Under the five o’clock sun, when both the sky and the swimming pool bleed out the same hypnotizing shade of blue, I feel happiness for the first time all spring.
I’m staying in a white-pillared beach house two streets away from the Atlantic Ocean with a family that feels like mine. In the morning, I wake up before everyone to sit by the bay window, armed with black coffee and fatigue, just to listen to the wind. It beats upon the awning, desperate for attention. And so I give it my full.
Sunburnt shoulders and bikini tan lines, long walks to the pier clutching hands and not letting go, fleeing the hot tub just to cannonball into the fifty-degree pool in midnight freezing rain, letting the colossal waves carry my body, limp and willing to surrender, out of the riptide and back to shore.
I like the way I look in the pictures you take of me when I’m wearing my best black dress and we’re walking in the wet sand under a vague lavender sky and you stop me because it’s golden hour and you want to capture me happy, hair windswept and in my eyes. I like seeing myself happy. It’s like traveling across the ocean just to step foot in an ancient land, just to be able to say I did.
I don’t want to go home. I don’t want to be without you again.