And Away I Go...
387 words before breakfast. Go me.
Carmen was different. Dark as the irrigated earth. She had this unruly tangle of black hair that she would absently push off her forehead as it swirled about her in the desert wind. Eyes as black as olives and just as round that she’d shade with her long eyelashes, rarely looking straight at me, but rather from underneath, like a spy, and that shy smile, which said all the words she’d never say. Like my father in that respect. Communication around the ranch was mystery, unspoken possibilities with room enough for wide interpretation.
“You stay away from that girl,” my Dad said one afternoon as we loaded broken chunks of rock into the flatbed. “She’s not for you.” I moved to protest and he stifled me with one look. The ground out here was unforgiving, hard beneath its dirt veneer, unyielding as my father. Granite pounded and left behind when the mountains rose. I remember Carmen jumping rope across the field, my eyes on her even as Dad warned me away from her. Hoping she was watching me, shirtless and straining as I moved the earth.