Wait For Me
We met by the beach, didn’t we?
It was a beautiful day. If you don’t mind a bit of rain now and then.
Do you remember how gloriously the sun shone between the patches of rain though? It was like an angel smiling at us and I don’t think I’d been that happy in a long time. You let me run and take shelter with you when the rain got too hard. We sat under the raised boot of your car for the longest time. Even when the rain stopped. By the time we went back to the beach it had started to rain again. I felt like a fool in my bikini. And I remember you saying that if I didn’t go in the water, then why did I wear it? Even though you knew it was because I wanted to impress you.
But I never told you that, I didn’t need to.
I didn’t tell you my name either. For that matter, you never told me yours. We already knew our names. I could tell you were worried, but when you saw me that evening in my dress, you gave up worrying. Forever. And so did I. Wasn’t it so beautiful?
I thought it was. Of course, I knew you wouldn’t be as delighted by the rainbows and stars as I was, but you seemed to relax around me when I acted like myself. You hated that I thought I needed to impress you. And then you went in the sea and I refused to go in. You made me anyway. I didn’t want to, but you made me, and I loved every second of it.
With you, I wasn’t afraid. I knew that you meant it when you said that you wouldn’t ever let anything harm me. You looked so fierce and sincere when you said this that I couldn’t help believe you. Maybe it was that look that made me fall in love with you. Or maybe I’d always been in love with you.
I don’t think you quite accepted what was happening. I don’t think you wanted to. It didn’t sink in with me until the very end of my stay. It was surreal. I don’t want you to think that I knew what I was doing. Though at the beginning I had a head full of you quietly dispelled all of them and I found myself freefalling. I was thirteen again. I felt awkward and unsure. I hadn’t a single intention, good or bad. It was just you and I. It was perfect. It felt so… interesting. I wasn’t the seventeen year old my friends knew.
We were an odd mix, weren’t we? But you always did like odd things! I was surprised you were alone actually. I wondered for a while, but you said you had needed a break. That you wanted to be alone. I felt bad when you said this. I think you felt bad when you said it too. But I don’t think for the same reason. I’m not sure how it is that we ended up in the same little French village, but I vaguely remembered telling you I was going to visit.
So maybe l wasn’t alone in this.
Didn’t we get so close to having everything? We were so, so close. I wanted to be on holiday with you forever. My family was worried back at the hotel, but no one knew where you were. That must have been nice. I would like that. For no one to know were I was. Looking back, we didn’t have it all. We just had a lot to lose.
And I asked you if you’d wait for me. The look in your eyes told me that you didn’t have the right answer to that question. It was a mistake, I should never have entertained the thought. So I changed the subject quickly. I didn’t want to hear what I knew was true.
It felt a bit wrong. But then we weren’t ever right. You were a little sad to be leaving I think, but it didn’t stop you. Why postpone your schedule by just one day for an infatuated teenager? I did resent you a bit. But I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I wouldn’t have had you any other way.
You love what you do. It amazes me, but what else could I expect from a patient man like you? Sometimes you get so carried away talking about your subject, it makes me laugh. When I start giggling you get annoyed and you swat me with whatever book you were reading before I got you going about something. You listened to everything I had to say, like no one else had. I felt like I had something important to say. As though to you, my words were gold.
I remember that you always were concerned about me. I thought it was sweet. And then you asked me to meet you at the beach that evening and I looked so anxious that you took back your offer. I turned up anyway, unannounced, in front of your little caravan. You were quite taken aback. I felt quite smug when I saw your pretty blue eyes that I so adored, wide open in surprise. After that I wasn’t so sure you took back your offer because of how anxious I looked, but because of how anxious you felt.
We spent the next day by the beach. I called my parents. They understood why I was out after some creative explaining. I got my sunscreen and my bikini from the hotel, a far cry from your cramped caravan. When we came out of the water, I was soaking. I had forgotten my towel but you gave me yours.
I cried after you left.
We met by the beach, didn’t we, my darling?
But I’ll see you again at the beginning of term.