The sky beamed, its surface impossibly blue. The car sped along the coastal road past beach cottages with terra cotta shingles and stucco walls, past miles of endless beach stretched out like a lover sweetly caressing the oncoming waves. This is my most vivid memory, my happiest memory, because it was my last day with him.
Pearl Jam’s Black thrummed through the speakers, mixing with the wind and floating out through the open window. I looked out at the sea, the ocean I would probably never gaze at again, and I closed my eyes trying to take a snapshot of this moment. I could feel the sand between my toes and the warm water lapping at my feet. I could hear his voice whispering in my ear. I could feel his fingers brushing against my cheek and his lips slowly pressing into mine.
We had stopped at a quiet beach outside the city. “This is my favorite place,” he said, his eyes twinkling in the bright sunshine.
“Okay, why’s it so special?” I asked. It didn’t matter why it was special before because today would turn it into a place I would travel to whenever my life became too much to bear. He took my hand, and I followed him down a sandy path edged with weathered wooden railings overgrown with sea grass and half buried in piles of white sand.
I stepped off the path, my breath catching in my throat. The cerulean ocean stretched out before me, waves cresting and setting patches of white foam on the sandy shore. “It’s beautiful,” I whispered, gripping his hand tighter. A tear slipped down my cheek because I knew this was the best my life could ever hope to be. His fingers holding mine, the salty sea in front of me and the green trees of my past far behind. This could be my life, right here next to him until forever comes.
I knew that things could never be the same, would never be the same without him. Once I walked onto that bus, losing him was inevitable. My dreams are now made from sand and ocean, sea shell and sea grass. I hear the wind blowing in my sleep, calling me back to him. His voice whispers to me from my memories and beckons me to wake up, that the life I’m living is the dream and I will open my eyes with his kisses on my throat, his hand in mine.