Back in Time

A Short Love Story

The sky was leaden; a gloomy, somber slate grey.  It looked more like Moscow in winter than Long Island in the fall.  The cumulus-nimbus clouds were sheets of lead, several layers deep, masking the late afternoon sun.

It was only early autumn, yet it was already cold; bone-chilling cold that makes one shake and shiver.  The brisk wind swept up moisture from the grey sea; the air was salty from the ocean spray, and stung his cracked lips. Luckily for her, she had lip gloss on.

The lantern at the light house was just turned on, shooting staccato beams of light into the ocean around Montauk.  The light house towered over them from up the hill; as they sat in a dune by the sea.  It was the end of day; night shadows started crawling in the landscape making the seaside scene surreal yet strangely comforting; it was a virtual dreamscape.

They sat atop the highest dune, looking over the tall dune grass; cuddled with hoodies on, protecting their faces from the stiff breeze.  He had his arms around her; tightly so that there is not a sliver of space between them; for it was chilly to the core.

They watched the sea seemingly mesmerized, as wave after wave crashed into the rocks.  But there were countless more frothy crests being born instantly in the grey sea just as quickly as they die on the rocks; looking much like endless white pigeon flocks flying in from the darkened sky.  The monotony of it all is truly nature’s gem.

They looked out to sea and watched the dimly-lit ships on the skyline; perhaps on their way to some exotic places in foreign shores.  And they both wished they themselves were in an exciting tropical paradise, in sunshades and bikinis, in flip flops and wide-brimmed hats, rather than curled up atop a dune in this deserted forlorn beach.

But then they went to this place as a pilgrimage; to revisit the past, their past.  For they met in this very place one sunny summer day a lifetime ago.  They’re here to relive the day they first saw each other, and perhaps revitalize their marriage which has been rocky of late. In essence, recapture yesterday so as to keep tomorrow.

Many years ago they met in the Montauk light house as they both climbed up the narrow spiral staircase.  He was twenty, and she was at senior prom two months before.  He was with friends, she was with family.

It was a sun-filled day in mid-July, so much unlike today.  The cloud-free sky was perhaps a shade darker than robin’s egg; flocks of seagulls flew around doing aerial acrobatics to the delight of kids running around the hillock where the light house stood.

The calm sea was a shade between cobalt and indigo and was in marked contrast to the white sails of a regatta going around the cape to the sound.  His hand accidentally, or perhaps serendipitously, brushed the small of her back as they were walking up the narrow stairs. She looked back at him and smiled!  He was mesmerized!

They talked after self-introductions as they looked out the narrow windows, into the blue sea and cyan sky. And watched the flock of seagulls and the white regatta. Comfortable with each other. They both felt a warm surge of emotions arising – the rest was history. Happily ever after or so they hoped.

Earlier today, after so many years, they went up the narrow staircase again.  Hand in hand, timidly, a little fearful and apprehensive.  Worried that time has forever obliterated those wonderful and heart-warming feelings from so many years ago.  They looked out the narrow windows just like before, but this time, the sea was rough and menacing, the sky was dark and threatening.  There were distant ships seemingly running away from a storm. Not a single seagull was flying in the stiff breeze.

Then he looked at her, and he was mystified.  For he looked just like she did many moons ago.  That day in July when he first saw her.  His heart stirred and longingly held her in his arms. All the years evaporated before his eyes. She’s young again and just as lovely as he remembered.  And at that moment, he realized how much he missed her, the lady of his youth, and the woman of his dreams, his first and only real love.  And the problems they have had? What problems? They seemed immaterial now.

She melted in his embrace and looked up at him lovingly.  The grey hair definitely made him look older, but he looks dignified, and his smile still captivates her even after all the years.  Her heart beamed as she caressed his hair; he’s as loveable as ever, her first real love.  Her only love.  First love never dies, she murmured to herself.

And so at dusk, they sat atop a dune by the sea; shivering due to the brisk wind even with their hoodies on.  They hugged and held each other for warmth; their breaths like ghosts rising in the night air.  The loud roar of the waves crashing on the rocks prevented conversation.  But it mattered not! Their minds and their hearts are in tune.  Mere touches express their deep emotions.

They watched the passing ships on the horizon, wondering what foreign shores they are going to.  Both of them dreamt of being in warmer clime, an exotic beach and even a famous city.  But even that matters not; as long as they are together.

The lantern of the light house aglow, flashing staccato beams of light out to the ocean.  Night shadows have descended on the landscape for it is the end of day.  The sky was slate grey, the clouds hung low, the salty air was still misty from the ocean spray.  They felt the warmth, their hearts all aglow, and the night shadows can’t take their joy away....

© Vic Evora


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