I expected Lily to be furious, but instead she was scared and excited. I gathered that from the way her hand trembled when she set her Martini down on the poolside table that night, after I returned from the park. She was stretched out in a lounge chair wearing only her black bikini, her pale skin seeming almost to glow in the darkness.
“The neighbors,” I said.
“Fuck the neighbors,” she replied, lighting a Marlboro. “We’re moving soon anyway, I presume. This is going to get messy.”
I couldn’t argue with that.
“Do you know who’s going to go?” she asked forthrightly.
“Maybe we can all stay,” I said.
She shook her head and sat up, pulling her knees to her chest. “You’ve never been that strong,” she said.
“I’m stronger now.”
The look on Lily’s face was incredulous. “I don’t think so,” she said. She rolled the olive into her mouth and chewed it slowly.
“Where’s Anna?” I asked.
Lily pointed up to an upstairs window. “Watching me.”
I looked up, and there was the outline of Anna’s head, black against the brightly lit bedroom. She must have seen me looking at her, but she didn’t look away. “She’s probably wondering what you’re going to do,” I said.
“Maybe,” said Lily. “Want to swim?”
I did. It was wrong to have the scent of Johanna on me when she wasn’t there in the house. I pulled my shirt up and dropped my pants.
“Let’s live somewhere remote next time,” said Lily as she stood up. “Somewhere people won’t see us.”
“We tried that,” I said.
Lily stopped to remember, looking up at the moon. “Yeah,” she acknowledged. “Maybe somewhere semi-rural,” she suggested. “A college town.”
“You’re so sure you’ll be there,” I said coldly.
Lily turned towards me, a quick look of anger flitting across her face before she smiled broadly and reached for my shorts.
Just at that moment, the back door opened and Anna came running across the lawn, completely nude. She grabbed Lily’s hand and yanked her into the pool. They surfaced together, laughing, and Anna reached around to unhook Lily’s top. I jumped in after them, and Lily yanked my shorts off.
They both knew it was one of our last nights together, and that one of them would soon be going away forever. They didn’t know which, and each was filled with a mixture of hope and dread that it might be her. That’s how it is with us. The staying is miserable, but we never want to go.