Her body is different than mine. The entirety of it makes people stop, gaze, and comment. Only my breasts do that. A wide and long mass of bouncy red curls sits on top of her head, slowly tapering into her long and lean body. She is a mermaid in tight jeans and cowboy boots.

She doesn’t like her hands. They look thirty years older than the rest of her. Mine do, too. That’s my favorite part about her hands. They remind you that she’s real. She is human enough to touch the earth and carry it with her underneath her finger nails. She spends hours in the sun, forming friendly wrinkles around her finger joints and knuckles. If it wasn’t for her hands, you might think she lived in the sea clouds with the ocean gods.

“You’re a treat to look at,” she tells me. I had been thinking the same about her for hours without voicing it. Enough people already were.

“May I kiss you?” she asks. There is no pause in my “yes” even though I don’t really want to. I say “yes” because a circle of people around a fire are watching and I know they all want to be me: the chosen one. I close my eyes, take in her mouth with intention, and think it’s not that great. She’s much better for looking at. It could be her atmosphere aged lips. The environment is straining on suppleness. I feel her aged hands for the first time as they grab my neck and pull me close. I forget they’re hers. They really don’t match the rest of her. With my eyes shut, I ask, “Is that you touching me or is someone else joining?” “That’s me! I wouldn’t let anyone else join. I’d push them away. You’re mine right now.”

After our mouths slowly separate, purrs of longing and awe come from the witnesses around the fire.

I hear one clear statement from an onlooker. “Woooow. That was HOT.”

Ginger picks me up and takes me to the dance floor. In a matter of seconds she tells me what a horrible follower I am and reprimands me for doing my own thing when she’s trying to lead. Before I know it, she has trained me to follow, pulls me into her every few moves, merging our voluminous hair together in one giant tumble, and confidently says, “There you go! You’re so good!” She kisses me intently after every affirmation, turning me to putty. I can only handle her kisses sitting down. We dance and dance and dance and dance until I can be kissed without losing form.

The following morning Arlo tells me, “Ginger followed me around the farm after she kissed you, taunting, ‘I made out with your date! I made out with your date!'”

I laugh.

“As hostess and homeowner, she should be able to kiss any visitor she wants.”

“Please don’t tell her that. I’m going to have to somehow link kissing my dates with getting wrinkles if you put that idea in her head.”

I say nothing. Her wrinkles are my favorite part.

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