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14 May, 2012

Today’s entry in the May Fiction Challenge. I admit that grass doesn’t feature too heavily, but this is what came to me.  I can only write what my inspiration gives me.

Gina reached the tall hedge at the end of the garden and stopped. With only a small effort, she turned the mower one hundred and eighty degrees, keeping the orange power cord clear by tossing it over her shoulder. She carefully matched her new path with the edge of the cut grass, and began to push the mower on its return journey towards the cottage. More confident with the machine now, she looked up from the grass to where Anna was sitting on the wooden bench below the window.

While Gina had cut that first uncertain, inexperienced strip of grass, the book that Anna had been reading had been put to one side and her eyes were now closed, hidden behind dark glasses. She had taken off her light cotton t-shirt in favour of the pale yellow bikini top underneath to take advantage of the last warmth of the September sun.

Six years has passed since the two cousins had spent any time together, three times as many since Anna had visited the cottage for so many school holidays. Since the two of them would sunbathe together on the beach while Anna’s two brothers would fish for crabs around the rock pools. Since those nights when, hidden beneath blankets they would tell each other secrets by torchlight. They giggled as they shared their crushes, wondered at the thought of kissing them, compared their adolescent playground education of what “going further” meant.

And one night, Anna had suggested that they were too unprepared, too inexperienced for any boys to like them. That they needed to practice kissing and that as best friends, as inseparable confidantes, they should practice with each other. Under the covers, they had giggled as they pursed their lips tight, and exchanged a brief, chaste touch. They did so again, and then again and again, each time their kisses relaxing, their giggles receding. Their arms found their way around each other, their eyes closed, their breaths deepened. When Anna opened her mouth, her tongue teasing and nudging, Gina recoiled, declared that this wasn’t right, that they shouldn’t be doing it. Anna tried to persuade her that this is what they should be practising, that she should overcome her shyness. But Gina shook her head, returned to her own bed, and lay awake for hours wondering at what had happened, never mentioned it again.

And as she saw Anna reclining now, her arms spread, Christ-like, across the back of the bench, she was unable to look away. She thought again of what had happened so many years ago, and wondered if she had been wrong.

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