His right arm was smooth

It was the left that drew me in. Hash marks—perhaps marking the passage of time? Or is each raised, dull scar a memory of pain? Freedom from it?

The first thought in my head concerned his tank top. I don’t recall what patriotic beer logo may have adorned the front, but I do remember a distinct lack of sleeves. It felt like peeking in someone’s dresser drawers—into places a stranger should never go. His skin, freckled and rough from sun damage, was out for all to see. Naked, bare in more ways than one. I blushed. I stared.

Isn’t it normal to hide the evidence? Should he have locked it up so women on the beach, like myself, would not find their eyes fixed on the horizontal stripes that repeated from shoulder to elbow? It was the unexpectedness of his confidence that made my brow rise and my eyes follow as he strode past my settled patch of sand. What’s the story?

A month has gone by, but I still consider him and wander after him in my memories. I blush again; I’m certain I’ve been caught where a stranger should never go.