i don't recall a single care
just greenery and humid air
"We can go to Paris." She runs her finger along the line of Emily's neck, tracing from freckle to freckle through the thin sheen of sweat. "Or Rome."
Lying on her belly on the grass, Emily turns her head, sweeping her hair to one side in a fan, tangled with leaves and bits of grass. "Peru."
"Peru? What's in Peru?"
"I don't know." Emily shrugs carelessly and reaches out, walking her fingers along Susan's bare knees. "I've always wanted to go there. It sounds so exotic."
Susan purses her mouth and lifts her chin. "It sounds dirty," she declares, using the disdainful voice she knows Emily hates. "If I'm going to take a holiday, I want to go someplace nice. Spas and parties."
"Ruins and mountains," Emily counters, and kisses Susan's knee with a sly glint in her eyes.
"Shops and galleries."
"Markets and strangers."
Susan leans back, resting her hands on the ground behind her, squinting into the sunlight. Summer clouds float lazily overhead, and down the slope the lake sparkles. There are distant sounds of laughter, shouts and games; everybody is outside enjoying the warm day.
She thinks of summer stretched before them like a blank page, hot days and whispering leaves, full of expectation. Bare feet and grass stains rather than family gatherings and polite dinners, breathless laughter and teasing kisses rather than when are you going to find a nice boy to marry? and you're lovely, dear, but you're not getting any younger, wrinkled skirts and unbuttoned shirts rather than prim dresses and matching china, excitement in the unknown rather than fear.
"That would be nice," she says absently.
She sits forward again, resting her elbows on her knees, and twirls a strand of Emily's hair around her finger.
Emily rolls onto her side, propping herself up on one elbow. "Or we can go to Paris," she says diplomatically, and Susan laughs at the way she wrinkles her nose.
"Paris can wait," she says. "Peru is farther, maybe far enough that my mother won't even consider it –"
"– and my brothers won't bother to follow," Emily finishes, laughing. She squirms around suddenly, a tangle of long limbs and mussed-up clothing, disheveled and speckled with bits of grass, and rests her head in Susan's lap. Her hair tickles and her skin is warm, and when she speaks again, the words are a gentle vibration, more a feeling than a sound. "We don't have to decide now," she says, low and sleepy. "We can go anywhere."
Of course we can, Susan thinks, closing her eyes and raising her face to the sun. That's what summer is for.
a/n: the title, as well as the opening lyrics, are from death cab for cutie's song summer skin. summer is melting into autumn and i wanted to write something, well, summery. prim british girls from times past and that careless, languid feel of summer.