Along the beach, the two girls walked side by side. Atticus
had her arm wrapped around Everlie’s shoulders, a dying cigarette dangling
between her fingers, barely even touched. Everlie’s face was sunburnt a tinted
pink along her cheeks and the top of her nose due to the warm sun they had been
out in all day. Her shoulders stung too as Attie brushed up against them, a
nice sort of pain that just brought in the day as a success. Attie, being fair
skinned, was redder than Everlie herself, but she didn’t seem to notice or
care. They drifted along the water edge, their shoes lost somewhere on the sand
behind them to let their feet relieve themselves in the chilling ocean water. Sand
and salt from the water settled on Everlie’s skin as she tilted her head up to
the sun to catch some more rays, leaving a scent on their skins that only the
beach could provide. Today was a perfect day. Despite not wanting to go in the
beginning, Everlie was happy that she had changed her mind. It was like old
times, but somehow more. Atticus hadn’t cared to be close to her. They had held
hands and whispered together, laughing the whole evening away like they were
something real. It was almost too perfect to seem true.
“Did I pass?” Atticus asked, her voice low and carried away
by the crashing of the waves on the shore. Everlie looked over at her friend,
squinting at the setting sun.
“Hmm?” Atticus brushed her fiery locks out of her face,
looking out into the ocean, out at the deep abyss.
“Did I pass? You know? Did you have a good birthday?”
Nodding her head enthusiastically, she replied, “Yes, of
course. It was all so perfect. I can’t thank you enough…well expect for the
part where you made me get a tattoo.” Attie bit at her bottom lip to keep from
smirking, but failed miserably.
“Hey now, I didn’t make you get one. You lost a bet. I knew
you would never go skinny dipping here.” She winked over at Everlie who was playfully
glaring at her. “Besides, I got one to match. It’s just another addition to the
friendship tattoo we already have.”
“You’re going to have me covered before I even turn
eighteen, aren’t you?” Atticus’ eyes brightened as she thought of the image in
“Yes please? You’d be hot covered in tattoos. I mean, hotter
than you already are.” Everlie ducked her head quickly to keep Attie from
seeing the smile that appeared and the reddening of her already burnt cheeks.
She scoffed, kicking at a shell in their path, enjoying the feel of squishy sand
and cool water below her.
“You’re ridiculous,” she gushed, tossing her long wind
kissed hair over her shoulders, taking a deep breath of fresh air.
“So, um, does that mean I’m forgiven?” Everlie cocked an
eyebrow, taking her bottom lip into her mouth. At that moment a seagull flew
past them, separating the pair so Ev could distance herself a bit. Attie took a
drag of the cigarette before tossing it away from them to extinguish itself.
Silence followed the question.