That morning they decided to take a walk in the woods. He thought they should spend a little more time outside. Downstairs, she stepped past him through the screen door. Her shoes flapped against the patio. He looked up. The sun was white through thin clouds. Nothing had changed for a few days. He wanted to take her to the field.
As they walked across the yard he turned to her. “You should’ve worn long pants.”
She looked down at her dress. “I’ll be fine.”
He pushed prickers out of their way. The path was hard to see. He walked ahead of her. She was stepping carefully through a tangle of bushes when he stopped.
“This is it.”
He didn’t expect her to be impressed. The field was small but special for a forest like this one. Low grass was mowed down in so many lawns or shaded to death in the forest around the house, but it flourished here. Each blade came up to their waists and resisted their legs. The crushed stalks unfolded in their footsteps.
They flattened a circle to sit. He watched her hesitate, her lips tightening a little bit, her fingers pinching her dress. She lowered quickly, legs folding to the side. He sat across from her. The grass rose over their heads, borders became invisible; the field, endless.
He kissed her. He didn’t know how to make the day beautiful but this was close, he thought. She smiled with tight lips, leaning back on her hands. She tilted her head toward the white sun. He stared out into the grass. She was looking at him.
“What are you thinking about?”
He coughed into his hand. A car passed down the road, far away, snaking through the woods. He was silent for a second. “Nothing. All this. How young it is. Where you’re from trees are hundreds of years old, or you don’t know until you cut them down. Here, everything started growing fifty years ago. It was farmland, then pastures my dad mowed. What we’re sitting in is overgrowth.”
She ran her fingers along a blade of grass, looked at him. “Don’t do that.” She blinked. Her eyes stayed closed for too long. Not quite a grimace. He felt the urge to apologize.
She looked up at the sky. “I’m tired.”
“I think we stayed up too late last night. Ok.”
He stood and gave her a hand. Tiny grass-colored spiders were crawling up the fringe of her dress. He brushed them off.
“What is it?”
“Nothing. Just grass.”