It took a little while but we were both surprised to find laughter coming to us easily. Years ago we were almost something…but things happened and our paths diverged and we lost touch with each other…and now, through the most mercurial of happenstances, we were together again. Together just for an evening…but together just the same.
The lasagna was settling nicely in my belly and the wine was doing likewise in my head as we walked along the boardwalk. Our hands touched…and then tensed…and then, warily at first, intertwined.
“You remember the last time were out at this beach?”
I smiled patiently. Of course I remembered that night. “Yes, I remember it very, very well.”
“Being drunk and out at the beach at is something that you might want to forget.”
We laughed, nervously and humidly, as the sea breezes shuddered through us. We walked onto the sand into the roaring darkness.
“It was about here I think,” I said pointing out towards the surf caressing the shore in the light of the lazy half-moon.
All those years ago when we were almost something we left David’s part feeling tipsy and silly and just adventurous enough to brave the dark night ocean on a summer’s night. We had kissed tentatively and then we’d thrown off all of our clothes and raced…hand in hand…into the icy water.
We frolicked in the icy water, laughing and kissing…night swimming…for a few long, amazing minutes. Then we swam back to shore and ran back onto the beach. We fell in the sand, our clothes as ramshackle blanket, and laughed.
Lying naked in a new moon’s light we had kissed again and then we laid back and looked up at the stars.
“We made love right here,” I said.
“We didn’t make love…we stayed on the sand until we were chilly enough and self-conscious enough to get dressed…”
“Yeah, I know,” I said with a grin, “but I created a whole other memory of that night that I quite liked and so I decided it was the true story…”
“…or at least the better story…”
“Yeah…maybe we should’ve…”
“…but we didn’t…”
I sighed wistfully. “No we didn’t…” I paused and looked out the water. “Well we’re here now…we could…”
There was a long pause. “No we could…but we shouldn’t…”
“Yeah,” I said knowing full well that the moment was back all those years ago and not here and now.
We held hands and listened to the surf until we were chilly enough and self-conscious enough to turn back to the boardwalk…back to the restaurant parking lot…back to our respective cars. We kissed…almost chastely…and then let our paths diverge once again.