“It’s not an apple. You’re hungry. I told you to bring a snack,” her voice was matter-of-fact. I could feel her shaking her head back and forth as she disagreed with me.
“It absolutely is. Look!”
I stretched my arm out above us and points towards the sky, “it’s so obviously an apple, right there. How can you not see it?”
She shook her head again and made a disapproving sound. In response I grabbed her hand as it lay next to her on the ground. Our heads touching and our bodies in a very tight 25 degree angle and I pointed straight out into the sky where the apple was floating by in the guise of a cloud.
“It’s right there!”
“Oh, that?” She exclaimed finally, “that’s not an apple. It’s obviously a seal.”
She took her hand from mine and began to trace the seal like qualities out to me.
“You see the tail. The head. The body and those are the whiskers even.”
“You’re nuts,” I objected, “the whiskers are the stem and a leaf. The body isn’t anything like the body of an apple. The tail is a worm sticking out and the head isn’t even- what head are you talking about?”
“I think we’re just going to have to agree to disagree that it isn’t an apple, otherwise you’ll be telling me that cloud is a birthday cake with candles,” she pointed off to our right at the next set of incoming clouds.
I turned my head to follow her hand, “well obviously its not a birthday cake. Someone would have to be daft to think that. It’s a log cake like the ones they sell at Dairy Queen.”
She scoffed and sat up in the grass but left her hand on top of mine. I slipped my thumb along the inside of her grip and curled my fingers over hers and squeezed. She squeezed back, of course. She always squeezed back.
“Should we head back for dinner?” I tugged slightly, trying to get her to tumble on top of me.
“Not yet. The sun hasn’t quite fallen behind the tree tops. If we go back the day’s over and I don’t want it to be over. Not that there is anything wrong with the night but when you’re experiencing something so wonderful you don’t want to end it for fear of the next stage not living up to where you were.”
She didn’t turn to look at me or plead with me to stay out longer. Her words were spoken as kind of an internal monologue that I was privy to, like she was trying to convince herself to let it keep going so she could then do so with me.
“Plus,” she added after a moment of silence, “stop thinking so much about food. It’s obviously affecting your vision.”
“Fine then, we’ll stay. Maybe a squirrel will drop a few nuts for us to snack on since we didn’t bring any food. Oh, right, sorry. No food talk.”
She nods and reaches back behind her for her bag and pulls out a Ziploc bag and tosses it at me without a word.
“What is- really? Unsalted almonds? Oh darling, you shouldn’t have. Really, it’s too much.”
“Hush,” she responded to my sarcasm, “I’m going to try and read now. Please don’t chew too loudly.”
The sun was still hovering above the tree tops and we had at least another hour of good sunlight left in the sky. She sat up straight and folded her legs in front of her while opening the book to where she left off last. After giving a soft pat to her thigh she cleared her throat and began to read aloud. I rolled my body in line with hers and then crawled up a foot or so and laid my head in her lap.
As she started to read the words in a sweet, teacher-like way I felt her fingers running through my hair and I closed my eyes. Her long slender fingers slipping through my short brown hair like synchronized swimming routine. They danced through the follicles and rubbed across my scalp. Her soft voice and gentle touch almost putting me to sleep until she snapped the book shut with a thud and announced loudly, “time to go!”
I jumped my head out of her lap and nearly sat all the way up. The clap of the closing book startling me enough for her to slip out from under me and grab her bag and toss it over her shoulder.
“Come on now, it’s getting late. The suns nearly gone to sleep. Pretty soon the creepy sounds will start and you’re going to want to run back to the house, city boy.”
I was still in a little daze of the whirlwind way she’s jumped up to get ready. I looked around and the son had indeed nearly set. It was peeking through the leaves of the trees and the sky was tinted a purplish red. It was dark enough that I could see the lights were on in the house even though it looked like quite a distance away. She already had a few yards on me as she walked through the darkening fields.
She turned and yelled back, “if you need some motivation to get up and moving, I think dinner will be ready when we get back!”
She laughed and turned around and continued up through the fields with me stumbling up to my feet and trying to hurry after her.