Far Off Love
This Saturday can be different. Stepping onto the warm sand of our hidden little beach I can't help but wiggle my toes in excitement. Guiding her to the little tree near the water I tell her not to untie the blindfold. Alissa has always been impatient, making a sound of protest, but that's one of her quirks. Laying out our beach blanket I pull out the food I hid in my backpack. Sushi with crab, strawberries dipped in chocolate, Lemonade a little bitter like she likes it. In the middle, I set a bouquet of roses. Pushing down my giddiness, I look over to see her arms crossed, a slight frown on her face. The sun shines a light directly at her making her brown hair appear red. Her little freckles hidden under the blindfold would be standing out now against her copper skin. Getting to my feet I walk over and behind her and untie the blindfold. Before she speaks, I rush to explain.
“ I know how stressed you've been and the water has always cheered you up!”
Looking at her under my lashes for approval. She smiles and sits down, knees tucked neatly under her. Leaning over, she takes the sushi and examines it.
“ Shredded crab,” she says before popping it in her mouth, a nervous laugh leaves my lips.
“ I couldn't get the whole crab, but some crab is better than none right...Yeah”
Turning my attention away from her gaze. She still makes me nervous when she looks at me, and we've been dating for two years. I look out into the water. I have the deep need to feel how calming the water can be. I'll wait till she's ready to jump in the water. She pops a half-eaten strawberry in her hands as if reading my mind.
‘ I didn't bring a swimsuit. I didn't know you were doing-”
Taking a pause, she looked over the picnic blanket. I try to swallow down my slight disappointment at her reaction as she completes her sentence.
Nodding I turn towards my backpack and pull out her swimsuit, along with the handmade card I made her. Holding the card in my hand I started to second-guess if it was too much. The bright purple construction paper had pink hearts glued onto the front. On the inside, I drew a little stick of butter with the quote “ you're my butter half”
Laughing I hand both over. Looking confused, I watched her open the card. There was a moment of silence before she whispered under her breath so quiet I almost missed it.
“ Our anniversary”
I shrugged without looking at her.
“ It's no biggie like I said, you've been really stressed”
Looking over I flashed her a toothy grin. Jumping up I ran into the water. Letting the cold embrace engulf me. Water is so free and pure, Full of new opportunities. Turning back towards her, preparing to beckon her towards the water, I stop. I just watch her. Her hair fell loosely around her face covering it, her body slightly hunched over holding the card in a clenched fist. She looks up at me and I smile. DIving into the water.
“ Jen, where are we going? I have things to do. I don't have time for games''. I kept saying, but she insisted on taking me somewhere. She said it was a surprise but how many more surprises do I need today. She tries so hard for what. She even put this itchy blindfold on my eyes, ruining my face’s makeup.
Finally, we stop in what feels like sand. It's warm and coarse under my feet. Feeling like tiny shards of stone were placed there. Finally, my hands are released, allowing me to take this blindfold off. She, in turn, whispers for me to wait. Frowning in defeat, I cross my arms. I could be doing anything right now. I have deadlines and projects to complete. My phone keeps vibrating in my pocket. A flutter erupts from my stomach. Finally, she stands behind me and takes off my blindfold. I was blinking rapidly, trying to adjust to the bright lights, when she gestured for me to sit.
“ I know how stressed you've been, and the water has always cheered you up!”
She says her eyes are bright and eager to ask for my approval. I looked around. She pulled out her favorite beach towel with the characters from some anime she likes on top of it. Chocolate-covered strawberries, sushi, and lemonade. A bouquet of roses resting in the middle. She doesn't even like sushi. I give her a slight smile and tuck my legs under myself. As I reached for the sushi, my smile disappears
“ Shredded crab”
What a disappointment, I didn't listen to her explanation. I might as well not spoil her fun. I look over at her. She's still as pretty as the day we met with her warm brown skin, a glint of mischief in her eyes, and full lips. Now she's gazing longingly into the water. Looking around, I realize this isn't the little hidden beach we found when we first started dating. In our special place, I look back at her. The water memorized her. I swallow the lump in my throat.
‘ I didn't bring a swimsuit. I didn't know you were doing- “ Making a waving hand motion, “ this.”
Breaking her out of her daze, she nodes and reaches inside her backpack. She pauses, holding a piece of paper gingerly in her finger as she’s pulling things outs. Laughing nervously she hands it over to me, averting her gaze.
I stared at her a bit longer, trying to figure out her game before taking the paper in my hand. I now see it's a card—bright purple construction paper folded with pink hearts glued all over the front. Purple is my favorite color. Opening it up, I all but gaps reading the corny little saying, a memory flashing into my mind.
On one of our dates, we went to a park. She was nervous as usual, always a shy person but with a naughty personality once you meet her. She grabbed my hand and rushed me to the swings, and began pushing me. We talked about nothing but everything before she stopped the swing and stud in front of me.
“You’re my butter half.”
She whispered, s goofy grin taking over my face.
“You’re the jelly to my peanut butter.”
And we shared our first kiss.
“ Our anniversary”
I all but whispered.
“ It's no biggie; as I said, you’re under a lot of stress..”
I felt her get up and run into the water, but I was frozen. The buzzing in my pocket becomes louder in my ears, CLenching the card in my hand. I pull my phone out with the other's Name flashing on my screen. I can barely make out the words through my blurred vision.