The blonde girl stood on tiptoes when he stood to say goodbye. She always ended up standing that way around him, wanting to see into his face, wanting to match his tall frame.
He wore a raunchy cowboy shirt, and sandals that had seen better days. His hair stood at angles in its unwashed army coif – unwashed being a point of pride, his summer spent untouched by shampoo or chemicals – hair soft like baby-bird feathers at his nape, but unruly hair just the same.
Earlier that evening on the porch in a conversational jag, he managed a phrase so bald that her mouth gaped.
\”Afghan women might be burqua\’d to the tits but you just know they\’re wearing jewellery under there!\”.
He grinned. She was shocked & amazed. Surprised laughter bubbled from her face.
His battered brown hand reached up to slip the baubles from her thin braids, and as he unwound the strands of her hair (shampoo\’d, controlled, contained), she felt something in her stomach softly burst, like
water balloons on a hot afternoon.
Stretching out her hand to touch his collarbone, she heard herself say,
\”Hey…you make me feel like a Natural Woman…\”
and the blonde girl was happy inside, like warm grass in the park on a summer day.