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At two in the morning there is no better place to be than Santa Monica Beach. If I had to put a word to the beauty that is around me it would be “breathe taking.” However, that is an understatement and a cliché. The stars are shining like little spot lights; the moon is casting a blue shadow over the water giving the ocean an otherworldly glow. The night is silent except for the rhythmic crashing of waves; the sand feels cool between my toes. I still can’t believe I am going to leave all this behind to move to New York. I hear it’s always loud there and the people are far from pleasant. But what can you do when David Remnick calls and offers you a writing job; how can you say no?
So I sit here enjoying the sweet caress of the ocean breeze and try to memorize the feeling of calm that can only be achieved by sitting under a full moon for the last time.
“Allison Coolidge, there you are,” said my husband, William.
William is 6 foot 3, with hair as dark as the stars are bright, and blazing blue eyes. William walks with the confidence of a king, but chooses to dress like a surfer. When he steps into the glow of the moonlight his raven hair turns silver and his blue eyes pierce the soul.
“We have a six o’clock flight, why are you out here,” he asked.
Thank god for William. I don’t think I would be able to go through with the move if it wasn’t for him. I know he loves living on the beach as much as I do, maybe even more. It’s going to be hard on him, but he found a new job at a prestigious law firm.
“I couldn’t sleep so I figured I would come out here to do some thinking,” I said as a yawn escaped my grasp.
“Come on back home, we have to leave for the airport in an hour,” he said.
I got up clumsily and tripped over my flip-flop luckily, William caught me before I fell, as he usually does. I looked up into his eyes and giggled.
“Haha! I’m going to miss walking down the shore line with you in my arms,” he said.
“I’m going to miss kissing you under the stars,” I said before he pulled me in for a sweet kiss.
He held me under his arm while we walked back home. Our house sits about two miles from the shore. It isn’t a large home, but it’s very open. Floor to ceiling windows cover most of the house. At the back, near the kitchen, there is a large mosaic of the beach. During the summer, if the sun’s rays hit the mosaic in the right spot it casts dancing, blue, yellow, and gold spots over the floor. When you stand on the balcony you can hear the waves brushing against the sand. William would come out here in the spring to paint the sunsets and migrating birds.
It’s three in the morning at this point. William is putting the last of our things in the car, while I lock our front door for the last time. The car ride to the airport was a silent one; William just chewed his lips as I played with a glass bottle of sand I brought with me. At the airport we bought some breakfast then boarded the plane a few hours later.
Our plane ride was five hours and by the time we landed and picked up our luggage it was lunch time. My first impression of the city was that it reeked of car smoke. We may not be in California anymore, but the traffic seems to have followed us.
Our new apartment was in the heart of the city, Time Square. William being the corny, romantic that he is carried me over the threshold of our New York home. Our dwelling was about the same size as the old beach house. Instead of large windows and mosaics, this apartment had white walls with little decoration on them. The flight here was very tiring and I wasn’t in the mood to go explore the city, so I went to take a long nap. When I woke up it was already eight o’clock. I walked outside the bedroom to look for William, but I couldn’t find him. What I could find were easels, canvases, and paint supplies littering our hard wood floors. I followed the trail of paint brushes onto the balcony where I found him painting.
“How can you be painting something so dull and horrid,” I asked in a bitter tone.
“It is not dull,” he answered. “I realized something while you were sleeping.”
“Oh, and what would that be?”
“Yes, this isn’t our quite beach house, but it is just as beautiful.”
“Remember the sound of crashing waves? Well, that was replaced by the sound of people’s laughter and music. The bright lights are the city’s version of twinkling stars. Just as the ocean is a living, breathing, creature, so is New York City, you just have to look closely.”
After giving it some thought I realized he was right. When sitting on our balcony the lights looked like millions of rainbows and if you listened hard enough you could hear the music of the city.
“You know, you look even more beautiful in the shine of the city lights,” William said as he stroked my cheek.
I giggled and curled up under his arm. We sat there together for hours just listening to the city. This may not be the sounds of the beach, but it was the same feeling. I knew that as long as William was with me, no matter where I was, I would always find the spirit of the beach.