You didn’t have breasts the summer you were thirteen but you had just gotten your eyebrows waxed for the first time. You were with your family at the summer house for a month and you wore the Ralph Lauren red gingham bikini you had begged your mother for every single day even though you had other swimsuits. Your grandmother looked at the negative space beneath your top and declared you had mosquito bites for breasts. You turned red and walked off the porch onto the beach. You crossed your arms over your chest and waded into the water. You saw the blond boy staying in the house down the beach in the water near you and were shocked when he waved to you. You were more shocked when he swam over to you. You dropped your arms to your side as he told you his name. You told him your name and you listened to him tongue the diaeresis through his drawl. You had just learned he was fifteen when your mother called you back to shore. You promised to meet him after dinner. You stared at the clock for hours as your family played Monopoly during an afternoon shower and ate together. You made your escape with a mumbled reason, still wearing the red gingham swimsuit.
You ran down to the dark water and found him waiting there. You noticed how much taller he was out of the water, how tall he was for fifteen. You sat on the sand together, tucking your feet underneath you. You learned about each other and that you had nothing in common but you closed your eyes when he leaned in to kiss you. You kissed in the dark, his hands on your still hipless body, yours on his warm shoulders. You wondered if his hands could keep you from floating off the sand. You worried he’d realize you only had mosquito bites. You only opened your eyes when you felt eyes on you. You saw your dad standing on the porch from yards away and knew he knew that you knew that he knew what you were doing. You squeezed his hand and ran back to the house past your dad and directly to bed.
You didn’t look any family member in the eye the next morning but you could feel their grins. Your mom reminded you that you had a parasailing lesson and you went down to the pier. You strapped yourself into a harness and listened to the instructions. You stood in the sand as the boat with the rope attached to you made its way out into the ocean. You watched as it began to speed out and felt yourself pulled, dragged down the beach. You were supposed to let yourself be dragged but you tried to run with it, pulling up your bottoms. You were in the sand one minute and the next you were in the air. You felt your parachute fill with air and you looked down to see if you could find your family or that boy or anyone on the shore. You saw colors melting into one and so you looked up at the sun and hoped you weren’t too close. You completely forgot that you didn’t even have breasts.