[Originally written on 1.6.06]
The other morning I was sitting on the bed, contemplating what I would do to be productive for the day when my phone beeped, indicating I had a message. Not knowing who would have been trying to call me at such an early hour, I almost completely ignored the noise. Curiosity got the best of me, however, and upon punching in my pass code, I am pleased to hear Jon’s voice simply instructing me to come to the Shore as soon as I could.
Fighting off that giddy school-girl feeling, I packed something to eat, hopped in the shower, dressed, and headed down the Parkway. After the amazing time we had on my birthday, I wasn’t expecting to hear from him at all, worried that the emotions were too much for him and that he would retreat into old habits. It seemed that he was serious about making changes, and I could hear the restrained excitement in that digital message, or maybe I was hoping he had the same bubbling excitement in his belly that I did.
The time spent driving on the highway seemed to just melt away, and soon the sparkling ocean was within my sights, the late morning incredibly clear with the sun warming my face. As soon as I stepped out of the car Jon was waiting there, his arms wrapping around my waist as he pulled me in for a tender kiss. Our Hollywood Moment has vastly improved, though I still got that big, long, I-missed-you-like-all-fuck hug. We go inside for a moment so I can put my things up, his demeanor quite attentive and affectionate, which is something I had apparently been needing more than I realized. He asked me if was hungry or anything, and I may have lied slightly stating I ate before I came down. Technically I had a granola bar and some water, so it wasn’t entirely untrue. For some reason I didn’t want him to know I hadn’t been eating well or that my diet for the past few weeks mainly consisted of alcohol.
Jon then suggested we go out for a walk, and after a half hour of roaming through the quiet neighborhoods, he takes me into an Army & Navy store. Surprised it’s even open, we browse the merchandise for a few minutes, and then he says that I can have anything I wanted, his treat. Though I tried to protest, stating that it was weird to spend his money, he insisted it was an innocent gesture. Being conditioned by exes who made me feel like shit when they willingly bought me things I didn’t ask for, I have a tendency to turn down polite offers. This was not one of those situations, and it was at that moment I realized what was happening. Unable to resist a goofy smile, I wandered around the store and discovered a lovely black leather bag I can use for a purse, so I won’t be paranoid about things falling out of it. He returned the smile and held my hand while we stood at the register; I swear my face was red from blushing so much.
Departing the store, Jon asks me if I am up for a walk on the beach. Even though it was rather chilly, what with the winter wind coming in from the ocean and all, I happily accepted the invitation. How long had it been since our feet had touched sand together, arms linked as hands warmed one another, nothing but the rhythm of the ocean for miles and miles on end. Every second of those days became meaningless, as we were together at that exact moment of time and I had every intention of focusing all of my attention on him.
He eventually breaks the silence by asking me how the carnival experience was, which we apparently had failed to discuss during birthday shenanigans. There was a lot I needed to get off my chest, about all the things that happened with my former partner, his behavior during travel and now, along with the feelings that I was battling with lately. We sat on the sand facing the ocean, my body huddled against his, and suddenly I just started to let it all out. The good, the bad and everything between; he listened intently while lighting a blunt, holding me tighter if I happen to get caught up in emotions and let a sob slip. It felt good to get it out so I could put it behind me and move forward, especially since I got to vent to the one person who I know understands where I am coming from.
The world is much different where land meets sea, and I don’t know what it is, but I always feel better when I am at the beach. Having my best friend by my side always made that experience memorable, but our relationship status had already changed. Announcing it to ourselves wasn’t necessary – it’s just one of those things we knew without saying, and I could see that he was actually into the whole thing as much as I wanted him to be. Jon insisted that I cleanse myself of all the negative thoughts I was carrying inside, to rid myself of them in order to start fresh. It was a New Year after all, and there was no better opportunity to make resolutions. Standing on the shoreline, I made my plea to the forgiving sea [rhyming unintentional] and braced myself as Jon baptized me with the chilly brine.
“Let the healing water of the Atlantic wash away your demons!” he joked in a heavy southern drawl while placing a kiss on my forehead.
When evening approached we dressed in our best dinner attire, which included polished combat boots and cropped hair, something he had done that morning on account he wanted us to coordinate. It was good look on him, as it brought out the tattoos on his face and gave him a younger appearance. Or maybe it had just been too long since I had stared at him and was just noticing all the things that attracted me to him in the first place. Settling into the Mercury, I was hit by so many familiar sights and scents I felt a bit overwhelmed. Cool ocean air poured through the open window as he passed me a blunt, the curling smoke getting sucked out into the dark night. The Reverend and his Unholy Angel were back in town.
As the hours passed, we wined and dined as though we had done it on a daily basis for the past six years. If it is at all possible to fall even deeper in love with someone you feel has always deserved the supercharged emotion, it was happening to me at that table while my eyes were locked on his. How nice it was to see him genuinely smile as his hands gestured absently during the telling of a joke, the glimmer in his own eyes stealing my heart with every second I was lost inside them.
There was a moment where he reached across the table to take my hands in his and the expression on his face grew serious. “Are you enjoying yourself, Angel?”
“Tremendously!” I exclaimed with a smile.
“Well, I hope you get used to that, as it’s going to be happening a lot more.” He kissed my palm and then gave me a wink with a sly grin.
The remainder of the evening is something I am keeping to myself, but I will say it was even better than one of my birthday presents.