I sat in a room with four beds covered with flowered and flamboyant sheets, hues you might find on an old Hawaiian woman’s dress and across from me a door is opened no more than a foot wide. I’ve been peering out that crack about 90 times in the past 48 hours. I can’t help it. If you saw what I saw you’d be addicted too. Its the ocean of Fakarava, a tiny island in the middle of no where. At least that’s how it feels. The waves lap against the house I sit in, teasing like a whisper in my ear. I fall asleep to the song of water. Is it laughter I hear or the pain which makes it hard for me to sleep? When I wake up my eyes automatically go towards that door, open even during the nights so a breeze can come through. It smells like sea and mangos. But it rained last night so what I see beyond the opening seems duller than usual, less of a distraction. How unfortunate. It starts off muddy grey then quickly fades to brilliant turquoise and if my eyes can detach themselves from the brilliance it furthers to a darkness that comes with depth and imaginations of what waits below. How far does that darkness reach? On a clear day without rain I can make out a tiny motu littered with coconut trees that looks bigger than a football field but probably isn’t. On lazy days I stare at the motu and wonder how long it would take me to swim to that little island from where I sit on my comfortable dry bed protected and separate from the doubt of how friendly sharks in the South Pacific really are. But it’s not a sunny day on this bite size island, which took only a few hours by plane from Tahiti. It’s raining. Not that it’s going to stop me from swimming… Neither did it stop you from loving him.
Slowly I look away from the window in disgust trying to block out the vileness of past remembrances. My body clenches at the onslaught of memories. Please STOP!!! They don’t. Instead something happens inside of me as my stomache aches with a hunger that has nothing to do with food. “This is paradise, lose yourself.” The words of my family play back, annoying and optimistic. Lose myself? Don’t they realize how lost I’ve been?! No. I need to find myself. I try to calm down by listening to the waves crash against the foundation of my fare like a small roar mingling with the clutter going around and around in my head. His words. With each crash they grow louder. Do they really think I could forget everything? Anything..What a dream that would be. If I could forget how beautiful his smile was or how AFFECTED I was by a simple brush of his fingertip. Months and months I tried to forget him but here I am on a tiny speck of paradise and still he makes it feel like Lucifer’s pit. The rain falls harder and my eyes sweep like a urgent signal to the place that I have replayed in my mind over and over, searching the waters but only seeing his perfect face before he left me forever…
The first time I saw him it rained. I was such a fool in my pencil skirt and Steve Madden pumps, trying to impressed a potential nobody client. How was I suppose to know it would rain in the middle of August? I had walked soaked like a wet cat into Downtown Hilton headed straight for the conference rooms but in the lobby with 10, 20, maybe even 50 people who were nothing but static and white noise, he stood tall and elegant like the men I had seen in magazines. His eyes met mine. Sometimes I wish it hadn’t been so… Just think of how different my life would have been if I hadn’t been given that glance of hope! Only when I ran into a table did I break our stare. The marble didn’t fazed me, the humiliation did. I walked on to the conference room with my face the absolute definition of Rouge. Before I stepped into the doorway that would separate us forever I took one look back and never in all my life had I felt so much JOY to know that he was following me. Nothing in the world could calm the wings that were soaring in my heart. I didn’t dare look back again but instead I neatly sat down at a table next to a window where my client should have been sitting. But he wasn’t. How typical and late. I stared out the window and watched large drops plummet the glass and gracefully fall into rivers, down. Someone called my name softly, almost like a lover would whispers the name of the one true beloved. He had been expecting me you see and I often wonder if things could have been different if we had started off on the same even scale with no expectations or commitments hidden in our agendas. But he had come with a plan, as had I. Yet no one warned me how finely shaped his jaw was, how sweet the line of his smile curved, and how soft his kiss would feel when he pressed his lips to my cheek. Neither did they tell me that when he left me it would feel like recognizing the colors and patterns of the Black Mamba, after it bites you.
It was only later when I got to know his ways that I figured he had studied me from a far. Nowadays all you have to do is google a persons name and their life unfolds before your eyes. The enemy and his wicked tactics. Mr. Sun Tzu would have been ashamed of me. He would have told me I should have done the same if not more. But to give myself a little credit, I was naive. My grandfather had taught me that everything you gain from a person happens when you work right besides them. Maybe in another time period Gramps. So I let my guard down and smiled back at the beautiful face who I had seen in the lobby and who also happened to be my potential client.
His name was Leon and I gave him everything, including my heart. When he had it all, my secrets, my money he didn’t need me anymore. So he left me without a goodbye or a note, his phone cut-off with a operators voice that infuriated me more than any injustice I had ever felt. The fool that I was… Damn you. Never will I wear pencil skirts in the rain, nor will I smile back at a man who says my name like red poison on white roses.
I stared out past the door and beyond the sea. The sun was now setting in glorious pinks and purples and it had stopped raining. I smiled and didn’t even bother to wipe the tears away.