I’d been working for a couple of hours on my translations and debating whether or not to text Nathan. He’d told me to let him know when I was working, so he could help. I wasn’t sure whether I really needed his help right now, but I was pretty sure that I wanted it. If I was being honest, though, I really just wanted him. So I decided to send him a text, just to see what sort of response I would get after last time.
“Hey, I’m working on your translations this afternoon, and could use a little help,” I said.
I waited a few minutes for his response, but nothing happened. I hoped Nathan was just busy, and not ignoring me. I decided to keep working. After about half an hour, I got a response.
“I’m making beer can chicken. Come over,” Nathan said.
I was surprised by the text and not really sure what to make of it.
“Okay, thanks,” I said.
I was surprised he was inviting me to dinner. I was nervous, but excited to go. I wasn’t dressed up, but I didn’t really feel like I had any time to change. I was wearing a fraternity t-shirt,, which I guess didn’t matter. It’s not like my Greek affiliation was any big secret.
When I got to Nathan’s house, I noticed the door was cracked open. I knocked softly, but nobody answered. So, I decided to go inside. I wandered through the shelves of books and noticed Nathan outside, shirtless, and BBQing. He was sweating from the heat and drinking a Lone Star. Somehow I had thought he might be drinking something a little fancier, but something about the Lone Star put me at ease.
“Is there anything I can help you with?” I said.
“No. Just grab a beer and keep me company,” Nathan said.
I did what he said. I grabbed a beer out of his refrigerator, and noticed that it was filled with strangely healthy food for a bachelor: arugula, eggs, strawberries, orange juice, and beer, lots of beer. I wandered outside and immediately started sweating.
“It seems unusually hot for the end of September,” I said.
“You should just take your shirt off. You’ll be a lot more comfortable,” Nathan said.
The statement on its own seemed a bit much, but somehow coming from him, it made sense. Nathan was nothing if not pragmatic. I tried to remember what I was wearing underneath now. Luckily, I had on a nice bralette, a black lacy thing I’d worn to the frat party last night. I decided that since I looked good, it really wouldn’t be any different from a sexy bikini top. This was how I justified it to myself. So, I took my shirt off.
Nathan glanced over at me and smiled.
“See? I bet you feel better already?” Nathan said.
I watched him as he pulled the two birds off the grill and set them on a large picnic table on the deck. I noticed Nathan had a pool behind him that I hadn’t seen the last time I was here. I wondered whether he’d follow me, if I jumped into the water.
The air outside was still and humid, which made the temperature feel hotter, even though the sun was finally beginning to set. I went back inside quickly to get us both another beer, and when I returned, it was as if Nathan had read my mind. He was waiting for me in the pool.
“Come in, the water is warm,” Nathan said.
I smiled at him, kicked off my shorts, and dove in. I was happy to rinse off the remainder of the day, and to do so with him. Plus, I needed a shower and this seemed like a good alternative for now. I noticed almost immediately upon surfacing that my bralette was floating absurdly towards the surface of the water. I decided it was probably pointless to keep it on, so I tossed it away. I felt the warmth of the water on my skin and then the strength and embrace of Nathan behind me. I turned to meet him. It felt like we were floating on a warm bed, as he lifted me up to meet him. I wrapped my arms around his neck and kissed him.
The buoyancy of the water held us together, water sliding between us. It made me more aware of his body and more aware of my own. The waves of our movement washed over me, lost in translation, slipping in tandem, until Nathan found a foothold along the pool’s edge. He steadied himself and I held onto him, wondering how I’d found somebody who was as physically overwhelming, as he was mentally intriguing. I decided not to think about it anymore and just let him take me.