I knew this girl once. She still won’t tell you his name, but he was older, and cute, and he played volleyball at the resort when her family took the boat over every summer evening to play. This guy, he teased her, and joked with her older brothers, and she had to pretend she wasn’t looking at him and listening to him all the time. She had to serve the ball, knowing he was watching. She got to watch him play. Sometimes he was captain and picked her for his team. It was sweet and terrible, either way.
Then, one day, her brothers caught on. She hadn’t even said anything. They couldn’t know the depth of her crush, but they knew enough. So they joked about him, saying he wore white socks. Like that was a crime. Like that made him silly or unworthy. “There’s nothing wrong with white socks,” she would say, and her brothers would laugh harder.
The guy had the decency never to tease her himself, or, heaven forbid, make a move. As if he’d have a chance with her three big brothers around.
But she remembers, this girl. After the games, they drank pops by the lake, in a big group around the double swing, and she can still see his white socks.