The Last Wave Goodbyebyslyc_willie©
(Author's note: This story is an official entry into the 2013 Literotica Summer Lovin' contest. If you enjoy this little romantic tale, please make sure to vote and leave a comment if you wish. I also urge you to read all the other contest submissions; there is a lot of great talent on this site.)
* * * *
Heartbreak had faded, pain had ebbed. What had been the worst tragedy anyone could be asked to endure was behind me now, after more than two years. What lingered was the loneliness. And that was perhaps the worst of it all.
My mother's voice disturbed me from yet another self-pitying moment. I turned away from the packing box in which lay the photographic record of a life now gone and gave my aging mother a weak smile. "I'm fine."
She cocked her head as she leaned upon the walker. "That's not what I was going to ask," she said. "I think I've asked that question enough in the last couple of years."
"Sorry. I guess it's turned into a habit, you know, expecting everyone to ask me how I'm doing."
"People mean well," she said, in that sort of way that southern women say 'bless his heart.'
"So . . . ." I prompted my mother.
"Oh! Of course," she said as if jolted. She managed to let out a small laugh. "I just wanted to ask if you finished the list for the auction. Mr. Haverty sent me a message about it this morning."
I nodded. "I'll email it to him this afternoon," I said, then glanced to the small stack of boxes in the middle of the now-barren living room. "Although it'd be easier to list what isn't going to be auctioned off."
"Are you absolutely certain you want to do this?"
Again I nodded, more vehemently. "Yes," I told her firmly. I met my mother's gaze. "The important things are in these boxes," I said, then tapped my temple. "And up here. The rest is just . . . extra."
Her head bobbed sadly. I hadn't been the only one to endure pain and loss, after all. It seemed to have hit her harder, though; she relied upon the walker more and more and had started smoking again. I couldn't blame her for ignoring her doctor's advice in the face of overwhelming mortality. I had spent a year as a self-pitying alcoholic, after all.
"When is your flight leaving?"
"Six-thirty tomorrow morning."
She gave a wan smile. "Call me when you land."
* * * *
Friends and therapists had been telling me for more than a year I needed to get away. "You need a fresh start," they told me. "You gotta get back out to the world of the living."
Pithy words, I had thought, but the idea grew and grew until it became part of an obsession. When I finally made the decision to auction off the house and just about everything in it, I planned a vacation as the culminating chapter to the worst period of my life. Maybe it would be a fresh start. Or maybe I could just let myself feel alive again, if only for a while.
"So, where are we going?" my friends had asked, taking it as a matter of course that I would bring them along. But they had been part of the ongoing tragedy, if only by virtue of the fact that they reminded me of it through looks, words, and deeds. As touching as their sympathy and support had been, they only aggravated the situation.
"I'm going . . . somewhere," I told them cryptically. Some understood my reticence; others didn't. Those who did agreed that I needed time to myself, to reflect, to assess, to decide what was going to happen to me. Those who didn't understand thought I was snubbing them. Melancholy, fortunately, didn't allow me to care about the latter.
Banishment of such distracting thoughts came, thankfully, as I stepped from the taxi before the airport terminal. The cabbie had been a nice guy, just talkative enough to make the ride pleasant without being intrusive. I saw no reason not to share details with him that I wouldn't with even my mother.
"Have fun in Mexico, man," he said after I'd awarded him a generous tip. "Watch out for them senoritas, though. They know tourists when they see one."
I managed a smile. "Where I'm going, not many tourists know about."
"Private resort, huh?"
"Something like that."
I bid the man farewell and headed into the terminal. Each step closer to the gate seemed to echo the slowly-increasing beating of my heart.
* * * *
The little house was not much to look at, to be honest, but I had not expected a four-star resort with servants in white suits offering complimentary margaritas as soon as I walked in the door. In fact, no one greeted me after I had pulled the rental car into the short driveway. That was fine; the less pomposity, the better.
The instructions in the email told me the key to the door would be under a little clay flower pot covered by a sunset mosaic, and indeed, there it was. I had to jiggle the lock a bit to get the door open.
There were two bedrooms, a kitchen, a living room and a single large, spacious bathroom. Nothing too remarkable, until I stepped into the sunken living room and realized the entire south-facing wall was a series of wooden shutters, with slats open to reveal the generous lawn and, most importantly, the white sand beach beyond.
My cheeks suddenly hurt. I realized I was actually, honestly, smiling.
I took in a deep breath of crisp salt air. The sounds of the Pacific ocean drifted to me: lapping waves, seagulls, rustling palm fronds. Apparently, I had stepped into a Hollywood beach movie . . . just without Frankie Valli and all the annoying, giggling kids.
Upon the dining room table was a basket of fresh fruit and an envelope, addressed to "Sr. Paterac." Within was a copy of my rental agreement with the owner, as well as menus to a few local restaurants and the number for a delivery service that would bring me fresh groceries if I desired.
I took an apple from the basket. It was fresh, ripe, as good as any straight off a tree in Washington. I was beginning to feel spoiled. A man could get used to living with such simple luxuries.
After getting settled in and calling home, I changed from casual dress to a pair of brand new, rather loose-fitting nylon shorts and headed out the back. The pleasant tropical air was delightfully free of the stench of city life. There was no industry in this little Mexican town other than fishing, agriculture, and some light tourism. There were a few cars here and there but most of the locals seemed to get around on foot or on bicycle. Other than the occasional satellite dish, none of the constructions looked to have changed in over a century.
The back yard of the hacienda which was to be my home for twenty-one days was framed by tall palms and a number of thick tropical plants the names of which I could not guess. The result was a noticeable sense of privacy, which had been the main requirement for my getaway. And indeed, when speaking with Hector, the owner of the property, he assured me my privacy was virtually guaranteed. He even pointed out that the beach, while technically private, was considered clothing optional.
Hmm. Naked on a beach, I thought. I've never done that before.
But I resisted going all out on my first foray across sand so fine and white that a Zip-lock bag of it would probably get me arrested. It was hot, but not scalding, and while my feet were tender from decades of easy living, I could walk across it readily enough. With nothing more than a bottle of locally-produced beer, I found a spot where the sand was a little damp and cool and watched the tides roll back and forth.
* * * *
I slept in late every day, decided not to shave, and didn't even bother to make use of the bathtub. I ate when I felt like it, drank whatever I desired. At times I enjoyed a bit too much of the local brew and succumbed to fits of depression. Now and then I drunkenly considered going for a midnight swim and let the sea take me away forever.
But it wasn't time for that.
On the fourth day of my voluntary exile, after accepting a delivery of shrimp, flank steak, and a variety of vegetables from an extremely agreeable young man, I decided to take advantage of my beach's "option" and venture out to the surf in the buff. In the preceding days I had not seen a single other person other than dark specks moving distantly down the beach. The haciendas flanking mine were either unoccupied, or their tenants had no true love for the beach.
All that meant, of course, that stepping boldly and gloriously nude to the edge of the water was easy enough. The flow of salty air across my now-naked genitals was, well, titillating, perhaps even a touch arousing. I almost felt like swaggering. Like a naked Captain Morgan, I planted one of my feet upon a piece of large driftwood and tilted the bottle of beer to my lips.
I was lord of my domain. Vincent Paterac, King of Naked Beach.
And in Mel Brooks' immortal words, it was good to be the king.
A reckless, careless chuckle left my lips. I had never felt such freedom before. For the first time in my life, I truly had no cares, no demands, no deadlines to meet or fools to please. There was only I, the sea, and the wind.
And the woman who inexplicably appeared in the corner of my vision.
"Good afternoon," she said casually.
In that instant, I was a twelve-year-old boy, suddenly foolish and embarrassed. I settled my free hand over my crotch. "Uh . . . good afternoon," I replied.
She chuckled, amused at my gesture. "Don't worry, you're not offending me. I've seen naked men before."
Now I felt even more embarrassed. Here I was, a man of forty-four years, naked on a private beach where it had already been established that nudity was kosher . . . and I'm covering my dick because a woman happened to be there.
She was about twenty feet away, just at the imaginary dividing line between my rental property and my easterly neighbor. She wore a stark white bikini with a transparent wrap that fluttered around her legs like the tentative hands of a doting masseuse.
I could honestly say I had never seen a woman quite like her before. Her skin was darker than that of any black woman I had previously seen. It wasn't just chocolate dark, it was dark chocolate dark, like the richest and most alluring shade of pure ebony. Her eyes glowed in contrast, as if lit from behind, as did her teeth when she spoke. The pale color of her garments looked like purest ivory in contrast.
At last, I found a voice to speak with. "I didn't think anyone else would be on this beach."
Her amused expression remained, even as she gave me a once-over. "I'm getting that impression."
I looked at her painfully. "I'm not a pervert."
She just shrugged. "I didn't think you were." She took a few steps closer. "It's okay. I'm not going to call the police, if that's what you're afraid of. I don't think I could, to be honest. Anyway, I know this beach is clothing optional. I might even strip down some time myself."
I arched an eyebrow. That would be something to see, I had to admit. The woman had a very nice figure, which was thankfully showcased by her scant attire.
"My name's Nina," she said by way of introduction. "I'm guessing you're from the States, too?"
I nodded. "Chicago area."
She smiled broadly. "No kidding! I grew up in Gary."
She looked behind me to my hacienda. "You rented from Hector, too?"
"Yes. Four or five days ago. Something like that. I've already lost track of time."
She flashed those dazzling white teeth once more. "That just means you are officially on vacation," she commented. "How long will you be my neighbor?"
"Around two more weeks, a little more."
She nodded with a purse of lush, soft-looking lips and started to turn away. "I guess I'll be seeing you around."
I watched her go, and for the first time in a very long time, I found myself admiring the shape of a woman's behind. She wore a thong beneath the transparent wrap, which vanished between a pair of nearly perfect spherical buttocks. Despite my omnipresent somberness, I actually felt the stirrings of arousal.
"Wait!" I called.
Nina stopped and gave me a quizzical look over her shoulder.
"My name's Vincent."
She smiled. "Nice to meet you, Vincent."
* * * *
My retreat included satellite TV, but after flipping through numerous channels, I decided that all I wanted was some music. So I found a music station playing the pop hits from the 80s that I still knew and loved as I went about assembling my dinner. I fired up the gas stove, heated a pan, boiled some water. Pan-seared flank steak with steamed broccoli was on the menu for the night. I figured I would switch the 50-inch big screen TV to something banal as I ate, then maybe order a movie and crack open a bottle of tequila.
The chime at the front door was not at all anticipated.
I frowned at the sound of it and considered simply ignoring it. At just after six in the early evening, it could have been someone trying to sell something.
But it sounded again.
I grumbled as I made my way to the door. Annoyance fueling my movements, I jerked the portal open, ready to let loose an angry tirade upon whichever hapless soul happened to be standing on the doorstep.
Instead, however, there was no hapless soul. Just my beautiful, exotic, dark-skinned neighbor, holding a small basket in her hands. She flinched and stepped back before my less than amiable answering.
For a long moment, we just stared at one another. My annoyance was gone in a flash, replaced by admonishment.
"Is this, um, a bad time?" Nina asked.
I breathed out with an embarrassed laugh. "No," I said. "Sorry."
She blinked, eyes round and wide and making her look even younger than she already appeared. "I could, uh, come back . . . or, not at all . . . ."
"No, it's fine, really," I said emphatically, even as I wondered why I felt I needed to endear myself to this woman. Part of me, apparently, wanted to be a good neighbor. "I'm sorry. I'm not the easiest person to get to know. It's been a while since I was, well, social."
Her features softened. A smile crept across her face. She had a very cute and round nose, I noticed. Button-like. "Me, too, actually," she said. "But, maybe it's because I'm on vacation, but I figured, what the hell. If there's any excuse to step out of my shell, this would be it."
Now a real smile came to me. "I can relate to that," I said. I pushed the door open wide. "I was just about to make dinner. I could easily make it for two. Would you care to join me?"
Nina grinned. "I think I would."
* * * *
We ate, we drank, we spoke of banal things the likes of which two strangers would casually reveal. I learned that Nina was a professor of communication, who taught at a university in Memphis, Tennessee. I shared with her some basic details of my career in real estate. Interspersed with that was the usual banter about popular culture, a few vague references to politics, and other topics. My initial assumption about Nina's age -- which I figured, based on her appearance and energy, to be in the late-20s range -- was challenged by some of her remarks.
". . . sometimes I think I'm beating my head against the wall when I try to explain things like irony to my students," she said at one point, as we sat in the living room of the hacienda, sipping from glasses filled with wine.
I chuckled. "I love a good dose of irony," I said. "Reminds me of one of my favorite movies. 'I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, I drank what?'"
Nina laughed, tossing her head back as she reclined upon the couch beside the chair in which I sat. "Oh my God! Real Genius! I love that movie!"
I shot her a look. "I saw it in the theater," I said pointedly.
She gave me a look of her own. "So did I," she shot back.
That surprised me. I looked her over once more, trying to assess whether or not this woman was pulling my leg. She was clad in loose khaki shorts and a yellow tank that showed off both the smooth dark tone of her skin as well as the apparently youthful muscles beneath. There was no way this woman was more than thirty, I figured, but her comments suggested otherwise.
"You look surprised," she said.
"That's because I am."
Nina tittered and sipped her wine, then eased forward to set the glass upon the low coffee table before her. Her gaze drifted out through the open doors and windows of the living room to the grounds beyond and the dark, rolling waves of the sea.
"I've always wanted to take a tropical vacation," she said absently. She dipped her head, looking down. "But we always ended up spending our vacation time on Superbowl and things like that."
"'We,'" I echoed.
Nina nodded. "My husband was a big sports fan," she said ruefully. But then she laughed and leaned back, falling into the cushions of the couch. Her breasts bounced beneath the single layer of fabric covering them, nipples making outlines against the cotton. "But this vacation . . . this is all mine." She smiled broadly.
"So . . . I'm guessing the husband is now an ex-husband," I ventured.
Her head rolled toward me with a smile. "He sure is," she said, dark eyes boring into mine.
And there it was. A meaningful look. I had not been privy to too many of those in my lifetime. A few during my collegiate days, when I was foolish enough to be part of a ridiculous fraternity, then more later, after the wedding. My wife had been exceedingly adept when it came to conveying desires and intimations with her eyes.
Suddenly, here was another woman who seemed to possess the same talent. Or perhaps that was ego, wishful thinking, or simple maladroitness on my part. Regardless of the reasons, I felt Nina was sending me a message, one for which I was not yet ready.
I sat up, looking away, seeking a diversion. "Why don't we go to the patio? It's a nice night."
I did not look to her as I stepped to the wide-open portal -- I had not bothered to close it during the last few days -- but I gave her an amiable smile as I stood aside and allowed her through. She smiled back, somewhat reserved, I thought.
"How long were you married?" I asked her as we took our seats at the round wooden table overlooking the lawn and sea beyond.
"Seventeen years," she said wistfully. "I met him in my junior year. He was a teacher's aide . . . and star running back for the football team."
I chuckled. "Brains and brawn?" I asked.
"Sure seemed that way," she answered, and I could tell she was a little perturbed by the turn in conversation. "Fooled me enough to make me want to marry him and put up with his shit for longer than I should have."
"I'm sorry. I didn't mean to bring up anything painful."
She turned her face toward me, and for a moment, there was a hard, biting look in her eyes, the sort of look which would have been the inspiration for the phrase 'shooting daggers.' But quickly enough, her dark orbs softened and the warm, friendly, casually flirtatious smile returned. "What about you? How long were you married?"
I automatically glanced to the ring that still adorned my finger. After more than two years, I still couldn't take it off. "Twelve," I said. "Almost thirteen."
"Second marriage?" she asked. "Or . . . you were just waiting?"
A smile borne of nostalgia tugged at my lips. "I had a few near misses before I met Jessica," I said. "But she was the only woman I'll ever be married to."
Nina's eyes darted as she tried to read my face. "Once is enough?"
Thankfully, the conversation turned to more light-hearted fare after that. We talked about music, television shows, books. Nina, though she never directly came out and told me her age, was obviously a good decade older than I figured her for. I commended her on maintaining her youth.
By midnight, I was feeling tired, and announced my intention to get some sleep. Nina at first gave me a somewhat hopeful look, as if I was suggesting she stay the night and let whatever passions we may feel run their course. But by that point, the possibility of sex had already come and gone, if it had ever existed at all. So I led her to the door, thanked her for the basket, and sent her on her way.