I wasn’t doing well but then I thought for a moment that I might have been okay after all.
I was suspended between the moment of feeling bad and feeling better and there he was, waiting. He came around almost unannounced. I’m not even sure how it happened, but it did, it definitely happened. Didn’t it? Or did I imagine the whole thing? Imagine how he pitter-pattered his way to my heart, taking careful steps to walk around the debris that had fallen there, he seamlessly, wordlessly worked some magic. He made me see that I was no longer marooned on an island, alone, invisible.
He saw me, asked after me.
‘Who’s that girl?’
And slowly but surely, I believed I could stand up and walk again. Mainly because he led me along the path, quite literally. It was all those steps taken and all the little stars he placed carefully along the path, mapping out the trail like it was always there. Up, up, up along the hill I wandered, trying not to squeal, delight mixed with anticipation, meshed with trepidation. The destination was a hill and when we got there, a blanket suddenly materialised, and so did pre-made gin and tonics that were still cold despite my being late, a punnet of strawberries and a view to lay it all down and die for, die for the whole damn lot. And then of course there was him, nervous and worried that I would find the whole thing stupid and me oblivious to that worry, simply relishing every minute and questioning every other one to make sure it wasn’t just a surreal short film, although there were elements suggesting the contrary.
Like making for the highest point in the old tower to look at the stars and the moon, watching my face light up with delight at seeing the sky through a tube, the way he would shyly take my hand, make jokes that would result in my laughter reverberating around the room, me leaning over and saying ‘it’s just like that song Moon River’, him nodding absently and then, while running to the bathroom, hearing a voice sing the Moon River song and then him denying it later, but knowing it could only be him, surely. There were more jokes, like impersonating how the Latino tour guide would suddenly start using the telescope to see into other people’s apartments. When it was over and we were done watching a fairly tedious and dry 3D film about space exploration (‘God, we should really see Gravity, it’s just not the same), we exited the tower to discover spontaneous fireworks.
‘And now my final surprise!’ he joked, taking credit for the Fleet week celebrations. I giggled, half believing it.
We find ourselves running through the oldest part of the city holding hands, searching for food, delirious, overjoyed, letting each other know that we were both equally plagued by thoughts of the other person that entire week. Running through an aisle that seemed to go on forever to reach the one bar at the end of the wharf, still only serving croissants and Hendricks gin and tonics, laughing at how there was literally no more food left in the world except for croissants, and what a ridiculous mix of food and beverage this was.
I really want to steal those flowers, I whispered. And before I have time to protest, he has surreptitiously grabbed them and placed them under his jacket, beckoning his head towards the door in a show of planning a quick escape. We run back through the corridor like giddy school children, high on the slight debauchery.
A kiss at the end of the wharf and every other place too.
Mixtapes and theatre tickets and hand drawn flowers sent in the mail and real life orchids delivered and scrabble games, and playing articulate with drunk friends under the stars and breakfast in the shape of a love heart and poker with m&ms for chips and racing each other to see who can read the same book the fastest and a detour for curly fries and fried chicken with waffles and waking up to watch his favourite show, all the tears and then the final swim in Gordon’s Bay.
And now; nothingness.
I liked the beginning and the end.
We got lost somewhere in the middle.
We, the never ending honeymooners.