They met the night she watched the sunset from the pier. It's what everyone did, every night. It was expected, the ritual. Her friend went off looking for their other friends so she walked to the end of the dock with the rowdies, the locals, the tourists. There was a cacophony of sound beating the steamy air into submission. Music, the sound of vendors selling food and trinkets, the giddy squeals of children, boat horns in the harbor. She bought a margarita from a vendor and found an empty spot on the dock right in line with the setting sun. As she settled in, she glanced to her right.
He said hello and smiled
She said hi and looked into his eyes.
They began to talk, simple pleasantries. The only sort of conversation two people, who meet on a dock at sunset in a town not their own, can have. There was excitement in the air, increasing as the sun lowered itself inch by inch into the sea. As if no one had ever seen the sun set. It was beautiful though. Bright corals, pinks and oranges dimming and softening with the night. Once the sun had disappeared, the crowd started to find their way back to their elected places of fun for the evening. She heard her name and turned to see her friends calling and waving.
She said join us?
He said yes.
They went to their favorite place in town. The place with the best bands, the coldest drinks, the place that opened at 9am and closed at 4am. The place where she'd seen him two nights before, where he handn't seen her. She'd gone home that night remembering the sound of his voice.
He said dance with me
She said try to keep up with me.
The danced for hours, taking breaks to sit outside in the air, telling each other little bits and pieces of their lives. They had much in common and communicated with an ease usually found only in those who have known each other for a much longer time. He had a plane to catch in the morning, back to Canada. His vacation was over, hers just beginning.
He said can I call you when you get home
She said that just won't work.
She was staying only a few blocks away so, when they'd had enough of the evening, he took her hand and walked her home through the late southern night. They were quiet suddenly, thoughts of unexpected beginnings and endings, possibilities and disappointments and questions on their minds. He walked her to her door and just stood looking at her.
He said stay with me tonight
She said no
He said ok
He said I'm glad I met you
He said if you ever want to call, here's my number
He said I won't forget those laughing eyes
He said have fun
He said be careful
He said safe journey home
He said be happy.
He kissed her on the cheek and brushed her hair away from her face. He turned and walked away.
He said goodbye
She said stay.