Dedicated to Em…a free spirit now and always.
I called her the beach girl because I didn’t have anything else to call her. I saw her every day when I sat out watching the Gulf and the beach with my morning coffee, enjoying the early morning before I went in to start work.
I’ve lived here for almost twenty years, since I was eighteen, and thought I knew everyone in my little corner of paradise. But I had never seen her before she just appeared one day – and every day after that.
Since I work from home, I always dress in a white linen jacket and tan slacks with an open-neck blue shirt on work days. I find it helps me take my work more seriously than if I dressed in pj’s or a sweat suit. Not that I ever wear sweats anyway, but still.
She always appeared from the south, walking north, and always just before I went in, like clockwork. I tried waiting sometimes to see if she ever walked south later on, but I only ever saw her at that one time of day, and always walking north.
She always wore a white bikini. She was tanned, had golden hair, worn loose, and was beautiful. She never held or carried anything, and always had an enigmatic smile on her face, regardless of the day. Whenever I saw her, the opening lines of “Girl from Ipanema” always ran through my head, the Stan Getz version that opens with humming.
Over the weeks, we began to make eye contact, and then gradually, I started smiling at her. Her smile never changed, but she always met my eyes, and it seemed as if they twinkled when she looked at me…but it might have been my imagination.
I felt in my bones that she was a free spirit. Maybe she was a spirit in truth, as I could never discover anything about her, no matter whom I asked. No one ever seemed to know her or see her – except me.
Over time, I noticed that she walked closer and closer to where I was sitting, and farther from the sea, as if she were breaking free of its pull, and I wondered.
Finally, one morning, I called out, “Good morning!”
She tossed her head in acknowledgement, and continued walking, but I was sure her smile might have broadened, just a tad. But she didn’t answer.
Emboldened, I started calling, “Good morning, señorita!” each morning.
She would nod and keep walking, but never answer.
Then, one morning, when I stepped out onto my patio, something felt different. The day was different, or the air, or the sun, or the sea. I couldn’t tell what it was, or how I knew, but I knew…something…was going to happen that day.
Then I saw her walking up the beach. It was early for her, which surprised me. And she looked as if she was walking straight towards me, not parallel to the shore, as if the sea no longer held her captive.
When she was about a hundred yards away, she reached behind her and undid her top and let it fall to the sand, but kept walking.
And when she was perhaps 40 feet away, she pulled the ties on both sides of her bikini bottoms, held them in her hand for a moment, then let them fall, leaving her naked – and even more beautiful.
She slowed, walking towards me steadily and rolling her hips, but holding my eyes.
I had never dropped my glance from her eyes to her breasts whenever she was near me, although the temptation was always great. I felt it was only respectful to look at her, and not just ogle her tits.
I resisted the temptation again, and held her gaze as she closed the distance between us.
When she got close, my arms rose to greet her, seemingly of their own accord. She walked straight into them, and put her arms around my neck, then turned her face up and kissed me.
It was like coming home for the very first time. It was just…right. There was no other way to put it. And the kiss tasted like forever, though I know that sounds silly.
When we finally broke, I pulled my head back and said, “Would you like to come in?”
“I thought you’d never ask,” she said.
That was thirty-five years ago, and when we kiss, even now, it still tastes like forever.
Copyright © Copyright, J.L. Gainsborough, October 2020 to June 2021.
All rights reserved. May not be copied in any form, in any medium, without the express, written consent of the author.