Page 57

am asking way too much. He tells me to clean the goddamn shrimp, if all I am going to do is stand over him. We argue back and forth a minute and I go out on the deck, bang the slider shut. That’s when Tully slips out, passes me a beer. He is looking up into the sunset with his eyes closed. He is beautiful. He is wrong. Franklin is kind and safe. He is my first safe boyfriend. The only one I have ever gotten serious with. It is time for a bad boy again. Get your heart broken, eat it, come out the other side. Tully watches me as I drink my beer. He says I have eyes that are very emotional. They were the first thing he noticed about me. Then he asks why I stay with Franklin because it is obvious I am not happy. “That’s the million-dollar question,” I tell Tully. …

:

i s s u e

n o 1

He shrugged, bobbing his loose belly. Towel over his shoulder. “A step up is a step up,” he said. He sacked out early, too. And that left me and Tully alone. You aren’t supposed to be in the pool after midnight, but we got in. The underwater lights were off. The water was cold. All you could hear was the air-conditioning for the buildings. Tully was just what I wanted. What I knew he would be. I kissed him later when he rode out on his motorcycle at daybreak. He squeezed my shoulder. He put his hand up my shirt. “Ma’am?” one of the boys calls. A frisbee they’ve been tossing around has skidded under my chair. He mops the wet locks from his eyes and bobs at the edge. He is the handsomest boy I have ever seen. My throw sails over his head and he kicks off, twisting, Layla is too hungover to meet me at the pool. She passed and the other boy meets him in the middle, laughing and out early, on the sofa, and you could hear her throwing up splashing. One of the old duffers applauds. at some point before daylight. Retching off the deck into The fake redhead mounts the board and tiptoes down the the dunes. plank, her hips shifting seductively. She stops at the end and Sundays at the pool are hit and miss. The waitresses giggles. Her friends catcall for a jackknife. She pouts and are her, and a few of the old duffers. Two little boys are holds her arms out front. swimming. Franklin’s in the shower because he is going Then she looks at me. We share a look. And she winks. golfing with Tully. It is his first time in years and he is excited. She cocks her mouth open when she winks, like Marilyn As I was coming out here he said it was a step up. Monroe. Then she dives, making no more splash than if you “What do you mean?” I asked. tossed in a pencil. ¤

FICTION

N I C H E

57

Profile for Katya Cummins

Niche Magazine No. 1  

Niche is an online literary magazine that was designed to be limitless. It aims to provide a place where an array of voices, from experimen...

Niche Magazine No. 1  

Niche is an online literary magazine that was designed to be limitless. It aims to provide a place where an array of voices, from experimen...

Profile for nichelit
Advertisement