"I can't think," Sam thought. The girl sat across from him in the sun; blond hair with brown eyes. Someone mentioned that the coals were ready. Sam was getting hungry. With a can of orange soda he sat on the bank of the duck pond. He took a deep breath; charcoal and lighter fluid, grass and summer. He exhaled, but the self-consciousness remained. He closed his eyes and felt the sun on his back. Something inside still needed to be thawed out from the long winter. It was melting, the knots were loosening, something inside wanted to come out, he wanted to yell. He held it all in. He tossed a blade of grass and watched it spiral into the water. Where it landed, an orange shape distinguished itself from the murk and rose to the surface, then disappeared.
A duck eyed him, and approached cautiously. She would see he had nothing and turn back, he thought, but she kept coming. Another followed. Something fell in the water and she scooped it up, no longer wary of his presence. The girl, the blond, was standing over his shoulder with a hotdog bun.
Who was this girl and how did she wind up with this group? Sam hadn't seen her before, but if she was who he thought she was, he'd heard her name a time or two. He didn't think she was attached, not to any of these guys. How old was she? She could've been fifteen for all he knew.
Being twenty was hard. Nothing was clear. The line between childhood and adulthood was fine, sometimes non-existent. He never new just what he was supposed to be doing. For the first time he had to admit he didn't know anything at all.
But he could smell her perfume. Something was distinguishing itself from the murk, rising to the surface. Should he let it? Should he just give in? Or should he be more cautious?
Sam didn't know anything at all, and, for the moment at least, accepted it. This seemed good for some reason, so he laughed for the first time in months.