Feeling Visible Again

by Christopher Lovejoy on December 18, 2011

After a leisurely swim around the island and back again, I approached the shore, and as I stood up in the water, my heart lurched and skipped a beat when I saw her sitting on the towel.

With her arms wrapped securely around her legs, she snugged her knees up to her chin and looked straight at me. Her gaze appeared calm and alert, but her face was void of expression.

I smiled and waved nonchalantly, partly because I was glad to see that she was feeling better, but mostly because I could at last feel visible again in the presence of another human being.

A trace of a smile appeared on her lips, but she didn’t wave back.

Her bikini bottom was still a little damp, but under the circumstances, I didn’t think she would mind. I plucked it and my t-shirt from the overhang and brought them over and offered them to her.

She suppressed a smile, but it nevertheless came through in her eyes.

With one hand, she reached out gratefully, taking the bikini bottom but ignoring the t-shirt. With the other, she waved her fingers playfully for me to turn away, which I had no problem doing.

Before I did, I noticed pits where the juicy fruit had been. The water remained untouched.

As she gave the towel a shake, I put on my shorts, tucking my t-shirt inside a pocket, and gathered my belongings. I helped myself to a swig of water before picking up the life jacket.

I was looking forward to getting back to my home base – our home base, potentially, if, through the course of timeless time, we found our company mutually agreeable.

We walked at a relaxed pace along the shoreline with yours truly moving closest to the sea.

For a while, neither of us seemed sure of what to say or do. I did, however, notice the shades on her head and the beach towel around her neck. I wondered if she was being modest.

I offered her a drink of water, which she accepted readily, speaking words I had never heard before. From the tone of her voice, she sounded somewhat relieved by the opportunity.

She drank lustily and stopped herself short, her face flush with embarrassment.

I laughed heartily, feeling a surge of cheer for the fact that she was still alive and relatively well, and with a quick and encouraging motion of the hand, urged her to continue.

She finished what was left of the water and returned the bottle with a sheepish smile.

A silence settled between us until she gestured for me to stop and stand with her.

We faced each other and she looked up searchingly into my eyes, touching my arm tentatively with her fingertips, speaking softly what sounded to me like words of gratitude.

My eyes teared in spite of myself. “You are so welcome,” I replied.

/

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