He opened the passenger door and helped me out of the car, I left my clutch in the car. The moment the massive breeze engulfed me and thick sand beneath almost buried my feet, I knew where we were.
"You brought me to the beach?" I asked. I'd been to the beach more times than I could count but I knew tonight was different. It was special
"Yeah, I promised myself that I'd bring you here." He sounded nervous. "Hope you like the ocean?" He asked.
"I love the ocean. It always gives me peace and tranquility whenever I'm around." I replied, feeling excited already.
"Good. Let's go closer, shall we?" I nodded. He seemed relieved perhaps he thought I disliked the place. Well if that was the case, then he was wrong.
Our house had a short cut to the beach and mum and dad used to take Ana and I there constantly but they stopped when I clocked eighteen. Now Ana just takes me once in a while.
I sure miss the ocean.
Sand and pebbles kept penetrating into my shoes, making me feel uncomfortable, I tried enduring it but after a few seconds, I couldn't bear it anymore.
"Please I need to take off my shoes. It's getting uncomfortable." I bent over in order to take them off but he stopped me.
"Stay still, let me help you." He said and instantly, I heard a sound like he was going down.
"Are you kneeling? You don't have to. I can take it off myself." I held his arms to raise him to a standing position.
"I want to, please let me. Besides how can I remove my princess' shoes if I don't kneel down."
I remember he used to call me that a lot when we were children. I missed that name and I was glad he was back, which means he would keep calling me princess. He chuckled and I gathered my thoughts and kept them behind for later so as to focus on the reason for his laugh.
"What's amusing?" I asked.
"You're wearing sneakers. I never imagined that. All the girls at the party, including my sister, wore stilettos that were as tall as Skyscrapers." He replied, still laughing.
"Well, I'm different." I wore heels once in a while but not the ankle spraining ones. Just wedges and not so high shoes.
"I know. You've always been different to me, Cassiopeia." I think my brain spined each time he said something.
He removed my shoes and held them and then we walked towards the ocean. As soon as the water touched my feet, I heaved a sigh that I didn't know I held within.
"Close your eyes and listen to the sound of the ocean." He said and I complied. I closed my eyes to concentrate on the waves and the ocean itself. It was so beautiful. Never have I experienced this surge of peace and happiness than at this moment.
"Each time I come here, the waves remind me of you being so close to my heart and also far away. You remind me of the ocean Cassiopeia and when I see the stars at night, I remember you always."
This man surely had a way of turning my life upside down with his words.
"I never forgot you too, Jason. I remember you in almost every conversation with people and especially when I'm alone." I deemed it fit for him to know that he wasn't the only on the boat of remembrance.
We stayed that way for what seemed like forever. Before he broke the spell.
"Dance with me." he whispered in my ear and I shuddered.
"I'm not the best dancer and besides there's no song playing."
"That's not a problem. All we have to do is listen to sound of the ocean and dance to it. Great idea, isn't it?"
Well, what he said kinda made sense. He reached out for my hands and placed them around his neck then he placed his on my waist and drew me close to him.
We began a slow dance to what I felt was the rhythmic beat of the ocean. We moved left and right, forward and backwards continuously till he took my right hand and twirled me around. I giggled but kept dancing.
Dancing with Jason was so much fun and we lost track of time. When we grew tired, we left the ocean and he took me farther, away from the water to sit on the beach.
I tried to catch my breath before asking the one question I told myself I would ask when our paths crossed again.
"Jason, why did you leave me?"
He sighed and I waited patiently for his reply.
"Mum woke me up suddenly one morning and said I should hurry up that we were leaving Manhattan for Britain. I told her that I couldn't leave you behind and that we should convince your parents to make you travel with us but she only laughed and cried at the same time. She said I would never see you again. I was sad and didn't want to go but there was nothing I could do. I was just eight years old."
I felt pity for him and the only way to show it was move my hands till I found his back, then I rubbed it, offering support.
"When we got to my country, I couldn't eat or sleep all day. I fell ill and that got mum and dad worried. My parents told me that on my eleventh birthday, I'd come to America to see you. I was still eight years old then and eleven seemed to be far away but I believed them. So I began to eat, went to school and behaved like a normal child. On the eve of my eleventh birthday, dad died."
I gasped and covered my mouth in total shock.
"Mum and I cried and I felt melancholic on my birthday, we had to cancel the party they had organized for me. We both went for therapy but nothing worked to ease off the pain. I was so scared of asking mum to come visit you because I knew she would freak out. So I stayed quiet for days. Days turned into months and months grew into years. When I was sixteen, mum remarried and I got a stepsister, Theresa, she reminded me so much of you and I liked her and treated her well. We became very close. As a matter of fact, she is in NYU also. I would love to introduce you to her soon, if you agree."
"Of course I agree. Anytime you're both free, we could hang out." I wanted to know his sister as much as I wanted to know him.