Nothing jiggles. Not a hair out of place. Skin a perfect bronze, museum-quality. The bather stoops to the warm water, buttocks tight mounds. Water dribbles down the flat back, outlining hips and an ironing board stomach. Liquid crystals reflect sun and sky, almost blinding me. Jealousy surges, stronger than the languid swells lapping the beach’s edge.
I lean back on my elbows. Kids kick up sand as they run past the faded whales of their suburban hoi-polloi parents. I feel more than see Sam flip on his back, watching me behind polarized lenses. I turn towards him. Already red streaks his shoulders where he’s missed with the sunscreen. Sweat glistens on his forehead which, suddenly, looks higher than this morning. His head swivels to the shoreline, to the Perfect One, joined now by another taut body.
“He’s not so great,” Sam says.
“Who?” I say.
“That guy in the blue thong,” he says. “I mean, look at that gut.”
As if on cue, the man turns in profile. A small, very small, roll of skin flubs over the speedo’s top.
“Oh,” I say. “Yeah.”
Sam stares towards the horizon. I carefully push up from the sandy blanket, pulling down on my top. I look down at the fleshy mountains straining against spandex. Still perky, still firm. I suck in my stomach, clench my ass muscles, and make my way to the water, to better compare the competition.
This in response to the theme lovelies by the sea at 52/250, a group blog. We aim to produce a 250 word flash every week for an entire year. The responses to the themes amaze in quality, versatility, and interpretation. Check out last week's catalogue on Cartography.