The silence in the cab poked and prodded. Malcolm couldn’t sit still. He kept trying to catch Becca’s eye, but she wouldn’t look at him; stared straight ahead, no mention of where they were headed. Her teeth scraped across her bottom lip, which was panited a glossy, pale pink. He wondered what the stuff tasted like.

Wind from the rolled-down window repeatedly blew stray hair into Becca’s face and she kept raising her hands to bat the strands away. Nice toned arms. Not muscled and weird, but firm without that wobble. Althea’s wobbled. You could tell, even when she wore sleeves. But it especially bothered him when Althea didn’t wear sleeves. Which wasn’t a PC thing to think, he knew. But it was the honest truth.

Becca’s arms, however, were perfect. He wondered if they got like that from training for cross-country or from working at her dad’s ranch. Or maybe it was just how she was made. Although given she did all that physical stuff, it confused him that she was always without a bra. You could kind of see through her T-shirt. She must know everyone looked. So why did she do that? He wasn’t complaining … well not exactly. He shouldn’t be. He should be pleased. And girls should be allowed to wear whatever they want, right? If she was happy then that was all that should matter. But it made him feel like the day he found his mom dazed. Like Becca was saying, ‘Fix me’.

Or maybe it was all in his head. Maybe she just found bras uncomfortable? Or was one of those earthy types, getting back to nature, and didn’t shave their pits either? But Becca had a leather jacket and wore leather cowgirl boots – that wasn’t animal friendly, right? He softly shook his head. This was none of his business. They were there, he could look. He wasn’t hurting her. She had kissed him; he hadn’t pushed for it.

It bugged him.

Becca veered off the main highway, bringing his attention back to the road. They began to rumble down a gravel track at a disturbing speed. He had to grab the armrest when they bounced over a large pothole. “Sorry about that,” she said.

He wasn’t sure if she was talking about the pothole or her mother. “Where’ve you been?”

She glanced at him and a small smile played on her glossy pink lips, first smile he’d noticed since they left her mother. “4-H camp. Most the kids round here go. Although now I have to be a counsellor.”

He had no idea what she was talking about.

“You know what 4-H is, right?”


“Oh. Well, I guess you could call it farmers’ camp, although that isn’t exactly right. Hard to explain. Its like a regular club during the school year: do various projects, enter it in the county and state fair – like cakes, sewing, photographs, sheep, rabbits, cows and all sorts – and yeah … then you go to camp, and sing songs about your dead dog getting run over by a lawnmower, and stupid stuff like that.”

He nodded. But really, enter a sheep for what? But he decided to let it go. At least the trees were not kid-eaters, after all. They’d all been at camp.

“Miss me?” she asked, with a twinkle in her eye, like she’d been reading his mind.

“Ya,” he said after a beat, “I did, sort of.”

“Sort of,” she snorted. “Thanks a lot.” Then she laughed, and he felt himself relax. But not too much, as they went veering off again, down a narrow track, and a few metres further was a large pond. The bakkie stopped at the edge with a jolt.

“Like swimming?” Her eyes practically danced.

Her panties were pink.

“You don’t have a cozzie in that bag?” he’d asked, referring to the gym bag tucked behind the seats.


“Um … to swim in?”

“You mean a swimsuit?” She tilted back her head and laughed. “Nah, that’s just my running gear from this morning.” So off went the red jeans, and then the black vest, confirming the fact she had forgone a bra.

Maybe she was exactly the kind of girl to be going unselfconciously bra-less. Because there she stood, naked, but for those pink satin panties and that tiny silver cross. Standing there tall and not-so-innocent, giving him full view of herself in peachy-pink glory.

He silently berated himself. He should be thrilled, not over-thinking all of this.

With a wink she dived into the pond. “You coming in, or just watching me?”

He really wished he’d worn boxers instead of briefs. There was no way he’d be able to hide his erection. He suspected she’d counted on this.

“Come on!” She’d surfaced just enough so the tops of her breasts were visible, before giggling and diving back down.

He seized that moment to drop his jeans and dive in. She emerged right in front of him and pressed her hand against his throbbing dick. He didn’t know what to do. He knew what he wanted to do, but he was well aware that ‘should’ and ‘wanted’ were not always the same thing.

“Knew you missed me,” she said, and then kissed him hard. He could taste the gum, even though it wasn’t there.

She didn’t seem to have any interest in stopping. He didn’t want to stop. But he didn’t have a condom and when he asked her she admitted she didn’t have one either. She kept kissing him and doing stuff and so did he. But in the back of his mind was a voice asking what it would do to his mother if he got a girl pregnant. Heartbreak. Besides, what if she kept it? Then there was disease. He did not need that.

So there he was, gently pushing her away. “Let’s wait till we’ve got a condom, hey.”

She frowned, and gave a little pout, but agreed. So they stopped and stretched out on the hood of her pickup, simultaneously warming up and cooling off. They chatted about nothing much and everything much. Then she posed the question, “You ever done it?”


“You know, done it?”

“What? Sex?” He glanced over at her, wishing she would actually put her vest on, instead of laying on top of it, and then fixed his gaze to the blue heavens above.

“Yeah, sex. So, have you?

“Why? Have you?”

She laughed. “No, but I’ve been thinking about it.”

“I’ve noticed.”

“Hey now, I answered; and I asked the question first.”

“Didn’t say I would answer.”

“Then that’s an answer.”

Not really, he thought. But it was too hard to explain. Who wants to get into it, anyway? To explain that he’d had the condom on and was right there, sliding in, when the girl began to cry. Never had he had a more awkward moment in his life. There he was, all ready and excited and she’d been acting excited and saying, “Yes, yes,” … until she wasn’t. It was true she had never said ‘no’. But he knew if he’d kept going while she was crying he’d never be able to look his mother in the face again. So he’d pulled out. Held her. Helped her get home. Then she never spoke to him again. And it had been her idea in the first place. He spoke about it to no-one. There was nothing to say.

“It’s complicated,” he finally muttered.

“You’re not a kiss and tell kind of guy, are you.” It was a statement, not a question.

She shifted over and placed her head onto his chest. It felt nice. He liked it. But he was relieved when she finally put her vest on.


Tell us: What do you think about Becca being willing to have unprotected sex with a guy she has only recently met?