“You know, I don’t even remember his name – and I’m okay with that.” she said, lying to her roommate once again.
Natalie’s summer routine on a Saturday afternoon was always the same. After sleeping off a late night clubbing, she’d bike up to Montrose Harbor to her quiet spot, which one could get to only by bike or foot. She felt intensely possessive of her peaceful place as rarely anyone else was ever there but her.
She brought just three things in her basket…a book, a beer and a blanket. She would read, sunbathe, read, nap, and read some more seeing passersby only from a distance.
One Saturday, she arrived to find someone quietly reading under a nearby tree. Apparently unaware of her squatter’s rights to this corner of the park, she had no choice but to ignore him.
With the sun warming her nicely, Natalie covered her long limbs and face with sun lotion then opened her book. She must have dozed off because the tree was shading her now signaling time to go. She turned over and began packing her things.
“What’d are you reading?” The guy from the other tree asked looking down at her.
“The Cider House Rules” she said shielding her eyes from the sun. “You?”
“I’ve read that it’s very good. Lie Down With Lions.”
“Are you to the scene yet?” Natalie questioned.
“Oh, you’ll know when you get there.”
“Looks like you’re leaving.”
“Yeah, I’ve gotten too much sun.”
“Stay a while. We can sit in the shade.”
She really didn’t have anywhere else to be. Natalie moved her blanket to the tree and spread it out so they both could sit. So for the next two hours they talked some but read even more.
“Are you there yet?” She anxiously inquired desperately wanting to know.
“I am now.” He said blushing.
“Will you read it to me?” She said much more boldly than she felt.
“Uhhhh. Let me read it myself first then I’ll read it out loud.”
She was really just playing with him, daring him, to read it to her. She’d thrown down the gauntlet and secretly crossed her fingers.
Natalie had re-read that sex scene a hundred times and they were the most erotic combination of words she’d ever read in her 24 years. Just thinking about it had her spine tingling.
She watched him over the top edge of her book. He was reading on his back, arm folded to prop his head, when she saw his physical reaction. Seeing her take notice, he smiled and rolled onto his stomach.
Once finished, he said, “If I’m going to read this to you, I’m gonna need this.”
He pulled out a joint and with no one in sight; they both took a couple hits. Natalie felt like a naughty schoolgirl or a criminal. He brushed her long hair off her cheek as she laughed nervously.
Lying back, he began reading aloud. His voice was a little shaky at first but warmed quickly to the words as he described a scene he could envision perfectly.
Completely mesmerized, Natalie curled into him resting her head on his chest. She could hear his pounding heart and lightly brushed his muscles with her fingertips. Slowly, he guided her hand past his stomach never missing a word. She should have been shocked.
With the passage complete, he set his book aside and took her in his arms. He softly kissed her neck first then moved over her mouth like a total eclipse of the sun.
They stayed like that for hours, trading between kisses and watching the sunset.
“Do you know of any quieter spots around here?” he asked breathing heavily.
“As a matter of fact, I do.” she whispered.
Sharing one bike, he pedaled them to a secluded place. It was thick with trees and a portal to stunning city lights. With a roaring fire in a pit on the beach as backdrop, there was just enough glow for them to look into the other’s eyes.
As the fire became embers and shouts in the distance faded, he wrapped them together in her warm blanket and pulled her on top of him. She’d never felt so comfortable so fast.
“Do you realize we’ve been in this park for 8 hours?” Squinting at her watch in pitch-black darkness.
“Don’t look.” He covered her mouth with his to stop her from thinking.
Natalie never had another rational thought for the next hour.
They came up stealthy, with no sound or flashlights.
“Get dressed now.” Standing over them were two policemen.
“Shit, shit, shit!!!” he said as he rolled off of Natalie.
“Oh my God. I’m so embarrassed.” Tears filling her eyes as she shamefully pulled on her clothes.
“Names and addresses. We’re issuing you both tickets for public indecency. Your court date is at the bottom.”
“What if I can’t come back for the court date? I live in Denver.” He said with panicked tone.
“Then hire a lawyer. This is a Class A Misdemeanor.”
As soon as the policemen left, Natalie said stunned,
“You live in DENVER? Were you going to tell me that?”
“Ummm. Yes, but there’s something else I need to tell you. I’m so sorry. I’m engaged.” He said trying to hug her.
“YOU are getting MARRIED?” Natalie pushed him hard.
“Yes, next month.” He said sheepishly.
“Well, good luck with that jagoff.”
Feeling beyond foolish, Natalie couldn’t escape quickly enough. She rode home as fast as she could, leaving him standing in the secluded park.
Erasing all memory of him and that day would prove very difficult for Natalie to do.