Sitting in a pleated skirt with calf high black steel-toed boots, she was busy playing a handheld game while listening to music from a mp3 player turned all the way up. Her hair was red and cut in a short bob around her face, with a smattering of freckles and a cute button nose sitting perfectly between her eyes. Her shirt was a long-sleeved white and blue blouse with a thin black jacket pulled over it. A flint in the light told me she had a nose piercing and that she had on heavy eye shadow. I stopped a foot from her and leaned down, pulling an earphone away from her head.
“Ready to get started?” I asked with a smile.
Rather than freaking out like I expected her to do, she looked up, then down my frame and up it again before switching the game off. She shucked her black jacket onto the chair and held out her hand.
“I’m Monica,” she said in an almost breathless quality.
Looking at her, I couldn’t help but be amazed by her pristine features. Her shapely, kissable lips, her lean figure, her impressive bust… I had never seen a girl like her before. I shook my head and muttered an apology before introducing myself.
“I’m Kevin,” I said, shaking her hand. “And you aren’t supposed to be wearing make-up or a nose stud. Can you take it off here or do you need the bathroom?”
“I can take it off here,” she said, and quickly did so. “I’ll need a bathroom for the make-up.”
“Just don’t come tomorrow with any of it on and you should be fine. And if you bump into Miss Gracie, just do what she says. She can be a real pain sometimes, thinks we’re all her children.”
“I’ll watch out for her. So, Kevin, you’re a counselor here, eh?” Monica asked as we walked from the administration building and out into the warm summer air.
“Have been for almost a year, yeah,” I replied, leaning on a wooden railing overlooking the baseball diamond.
“So you must know all the spots to go to not to get caught, eh?” She said, grabbing my hand and tugging on it. “Show me the dark side of First Lutheran of San Antonio!”
I chuckle and lead her around the administration building past the dormitories and showers (which I point out) and towards a place that nobody ever goes, except me.
I push the rusted iron gates enough to allow her to slip under the chains before ducking under them myself. Walking among the dark foliage with her, I feel relaxed. Maybe today wouldn’t be such a bad day after all?
“Penny for your thoughts?” She asked me, reaching into her purse for something.
“Oh, just thinking maybe this won’t be such a bad birthday after all,” I said, chuckling at her astonished face,
“It’s your birthday! You serious?” She seemed astonished at the idea.
“Well, yeah. Why?”
“I don’t know, it just seems so weird that you’d be here on your birthday, y’know? I know if it was mine I’d be lounging around in my bedroom in my underwear.” She said, blushing faintly at the last part. She pulls a lighter and a hand-rolled cigarette from her purse with a cry of delight. As I watch with a bemused smile, I watch her light up the cigarette and take a long pull off of it, holding the smoke in her lungs before slowly blowing it out of her nose. She passes me the cigarette, making me raise an eyebrow.
“Uh, no thanks. Don’t smoke.” I say waving it away.
“I imagined that, but this isn’t tobacco,” She says, giving me a rather pointed look.
“You mean that’s…” I said, pointing at the burning cigarette. She nods. She offers it once more, and I take it, holding it awkwardly. She rolls her eyes and takes it back before taking a long hit off of it.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t really know what to do with it and me -” I begin to ramble before she closes the distance between us.
“Hotbox!” She whispers harshly before sealing her mouth over mine, breathing out the smoke into my lungs before slipping a tongue into my mouth. Inhaling deep, I get a scent of lilacs and roses from her, along with a heady scent of what I have to assume is the weed. She clutches my hair with her hands and pulls me down deeper into the kiss, smoke billowing out of our noses as she continues to do battle with my tongue, biting at my upper lip to get me to play along.
After nearly ten minutes of playing around, she pulls back, arms looped around my neck. “How ya feeling?”
I stare at her and smile. “Light as a feather,” I replied.
“Never smoked before?”
“Never. Never kissed a girl either.” I admitted, instantly regretting that as I see a devilish look cross her eyes.
“Oho, so I get to corrupt the little church mouse? Hee hee, what fun!”
“How about I show you the graveyard instead?” I offered my head in the clouds from the combination of the first hit of weed ever and the amazing kiss that had followed thereafter.
“Ooh, very spooky. I like the spooky!” She said, reaching around to loop her arm around my waist. “Lead the way Churchy!”
I lead us down a worn path covered in vines and wild bushes, two of which we have to stop and pick briar thorns from her pleated skirt. She lights up another joint and is passing it back and forth between the two of us, and by the time I reach the graveyard proper I am completely high. I’ve never felt this feeling before as if my hands were lighter than air. And thoughts, unbidden and all of a sudden, come forward and I blurt them out. It’s all a very surreal experience for me.
“So this is the graveyard? Gotta admit Kev, this is pretty cool.” She said, joint hanging from her lips as she stuffed her hands in her jacket. She hops up onto a grave marker and idly swings her feet back and forth.
“Yeah, I come here from time to time to blow off steam, and talk to the people,” I said, hoisting myself up onto a tombstone next to her.
“Talk? As in to the dead people?” Monica asks, looking at me like I’m weird. I ignore it.
“Yeah, it’s not like they can talk back or anything. I just feel this place has some real primal energy, you know?” I said, smiling at her.
“As long as you’re not talking to dead people who are talking back, you make a decent enough boyfriend.” She shrugged, puffing on her joint.
“Boyfriend,” I said aloud, testing the words in my mouth. I look over at her and frown, “my parents don’t allow me to date, though.”
“Neither do mine, but that’s so not an issue. Just call and set up to stay over tonight at camp. I’ll do the same with my mother and we can meet back up here at midnight. It’ll be romantic!”