From Across The WavesbyLord DragonsWing©
Standing on the edge of the surf I could feel the warm gulf waters lapping over my barefeet. Looking down I made sure the white cotton slacks I was wearing were rolled up high enough to keep from getting damp. As I wiggled my toes in the foam of the surf I began to wonder why I had been drawn here to the edge of the water.
Raising my head I let the warm breeze caress my opened shirt. The beat of the reggae band at the surf bar flowed with the night air. The licks of the bass guitar, the rhythmic beat of the drum pulling at the dancers souls. But for some reason that wasn't for me tonight. Not tonight. Something called me to the surf. Something strong, something I could feel deep inside.
Looking out over the waves I could see the fishing boats ploughing their way through the dark waters. The red and green lights, like christmas decorations on a busy highway, showing their directions of movement. Perhaps my father was out there, dragging his nets, praying for the bounty that had supported our family as I had grown up. But that wasn't why I was here. That wasn't what had called me back to the sea.
Feeling the warm, wet sand under my feet I began to stroll along the line of surf. Glancing out at the fleet I missed the innocence that I had possessed in my youth. Growing up on a fishing boat wasn't easy by no means. Yet the discoveries a young man made, the camaraderie that existed among the crew, that followed you through life. That made you the man you were today.
Raising my eyes to the stars I wondered what kind of man I had become since those days on the boats. I had left without regret. I didn't want to become like my father. Struggling day to day and living months at sea. I had done that as a teen. I wasn't about to do that the rest of my life. So what did I do? I enlisted in the Army. At least there my feet would be on dry land.
Stuffing my hands into my pockets I turned and watched the nearest boat begin to pull up it's nets. Yep, big difference that change made for me. In the Army you still struggled. Except there it was to stay alive. And as for the dry land part, well who knew I'd be walking in rice paddies along the Thai and Cambodian border at the end of the war. So much for being a kid and thinking you knew it all.
My instincts had kept me alive then, but why were they tugging at me now? What had drawn me away from a cold beer and a chance to do the Rumba with a beautiful college brunette who kept winking at me across the dance floor?
Shaking my head I just laughed at the picture of this 45 year old soldier dancing with a gorgeous 22 year old college student. I'm sure her friends would love it. Her long brown hair, mine graying from age. Damn, I could be her father.
Looking around I noticed the waiters had a tub of iced beer next to the volleyball court. Strolling over I grabbed a Corona and gave the poor guy sitting there a tip.
Smiling I waved my beer and went back to staring at the waves. Pops, yea that's me now. Forty-five years old, graying hair and goatee, still slim and in shape. But definitely Pops to these kids.
Taking a swig of the Corona after I had squeezed the lime into the frosted bottle, I stood thinking of the one woman I had met in my life that ever meant anything to me. I had met Kim while on leave many years ago. I never really thought it would lead to much on just 3 weeks off, but damn how that girl infected me.
Girl? Yea, she was at that time. Just hit 19 and cute as a button. Her long blonde hair hanging over her shoulders. Her big brown eyes like puddles you could dive in. And that giggle she had, damn it sounded like sirens teasing you on the ocean.
That had been the best 3 week leave I'd ever had in my military career. Unfortunately, I never got back to Australia after that. Oh, Kim and I stayed in touch. We still speak. I've never wanted to be with anyone but her since the day I met her. Unfortunately, she got married about a year after I returned to the jungles.
The prick she married I could of kicked his ass. Growing up in the old South you learn to be a gentleman and how to treat the ladies. But this guy! He totally abused her. And when I tried to get leave to go help her I was refused. But Kim's a strong girl. She stood up for herself and left, taking her two girls with her.
After the jungles I was transferred back to the states to prepare for a new type of conflict. I never got to go to Australia again. The little time I got for leave was spent with family and fishing. Kim and I still talked over the years. She'd been in and out of other relationships the same as I had. For me, none of those relationships felt as right as it did with Kim.
Standing there on the beach I suddenly realized why I felt compelled to be there. Turning and running back to the waiter at the volleyball court I ask him for his pen and a sheet of paper.
Snatching his pen and a empty receipt slip from his pad I turn and face the surf. Raising my head I can hear the siren calling me from across the waves.
Scribbling on the blank receipt I shove the paper into the empty Corona bottle and seal it with the lime. Walking back to the edge of the surf I ignore the length of my cuffs as I go knee deep into the warm water.
Reaching behind me I toss the bottle into the water and watch the waves carry my message out to sea. Turning and facing to the southeast I listen to the wind. There, did you hear it? The giggle? It's the song of the siren. It's the song of Kim.
Grabbing my cell phone off of my hip I dial quickly.
"Yes, is this Mike?"
"Yep, got a surprise for you."
"I'm on my way over Kim."
I can hear her begin to cry into the phone.
"God yes! You don't know how long I've wanted to hear that."
"Well, I'll be there soon. And do me a favor will you?"
"Check the beach for me. There's a message on it's way in a bottle."
Shutting down the phone, I turn and stare at the boats offshore. If any of them catch the bottle I know they'll throw it back out to sea. After reading that note, they may even help it along some.
Handing the pen and paper back to the kid I walk slowly back towards the bar. There's alot to do. And a short time to do it in. But I have to get it down quick so I can beat the bottle to Kim.
Stopping, I turn to face the waiter as he opens his pad.
"Can I get one more Corona for the road?"
The waiter sits there reading his pad. Rising slowly he reaches into his tub and throws me a beer.
"This one's on me Pops. I just read the carbon of what you wrote."
Catching the beer I smile at the kid.
"Can you destroy that carbon? I wasn't thinking about that."
Smiling, the waiter nods his head.
"I sure can. But that is the most romantic thing I've ever read. You're giving it all up for this girl? And you've sent it to her in a bottle?"
Feeling my face began to flush in the night air I smile at the waiter.
"Yep, I met her ages ago. And at that time I didn't know how good I had it. Now is my chance. I'm not going to screw this up."
Nodding the waiter reaches down and rips the carbon copy from his pad. Turning away, I sip the beer as the reggae music begins to seep into my soul.
The one thing I missed was the young waiter taking the copy and reading it again before he crumbled it into his pocket.
"My Dearest Love, I've been a fool tied to dreams that were lost over the years. As we've grown older I've missed you more each day. I am on my way over to love you. I'll listen for your answer over the waves."
As I approach the surf bar with it's dance floor of sand, I turn and look back at the surf. There, standing straight, is the young waiter. Listening to the wind.