Saturday, October 3, 2015

52. Afterward

The clouds can get pretty wild sometimes on moonlit nights around here.
Could the fiery stars have been a trick of nature? Who knows?

Bathing in that nebulaeic light last night may have had some effect on the girl by his side, and let's just say it had quite an effect on Alan! 

He woke up in a tent not the familiar color of his own. The sun had been up for a while now and it was hot in there! He also realized that he was not only naked (and he wasn't dreaming it this time) but Chloe was sleeping right next to him and his arm was draped over her midsection.  Oh, my... 

But before he could start obsessing about it, she slowly rolled over and said, "Hi."

"Hi...um, I guess we...had a good time..."

Chloe reminded him what had been good about it, and then she finally said, "I think I like you."

He grinned at her as he remembered that fiery sky, and how it began to swirl and undulate up there, and then he felt that everything was swirling, and how Chloe must have felt it too and then they seemed to be moving in some kind of very slow dance that was all part of the magical energy of all those stars. After that it was all a blur.

The heat in that hyper-stuffy tent was finally too much so they both climbed out sweating profusely. Chloe bolted toward the surf, yelling, "Beat ya!"  and Alan took up the challenge (he lost). The bracing seawater was the perfect cool-down.  

They noticed they were not alone when they came out of the ocean, and this time neither Alan nor Chloe bothered to fetch any clothes, and simply started fixing their breakfast. (Chloe took the lead here, saying that this is The Way of the Beach here among the locals.) The two other walkers waved as they passed by; Alan nodded to them, and they maintained their pace on their way south.

Only after eating and having the last of the coffee did these two decide to get some clothes on and begin packing up. They then worked methodically and in silence. Alan could feel the end of their time together coming up soon, probably tomorrow. According to his list and Adrian's notes, he is to make a sketch of Tower Head, about five miles south, and then get to the train station at Beastey to go on to his next "scenic viewpoint". 

Just before hoisting their backpacks, they paused to drink some water, and Alan was about to say something before Chloe broke in, "I know what's coming...we'll be taking different routes pretty soon. And you know I have a long spell of walking in front of me if I carry it all the way...and I fully intend to do that."

"Yeah, and I have quite a long assignment myself - almost 100 more pictures to paint of this island. But, Hey! If we keep up with each other, maybe we can hook up again for another spell. I'd sure like that!" 

'Yup, me too," she said with a smooch on his cheek.

So they finally left Hoodoo Beach for Tower Head.