Alex makes an mmm noise as you rub. Alex continues to read.
You are in love with Alex.
The word MARRIAGE bobs up in to your consciousness like a bath toy. The word seems ridiculous – nothing more than a cultural meme – an abstract set of parameters within which a relationship can or cannot fit.
A squeaky plastic duck. The institution of marriage.
You refuse to give it credence and do not answer the implied question. The popped question.
You look at the sun on Alex’s skin. If you were to get married, think of the skin damage, think of the increased risk of cancer.
You see that sunlight has reached the back of Alex’s knees; it is inches from your feet.
“Yuck,” Alex says, turning a page.
What do you do?

  1. Ask to move further in to the shade.
  2. Just hang out.
  3. Apply sun cream.