In spite of my willingness to tackle either God’s or the Devil’s lesson plans for me, I didn’t know how competent a teacher I could be to him.
Teaching him either his ABC’s or how to not leave me hanging.
Like his dangly bits.
As far as school went, I’d never been the best of students. While I was a voracious reader, things like paying attention in class had never been my strong suit. I seemed to have some sort of defect that made me pay attention to everything other than what the teacher was saying at the time.
From kindergarten on, there hadn’t been a whispered conversation within a ten desk radius of me that had ever escaped my attention.
So after I put my clothes back on, pondering how I would even get started on either task, I sat down at the edge of the water just staring at him.
Even though he appeared relaxed and carefree, there was something about the way he carried himself – even floating in the still waters with his eyes closed – that told me he was still aware of everything going on around him.
Like he was hyperaware of every sound – every shift in the slight breeze blowing across the treetops – and he could react to it before I’d even registered he moved.
It was weird, in a way. Almost animalistic, but I supposed it was something he’d been forced to learn. Honing his survival instincts once he figured out he could only rely on himself to survive.
We had that in common.
But remembering how quickly my self-preservation instincts had fled me the day before, I figured now was as good a time as any to go back for my dropped machete.
Bubba wasn’t only my weapon/garden tool of choice, he was my go-to culinary knife when I cleaned the fish I caught.
Which was still an item I had yet to cross off of my mental shopping list.
So maybe we didn’t have that whole survival-at-any-cost thing in common.
And wondering if my earlier thoughts were indeed fact versus fiction, I glanced over at my pupil who still appeared as though he wasn’t paying me any mind, and decided to perform a little test.
A pop quiz, of sorts.
Moving as quietly as possible, I kept my eyes trained on him to see if he would notice me getting up from the ground.
And he did – before my legs even had the chance to straighten.
His eyes opened and locked onto mine, sounding like he hadn’t spent the last however many years as a mute Jesus giant, when he said in a questioning tone, “Sookie?”
So now that my first question had been answered, I ignored his and moved onto my second one.
Figuring out what I should call him – other than Monkey – I went with another earlier musing and replied, “Adam?”
It hadn’t been an uncommon name, so it was worth a shot.
Even if my name wasn’t Eve.
His eyes were still locked onto mine, but by the confused look on his face I gathered it didn’t ring any bells with him.
So I took it as a sign that school wasn’t over yet.
Peppering him with whatever names I could come up with seemed counterproductive, so I shrugged and said, “I’m going to get my machete.”
Bubba and I had been together for a long time.
I wasn’t going to leave him behind.
I ignored feeling my belly rumble in protest. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d eaten anything of substance, but I would more than likely need Bubba sooner than later and getting him back was my priority for now.
But not wanting to seem rude – even if he was, not that he knew what that was – I quickly filled my water bottles and loaded them into the sack, before standing up and saying, “I’m going now, but you’re welcome to come with me.”
Without waiting for a reply – because really, I would be waiting until the cows came home – I turned to head back the way I’d gone a day earlier, with a grimace on my face now craving burgers and steaks.
I’d even be ecstatic with a side of fries or a baked potato.
I didn’t bother to look back to see if he was following me, knowing he made all of the sound of a gnat.
A gnat, sleeping on a bed of cotton balls.
But I didn’t let the fact I couldn’t hear him make me believe he’d stayed behind. Instead I kept moving, with my eyes taking in my surroundings, wondering what other edible treasures could be growing on the island.
Surely he couldn’t have gotten that big on bananas alone.
Even if one part of him was the right size.
But thinking about his banana-shaped body part only served to remind me of my other appetite that hadn’t been sated. I’d read about having an orgasm before, but I’d never experienced one.
Living in close quarters with your family from the age of fourteen on didn’t really leave you with much privacy.
And doing anything like that had been the last thing on my mind when I eventually found myself all alone.
Forcing every thought away before any part of me could become weepy, I made a mental note to gather some banana leaves for the next time I caught any fish, knowing I could steam them inside of the wrapped leaves.
It didn’t take nearly as long to reach the clearing, with the path I’d cut through the brush still wide open, and after searching for a moment, I spotted Bubba’s handle sticking out of the foliage just a few feet from the tree.
“There you are,” I cooed, bending over to pull him from the leaves and vines he’d spent the night in.
And I repeated those same words in a shriek of surprise, feeling the hand of God.
Or rather – the banana of Jesus, now trying to wrap itself in my leaves.
I hadn’t heard him following me, so maybe those gnats were sleeping on the cotton balls stuffed into my ears. But I was quick to stand up, pulling myself away from his grasp and turned around to say something.
I couldn’t remember what, seeing the look on his face.
Animalistic just about covered it, but in a different sort of way.
Now that he’d skinny dipped himself, his body was clean.
Again, in a different sort of way.
But I’d already learned my lesson for the day and I didn’t want a repeat. I was more hungry for food than for the knowledge two virgins could bestow on one another, so I forced my eyes up to meet his and firmly said, “No!”
“No,” he repeated.
It was probably just in my head that made it sound more like a question than a statement.
Although the tingle I felt below the waist wasn’t just in my head, but the rumble in my empty stomach took the reins, with me replying to his maybe-question, “No. We’re not doing that again.”
Right now, I silently added.
And then pointing at his pointy part, I added, “So you can let your divining rod lead you back to the other wet hole you just came from,” and in, “But if you find my happy moment when you get there, you’re more than welcome to it.”
Being hungry in every way possible wasn’t helping me to mind my manners and feeling bad, seeing the mixed up emotions on his face, as I turned to go back towards the path that would lead me to the beach, I added, “I’m going to find something to eat. You’re welcome to join me.”
I didn’t turn around to see if he was following me, but only because I wasn’t so sure the hunger in my belly would override the other hunger I was feeling. Now that I’d almost reached my very first climax, I was itching to try again.
An itch I wanted him to scratch.
But I ignored the feeling – and the feeling I was being ignorant when I mentally put up imaginary fliers around the pond: Lost – First Orgasm – If found, please return. Reward!
When I finally reached the beach, seeing the tracks in the sand made me remember the fact there were crabs to be had.
They would be a great pairing to my crabby mood.
And even though a dish of melted butter would be appreciated, it wasn’t necessary.
I made quick work of storing both Bubba and the water on the boat before grabbing an empty bucket, along with a small fishing net. But as I made my way back to the rope ladder to climb down onto the beach, seeing the human sundial waiting for me on the sand, I decided to grab one more thing.
A pair of men’s shorts from the suitcase I’d taken from the plane.
Climbing back down onto the beach to catch my lunch – and to cover Jesus’s giant cross I was forced to bear – I spotted another set of tracks in the sand I recognized immediately.
The tracks of a feathered telepathic German Sheppard.
Sully was perched on the railing of the boat, watching my every move with interest.
He knew what that net meant.
But having wings for arms and feathers for hands made him about as useful as tits on a bull.
As my daddy would say…
The corners of my lips curved upward with the memory, as I made my way down the sand and I set the bucket and net down before slowly approaching him with the shorts in my hand.
And giggling softly to myself when I realized I was moving towards him like he was a scared rabbit I had trapped in a corner.
Maybe because the one part of him I was wanting to cover was back to being floppy.
But he didn’t look scared – because I was the only insane one here – and when I reached his side, I held up the cure to my particular brand of crazy, explaining, “Shorts.”
Like the name of the garment in my hand, my explanation had been short.
And meant to cover his point.
“You wear them,” I added and then showed him what I meant by putting my feet through the leg holes and pulling them up my body over my own shorts.
Then repeating the process in reverse, I squatted down by his feet and looked up at him saying, “Now you try.”
It took some verbal prodding and a few taps on the tops of his giant feet before he seemed to catch on. Stepping into one side, he lifted his other foot to step into the other, and I pulled the shorts up his legs, saying a mental prayer they would fit him.
“Hallelujah and amen!” I smiled, when they were finally buttoned at his waist.
They were just a tad big on him, so they hung a little low.
But since that just showed off his abs and the V cut leading down to his divining rod, I wasn’t too upset about that.
Besides, I didn’t need to see that to know where the wet holes were on this island.
I was just about to get the net to do some crab fishing when his hands moved to his waist, trying – and succeeding – to work the buttons open.
“What are you doing?” I asked in a panic, with my own hands reaching out in an attempt to stop his big reveal.
He didn’t try to remove my hands.
Instead he used his hands to try and remove my shorts.
“What are you doing?” I repeated.
But I didn’t sound panicked, exactly.
At first I thought he was trying to shush me, but seeing the look of concentration on his face, I waited until he finally sounded out, “Sshhorts.”
“Shorts!” I nodded with a big grin and clapped my hands like an idiot.
Which was how he was able to pull mine down my legs unhindered.
But not wanting to yell at him when he was making progress on two fronts, I just pushed his hands away from the front of me and pulled them back up my body.
And then repeated the process all over again when he pulled his own shorts down his legs.
I was sure we would look like the poor man’s version of The Three Stooges to anyone watching from afar, but Sully was the only witness to our R-rated antics and he didn’t know who Larry, Moe, and Curly were.
But thinking I might be able to dial him back to a G-rated setting, I spun around and picked up the bucket. Then turning back around, I held it up and sounded out loud, “Buh…ket. Bucket.”
I repeated it a few more times, while he concentrated on my lips and it only took him a couple of tries before he eventually said, “Bucket.”
“Yes,” I nodded. “Bucket!”
With class in full swing, soon after bucket, net, sand, and boat were all crossed off of our lesson plan.
We were both smiling like fools, with him seeming to be excited to be learning and me feeling excited to teach him. It would be nice to have someone to talk to again instead of talking at someone.
I loved Sully, but he was no conversationalist.
And hoping the words would keep flowing from somewhere deep in the recesses of his memory, I put my hand on my chest and said, “My name is Sookie.”
“Sookie,” he repeated easily, with his own hand coming to land on my chest.
And it answered the question of whether or not boob-fascination was a learned response.
So I took his hand in my own and put them both against his own chest, asking, “And your name is…?”
I thought he was confused at first or maybe waiting for me to give him the answer I had no way of knowing.
But in spite of his previous insistence, I didn’t believe his actual name was Monkey.
Which was why I merely waited, hoping with him picking up on other words from his past, his name might get dislodged from wherever it was hidden in there.
So when he didn’t say anything – even though his mouth was slightly open, as though his name was on the tip of his tongue – I brought our entwined hands back to my chest and repeated, “My name is Sookie.”
Understanding filtered into his eyes, with him softly repeating, “Sookie.”
Then bringing our hands back to him, I repeated just as softly, “And your name is…?”
Staring back at him, I wasn’t just holding his hand anymore. Now I was holding my breath too, watching his eyes as he rooted through his memories.
Teaching him the names of things was all well and good, but I wanted him to remember something of who he was.
I couldn’t imagine – not only going through whatever traumas he’d suffered being stranded here all alone – but not knowing who I was.
With the end of the world, I was the only one left who knew the history of the Stackhouse family.
I could only assume the same could be said for him and I wanted that for him. To remember who he was and where he came from.
His grip tightening slightly on mine narrowed my focus onto him so acutely, I was sure I could hear every beat of his heart.
It was how I was sure mine had stopped, when I realized he’d found something of himself, hearing him slowly sound out, “My…name…is…Eerriic.”