Down by the Secret Waterhole.
(c)Rochelle Sharpe 2013.
“This way,” Luke says, ducking into the surrounding bush. I follow close behind, nerves fluttering in my stomach. Luke knows where he is going, his family has spent heaps of holidays at this caravan park, where as this is my first time.
I was completely dreading this holiday – I mean, who wants to sleep in a tent for a week with a father who snores, a mother who talks in her sleep and an annoying little brother? Not me.
Then I met Luke.
We both arrived last Saturday. He’s from Wollongong and I’m from Newcastle, and although we both live in N.S.W, our houses are hours apart by car, and at fifteen I can’t drive and neither can he. Which means this holiday is all we have. One lousy week!And today’s our last day!
Luke is the hottest guy I have ever seen, too, which sucks. Why can’t there be guys like him at my school? I mean, there’s plenty of cute guys, sure, but none this hot. I mean, an opportunity like this only comes around once in a life time, if you’re lucky.
He stops abruptly and I smack into him. I step back, horrified, mumbling an apology.
“This is it,” he says, smiling the smile that twists me up on the inside.
I drag my eyes away from his gorgeous face to look at the waterhole. It is beautiful, like he said, and secluded.
He peels off his shirt, taking my breath with it. He is lean, and he must spend a lot of time at the beach because his chest is tanned. I feel awkward and self-conscious as I take my dress off. It doesn’t help that his eyes are glued to me – well to a certain area above my stomach and below my neck. I’m glad I packed my bikini and not the ugly one-piece my mum always tries to get me to wear.
He holds out his hand to me and I slip mine into it. It’s warm and a little sweaty, but it makes my insides dance. It’s the first time I have ever held a boys hand, well a boy’s hand that I liked. In primary school they always made us walk in twos, holding hands, and sometimes you’d get a boy, but that doesn’t count.
We step into the water, it’s cool and feels good on my feet, and then we walk out until the water is waist high.
“Let’s swim to the rocks,” Luke suggests.
I nod and we dive together. I reach the rocks first and can’t help the smug smile that creeps across my face.
“Man you can swim,” Luke pants when he reaches the rocks, though he’s only a few strokes behind so it’s not like I smashed him or anything.
“I’m state champion,” I tell him, hoping he doesn’t take it as bragging.
He looks impressed.
“C’mon.” He tilts his head and then climbs out of the water and up onto the rocks. I follow, pulling myself up next to him. His tanned skin glistens with beads of water and I try not to stare. I am acutely aware of how close he is to me, and how little we are actually wearing. My heart beats away and my throat feels constricted as I file through my brain, trying to think of something, anything to say.
“We’re both going home today,” he says quietly. “Which totally sucks.”
I nod, my throat tightening. Why did we have to meet in the September holidays? Why couldn’t we have met over the summer, then we’d have six weeks together?
He turns his body toward mine, pulling me from my depressive thoughts. “I’m glad I met you.”
I turn sideways as well and my knee bumps against his. Neither of us move our legs. Our eyes meet and I have to gulp. He slowly reaches out and tucks a loose strand of wet hair behind my ear. My heart races at an unbelievable speed, like it’s ready to explode. He leans forward.
This is it. I think. He’s going to kiss me. I’ve never been kissed and a thousand things run through my head. Will I know how to kiss? Will our teeth bump? Will I use too much tongue? Is my breath OK? Will he like it? Will I?
My friend Kara’s first kiss was awful. His breath did smell, and he was all tongue, and it flopped around in her mouth like a fish out of water, and their teeth bumped three times. It was the longest ten seconds of her life. What if this is like that?
My lips part on their own, and then his mouth is on mine and I have no more time to think. I sink forward, reaching a hand out to touch his smooth chest. His tongue touches my lips and I open my mouth wider to let it in. My first kiss is amazing, nothing like Kara’s, and I had worried for nothing because my mouth knows exactly what it is doing, moving with his perfectly.
We pull apart, mainly due to the fact that we need to breath. I bite my lip, smiling, and can’t look him in the eye. Even though I enjoyed it, he may not have.
“That was my first kiss,” I tell him for some stupid, unknown reason.
“I couldn’t tell,” he says, and lifts my chin so I’m looking at him. His smile is huge. “That was awesome.” He leans in again and I part my lips in anticipation. Then a magpie shoots out of a tree, squawking into the sky, making me jump with fright. The rock is slippery and suddenly I’m falling and squealing and then I’m back in the water.
Luke is beside me in a second, his hands coming around my waist, catching me. “You OK?”
“Fine,” I tell him, wiping water out of my eyes. “Stupid bird!”
He smiles and I can’t help smiling in return. “C’mon, let’s go back.”
My smile fades as he lets me go. I’m not ready to go back, I want to keep kissing. Luke reaches the bank first and then spreads out our towels. I then realise he meant back to the bank and not ‘back’ back, so I’m happy again.
I sit on my towel and Luke sits on his, but his body is turned toward me. My eyes fall to his lips and then I’m the one leaning in and pressing my mouth to his. His hand comes around my back and he gently pushes me down, lying half on top of me as we make out.
Nothing matters in this moment. Nothing but the feel of his body and his lips and the air we are sharing. All I want now is to taste him for as long as I can before I have to let him go. Kara is going to go psycho when I tell her everything that’s happened.
We kiss for an indistinguishable amount of time, and Luke is the first to pull away. He lies back on his towel, panting heavily. I stare up at the sky, through the trees, trying not to cry. I’m going to miss Luke so much that it’s like a physical pain in my chest.
Luke trails a finger along my arm. “Are you on Facebook?”
I blink rapidly and clear my throat. “Yeah, um, I go by Lauren K.”
“If you want, I could find you when I get home, we could be friends?”
I turn my head to face him but can’t quiet look him in the eye. “I’d like that,” I mumble.
By the time we get home I’m exhausted, and my eyes are red and puffy from crying. I stumble into my room and shut the door behind me. I instantly boot up my computer. Dad had us on a technology ban while we were camping, otherwise Kara would have known everything that was happening, as it was happening, cause I would have been texting her like crazy.
Wollongong is further away than Newcastle, which means Luke won’t even be home yet. But he had his phone and maybe, just maybe, he has already logged onto Facebook. That’s if he wasn’t lying about it.
Nerves cause my fingers to move clumsily over the keyboard, but finally, after typing my password incorrectly three times, I’m logged on. I have one notification. I gulp as I click on it. And then my heart practically stops.
There it is: a friend request from Luke.
A huge smiling spreads across my face and I squeal in excitement as I click ‘accept’. I run and jump on my bed, grabbing my phone as I do. I dial Kara’s number and tap my fingers on the back of my mobile as I wait for her to pick up. I can’t wait to tell her everything.