It seemed to her like a crazy idea at first, to go out on a boat ride like this. When you went out with a boy, everybody knew you went to a movie or maybe an amusement park, or you went to sit on a bench or just hang around on the street. Of course some of them just wanted to park somewhere, but Jasmine didn't go for that -- or only for part of the date. This boat thing was really different from anything she had ever heard of anybody doing.
And she found that it really was different. The sky was beautiful, blue and full of clouds, and living in the city she never thought to look up at it at all. The water looked very nice, and there were actually little fish living in it. Jasmine never would have thought that fish would live in a lake right in the city, though she had know for about all her life the lake was there; she had stood by it many times and thrown stones in it.
But Bobby was different too, she guessed. She had gone out with him twice now, and he hadn't tried to get his hand on her breasts, let alone get into her pants. He just talked to her and they got to know each other. Bobby did kiss her, but he did not even do that much. Less than she was getting to want, in fact.
Bobby had told her they would be out in the bright sunlight, so she wore a light white dress, and even the big white hat she wore to church when she visited her grandmother. That made her look more beautiful than ever to Bobby, but he did not say so. At least not right away, when he first met her.
Bobby paid the old man who rented the boats for three hours use. Jasmine thought that was an awfully long time to just row around, but he had not said what he had in mind beyond going out in the boat.
He stepped into the boat, then took the wicker basket from her, then took her light chocolate hand to help her make the little hop to get in. And what was that blanket for that he had?
He headed straight out from shore and Jasmine lay back and watched the sky and the water -- and Bobby. He, on the other hand, just faced her and only looked around once in a while to check where he was as he rowed.
"The perfect picture of a lady of leisure taking pleasure in an outing on a sunny day," he said to her.
"And you are the old-fashioned gentleman companion indulging her pleasure," she replied.
"I would certainly like to provide you with as much pleasure as I can."
She decided not to answer that one. It could lead to too much, for all the carefully innocent wording. She studied the half-visible fish that swam by the boat, and hoped the blush she felt did not show.
When they were a little past the middle of the lake, she said, "Are you just going to the other side? I've never been there that I remember, but it doesn't look much different. More trees, maybe."
"No, I'm not," he said. "Not really. Those trees aren't on the other side, but on an island close to it. That's where I want to go."
Jasmine's eyebrows went up in surprise. "How'd you find out about that?"
"It's on the map of the city, though you have to be almost behind the island to know it's there. I swam out there the first time when I was about ten. Really I've swum there since too, because I like the place. It's quiet."
"You like to take girls there in a boat?" she asked. Maybe he wasn't that much better than the other boys she had known in her seventeen years. She might have to fight him off too.
"No," Bobby said. "Though I'll say I've thought about it. But you are the first girl I have known who I thought might like it."
Her mouth opened and she looked at him but she couldn't think what to say.
The rowboat ran up onto the dirt and Bobby hopped out and pulled it further in so that Jasmine could step onto dry land.
"There are a couple other boats on the lake. You think they are likely to come here?"
"I doubt it," he said. "I've only a few times seen anybody land here. Don't know why, since I like the place a lot."
Jasmine looked around, then followed Bobby as he walked away from the water. He stopped at a clearing with enough trees that you couldn't see the water easily, though it was not far away -- on all sides, really. They sat for a while and talked on the picnic blanket Bobby spread out, then ate the lunch he had brought. Jasmine was a little withdrawn at first, fiddling with her big white hat, then cast it aside and became more comfortable. Then he lay on his back and looked into the sky. Jasmine joined him, a little hesitantly. This, she thought, was the point where he was going to see what he could make her do.
Well, yes and no. He put his arm around her, supporting her head, but he just talked for a while. Then he paused and told her how beautiful she looked in that dress, wearing that big white hat. She wanted to compliment him too, but the words would not come. She was not used to being told a thing like that when it not only was appropriate but might even be sincere. She just stared into his eyes; he stopped speaking and looked to her face. He kissed her, but after she had expected it and indeed after she wanted it. He never forced her, did not even really seem to lead her, but the time came when her whole body tingled with emotions and sensations he had aroused in her, her mouth almost ached from the exploration of his tongue, and his hand was gently brushing the black tip of one bare raised nipple -- for she had not worn a bra under that light white dress.
Jasmine got to her feet, closed the top of her dress, and kissing his hand said, "I'll be back soon. I want to think alone."
She stepped back the twenty feet or so to the rowboat. She looked out at the water, around at the trees, and back to where Bobby lay patiently on the blanket, looking into the heavens and not at the excited and troubled girl.
Jasmine took several deep breaths while she thought. Why was this boy who seemed not to be trying able to do so much more to her and make her want to do so much more with him? And (in more than one way) what should she do?