“It’s never okay,” she said, giving her very best attempt at a stern look.
I found it quite charming. With that one statement grounded in resolution and finality, I found myself consumed. I had to do it. It felt like a compulsion. It took every ounce of my willpower to comply to her wish.
I became obsessed.
Sitting on the couch, her foot dangling precariously over the edge, taking me along with it—it sat, bare and teasing; taunting me. Inviting me like a serpent holding an apple.
When I was a child, my dad’s friend came over one summer evening, just before the sun relented to the lightning bugs. He had just bought a motorcycle.
The moment I heard the rumble and roar outside the front room window, I was captivated. I ran outside as my father’s friend kicked open the stand and shut off the engine.
“Be careful not to touch it,” he said, removing his large, heavy, sweat-drenched helmet, and placing it on my head, tapping it with a large, rough knuckle. “You’ll get burned.”
With that, I was left outside, staring at my first taste of forbidden fruit. my first moment of temptation. I sat down, Indian style, helmet still on, transfixed on the engine.
I had to touch it.
It burned the living hell out my hand but the relief I felt, having succumbed to the pressure, outweighed the pain tenfold.
I looked up at her, then back down at her foot. Her beautiful, calloused, dancer’s foot and leaned in, ready to get burned. She was staring at me, her eyebrows scrunched, her glare as stern as she could make it.
“It’s never okay.”