"Take your T-shirt off," Barb said, as she looked at Rick, who was lying beside her on the blanket. "When you come to the beach, you don't cover up. You come for the sun, or something else," she giggled.
"I really don't want to take it off," Rick insisted. "I'm unusually sensitive to the sun." He closed his eyes and pulled his cap bill lower for more facial shade.
"I wanna put sun screen on your back. Maybe the front, too," Barb said through another giggle.
"What's with this sun screen stuff? Last time we were here, and I asked you to put some on me, you refused, and said we didn't know each other well enough for that."
"That was then, but now we're pretty well acquainted, don't you think?" That was accompanied by a grin, not a giggle.
"I'd say we're more than acquainted. If we weren't the only two on this beach, I'd suggest you rub it on some other guy." Rick paused. "No, I don't mean that. I just don't want to take my shirt off."
"Have you got some problem I don't know about?" Barb asked. "You've always been ready to take your shirt off when we're together. Why not now?"
"I just don't want to. Can't we talk about something else?" Rich sighed.
Barb reached down and grabbed the bottom of Rick's T-shirt. "I think I'll rip it right off you. I saw a girl do that in an old movie. She just ripped his undershirt to shreds. It was pretty sexy."
"No, this is one of my pristine shirts. I save it for special occasions, like going to the beach with you."
As he said that, Barb was pulling the shirt up his torso. Rick sat up abruptly, grabbed each of her hands, and pushed the shirt back down. But as soon as he had done that, Barb grabbed the shirt again, and yanked it up to his armpits. Then she saw the problem: large, irregular shaped black blotches interspersed with patches of white on Rick's shoulders, chest and belly. Her gasp was audible.
"My God, what happened to you? You didn't look like that last time I saw you stripped."
"My mother was a Jersey cow," Rick claimed, saying it seriously as though it were true. "The blotches only come out on occasion. Today was one of those occasions. That's why I didn't want to remove my shirt."
Barb was mystified by his explanation. He said it so seriously that even her disbelief was challenged.
"That can't be true," she responded. But what could be the cause, she wondered.
"My doc put me on blood thinners two weeks ago. You haven't seen me without a shirt since then. I didn't know it would cause this. but it does. They call it plavix bruises, and it will stay this way as long as I take the thinner."
"How long with that be?" Barb asked, afraid of what the answer might be.
"Indefinitely. Maybe forever. Doc says that I've got a arterial disease that could take my eyesight if clots occur, This'll stop the clots. But it also means I can't take my shirt off in public."
Rick pulled his T-shirt back down. Barb helped straighten it.
"I don't mind. I don't want the other girls to see you half undressed, anyway. But I'd prefer if you had golden spots among the white patches. Too bad your mother wasn't a Guernsey!"