Clive, my brother, talked me into it. You could say I was between girlfriends, bedrooms even, except that Sarah, my girlfriend of three years, kicked me out.
For the past month my gear had been in Clive’s garage, his car in the street and me on his dining room floor. I was cramping his and his foxy girlfriend’s style but they were too polite to tell me directly. If they hadn’t worked out something I’d probably still be there.
Tara was Filipino and tiny, four-eleven at best. She spent her every spare moment around Clive’s apartment and was certainly easy on the eye. I wasn’t getting any action just watching her but that wasn’t any less than I’d had with Sarah in the previous six months.
What band was it that had a song about the “dedicated follower of fashion”? Well, Tara was like that. She wore tight hipster jeans below her hips while her g-string hooked over her pelvis. Her tops showed off at least half her rib cage. She didn’t parade about the apartment but just going about her business she gave me plenty to ponder.
She would cross in front of the television and I would forget the tennis as I wondered how all her bits could fit inside her. I mapped out in mind how her intestines must be folded and where her lungs might fit. When I gave up trying to work out her innards I’d wonder about Tara’s tits. Her bras hanging in the bathroom were scale models of Sarah’s. I wondered if her nipples were full size but the clothes she wore never gave me the chance to find out. Finally I wondered how she and my brother made love.
When I began sleeping on the foam pad on Clive’s dining room floor I would wake in the middle of the night and think about Sarah. Before long, though, the questions I had about Tara kept me awake instead. It wasn’t a prurient interest in her — I wasn’t thinking of fucking her or anything. I just wanted to know.
I was sure Tara and Clive did screw.
I’d come back to the apartment early one evening after trying, unsuccessfully, to patch things up with Sarah. When I opened the door I could hear Tara’s screams. I thought Tara was in pain until I spotted a candle guttering on the dining table, places set for two and an empty wine bottle. Tara’s screams changed into squeals as I pushed the front door closed quietly and snuck into the dining room where I made my bed in the light of the candle.
I didn’t hear them any other time so maybe they were more careful or felt crowded by me. Either way Clive’s face was longer each day more I stayed. His expression was of pure begging when Tara mentioned her friend the kayaking guide.
Apparently her friend, Amy, took groups of people on a weekend circumnavigations of the lake and, the coming weekend, there was a vacant place. I explained that I was neither a camper nor a kayaker but she had her answers ready. The following Saturday morning Clive dropped me off at the picnic grounds beside the lake.
Amy was Asian and short, like Tara, but sort of stocky. I guessed she was chinese until she spoke. Her accent was broad Australian. Her hair was in a ponytail threaded through her sun cap and she wore a loose tee shirt and baggy shorts. When she sat on the sand to show us paddle strokes I found myself studying her legs. She had the same hairless skin as her friend and the insides of her thighs had a yellow-olive hue. I forced myself to pay attention to her lesson. I was sure, though, she had been watching me.
As I said, I’m not outdoorsy and I don’t have anything profound to relate about the day’s events. I was surprised, though, that I didn’t have to work to keep the kayak upright and the paddling was rather mesmerizing with its steady rhythm. Much of the day I was near the back of the fleet, if that’s what a group of kayaks is called, and it was pleasant watching Amy’s golden back as it rotated with her strokes.
She worked her way around the members of the fleet, spending some time near each person. I guessed she was chatting with them and checking on them. She seemed, though, to avoid me. I wondered what Tara had told her about me. Did, I asked myself, she feel sorry for me, the dumped boyfriend? Or perhaps she was grudgingly taking me off Tara and Clive’s hands for a couple of days. I grew anxious that Tara had called me a sleaze and I regretted watching her around the apartment.
By mid-afternoon, when Amy guided us into a little bay, I had worked myself into such a state I couldn’t look her in the face. After the tents were set I took my thoughts for a long walk.
It was approaching dusk as I made my way back. As I rounded the rocky headland to the bay I saw the sun flash against something bronze in the water. I took a second look and realized it was Amy’s arms flashing out of the water as she swam. She was moving through the water so smoothly I stood in the shadows and watched her.
After about ten minutes she swam towards me. If I moved then, I thought, it would seem that I’d been spying on her so I waited. She reached the shallows and stood in the waist-deep water. For the first time I saw she was naked. The sun behind me shone directly on her. Her black hair hung slick against her head and to a little below her shoulders.
My eyes traveled down her body to her breasts. They didn’t seem big or small but perhaps because of her small frame, seemed to be perfectly molded to her body. She walked towards me and they swayed about her ample nipples. I felt myself grow hard as she came closer then her sex was above the water. Her pubic hair was sparse. I could clearly see her lips and even the petals inside extend beyond her slit.
She was standing about six feet from me when she spoke. “Tara said you don’t like Asian girls. I don’t think that’s true.”
I couldn’t disagree.