The days seem to melt with the sun, spreading wide and warm across the hours. School tapers away; she dapples your long, lazy days with her kisses. Kisses in the full sunlight, on the grass. Kisses at nearly-night, when the clouds blush and stretch thin, like cottonwool, beyond her open window. Kisses that pull your thoughts as thin and translucent as the evening clouds.
I’ll tell her tonight, you promise yourself. Tonight, I’ll tell her.
But your promises are stretched-cotton-thin; you worry each one between your fingertips into a mist of fiber and guilt. You watch the sky grow hazy with gold until another day is lost.
One afternoon, she tugs you into a tree, clambering up first to find the footholds, and guiding you, with firm hands, onto a low limb. You slip, high on the trunk; she catches you by the wrist, and your own weight strains your joints as she pulls you closer, closer, until you can swing your foot over and scoot nearer to her. Stinging blooms where you scraped your arm on the bark, just below the elbow; she coos, and cools the spot with her lips.
The sun gilds the whispering leaves; the rosy hour is descending.
Holding your waist—less to steady than to gentle you—she leans close to paint your cheeks with kisses. They feel hesitant, watercolor. She draws back. Bites her lip. Her breath shakes with the leaves.