The sun on his back turned his brown skin golden with sweat and extra melanin. His skin was smooth, rippled only by the strength and firmness beneath it. His jeans hung low from lean hips, strong thigh disappearing into the length of very worn jeans and the steel toe boots he wore somehow made it an outfit ready for any runway… -well, minus the dirt.
“They’re watching you, you know. So is she.” Mark informed his friend with his usual crooked tooth grin.
“I know. They aren’t much good at being subtle.” Ian said, stopping to wipe sweat from his forehead with the back of his gloved hand, leaving a streak of mud as he did so.
“Why don’t you talk them, or at least her, put them out of their misery?”
“What makes you think they are miserable? They do this every day. I hardly think misery is the word for the way they watch me.” Ian continued to dig, unearthing a beautiful patch of Triumph Tulips and placing them in the waiting flower pot. They would stay there until he was ready to replant them.
“I know you like it. You aren’t fooling anyone. You like it when I am around you. You get to be the god, while I am the invisible man.” Mark said.
“You like being the invisible man.”
“That I do.” Mark chuckled.
“Besides, I am not trying to have your tiny wife as an enemy. I can just imagine what she would do to me for having “floozies” around you.”
Both men erupted in laughter at the recollection of the word that Mark’s wife, Anne, so frequently used. Mark had been married to Anne for 5 years, and the difference in height made them quite the pair. Anne is 4″11 and her husband 6″4. They are annoyingly happy, usually affecting whoever was around them. But that life wasn’t for Ian. He had already been married.
His mood soured thinking of his wife, Sally. Sally had died 3 years before while aborting his child. He hadn’t known she was pregnant. He could still remember the call, the doctor informing him that his wife had developed a complication during the procedure and had died while undergoing treatment. He was confused. Sally had told him that she was going on a business trip. She had left the day before and was supposed to be gone for 5 days. She was an ambitious advertising executive and after years of putting her career first had promised the time had come for them to have the baby they had discussed. As far as he knew, they were trying.
After the call and returning from the hospital, a search revealed she had lied to him. There were birth control pills, patches, morning after pills. Sally hadn’t wanted to be pregnant at all. The truth hit him like a punch to his gut. She had been lying for the past year, saying she just hadn’t been pregnant and they should try another year before seeing a specialist. After she died, the doctor informed her that it had been her third procedure in a year and that an infection from her last had been undetected. That was one of the reasons she hadn’t made it.
He had his feet swept from under him. His world turned upside down. He had thought him and his wife happy. So much for that.
“She’s coming.” Marks’ voice pierced his thoughts.
He turned to see Madelline Cage coming towards them with a tray of lemonade. They all knew she didn’t give a damn if they were thirsty, she just needed an excuse to come near them.