The Sun shone brightly in the sky. Blinding to the eye, powerful on the skin, filling him with a glowing warmth.
The park was packed full of sun worshipping Londoners of varying age and lifestyle.
Young students sat in a huddle, joking amongst themselves about the latest reality TV series. A group in all black, stood talking preparing for a gig at the nearby arena. Couples, sunbathing next to each other, he in knee length shorts and flip flops, her in a flowing, yellow summer dress. All types were in the park, all were welcome.
This was the wonderful thing about Britain. The second that the Sun made a fleeting appearance, tools were downed, shops packed with people buying 6 packs of their preferred beverage & the air smelt of burning charcoal as amateur chefs cooked their solitary barbecue of the year.
Ben lay on his back in the dry grass, his eyes closed under the gingerly rested sunglasses, a bottle of overly priced, commercial cider resting in his hand by his side.
He listened to the conversation around him as familiar voices talked amongst themselves, aware of his presence, but leaving him to his own devices.
“You should come do a few hours a week with us. It’ll help you when the time comes for your work to start on your place.”
“Perhaps. Could be fun I guess. What sort of work would it be?”
“Nothing too stressful, a bit of manual labour. Lifting boxes, painting or tiling a few walls. Pretty basic stuff.”
A pause. He focused intently to see if he could hear anything. Voices in the distance laughing. The faint smell of a barbecue from somewhere else in the park. The murmur of people out and about enjoying the weather. All a distance away.
“Yeah okay, might as well give it a go. What do I need to do?”
“Remind me later. My Dad is helping out. He’ll be at the house most days. I’ll give you his number later and you can arrange to meet him.”
“Okay cool… Oh, hel…”
Silence again. A pause. He suddenly felt very alert. Then, a kiss.
He felt the sensation deep on his lips as a soft, intimate peck touched them. A delicate feeling. Done with love, but designed to surprise.
His eyes opened and he opened them just fast enough to see a blurbed head come fast towards him.
A sudden pain throughout his chest as she landed hard on top of him, the brunt of her weight hard on his ribcage. It winded him briefly.
His head landed back on the ground after briefly lurching upwards. It hit the ground hard, a surge through his skull, soothed as he simultaneously felt her lips once again on his. This time, intensely and passionate.
He smiled as time slowed to a crawl, he let go of the bottle in his hand, and pulled his arms in, grabbing her waist as she lay on top of him.
He felt cotton on her waist, the shirt clasping to her skin as he squeezed her tightly.
He kissed her back, and for a brief time, the two became intertwined. Like a symbiotic entity, lying tightly together on the grass. Happy. Content.
They both paused, their lips seperating, their heads pulling apart. He looked into her eyes and a wide grin spread across his face as the pair of them remembered where exactly they were.
She leaned back, sitting astride his legs. He leaned up, using his arms underneath his sides to prop him up.
He looked at her, and then twisted his head to his left, the grin on his face stretching from ear to ear.
The small group of friends sat there, sitting in various positions across the carpet, surrounding a small picnic.
Dean sat in the middle of them, chicken leg in one hand, cider bottle in the other, he looked at Ben and laughed.
There was a brief moment when he didn’t know what to say. It was difficult to explain the joy he felt at this exact time. So he didn’t try. He simply turned back to her.
Her long, flowing hair glistened in the sunshine and with the Sun behind her, framing her silhouette like a renaissance masterpiece, she looked like an angel.
Life was good.
Leaning, he lifted his arms forward and tried to wrap them around her.
Without the support of his arms, his body fell backwards to the ground and she followed him.
Once again, they kissed. Softly this time. Gently reacquainting themselves with each other’s lips.
They stopped and he released her. Reaching for the bottle on his right, he realised that it’d fallen over long ago. It lay there, empty. He didn’t care anymore.
Placing the arm behind his head, he leaned back. She adjusted herself next to him and lay on the grass too, her head resting on the upper torso of his chest.
His left hand lay gently across her and stroked her hair.
He closed his eyes and listened to the group nearby.
“Anyone want one of these chicken legs before this one eats them all?”
He heard Dean laugh, and he felt her head shake softly on his head.
The Sun shone down on him, as he gently dozed off to sleep.