Shiver In My Bones

Camilla digs an ice cube out of her water, presses it between her breasts. I try not to stare at her bare skin, the stretched-out elastic of her bikini top, the bruise she hasn’t addressed. “Wish this weather would make up its mind.”

“Tell me about it.” I pick up my glass, a drop of condensation hits my shirt like a puny bullet. We used to steal her older brother’s G. I. Joes to play with when we were young and Barbie was cool. “As soon as it heats up enough to dry out the yard, it’s too hot to mow.”

“You should get a riding mower.”

“I’ve joined a bring back the wild flower movement.”

Her laugh begins, stops, seems to cause her pain. “Remember how we used to want to move to Texas?”

“I know.” I take a sip of my water. “Pre-climate change days.”

“Back then, the ozone hole was gonna plunge us into another ice age.” She sets her glass down on the table. “Warm weather sounded nice back then.”

“We were going to have horses.”

“We were going to be free.”

“Cammy,” I say, “You still can be.”

“I can handle it.”

“What happened?”

“She said she didn’t want to be with me.” Her bosom heaves. “I haven’t wanted to be with her for months, but when it’s twisted around…”

“You wanna crash on my couch?”

“Thanks, no. I just want to sit here, count my lucky teardrops.”

“I haven’t done that in ages.”

“You haven’t had to.”

T. L. Sherwood