Across the damp and dark wooden beams of the ocean pier, I walked alone. Each step encouraged a quiet creak and added to the sea sounds that filled my ears. Where my grey mood ended and the sky began was impossible to tell, this invisible gradient was why I was here.
My favorite bench was near the end where the silent fishermen sometimes sat and the breeze was most confident. As I walked forward I begged the wind to push me around and to force me to be something other than disconcerted. It whipped around my face and through my hair, whispering secrets. I focused on forgetting. I didn’t notice the temperature dropping or the sky darkening, I only perceived my unceasing disenchantment. Only when I felt a hand on my shoulder did I emerge from my deepest thoughts, pulled from the bottom of the ocean into the bitter air.
With every part of me I hoped the hand belonged to the one person I desired. I wanted. I needed. I looked up, and felt my soul tear slightly. Part of my being disintegrated and flew off into the breeze as I saw that it was not whom I had hoped.
She said she thought she’d find me here and asked if I was cold. Up until that moment I hadn’t felt anything, but at the suggestion I realized I was freezing. The cold was in my veins and bones. I nodded and she pulled my hand out of my pocket and into hers. I kept my eyes on the cracks in the beams that revealed the ocean beneath us and the dark pavement covered in a thin layer of sand. She knew I needed quiet. A dark suitcase was in the front seat so she opened the door to the back seat.
As I climbed in I saw that the person I had so desperately begged the universe for was sitting right there, waiting. At first, thoughts flew through my head rapidly. What was going on? Why was he here? Did she arrange this? Soon I stopped breathing and thinking and being. I collapsed against him with repressed sobs and he held me tightly like he meant it. We drove away from the dark water and I settled into the soft comfort of arms.