Bradley’s parents own a beach house in Hampton Beach, New Hampshire. An entire week alone, without any parental supervision meant sporadic and spontaneous sex.
I was scared.
Entering the New England beach house, fluids of fear traveled up and down my body. This feeling was reminiscent to when I had
lost my virginity. We had been together long enough to where I should have been completely comfortable with him. Most couples are ready for a getaway, even after three or four months of
being together. Once upon a time, I practically begged him to take advantage of me. What in hell was I frightened of?
Pictures of boats and light houses scattered throughout, decorating the white walls. Deep red furniture in the living room
matched perfectly with hardwood flooring, which I could practically see my reflection through. The kitchen had a more chic look with black and white tiles and silver appliances. I open up the
refrigerator door to see that the components are mainly grape and apple juices.
“I’m afraid to touch anything. Should we buy some groceries?”
“Bradley’s parents told Alycia that we could help ourselves. And plus, we’ll be out a lot.”
“We have a budget. I only brought 75 dollars with me.” All of a sudden I was the practical one.
Danny wraps his arms around my waist.
“Sweetie, we’re on vacation. I brought some extra cash and I’ve got some money in my account. Stop worrying.”
“Ok.” After all, we were on vacation. Vacation stands for freedom, spontaneity, and a carefree lifestyle.
“Let’s get our swimsuits on and bask in the sun babe.”
Basking in the sun sounded nice. The ocean breeze already felt exhilarating. Fuck it, now, I was excited.
While I like the fact that the beaches are rarely ever overcrowded in Hampton Beach, it’s still a self-conscious experience exposing my body to the tanner and skinnier crowd. I found myself
looking down upon my pasty white legs, noticing that there was a patch of hair on my ankle that I had missed during shaving. I cross my legs, hiding the beast. Danny wouldn’t have cared
or even noticed the patch of ankle hair. He has been known to hump me when Chewbacca had less hair than me. Still, it’s embarrassing.
Danny knew my body inside and out, realistically I didn’t have to hide or have anything to be embarrassed about. Embarrassment leads to self-scrutiny, pinpointing all of my flaws. Like
how my hips stretch far and wide causing my bikini bottom to create indentations. The fact that my breasts are minute, they fail to accentuate a bikini top.How a soft orange
bathing suit can only enhance the colorless tones of my skin. I could keep going with the scrutiny, but the story must go on…
I look over at Danny, who is more open to the beach experience with his head tilted back against the lounge chair and
drinking beer out of a Styrofoam cup. I try to relax, to only find myself wandering around looking for an on looker--who is also depicting all of my flaws.
“Babe, this is beyond relaxing. You want a beer?” Yes.
“Maybe after this beer I will be. Maybe I should chug it.” He glances over at me and starts to laugh. For me, this
was no laughing matter.
“Matty, calm down. What could you possibly be worried about?” I move my hand up and down my body, pointing out the
“Are you serious? Come on, you are beautiful. You know that I know that, and that’s all that should
matter. Besides, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with you. Who gives a crap anyway?”
He was right. I knew not one single soul on that beach. Who really gave a crap anyway? Hell, if my boyfriend can
love a Sascqwatch, than I am the luckiest girl alive. I quickly found myself laughing as well.
“Are you ready to relax?” I grab the Styrofoam cup from his hands.
“Sure am.” I pull a pair of red and white polka dotted sunglasses down from my hair and bask away.
We chose the master bedroom to invade since it was the only room with a king sized bed. Just by glancing around the bedroom,
I could emulate the mannerisms of Bradley’s mother. I take a look at myself in the white wicker vanity, transporting myself into a woman I have never met. She’ll toss her hair back, once
more, making sure that even the strongest wind wouldn’t ruin her hairdo. She’ll turn to the left, and then slowly to the right, making sure that her foundation is applied evenly. She’ll
walk far away enough to see how perfectly her outfit matches her face and hair. In this case, a long bright blue clothed skirt matched a white tank top, which just happened to match with my
brand new skin tone and thick beach hair.
Her husband waits for her downstairs, pouring her a glass of Merlot. I can feel the orb transport me into a wife with every
step that I take, approaching the dim dining room.
“Your lady arrives.”
Danny is pouring me a glass from an eight dollar bottle of Merlot. I pretend that it’s a bottle, imported from the Napa
“My lady is stunning.” I was fond enough of that compliment to willingly stand up on my tiptoes and wrap my arms around his
neck, to give his lips a smack.
“You look dashing.” In which he did, simply wearing a short sleeved green and white flannel shirt and khaki cargo shorts.
“Sit. Your Merlot is awaiting you and I’ll serve your salad.”
I believe Bradley’s parents would have a Cobb Salad before their entrée; we had pre-packaged salad. For our entrée, Danny
made grilled chicken breast doused with a whole lot of unheard seasonings.
“Here you go baby.”
This was a different kind of pampering I was experiencing. I was accustomed to either Denise making our plates or Danny
re-heating whatever the master chef had made in the microwave. Pampering took on a definition of casual and convenience, not romance. In fact, he served me my entire dinner. Danny
was not my waiter.
“Danny I could have done this all myself.” Clearly I meant serving myself, definitely not cooking a decent meal. I’m
sure Bradley’s mother is an experienced cook, whereas I know how to make a meal straight from a box.
“Nonsense. I like serving you”
Considering the fact that I felt as though I were eating straight from a spice cabinet, the chicken did not taste all that
bad. Yes, it was most likely the quick buzz from the cheap bottle of wine and the hospitable atmosphere that made the concoction of spices edible, however, I cannot deny the fact that I was
supplied a hearty meal.
I take a look around at the mess that was left to clean up.
“Honey I’ll do the dishes; you go into the living room, drink your wine, and relax.”
“No, you are not my servant. I want to help.” I refused to let this be a solo act.
So we created a husband and wife assembly line. I washed, since Danny had never washed a single dish in his entire life, and
he dried them as well as putting each dish away. His height came in handy, especially when reaching the top shelf.
“How about the last day here, we take a drive up through the coast line into Maine? The houses are supposed to be
gorgeous. And, I’ve never been to Maine before.” Danny suggests.
“Neither have I, that sounds great. We’ll have to get another disposable camera” The real husband and wife would have enough
money to afford a digital camera.
With his hopeful suggestion the fun had only one direction to take and that was to the living room, where my unclipped toenails
and the patch of ankle hair were comfortably exposed on top of Danny’s lap.
“What do you think about living by the ocean?” He asks, looking directly into my eyes.
“I’ve never been south of the Jersey shore. I would like to go to the Carolinas, Florida, and out to the west coast
first. In fact, if it were at all possible, I would love to travel the entire United States. Think about it, we live in this country and we have no idea what it has to offer outside of
where we are and where we've been. I want to experience the diversity of this country.”
“If we start planning ahead, maybe we can travel the states next year sometime.”
The words that he spoke were exciting. Really exciting, to my imagination.
“You really, really want to?”
“Yeah, I really, really want to.”
Although his suggestions were merely just suggestions, they practically took my breath away. I close my eyes and
imagine Danny and me in the Jetta driving through the plains of the Midwest. Although I did not have a pallet to formulate from, my imagination painted a clear enough picture. We are the only
car on a two lane highway, which creates a divide between two slabs of bright green land.Brick red barns and dingy white houses were few far and between the wide open
landscapes. The windows are down, letting the warm breeze entice our freedom. No words are spoken, for we are to experience the beauty in silence. Danny places his hand on my leg,
showing me his gratitude. I feel his hand gently move up my leg, sending me back to the living room.
He removes my legs off of his lap to place his empty wine glass on the polished wood coffee table. He takes the initiative in
placing my glass next to his. He stands up in front of me, lending out his hand. These silent gestures were unlike him and I wasn’t about to give up on the foreign opportunity. I
grab a hold of his hand, just as I was suppose to.
“Come on baby.”
His voice was low and a little demanding...I was intrigued. I knew exactly where he was leading me to, but with this brand
new attitude he was presenting to me, I kept myself in suspense.
He stops us in front of the bed and stares deep into my eyes, as if he were searching every particle. I was expecting his eyes to
be laughing hysterically at me, but they were not. His eyes were serious, not revealing a hint of humor behind them. He pulls me to him, roughly and lifts my chin up with a bit of
force. Who the hell was this guy? This felt more like a soft core porn rather than typical build up to evident love making with Danny Salinski. I was enticed by this stranger who took
over my boyfriend’s body.
He lowers his head, allowing me to embrace his tongue, freely parting my lips. He did not take one aspect of my mouth for granted. I did not want to take anything about this moment for
He picks me up, literally sweeping the floor out from under my feet. I wrap my legs around him, suctioning on to him, in
hopes I wasn’t too heavy for him. He takes three graceful steps towards the bed, before throwing me on to it, like a wrestler on to a mat. He places himself on top of me, captivating his
warmth all over my body. He kisses my neck, tasting the channel number five I allowed myself to take full advantage of.
“You’re so sexy.”
There’s an adjective he has never used to describe me. I tilt my head back, allowing him to kiss further down. His
tongue felt like a massage. The kind of massage that feels so good, it tingles. I was ticklish all over.
I wanted him. I wanted all of him.
“I want you baby.” The words that I had been longing to hear were finally real.
I place both of my hands down on to the mattress, surrendering to the stranger.
I wondered that morning if Bradley’s parents were that wild in bed? It could have been the essence of the king sized
bed. It could have been the cheap wine. Yet, there hasn’t been any amount of alcohol that allowed us both to completely let go. We were smiling at each other, to the fact that we were both
completely naked. There always seemed to be a parental ghost hovering nearby, resulting in the fact that there was always at least one article of clothing left on during sex.
“You think our parents at one time ever had what we have?” He asks me, twirling a strand of my hair around his finger.
“I don’t want to think of your parents and especially not mine in that sense.” He pulls me to his bare body.
“No silly. I don’t mean like that. I mean, actually showing that they love one another.”
“Or actually being in love with one another?” I wrap my right arm around his waist. “I believe your parents love each
other. Watching them at your last home game, looking into each other’s eyes, the way a real husband and wife should. They shared their son’s shinning moment together. It was as if
they took all the years they’ve been with one another into that one look and appreciated each other.” I look into the silly brown eyes that came back to life from the stranger’s presence. “I
guess comfort sets in like a huge blanket. My parents, I believe did love each other for a brief moment in time. Then my mom realized that she was carrying me in her tummy. So, they did
what every irrational young couple would do, get married.”
I had become a pessimistic, non-believer in marriage--or in true love for that matter--when regarding my parents. “I believe
it was five they realized that they truly despised one another. I was nine when I first heard my dad call my mom a fucking bitch, but at five years old is when a kid starts to realize certain
things. I remember hearing a lot of yelling, but there was no comprehension of the swear words being exchanged.”
He softly kisses my forehead.
“Say if you found out that you were pregnant, would it be irrational for us to take the next step?” Um… “Hypothetically.”
“Ok then, without the child factor. Can you picture us married?”
That afternoon we basked by the ocean carelessly, drinking beer from Styrofoam cups, leading up to the night event: walking hand
in hand on the boardwalk.
Walking hand in hand, I felt older, watching up-to-no good teenage girls looking for their potential summer fling. Boardwalks
are universal for all ages. Ages five through 11 can play games and go on rides with never ending innocence. Ages 12 though 18 are spent in hopes, to flirt and then make out under the docks. Ages
19 through 30, well the boardwalk is an exercise of revealing tender moments. For husbands and wives, everything in sight calls out to the child inside.
Danny sidetracks, leading us towards a vendor.
“For kicks, let me try and win you a stuffed animal.”
Prizes dangling down from their strings had me looking up at them, feeling like I was a kid at a toy store. The anticipation
of possibly owning my very own Garfield, Sponge bob or Clifford the Big Red Dog was like deciding on which marker to use first on a blank sheet of paper.
“Knock three down, your girl wins Garfield. Six your girl wins Sponge Bob. More than six, then your lady gets to choose
whatever she wants.”
I wanted Clifford the Big Red Dog and I didn’t know why either. I was never particularly fond of the dog or the books
as a child.
“Show him what you got babe!” Nor was I the one to verbally cheer or overly express my enthusiasm for Danny.
The game was trivial, really. At a decent distance away, the goal is to knock down a set of aluminum cans that are displayed
in rows of five, elevating upward like a pyramid. It’s the familiar generic carnival game, which was basically effortless for Danny to knock down the first six cans. In my eyes though,
this generic game was equivalent to the real thing. Not even his routine round up was needed for all six releases. All that he needed was a simple toss to defeat the useless cans.
“Pal, you got your girl a Sponge Bob stuffed animal. Wanna shoot for her choice?”
He looks over at the wide eyed child persona shinning through me.
“I sure do.”
“Knock two more down and it’s her choice.”
“I bet you he can knock three more down.” Danny smiles down at his enthusiastic girl. I must have been a stranger to him
“Ok little lady, if you say so. Knock three more down. Go for it.”
One…gone. Two…adios. Three, effortlessly knocked down to the ground.
“Boy that was unbelievable.”
Ok, so this vendor was a little exaggerate. Honestly, the closest I have been to playing a game of baseball was the
traditional wiffle ball segment in gym class and I probably could have won myself a damn Clifford stuffed animal. This man, a man of little stature and barely any meat on his bones was
probably sick and tired of the lack of amusement, as well as staring up at those stuffed animals day in and day out.
“I’ve done this for five years now and hardly anybody goes over six. You pro or something?” I indulged in this man’s
exaggeration by grabbing Danny’s pitching arm.
“As a matter of fact he plays in the Minor leagues.”
We continue to walk hand in hand, as I proudly carry the big red dog.
“Thank you for winning the Clifford dog for me.”
“No problem. I didn’t realize that you liked the big red dog so much.”
“Neither did I. I hardly remember the books. Maybe it’s because there’s no such thing as an enlarged red dog.”
“Exactly. We know that all living things communicate, so Sponge Bob Square Pants is not too far of a stretch from the
We stop walking.
“Of course cartoons stretch out all parts of the truth to make the story plot more interesting and amusing. But, if you
really think about it, Garfield has inner monologue that only Odie and other pets can hear. You know that all animals have inner monologues.”
“But, there is no such thing as a giant red talking dog.”
This was a borderline asinine conversation. Nevertheless, I had a feeling running through me that I couldn’t grasp on
to. It was a combination of pure fun and warmth. The feeling tingled, that could only measure up to a massively good feeling. I look up at him; he was sharing the same exact
When he had asked me the striking question earlier, I left him in an almost awkward silence. It was one of those questions
that if I were to open my mouth to speak, nothing but scrambled and backwards sentences would form. That question was a question to be analyzed. Neither one of us wanted to let the mutual
bond dwindle, all because of a spontaneous, thought provoking question. So, the subject was erased and quickly changed. At that moment though, I was ready to give him an answer.
“Danny. I can imagine us being married.”
Smiling, he grabs my hand and we continue with our walk.
The following three days flew by us like a bird rushing away from the North. Days were careless and nights were
intense. One night was spent on the beach, looking out at the ocean. The sound of the waves crashing fueled our conversation.
“You never fully told me about your days as a punk rock girl. Were you in the mosh pits and all that?” Those words
flowing out of his mouth were comically cute.
“Yes. I did participate in the pit. My first show ever, I went to see MxPx and 22 Jacks. I was completely unaware and naïve
of what I was in store for. I had on a pair of silver compact boots and put myself, unknowingly, in the center of what was about to become a circle pit. All of a sudden Danny, seven
massive boys who could eat me as a snack started running around me, grunting and swearing. Then the pushing and shoving started. I stood there helpless. I was bashed back and forth
and side to side. I had no other choice, either I had to join them or get trampled on. So, I joined.”
“Baby, you’re so small.”
“I didn’t care. It was the most exhilarating experience of my life, thus far. All of my inner angst and pressure... all
of the fighting was released out through my hands, feet, and mouth. The fact that I wasn’t alone either made the experience all worth the while. My friends knew my personality, but these
complete strangers understood how I felt. For the first time I actually belonged within a group where each of us shared a mutual experience. This probably won't make much sense, but I felt at
peace with a group of strangers. ”
"To me that just sounds wrong. I don't care if the girl could keep up with the pace or not, I could never do that
her. But I do know what you mean by experiencing something exhilarating...outside of the baseball field."
I didn't think it was possible.
“Henderson, Jason, and I went cliff diving one summer. Jay found an isolated area deep in Rensselear County where he used to
go a lot. He told Henderson and me about it and we jumped on board immediately. It was a dreary day, but the cliffs really were beautiful. Trees border all around the area, where
these cliffs really do seem like they are placed miles away from civilization. As we walked towards the edge, adrenaline began to fuel within me. It was like these cliffs were 20 or 30 feet
high; we were only jumping down from maybe ten to 15 feet above. Henderson was acting like a scared little boy, making me promise that we would be safe. I wasn’t about to let him ruin the
adrenaline rush that was increasing. I say a mental fuck you to Henderson by blocking' out his annoying voice and by emulating Jason’s cocky attitude. I swing my arms freely, lift my
chin up high, and throw myself out into the air.
“I felt like a bird--no Superman. I don’t know how else to explain it, but other than I felt like I was literally
flying. Looking down at the murky river water not knowing when or where I was going to fall, I felt invincible--like nothing could conquer me. I close my eyes, so that way I had no way of
knowing when this experience would end. I didn’t want it to end; I wanted the free feeling to last as long as possible. But I knew that gravity would not allow that to happen, so I bow my
head and contort my body into somewhat of a diving position. What felt like a minute or more, the top of my head plunges into the cold water and instantly a massive rush came over me. I
throw myself out of the water screaming…it was the only reaction I had. I have never experienced something so exhilarating in my life...up till I saw you hovered in a text book in the campus
“Seeing me was exhilarating?”
“Yeah, it was. Prior to seeing you, I forced myself from feeling any attraction to a girl. I blocked out all females out
from my eye sight, and then you came into my eye sight. You woke me back up to reality Matty.”
“You opened me up to reality.”
In comparison, I had kept myself hidden from the option of a relationship through almost the entirety of my teenage
years. Once Danny displayed his affection for me, I had entered into a world of adversity, enjoyment, and comfort. I welcomed myself into a real life romance.
I was left wondering though, if he had ever had a moment where he actually felt like he belonged, outside of his large group of
friends and outside of the baseball field. Given the reality of his household, I’m sure there were times where he felt as though he simply just didn’t belong.
“Have you ever had an experienced where you felt like you actually belonged? The constant silence and lack of affection
between your parents had to have made you feel at least once in your life, like you were an outcast amongst the others. Was there ever a time where you could release the reality of your family
and just be yourself?”
“Every time I am with Grandpa Salinski. It doesn’t matter if it’s a holiday dinner, family event, a phone call, or just the
two of us hanging out; he always erases the reality of my house. We never speak about the reality, or do I think we are meant to. I know my mom loves me unconditionally; it’s just that my
grandfather makes it easy to forget the reality. Around him I am included constantly and never have to worry about feeling like the only time I exist is when baseball is concerned. I
don’t’ feel as though I am walking on egg shells in fear that I might disappoint him. My grandpa reminds me that I do belong in the family, even if the reality of my house at times has me
The Atlantic Ocean revived our relationship that night. We were newlyweds on our honeymoon, learning certain aspects of each
All along Maine’s coast line, grey, blue, and white houses stand tall and proud, blending in with the colors of the ocean. I
felt as though I had entered into Tommy Hilfiger Nantucket
“Danny, would you ever want to live in one of these houses?”
“Yeah. Why not?”
“Wouldn’t you be afraid to even touch your own personal belongings? That’s the kind of vibe I get just by looking at all of
“If we ever had a house, such as these, we’d feel free to dirty or break everything in the house. It’d be ours to do so.”
Finally, there was the misfit house that my eyes had been longing for.
“Stop.” Danny came to a complete sudden halt.
“Why?” I grab the disposable camera from my purse.
The house was maroon with black shutters that had a second story balcony with an actual door that led out to it. I pictured
myself relaxing on a chaise lounge chair, looking out at the Northern Atlantic for inspiration. I imagined a neutral interior that welcomes a guest with a come one, come all vibe. One
must keep their shoes off, and not for the sake of maintaining a tidy household. Laid back was the attitude and a combination of alternative rock and reggae is played at all times to set the
I could actually envision Danny and me living in a house such as the misfit house on Maine’s coast line. I envisioned me in
my lair, the den, typing my latest article; all while Danny cooking his best impersonation of his mother’s expertise. A feeling of comfort and solace rushed through me. I could wrap my
arms around it and hold on to it for dear life.
“That house there would be the kind of house we would live in.”
I took the perfect snap shot.
The final night of our honeymoon was spent in silence. I sat on Danny’s lap, looking out at the moonlight hitting the black
ocean, captivating our perfect snap shot. Our mutual silence helped to capture every sound byte and every aspect of what the ocean had helped to create, for the both of us. The silence
remained as we devoured ourselves into the bed. The room became black, and Danny's arms wrapped around me, as the blanket of warmth dominated my body. Silence conquered over every
natural noise, but I did not sleep a wink that entire night.
It was sad watching the beach house slowly diminish away. I kept my back facing the front window and my eyes glued to the house
till it had completely vanished.
“Maybe Bradley's parents will let us come back sometime this winter.” For some reason though, I didn’t think that he or I
would ever recapture that perfect snapshot.
Before I could completely let go of the essence of that vacation, the “Welcome to Massachusetts” sign appeared before our very
eyes. This was no sign welcoming two tourists into the state of Massachusetts. Instead, this sign was a massive red light warning us that we were heading closer back to reality.
“Anywhere you want to stop? Want to get off on a random exit and see if there’s anything we can take pictures of? We
have about ten pictures left, right?” Nothing in Massachusetts could compare to New Hampshire.
“Nah, let’s just keep going.”
“Welcome to New York” really should have said: “Welcome back to reality Matty. Ha! Ha!”
The sign pointed me out from a crowd, laughing hysterically in my face. I wanted to flip the Empire State off.
“Matty, honey, maybe you should call your parents. They have no idea where you are. I’m sure they’re worried about
you.” I had not spoken to my parents since the incident.
“No. I am not calling them. If they were really truly worried about me, they would call me.”
“Maybe they’re too scared. Maybe--” We were about an hour and a half away from Colonie and reality had crept up faster than I
“Scared? I am their daughter. They should be worried about me, not scared.”
“Ok, but, you did storm out on them. Maybe they’re just respecting you by ignoring you. They want to hear your voice.”
I fold my arms and face the highway brush. “The phone works both ways.”
It was official. The honeymoon was over.
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