I am Rory's lazy summer. Her apathy towards activity, towards eating something that is not prepackaged inside a brightly colored box. I am her pink, plaid pajama pants and her yellow scrunchie. I am her calendar with red X's and I am the beginning of school looming in the not so distant future. Rory spends hours in the shower with tepid water and the window flung open to the sunshine. She has three different types of body wash; three different colors and three different scents. Purple lavender for relaxation, Blue tropical breeze for fun and the Pink sweat pea that Emily gave her. She takes a stiff brush and goes over her elbows and knees and toes and finger nails. Her cuticles are pink and raw and she can't seem to get the sticky scent of summer off of her.

I am Rory's almost uneventful summer. Except for that:

Rory kissed a girl. Rory kissed a girl and used her tongue and I am Rory's hands tugging at the top of the girl's jeans, revealing the little angelic tattoo she had there. I am the thumb, running over and over her hip bone.

Sitting in class, Rory's cheeks start to burn and she doesn't know where to put her hands that won't look suspicious. There is the expected first day of school buzz and everyone is chattering happily about their summer internship and months in Europe. Her new English teacher, perched on his desk, is young and interested in the gossip. His eyes roam around the room, and fall on Rory, who is silent. He winks and looks as if he is about to speak.

I am Rory's abject terror.

Rory looks down and crosses her arms right underneath her breasts that are hidden quite well by the frumpy Chilton blazer. Her wrists jam into the top of her ribs, right where another girl's fingers prodded softly, and then moved up to the pale, velvet skin of just under the breast. It still gave her a jolt of pleasure when she thought about it. Fingers pressed against her and lips on her neck while she stared across the room at Jess - at the bleach blonde girl wrapped around him. She remembers him much more vividly then the girl who had her tongue in Rory's mouth. She was angry and cold when she saw him, but hot, so hot at the same time.

This girl had oozed desire. She had oozed soft sexuality, all pink eye shadow and hair that sparkled under the flashing lights of the club. She was flirty, eyeing Rory's a little too tight black jeans and conservative top that Emily had bought her for Christmas, the same body wash Christmas, in fact. After the initial panic, Rory succumbed and realized that she wanted this girl.

I am Rory's bisexuality. Rory, surprisingly, swung both ways. This girl, already starting to paw, wanted her and she, though physically turned on, really wanted Jess but Jess... well, did Jess ever really want her? She didn't know.

If she just could have not cared about Jess, she never would have let this sweet smelling thing press her hips against her, wouldn't have let her hands roam down past her waist and push her against a wall, gyrating with the beat of the music. It wouldn't have been a flurry of sound, lights, spit, and boobs. She blushed fiercely, as Rory was wont to do.

"Virgin?" The girl said, almost mockingly and pressed her lips onto Rory's slightly open mouth, while Rory looked around her head and strained to see if Jess was watching. He wasn't. This wasn't how she planned to end her summer, and she knew she should be on a bus speeding far away from New York, reading Dorothy Parker and refining her bitterness. Instead, she was being ignored by Jess who kept wiggling his eyebrows and licking another girl's teeth.

He still wasn't watching when this girl -- this too bold girl! -- pushed her against a chair and undid the button on her jeans. He still wasn't looking when Rory nipped at and breathed heavily into the sparkly girl's ear.

I am Rory's exasperation in all things concerning Jess. But, then, oh, the pretty pink nails went underneath the elastic band of Rory's panties and suddenly all Rory wanted was to go home. All she wanted was to eat ice cream with her mother and Friday night dinners and even Paris would be better then this. She felt stupid and na�ve and young when she roughly pushed the girl away and stood, with little balance and no grace. The girl looked indignant and pissed off but when she followed Rory's eyes to Jess, she sighed a dejected understanding. Rory would not cry, but then the girl was buttoning her up and straightening out her own skirt and tucking bits and pieces of Rory back together. "Good luck." she whispered.

I am Rory's complete lack of luck in love. I am Rory's welling tears.

When she looked up, jolted back to reality by the teacher clearing his throat and calling for order, his eyes were off of her. Maybe no one would ask her about her summer, especially this just out of grad-school teacher she'd been saddled with. And, if he did ask, she could lie. Or even, she could tell the truth. In great detail, she could explain that she could feel nipples pressed into her own, that her panties had been soaked and that on the bus home, squirming, she'd sat across from a man who grabbed himself whenever she looked in his general direction.

No. I am Rory's inability to lie. I am Rory's quiet sensibility.

I am Rory's deep, damp secret.