Stroking your arm, I navigate my fingers over the hairs and goosebumps, trying to read your thoughts like braille. There are no clouds in this night sky, so we lie alone on the beach sharing our moment with 4 billion years of chemical reactions, and a trillion unknown worlds. Next to us, the remains of a bonfire quietly hisses and crackles, like a grumpy child reluctantly getting into bed.
I can’t read your arm, but I feel your breathing quickening. I stroke your cheek and check your racing pulse and this is all I need to know. You stretch a leg out, one side pale against the night, the other textured with grey sand, a monolith sending out a signal to distant tribes.
….like a monolith sending out a signal to distant tribes. I think it’s a good line but when I say it out loud you pinch my nipple hard enough that I feel my calf muscles tighten and my ears involuntarily twitch. Too much? I ask. You don’t reply.
In the harbour, we can see the lights of an approaching ship. A small boat, one of the local fishing tubs that go out from time to time. The quiet of the night is interrupted by Dancing Queen by ABBA blaring out across the dark water. As if embarrassed, the stars begin to go out.
As the boat draws nearer, we see a small group of men and women gathered around a large beer cooler. One guy is standing on the prow with a girl, trying to reinact the scene from Titanic. It’s a sweet moment, and I feel you nuzzle close to me, until he downs a can, throws it high into the air and shouts BRING US YOUR RUM AND WHORES.
The boat putt-putt-putts away past the breakwaters, to the sound of cackling. I look up and say aloud; it’s safe to come out now. You turn and look at me confused, but one by one the stars reappear above us.