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By the Shore

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I am the one who sits on the shore of Lugaua Beach, my long, slender legs poking into the water. Every evening, a smidge before sunset, I set off down the winding path of my village. The ocean greets me by washing over and kissing the toes of my feet, sparkling like cerulean mermaid scales. You see me every day by that empty beach, lying on my back with the golden sand prickling my skin.
I see you too, out of the corner of my eye, standing amongst the shadows of the trees. Your face is half-hidden from darkness while the other side glints from the filtering sunlight. I don’t really know what you look like – although you probably have a clear view of me.
I can only see a pool of dark blue eyes. Or maybe they’re gray.
The sun makes them look different every time.
Sometimes, we talk. You come out of the thicket of trees, clad in swim trunks and goggles, kicking sand as you approach. You never face me properly, and I refuse to face you as well – but I sneak looks occasionally – a glimpse of auburn hair, a snippet of a smile.
Our conversations usually go like this:
“Hey, the one who sits on the shore of the beach.”
Your voice is deep like a coyote whistling in the midsummer night, gripped with a heavy accent.
“Hey, the one who watches me sit on the shore of the beach.”
We stop speaking after that, letting a comfortable silence blanket over. It’s rather nice having company – most summers I sit alone, thinking, the only other presence the ocean. We stay like that for a long time, sometimes over an hour – Me lying on my back, my feet sliding into the cool blue sea, and you, standing behind me patiently.
You always leave first. Right after the sunset goes down, you say, “Gotta go before the riots start,” like we ever have riots here, and walk away thinking you’re funny.
And I stay a bit longer, darkness starting to flood the sky. My body tingles all over whenever you’ve dropped by. Right when the ocean starts to turn gray from blue, I stand up, sand sticking to my thighs.
As I wander back towards the village, the same thought occurs to me every time:
How can you love someone so much without even knowing them?




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