A Guest Post by Skylar M. Cates
On a New Jersey beach in the heat of summer, while the rest of us were lazy and baking in the sun, Timothy alone braved the waves. Timothy was not my boyfriend, but I wished him to be. He was older, and I was the pesky little sister that my sister was forced to babysit. Timothy had a girlfriend, Ginny---a super-cool, bikini-clad girlfriend. So I was safe. Timothy would never want me. He would never see me. With my flat chest hidden in an old t-shirt, and my hair blanketing my face to cover my acne-cheeks, I could sit there and fantasize.
It’s an accurate word. It’s a love that can’t be spoken out loud for fear of humiliation. It’s a love hoping for more.
Timothy returned from his ocean swim. Muscles. Abs. Wet skin.
I hide my quickening breath and willed myself to lower my eyes. Not that he noticed me or what I did. Timothy playfully dived on top of Ginny, arms out wide, laughing.
Flash forward: three years
I’m at home, barefoot and stretched out on my lawn, pretending it’s a beach. I have no car and am stuck at home. It’s hot and I’m fucking bored. My sister is working at the local Carvel. She’s supposed to bring home ice cream. Please, let her make it something chocolate.
Ginny broke up with Timothy a few months ago and moved south to live with her mother. Since then, he has been coming around to hang out with my sister and other friends. So I’m not too surprised when he enters my backyard.
He grins at me as I get up. I’m wearing a fire engine red one piece with a halter tie. My body has filled out nicely, although I focus more on its flaws than its good parts. He asks what I’m doing and I say “nothing.” That’s the truth. There is nothing else I need to do or think about---Only him.
Timothy never did become my boyfriend. We had that one day where we found ourselves alone and lonely. We spent it kissing. For first kisses, they were magic .Soft. Nice. But crushes are secret.
When my sister interrupted us, opening the front door, her keys jangling as she balanced a gallon of rocky road and her purse, we quickly stopped. She never suspected, and I didn’t tell my sister about the kissing until many years later. Believe me, back then she would have kicked Timothy’s ass.
Timothy did return to my house a few days later, but my sister had the day off and was home. Did I want a repeat performance? Yes… and no. If it turned real, it would no longer be perfect. Timothy smiled at me, his eyes kind and warm. My cheeks heated as I smiled back.
One day was all we had. One day was enough.
And here's a little taste of Skylar's work....
Anthony Carrino loves his big, gregarious Italian-American family, even if his sisters are interfering, and his dad, the local sheriff, knows everything going on in town. He’s happy as a middle school guidance counselor. Despite helping kids and their parents fix their problems, Anthony can’t manage to get his own love life right. If only everyone would stop calling him the “nice” guy.
Dean Pierce doesn’t do relationships. A tough-minded military man, he is dedicated to his job as a Night Stalker, flying Chinook helicopters and not speaking much to anybody. He certainly doesn’t want to deal with a mess of emotions. But when tragedy strikes, Dean finds his hands full with his troubled niece, her irresistible guidance counselor, and a meddlesome family, which includes a rather large puppy.
From Dreamspinner Press
MORE ABOUT SKYLAR M. CATES
Skylar M. Cates loves a good romance. She is quite happy to drink some coffee, curl up with a good book, and not move all day. Most days, however, Skylar is chasing after her husband, her kids, and her giant dog, Wasabi. Skylar dreams about spending her days writing her novels, walking along the beach, and making more time for her good friends. On a shoestring budget, Skylar has traveled all over in her early years. Although, lately, the laundry room is the farthest place she has visited, Skylar still loves to chat with people from all around the globe.
Dreamspinner Press Author Page