Maggie poured more baby oil into her hands. It overflowed because she had squeezed the bottle accidentally, and it got all over her legs, which were already shiny with oil.
“Give me some more,” Nellie, her best friend who was ten also, said. Maggie held the baby oil in one cupped hand and gave the bottle to Nellie who did the same thing as Maggie. Nellie was not “developing early” as Maggie. Her yellow bikini with the red polka dots lay flat on her chest, where Maggie’s bikini did not—or not as much as Nellie’s.
Maggie and Nellie finished rubbing the oil on their bodies, even went to the point of putting a little on their faces after pulling their hair back into ponytails. They lay back on their towels, closed their eyes and waited for tans.
After a few moments, Nellie spoke up, “So what do we do now?”
“We just lay here for twenty minutes,” Maggie said, “that’s what it said in “Twenty Minutes to get the Perfect Tan” in my mom’s Cosmo.”
“Okay. It’s looks fun in all the movies.”
“Yeah it does. This is fun.”
“Uh-huh,” Nellie said.
Two minutes later, Maggie heard squeals and screams. She pushed herself up on her elbows and looked across the lawn at Luke and Liam’s, the eight year old twin’s, front yard. They were running through sprinklers with matching Spiderman swim trunks, chasing one another with water guns. Maggie remembered when something like that had interested her. But watching the twins now, she felt tired. She wanted to do fun things like the pretty women and men did in the movies and in her mom’s magazines.
Maggie lay back down and closed her eyes. Maybe it just took twenty minutes of sun bathing for the fun to start kicking in.
Except, she couldn’t have fun because Nellie wouldn’t stop fidgeting.
“What is it, Nellie?”
Nellie sat up. “It’s just that my skin is burning.”
“So?” Maggie’s skin was tingling too and she had been sweating everywhere for the last five minutes.
“So…this is boring. Can’t we go play with them or something?” Nellie pointed at Maggie’s next door neighbors. They were doing cartwheels over sprinkler heads now.
“I’m having fun. Besides, I don’t feel like playing with kids anymore.” Maggie lay back down and closed her eyes, thinking that was the end of it.
A few moments later Nellie said, “Think I’ll just go cool off for a second or so.”
When Maggie sat up, Nellie was already running halfway across the yard. Something about Nellie not listening to her made Maggie angry. “Fine then! Go! You’re not woman enough to tan anyways!”
Maggie crossed her arms over her chest and lay down. Stupid Nellie with her stupid flat chest. She would not get up. Not play with the twins. Not apologize to Nellie. She would get a tan and be the hottest fifth grader. At least with Nellie gone now, she wouldn’t bother Maggie with her stupid fidgeting.
A little while later, Maggie uncrossed her arms and stood up. She figured that was twenty minutes or so. Suddenly, cold water hit her back making her scream.
“God damn it!” She cursed like her father did when he watched the news. Maggie turned around to find Liam and Luke with water guns and Nellie next to them laughing.
Before Maggie could yell at them, Luke pointed at her and said, “You have boobs!” Liam and Nellie laughed with him. Of course, she had boobs. More than anyone else in her grade.
“You’re not supposed to point them out you perv!”
She crossed her arms over her chest.
Nellie shook her head. “No! Your arms. They made boobs beneath your chest!”
Maggie uncrossed her arms and looked down. Beneath her bathing suit top were two white blobs made from her crossed arms while she tanned. She crossed her arms quickly and ran toward her house while Nellie and the boys laughed behind her.
Only twenty minutes to get the perfect boobs.