I love living by the beach. Even in mid winter there's something about walking on the beach that does something to my soul. Every evening, rain or shine, I prowl the beach, walking down the coast line till I reach the mighty sand dunes, then turning around and walking back to the steps I use for my access way. Recently, my daughter, Liz, has taken to walking with me in the evenings, so I've started walking in the mornings as well. I like to spend some time by myself and while I'm walking I think out problems, figuring out possible solutions, practicing what I can say to people, planning my day and my week ahead. I must look like some crazy person wandering along muttering to myself.
And so it was one morning walking along the beach that I had my 'figwit' moment. You remember Figwit don't you? He's that elf from the Council of Elrond who was unknown and unnamed until a website named him Figwit - which stands for 'Frodo is grea - - WHO is THAT?' So, I had my own figwit moment. I was walking back down the beach towards the steps, minding my own business, when I looked up and there she was, sitting beside the steps I had to climb to go home. I slowed down so I could get a good look at her. Long slim legs, short shorts, one of those sports bra type tops that leaves nothing to the imagination, blonde hair, very good looking face, and as I reached where she was sitting and started to climb the steps she raised her eyes to mine and I stumbled. Have you ever looked into someone's eyes and been unable to look away? That's what it was like for me for at least 10 seconds, then my foot slipped on the next step and I started to fall. I blanked out for a moment and the next thing I remember is her helping me stand, brushing the stones and sand off my legs and asking me if I was alright.
Have you ever had one of those moments when you turn a corner and see something that sets your heart pounding so much it feels like it's going to pound its way out of your chest? Well, this was one of those moments. I stood there for what seemed like a very long time, trying to understand what was happening to me, then grumbled my thanks at her and took off home as fast as I could.
Unfortunately for me I still had to go to work. I'm still not sure how I managed to get through the day, smiling and chatting to customers, answering all the usual questions that they ask, and being generally coherent about it. In the quiet moments I found myself rubbing my arm and legs where her hands had been. I could still feel the imprint of her hands on my limbs. My head spun, I didn't understand what was happening to me.
The next day I went out for my usual walk. I must admit that I went half hoping that I would see her again and half scared that I would see her again. I didn't know what was going on, I only knew that I'd never had a reaction like this before. As I stood at the top of the steps I gazed first one way and then the other down the beach looking for some sign of her. Disappointed at seeing nothing, I set off for my walk. Forty minutes later as I approached the steps on the return journey I looked up to see a figure once again sitting on the steps. My heart started pounding.
As I climbed the steps I determined not to look at her, after all it was the sight of those eyes that had caused me to stumble the previous day.
"Come here often?"
Startled, I looked around to see her smiling at me.
"Yes," I stammered out and rushed up the steps.
That was the pattern for the rest of the week. I'd go for my walk, return to the steps, she'd make some small talk, and I'd make even smaller small talk and rush home.
By the time Saturday came I'd seen her five times. It was as if I was drugged. I needed my daily fix in order to survive till the next day. However, on Saturdays, I have a slightly different routine. I go out an hour later and walk for a couple of hours, taking water and snacks with me. Today was going to be no different. I pack my gear and set off. Pausing at the top of the steps I fruitlessly search the beach for her. Shrugging my shoulders I set off down the beach. I have a favourite spot I like to stop at. It's where I sit and read or journal in solitude. I had a lot of writing to do today.
Twenty minutes down the beach the houses give way to the giant sand dunes. It was at this point I realise that someone is walking behind me, keeping pace with me. Nervously I cast a look over my shoulder only to see … her.
"Are you following me?" I ask.
Stunned, I turn back and resume my walking, my thoughts racing furiously. What's she up to? Why is she following me?
I continue walking till I reach my spot.
It's a sheltered spot hidden in a curve in the dunes, where an old, giant, pohutukawa tree has extended it's trunk to follow the curve of the beach. I like to sit in the curve of the trunk with my back against the trunk and my arms resting on a couple of branches, like a giant arm chair. When I'm sitting there no one can see me and it gives me precious solitude and privacy.
What to do today? She's still there, just behind me. If I go over to my spot, will she follow? I hesitate, undecided, and then walk slowly across the beach to my spot. Just before I reach the tree I turn and see her standing still, watching me walk away.
"Are you coming?" I hear the words coming out of my mouth. Shit, did I just invite her over?
"Do you want me to?" she asks.
Do I? I think for a moment.
"Yes," is all I say, and turn and walk to my spot.
As I settle myself on the tree, I notice that there's room for two. I look up to see her standing in front of me. I pat the tree beside me and look at her.
"Room here if you want," I tell her.
She climbs up and sits down next to me. I feel like I'm on fire. I can feel her legs next to mine, and her shoulder just barely touching mine. I clear my throat. Since when has talking been so difficult?
"Why were you following me?" I ask.
Silence. Shit, I shouldn't have asked that.
More silence. What's going on? Keeping my head turned away I try to see what she's doing. Shit, she's looking at me. Unable to stop I turn my head slowly and look at her. She sits there looking at me and says something. Unfortunately, I'm so taken by her eyes, I miss what she said.
"Um, sorry, what did you say?" I stammer.
"I followed you because I want to kiss you," she says.
"Kiss me?" my voice squeaks out and I gulp.
She smiles at me. I am so mesmerized by her eyes I can't move. Then she slowly leans towards me and gently kisses me on the lips.
As my friend Ash would say, OMG!