We mix Bahama mamas and watch the full moon rise over the ocean while sipping the rum concoction. With the silver glow of the rising full moon upon us, we make love, the waves our symphonic chorus.
Hours later, we watch the sun rise from our bed, our fingers entwined on our tenth wedding anniversary.
On the beach we play like children, build a sandcastle, splash in the shallow surf. You want to go farther but the red flags make me hold you back
At one point, we stop, our eyes connecting, your palm cups my jaw. How far we’ve come to this moment. You were in the Middle East for so many months, and I was so sure I’d lose you. I always had this feeling.
Your grin is like fresh whipped cream, light and oh-so-decadent.
“I think we should go back to the cottage,” you say.
I kiss you, open-mouthed, in response.
And then we hear the scream of women. At first, I don’t understand. The sun creates a glare on the ocean, but then I see the three children out too far, a rip current pulling them farther out.
You’re running toward the ocean before I have time to think.
And then I see the moment when you lose control, and the ocean disregards your freedom.
The kids make it back to shore. I don’t know how. I am not looking for them.
I wait, my body growing colder, as I watch the white-capped ocean for evidence of you. Rescue teams search nearby. Much later, a uniformed man with a walkie-talkie approaches. He can’t meet my eyes yet. And then I absorb my unwanted truth.