“He’s good looking for a Maori boy aye?” Jen has a coffee clasped in one hand, a cigarette in the other and last nights makeup melted down her face. Beth watches her as she watches George mowing the lawn out the window.

“Yeah I guess.” He takes off his t-shirt and rubs his face with it before draping it over his shoulder. He’s just hot. No question about it. Look at those abs! “He’s pretty nice too, came over last night to help with dinner.”

“You been crying to Kara again?”

“No. She just had some extra meat. George had been out hunting.”

“Good. You don’t want to look too desperate.”

“I know.”

“You okay to take the boys down to the rugby club? I’m working tonight, need some rest.”

“Yeah that’s cool.” Beth goes to her room to get ready. She pulls on some acid wash jeans and a sweater, the morning air was brisk. I wish I had some more makeup. These freckles are so fucking ugly. I’m so fucking ugly. No wonder the kids at school call me fly shit face. She lines her eyes heavily with black eyeliner and shakes out her long wavy brown hair. Better, I guess.

“You boys ready yet? We have to go in 10 minutes.” Beth calls out her door. She has one last long look at herself before shrugging and leaving the room.

Once in the piece of shit, poo-coloured car she turns on the radio and her favourite song comes on. The theme song from ‘Dirty Dancing’ is fourth on the top twenty so she winds down the window and sings all the way there.

“I’ve, had, the time of my li-i-ife…”

She pulls into the gravely car park and the boys run off to find their teams. She grabs her book and heads over to the club. Children are running and shrieking, parents are growling and gripping their kid’s wrists, but Beth blocks it all out and finds a spot in the sunshine. It’s going to be a long day. Noah and Jim pop up out of nowhere and give her their team timetables for the tournament and head off again. She opens her book at the folded corner and reads.

“Hey.” Beth squints up at George who’s smiling down at her. ”Reading again? Your new name can be Beth the bookworm.”

“And what about your name?” she replies.

“That’s up to you.”

“Georgie Porgie pudding and pie. Kissed the girls and made them cry.”

“Will you cry?” He sits down close beside her and she blushes.


“You won’t.” He leans in closer. “You look nice.”

“So do you…” she blushes again. They lie in the grass, soaking up the sun and soaking in each other. Maybe it wont be so bad after all. Kids and parents rush around them. Whistles blow and shrieking children are all drowned out by the deep pools of chocolate brown.

“Did you see that try?” Jim squeals and plops himself on Beth’s lap. Noah runs up behind him. “It was choice!”

“Are you guys ready then?” They nod. Beth gets up and looks down at George. “I guess I’ll see you later then.”

“Yeah, I’ll walk you to the car.” He hops up and takes her hand. Her heart hammers again and she feels stupidly happy. Jim and Noah are waiting for them at the car. “See you around Beth.” He kisses her on the cheek and walks away, leaving Beth red in the face.

“Is he your new boyfriend Aunty?” Noah watches impressed as George circles around the car on his bike before taking off.

“No.” Beth says smiling to herself.