K is for…
William wasn’t wearing anything under the Totoro, except chequered boxers with grey socks stuffed in Vans, and he had never stripped in public before. The girl clicked her tongue, impatiently playful, as slowly he began to peel back the warm Kigu skin from his own, wishing he’d covered it in deodorant and praying it didn’t smell like ass. He clocked her eyes as they travelled and traced the outline of skin sucked against a rib cage. The Kigu flopped down at the waist. Suddenly he was a self-conscious cap and sun-glasses raver boy, who didn’t need a shirt and blinded a ten-meter radius with chicken-white skin.
The girl grinned, lifting her own top off, tipping her head to the side so her hair cascaded down in an all-encompassing flood. It was coiled and sprung and vigorously wild. As it flicked his eye and his ear electric snaps from open wires sent little sparks into his Vans. He’d never felt anything like it before. Pineapple and sugar cane licking his nostrils, like Ben’s perfumed coke after he’d stuffed it inside his Dior socks. It caught a syrupy potency inside the hot festival stench.
The girl held out her t-shirt, black and gold bikini strings clung about her neck above a flat, tanned mid-drift and cut off shorts, lightly powdered from the mini dust hurricane of a colourful can-can.
William took the top and smiled as she gazed back at him and, in one swift move pushed the curls, sun and fire, to the other side. One twist remained that she tucked neatly behind a silver looped ear. Then she prodded his bare chest with her finger. Skin on skin like metal on a socket in an electrical storm and his mouth was cotton. He coughed and put the top on over his head, smiling idiotically. They were at the back of the tent, people milled in front of them, the crowd dense but with enough room to move. She pointed down towards her ankles, inked and dirty inside Aztec old-school Reeboks with the high tops and a mass of slightly scuffed laces binding them. She slid her tongue along her top lip and grinned across the sound and William found himself irrevocably and struck down dumb in love.
Twenty-three and a half minutes ago: “What are you?” Her eyes a disarming blue.
“Totoro,” He’d tried not to seem too disarmed, “like, my neighbour.”
They’d met while he was on his way into the tent, she’d been leaning against one of the outside pools and had started the conversation because she wanted to sell him Ketamine.
“Your neighbour?” she said, considering him for a moment and then, “Can I have cuddle?”
William felt the back of his neck prickle a little bit with the buzz, her arms looped around his back and he smelt her neck, softened inside the pineapple and sugar cane, and thought how oddly intimate this was and how he hadn’t been this close to any other human since Natalie. All these bodies moving around him at every moment, thousands of figures and forms he’d passed and he hadn’t been near a single one, not like this. She let go and he had to harshly dislodge his fingers to stop them from holding on. When he could see again he realised his friends had snuck around the poles and gone on without him, moving into the sweaty mass that was tightening up around the guy roped edges.
“I’d like to wear it for a bit,” she said, “I think it could be good for business, please let me wear it for a bit yeah? I’ll give it back.”
“I’m not wearing anything underneath.” She arched an eyebrow, as if to say; boy, please.
William was edging the Kigu off now, someone behind him let out a yelp and some random spangled guy slapped his bear back and tried to pass him an opened can. Once the fabric was below his knees he took it off quickly and handed it to her, pulling down the oversized T. Shirt she had given him past his boxers.
She was smaller than he was and she slipped inside with no effort at all, gracefully zipping up the front, sticking her Aztec Reeboks out the feet and pulling up the hood. Holy shit. He didn’t understand how somebody, anybody, could be that damn cute.
“Isn’t part of your business to blend in and not be seen?” he asked her, as the guys to her right and left all checked her out.
She shrugged, “this is perfect.”