Looking at it now, it all seems so simple yet that summer holiday was everything but simple. I can’t remember why we made it so complicated. I guess it was only one of us who made it complicated. Me.
I remember locking eyes with you as you drove past me in the white Range Rover on the very first day of vacation. You looked at me, winked and gave me that oh-so-famous crooked smile. That was it, I was done for. You stirred something inside of me, you awoke monsters in me. I still don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing. I remember thinking about you all of that afternoon. I wanted to go down to the beach so badly. I wanted to talk to you, to see you, spend time with you. I could see you and your friends playing touch-rugby on the white sand. You glanced my way a few times. I couldn’t help to wonder if you were thinking about me too?
That evening I decided to go for a run. It was one of the hottest summer nights I ever felt. Maybe because love was in the air. How cheesy and cliché does that sound? I loved the ocean, it spoke to me in more ways than people ever could. It playfully tucked on the seam of my white dress. I stopped and stared at the last bits of rose-gold sun disappearing behind the horizon, hungrily being consumed until the last ray was gone.
“You come here often”? a raspy voice said behind me. I knew it was you. I don’t know how I just did. I smiled but didn’t turn around. Both the glare of the sun and your voice had me hypnotized.
“That must be the oldest line in the book” I said, not wanting you to know how badly I wanted you to talk to me. I could feel you smile, and when I finally turned around, that smile, that crooked smile I saw a few hours ago, that was the smile that turned my stomach upside down. In a good way of course.
We got to know each other over the course of the next three weeks. We spent every waking moment together, exploring, dining out and even overcoming some of our fears. You told me you loved me and I told you I loved you. Was this real life? Could I have met the love of my life in a beautiful city over a summer vacation?
I remember one evening we were lying on your couch. The fireplace was crackling and the television was on mute. We have been lying there talking for hours when you pulled out your camera and took a Polaroid of us. You stared at it and then asked me to look at it.
“Look at it, really look at it.”
I took the small white photograph in my hands and studied it. I frowned and looked at you. You flashed a smile and explained that the world was in black and white but we, we were in screaming color. That our love was in screaming color. You went down on your knee and pulled out a small rose-gold ring, it had a diamond on top of it and it was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.
“Samantha Marie Violet, will you be my wife”? you asked with a fire in your eyes that I haven’t seen before. I couldn’t think of anyone else I’d want to spend my life with so I said yes.
Looking at it now, that December, we were built to fall apart, and fall back together. We had so many nights fighting, screaming, slamming doors. It was perfect chaos but I just couldn’t leave. You slammed your fist through the bedroom door numerous times. I was all too happy to bandage you up, kiss your lips tasting the alcohol you consumed.
It was one month later that I decided I finally had enough. It would never have worked between us. Never. I tried, I fell in love with the idea of you, the idea I had in my mind was different, oh so very different from reality. I guess, I made things too complicated. You always told me that. You always said to stop overthinking, just live. I tried. I failed.
It was just after midnight when I was driving back from a friends house when my phone rang. At first I thought it was you, wanting to mend things, again. I didn’t recognize the number but I answered any way. Something I never do. The male voice on the other line was calm while delivering the news that there had been a terrible accident. I made a U-turn without looking left or right and drove well over the speed limit to get to you.
In a second your life can change. On my way to the hospital I noticed that I was still wearing the necklace you gave me that evening on the beach. It was a small silver anchor and you promised that you would always be my rock. You held that promise. I prayed for the first time that night. I prayed that you would be protected and that you would make it out alive. I promised myself that I would marry you, that I was going to stop overthinking and do what my heart wanted.
I got to the hospital and hurried over to the reception desk, she jotted down directions and I ran to the elevator. It was as if someone tied concrete blocks to my feet. I couldn’t get to you fast enough.
And there he was. My green-eyed, muscular, oh-so-famous crooked smile man of my dreams. Your eyes lit up when you saw me. I kissed you, and when you started crying I did too.
“Baby I slammed on the breaks too soon”. I held my finger to your mouth and kissed you again.
“It doesn’t matter I’m here now, it’s going to be alright”.
Twenty stitches and a hospital room, it’s there where I declared my love for you. Over and over again. I wanted you to realize that I’ve been a fool. We fell asleep and woke up to the sunrise. You looked at me and I looked at you and we both knew.
That night we moved the furniture so we could dance, we glided through the living room and the kitchen. We had dinner on the floor in front of the fireplace and when you kissed me I felt like I was home. For the first time it really felt like home.
You promised me the monsters were just trees. You convinced me that I was an over-paranoid wife with trust issues. I only discovered the truth when I followed you that one morning and saw her kissing you. If it wasn’t for that kiss I would have never known. I was devastated, it was as if someone had ripped my heart in two. After everything, how could you do this.
I drove home, I ripped off the necklace and the ring and left them on your bedside table. I took a backpack and called my dad. I left. I failed.
I wrote a letter, left it on the kitchen counter and pulled the door closed.
…baby like we stood a chance, two airplanes flying, flying, flying and I remember thinking. Are we out of the woods