Though her family were suspicious of her willingness to sleep on the sofa, Gina didn’t get unlucky until the eighth day when she headed out to see Enzo. When she grasped the doorknob and turned it, she was interrupted by a foot tapping on the floorboards. She turned slowly to see her sister staring at her, hand on her hip.
“And where in the ever-loving hell are you going this late?”
Gina bit her lip and said: “Um, out.”
“Okay, let me be a bit more specific: Where are you going once you make it outside?”
“Just… going to walk around town.”
“An evening walk, huh? Can’t sleep?” When Gina nodded, she continued: “Well, I can go with you then. I can’t sleep either.”
“No!” Gina blurted before she could stop herself. “I mean… you’re not even dressed and I have to get out, like, right now, so—”
Marta laughed and shook her head, keeping up the rhythmic tapping of her foot. It sounded like thunder in the quiet house, and Gina almost told her to stop, in case she woke up their dad.
“You don’t want to be seen in town with the best sister ever?” she asked. “I’m super hurt, so maybe you should explain what you’re actually doing and I’ll consider not smashing a few plates and waking our folks.”
Gina pouted. “You’re so mean.”
“Nah, I haven’t done it yet. Go on, Gina.”
She took a few seconds to say it: “I’m meeting with a guy.”
Marta’s shoulders dropped, and she sighed: “Ah, so you’re going out to do boring kissy stuff.”
“No! Or… no. Maybe not. He hasn’t kissed me yet.”
“And yet, you look like a fucking beet in the face.” She smiled wickedly, but then the corners of her mouth dropped and she rubbed the back of her neck. “Do you have to meet him in the middle of the night? I know you’re tough and all, but you’re still only sixteen and I don’t know…”
Gina confirmed that it had to be at night. She had had the same thought, but when she asked Enzo, he told her his dad wouldn’t let him go out in the day. Even though it was summer, he had to do all kinds of classes and lessons with tutors, but at night he could slip out of his room window and meet her.
“Oh my fucking…” Marta covered her eyes. “Gina, there are so many reasons you shouldn’t…”
“Please don’t tell daddy. Enzo’s super nice and I really, really, really want to see him.”
Her older sister tugged at her long braids and said:
“Go on then.”
“Thank you so much, Marta! You’re the best—”
Marta cut her off. “You’re only gone for, at most, two hours and you better be armed. I’m going to stay up so if something goes wrong, call me. I won’t tell dad, but if he finds out, you’re going straight under the bus, missy.”
“If they find out, I’ll say it was all my fault.”
“Because it fucking is,” she laughed. “Go on, before I regret it.”
Enzo didn’t know the town as well as her, despite living here fulltime, so he looked embarrassed when Gina asked if he knew any other places they could ‘visit’, so to speak. After a little while, he came up with a place anyway, though.
“It’s just… I don’t think we’d be breaking in or anything but maybe we could talk. That’s okay, right?” He said in a way that suggested it wasn’t a big deal, though it sounded like he wanted to talk as much as she did.
They had spent the past evenings breaking into places and practising lockpicking. That was only for less than half an hour, and then they spent the rest of their time together talking. Sometimes she told him about her family and Monte Vista. Other times he told her about his tutors and all the activities his dad had him do, like horseback riding, fencing, and playing several instruments. She had long since admitted to herself that she liked the talking most of all.
“We don’t have to break in anywhere tonight. I think talking would be nice,” she said.
The place he took her to was up a gravel path, situated on a grassy plateau overlooking Collesena. He told her it was a place where other teens liked to hang out after school and on weekends, but it was empty this late at night. It was clear right away that this was a place where the local youth gathered – beer cans, cigarette butts, and the remnants of a bonfire reminded her of her own hometown and how she spent time with her friends at home.
Enzo walked her out to the edge of the platform, to the rickety old railing and she took in the scenery below. They took turns pointing out the places they had already broken into, and the one place that they had failed to get into, when she wasn’t quick enough to disable the alarm. It was incredibly lucky that they had managed to run off before anyone saw them.
Little by little, they ran out of words and instead communicated in glances, chuckles, and awkward smiles. The two hours Marta had given her were up much too soon, though for the last thirty minutes together, they had hardly shared a word.
Gina came home late, because as they said goodbye, he hugged her extra tight and, stumbling over his words, asked if it were okay that he said she was pretty. She clung to his shirt that smelled like detergent and almond soap and nodded because her word supply still hadn’t recovered.
They gave up on the breaking and entering after that. They talked about the buildings they were going to visit and even looked at cars, parked outside buildings without alarms and with stupidly easy locks. It just didn’t have any appeal anymore. Instead they walked around town, fingers or arms intertwined.
It was a new experience for Gina, who had always at least been able to utter a good swear or two, but on those evenings, only few words came to her. She spoke when he asked her about home. About her life and experiences and her plans for the future. He spoke when she asked him about the same things. But always, it felt like his hand around hers said more.
The thought of kissing him always lingered at the back of her mind, but it wasn’t until nearly two weeks had passed that she saw her chance.
They lounged on the grass by a lake in one of Collesena’s parks, her head resting in his lap. His hand came up to touch her hair. The very tips of his fingers softly—so softly it could have been an accident—brushed her cheek.
“You’re pretty,” he said, blushing furiously. “And really cool.”
“Do you like me?”
He touched her hair again, this time more deliberately, and nodded.
“A lot. Do you—?”
Gina sat up. “I think you’re gorgeous and I want you to kiss me.”
His mouth fell open like a fish’s and closed again. “But—that is—I couldn’t do—I mean…”
“You don’t want to?”
“Yeah, but I’m afraid I’ll do it wrong. I’ve only kissed one girl and it was pretty bad. I don’t think it’s supposed to be that wet.”
She chuckled. “All the boys I’ve kissed shoved their tongue down my throat right away and it was so bad. If you don’t do that, you’ll do fine.”
Enzo sat up next to her and moved closer so he could snake an arm around her shoulders. He was only centimetres from her, and she could smell mint on his breath. With a small chuckle she asked if he had brushed his teeth for this.
“No. Or—yes. That is… yes.”
“I’ve wanted to kiss you really badly,” he said. “But I don’t know if…”
She moved in before he could babble further. Time stopped when their lips met. It was even better than she had imagined—his lips were soft and warm, his arm tightened around her, and he didn’t use any tongue until she subtly opened her mouth to let him in.
When they came up for breath, he clung to her, as though he were afraid to collapse.
He whispered: “I think that was okay. Do you think it was okay?”
Gina let out a shaky breath, while her fingers traced the collar of his shirt, and said:
“That was very okay. But it’s like lockpicking: You should practise a lot to get really good at it, so it’s a good thing I’m here to teach you.”
“Yeah, you’re a good teacher.” Enzo smiled. One of his hands traced the line of her bare arm, and it sent tendrils of fire racing down her spine. “You’re so different from everyone I know. So… alive.”
She cocked her head. “What do you mean?”
“I don’t know. It’s hard to explain.”
He didn’t explain. Instead, he kissed her again. He did it with more confidence, with hands that carefully started to explore the lines of her back and came to rest on her waist. One kiss took the next, followed by more and more that made her entire body hum and her head spin. By the time they finally disentangled from each other, her lips were swollen from all the kisses and she was warm to her core.
They shared one last kiss before they said goodbye, the deepest it had been that night. It was only the thought of the coming separation that drove them, of course. And yet, in the coming years, Gina would sometimes wonder if deep down she knew that it wouldn’t just be the last one that night—but the last one, full stop.
Need a recap of previous events? Head over to my recap page.
Author’s notes: Ehehehehe. Oh man, you’re going to hate me next week :’)
Before you all pelt me with rocks, though, may I add: Gina’s comment that all the guys she’s kissed shoved their tongues down her throat? It’s… pretty auto-biographical. If you’re a guy reading this, don’t. I personally stayed with the one guy who didn’t do that. Read the mood, dudes.
I’d also like to add that if you missed it yesterday, today it’s been exactly five years since I posted my first SimLit story 🙂 I made a celebratory post yesterday about all my different stories through the years that you can check out if you like. It also has a few announcements for future projects that you might find interesting (you can always skip to that rather than read all about my embarrassing old stuff).
With that, I’ll take my leave and wish everyone a good weekend. If it’s sunny where you are, enjoy it and remember sunscreen! 🙂 I’ll see you in the next post,