.”
“So you think I should throw a game every once in a while. Is that it?”
“Well … Put it that way … ”
“Want me to tell you when I cheat for you or should I let you think you’ve gotten better?”
“Have I told you to go to hell, yet? Jerk?”
“I love you, you know.”
“I love you, too.” She let out a big sigh. “I just wish we’d met before.”
“Before? You mean, before you met your fiancé or before I met my wife?”
“If I remember the math, you would have been twelve when I got married.”
“Shut up. You know what I mean. We have so much in common. We like the same things. We think alike.”
“And I can tell you anything.”
“Yes, you can.” I closed my eyes as I stroked her hair.
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