Patricia subtlety nibbled her lower lip every time she noticed Cu Chulainn staring at them. They stood across from one another awkwardly leaning against the kitchen counter. Her ankles formed a cross and painted toes laid flat and folded against the cold jade granite. Cucu was infatuated with her poise, her beauty, her voice; he felt himself flustered and re-imagining the arousing imagery even while staring at her.
“What are you thinking about, friend?” She asked with pursed lips. Cucu had to literally shake his head to escape the ape-like train of thought.
“You don’t want to know.”
“I asked didn’t I? I mean that’s the first step to a meaningful- I mean…just tell me what’s on my- on your mind.” She turned her face out of sight, cringed, and mouthed the word, “Wow”. Cu Chulainn could see and feel her anxiety- he related, reached out and put his warm palm upon her clenched fist. Her head whipped back around to gaze at the act of affection. Pat smiled. “Sorry, sometimes I can’t…focus- I get so nervous and then I can’t-“
“Me too.” Cu Chulainn replied warmly. “So what was this all about?” Cucu gazed all around the room, pointing with his nose. Streamers of yellow and green left runny dye stains on the floor. Bottles of half emptied alcohol lined the angles where the counters met the ground, causing amber liquid projections. Strange remnants of food littered every surface of the house and human limbs were sticking out from under tables and overturned cushions.
“It’s my last weekend home.” The answer was sharp as if the idea was cheapened by the obvious repetition. Cu Chulainn was clearly effected by the stranger’s response. He felt antsy and claustrophobic. It was clear the scenery needed to change.
The rustic backyard deck led out to high grass framing the Pacific Ocean. Undulating white and amethyst echoed a waning moon intertwined with the rising sun. “Wow, I’m never up this early- it’s gorgeous.” Patricia whispered with a liquor-drenched rasp.
“Indeed.” Cu Chulain wasn’t looking at the horizon. He was looking at what he’d hoped was a future. His smitten gooey center was being smashed by the apparent theme- time was running out, and infatuation can only go so far. “Where are you going? School?”
“Yeah, planning on hitting a few stops on the way though.”
“I want to see the world. Put myself in harm’s way. I don’t want to be the sheltered Orange County girl everyone steps all over in class. I need to-“ She thought for a moment Cu Chulainn was feigning interest but without missing a beat he replied.
“Let the world leave it’s mark?”
“Yeah. Eloquently put, Cucu. You’re pretty charming there, Mr. black-sheep-stranger-guy.” She slapped the palm of her hand in his as they shuffled through sand; he caught it quickly and didn’t let go. He thought to himself he’d never let go.
“You’re not so bad yourself, mermaid.”
“Mermaid? C’mon you can do better than- no, no, no!” Cu Chulainn couldn’t control himself; he swooped her up in his arms in one motion and ran toward the glistening sea. Her screams turned into guttural laughter. With every hurried step closer to the water, Patricia wanted to yell less. She found herself anticipating the cold water slipping up her slinky dress and causing the chills to sweep through her thighs and chest. Her eyes transfixed onto Cu Chulainn’s profile and she became silent. Cucu’s feet treaded water high and fast- kicking beads of froth and crystalline fragments into slow motion. The first wave hit them- coating both in freezing morning tide. They came up gasping; waiting to be shocked by the rising sun. Cu chulainn gently brought her jaw to his and usurped her mouth into his. Pat’s hands gave way- shooting up to the back of Cu chulainn’s neck- his hair tufting through her clenched fingers. Together their eyes closed tight; the grey and black muffle of lids turned to a poppy-orange glow. In unison they witnessed the sun rise over the horizon- shooting a blinding pillar of splintered light across their side of the world. Pat turned to Cucu and grinned wide. “I don’t think I can trust you.” She laughed.
“Well I thought I’d leave my mark.”
“Oh yeah?” She followed the remark with small kisses to his chin.
“Because if I didn’t run you over here in time…while the Sun was coming up, I could have fucked the whole thing up.” Another wave came to end his sentence with a gob of salty water.
“Fine line between assault and romanticism, huh?” She became adorably impish and sarcastic.
“You like it.”
“Shut up” She kissed him again.
“Okay. Hey, Pat?”
“Can we do this again sometime?” Cu chulainn asked coyly.
“What time were you thinking?”
She took no breaks from kissing him back as they paddled their feet together- bobbing along the sea. “Shut up, Cucu.”