The sky reminds me of cotton candy I spoilt my teeth on as a child. Thick, bright, orange cotton candy, the stuff that heaven was made off. I distinctly remember the feel of it in my mouth, like I had just plucked out a cloud from the sky and swallowed it. Only for a brief second, before it melted in my mouth.
The water is brackish. Not entirely from the sea, but not pure, either. Day in and day out, it crashes against the rocks, wearing them down. The little crabs wriggle around on the sand, burying themselves whenever they seek the comfort of walls. The big ones occasionally scurry around, but most choose to confine themselves to the safety of their carapace.
The air still smells like I remember it, vividly, from ten years ago, when Rachel and I used to come here. Rachel. Life-saving and fatal. Rachel and her little trinkets, and her quirky notions. You couldn’t call them ideas, they were notions, Rachel’s. She was a strange little girl who didn’t bother other people so much as she bothered them. And I loved her.
There aren’t too many trees near here that I can see, from where I stand. Nobody really comes here nowadays. It used to bustle with activity, when the town was alive. Kids playing on the rocks, people going about their business … Those were very good years. All that’s left now is a ghost town, and silence all around. And Him.
Running on the beach, the cool sand softly cradling her dainty feet as she teased my passions and playfully escaped my advances. Falling asleep countless times on the shore, staring at the sky, entangled in each other. Waking up next to her warm body, her thick black hair perfectly framing her face. Intoxicated by that smell of jasmine and sage that lingered around her.
He lives inside me, still. A tortured soul, plagued by memories happier than his present fate.
Ten years, today. Most of my memory of that time is a haze. There was Rachel, and then there wasn’t.
Time here is arrested by the poignancy of the stories of what survives here. The wind blows, the sand shifts, and ships pass by. But I stand, unchanging, a timeless witness to hopeful beginnings and tragic endings.
I’ve lived here far too long to go back to my old life, now. There’s no one to talk to, no soul to share myself with, nobody but me. Living away from people for so long has its effect on you. You love the solitude, the tranquility. But those inner demons slowly drive you mad, and you are no longer fit to deal with other people. Of all the cheaters and mindless sheep in the world, it had to be her.
What kind of a man lives in a lighthouse?