When Caprice asked him to choose between Heineken and Yoo-hoo, Fenton pretended to study the question. Tilting backwards in a metal chair up against the brick wall in the kitchen, he looked pensively at his hands as he made a list, in the air, with his fingers.
“Heineken,” he said, after she’d already popped the cap off the bottle.
“You’re funny,” Caprice said.
“Do you want to dance?” he asked as she handed him the bottle.
“I would, but my boyfriend gets jealous,” she answered.
“I’ll dance,” Janice said.
And that’s how he met her, those smaller than expected hazel eyes beneath an unruly wave of black hair, highlighted with a touch of orange on top. Don Henley’s Boys of Summer was playing, and then Simon put on Little Feat’s Rocky Mountain Jam before tapping a keg of Red Hook. The music was so loud that Fenton and Janice couldn’t talk easily over the din, so they flirted with their eyes. Mostly.
“You HAVE no motor skills!” Janice yelled to him at one point.
This would have affected his confidence, but he couldn’t understand anything but “motor.”
“Where did you buy your feet!?” she asked.
And he nodded in agreement, in the midst of Dixie Chicken, thinking she meant Little Feat was just the best.
As the room filled up and got warm, Fenton grabbed the middle of his shirt and pulled it out several times in succession to indicate he was overheating. Janice grabbed for his hand and he wound up gently pulling her outside to where the backyard pool was. It was just getting dark enough so that the pool lights illuminated the water, giving it the appearance of undulating, electrified jade.
“You’re an awesome dancer,” he thought to say.
She grimaced at the cliché.
“That’s the best you can do?” she asked.
Fenton tiltled his head.
“Sometimes my tongue is not my best friend,” he explained.
But then he couldn’t decide whether to be taken aback or slightly encouraged by the way she looked at him. She solved that one, too, by pushing him into a bed of verbena and kissing him on the mouth.