The Sunset That Never Was

Written for a Writing Workshop that I participated in last Spring called “Storytelling In The Season” hosted by LaTonya Yvette

Anticipation. That’s what the journey feels like as the sun makes its way through the large windows. The outside world moves as we fly past. The trees dance in the reflection of the sun, and I lean my head against the window. The coolness of the glass finding its spot against my warm cheeks. The whispered voices dancing in my ear shelling out the latest true crime, but I am not present or focused. I am too nervous. No, anxious. I should not be, but it cannot be helped. No matter how many times, I find myself sitting on these maroon leather seats, terrible yellow lighting, and tightly scrunched in my seat, weighted by my weekender bag, that barely gets unpacked, because these excursions are quite frequent now. This other life that I live now…new but constant. And it’s nice. I have a different place to lay my head at night, a safety blanket filled with loud laughter, sips of wine on a hot day, pitches to home plate, and feet skipping on hot sand. Nights of arms wrapped ever so tightly, that one can’t help but breathe in his smell, the light of the tv screen dancing the walls in the darkness, as our breathing becomes in sync. Anticipation of the path it takes to be in these moments. The train crosses over the water and slows on the bridge as it creeps forward into the station. The hanging lights of the restaurant hovering near the river takes its role as the lighthouse guiding us travelers into port. I often wonder if the feeling is the same…the sense of loss and joy all felt at once, by those who watched their loved ones depart or arrive during wartime. My brain sees it. The coiffed curls, bright red lips and low heels as I wave my handkerchief out to him. Him in his brown wool uniform, perfect posture, army hat in hand. Waving back as if it could be the last. Smile pierced on his face. Why am I the one departing? Maybe it’s the truth of the matter. I am always the one leaving. He is always the one arriving. Our arrivals synchronized but different…but the anticipation carries me there.

I love sunsets I cooed. I want to see one with him. For the days we spend on the beach, We have not seen the day end together amongst the waves. Watching the sun dip into the sea, the collapse of the pink and orange of the sky as it blends into the blues and the purples of the water, immersing the world in darkness. I fixate on it. How I would imagine touching the edge of the earth feels.. Anticipation. I want to share that moment with him. I want him to feel the magic of it. This is my church, and I want us both to be adorned by the warmth of it together. In secret, I want its blessing on our union. I fear the consequences if our presence is not felt. He takes my hand. He shares how hungry he is, the day drinking caught up with him, the countless hours of sunning on the sand and cooling of the water, reminds him that his stomach is still empty. I do not want to leave, but he is already shaking the sand off the towel and gathering the chairs. We can sit on the deck. A nice cold one. A lobster roll, or better yet fried scallops. You can see it then. I agree and scurry after him. Skipping on hot sand, giggling loudly, as the sun begins its slow descent.

Anticipation.

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