Translated by Kristina Valchanova
Waves come and go. So does love. Everything looks so simple when you are standing on the seashore – no words, no context, no desires. The breeze, which came from the horizon and brought the smell of shellfish and seaweed, suddenly changed direction. Then died down as if it disappeared. It just made way for its older brother – Eurus – the easterly wind.
“Do you think we can take this step?” he asked her.
“I hate talking about this kind of stuff. I’d like something to happen by itself, not by us planning it.” The fear of what could happen seemed to stick to her throat.
“I’m not planning anything!”
“Yes, you are!”
“What do you suggest we do then? Just let everything happen by itself?” he asked her and took a sip from his beer.
“Not just let it happen!” She was drinking a martini, they were hiding under the shade of a thatched umbrella, where only the wind found them and scattered the smoke from her cigarettes. “Not just let everything happen by itself but wait and see if something happens at all,” she added.
“What do you mean ‘if?’”
“Some things are just supposed to happen by themselves.”
The sea – greenish near the shore, gradually turning blue – reached the horizon, as if this single line was trying to firmly say “the sky starts here.” A straight endless line.
“I never understood this way of thinking.”
“You don’t understand it or you don’t want to?” She smiled, took a sip from her martini, and lit another cigarette.
The wind suddenly got stronger, scattered some inflatable toys and umbrellas around the beach, and people chased them around while laughing.
“This conversation became wishy-washy. I can’t just leave everything behind and throw myself into some summertime love affair, I’ve got two kids, remember?”
“I won’t force you to make a decision. I was just wondering where things were going, since what you were doing is not what you told me a while ago, for sure.”
“I don’t quite understand what you mean.”
“Of course you do, perfectly! But this doesn’t matter anymore, let’s go now because a storm is coming.”
“No, I really don’t understand anything.”
“There’s nothing much to understand, let’s go back.”
Suddenly the wind quieted down, as if hiding, waiting to pounce like a cat. The sea resembled a little reflecting pool – not a single wave to be found. The sky thickened to a dark leaden color as if somebody had turned out the lights. Everything became silent and tranquil – only the life-guards stood up and asked everyone get out of the water, when suddenly the cat woke up, ferocious. Sand was flying everywhere, people were chasing their parasols again, and small raindrops were aimlessly flying around, smacking the faces of those who were still on the otherwise deserted beach. The sea sent its warriors – the waves – which hurled themselves from up high as if they wanted to swallow up the whole beach.
Neither of them had the intention of hiding from the rain until she stood up and looked at the sand, which had become darker than its usual yellow hue.
“So what? That’s it?” he said, then looked at her and stood up next to her. He felt unable to express himself firmly and clearly enough for her to understand him. He wanted it all to happen with just a few words. And for her part, once she realized what she wanted, she wouldn’t think twice, even for a second.
“What can we do in this weather? Can’t you see a storm is coming?” She was trying to find a way out of the situation. She wanted to, she really wanted to. If only he could interpret her actions to know of the desire that burned inside of her, they probably wouldn’t have wasted time with this stupid conversation that she didn’t even know why they were having. Is he so blind not to see this? What other woman would stay with him in this storm? And besides, I have two kids!
“I’m telling you, I don’t get it at all.” He was trying to find a way towards her mind but something was stopping him. The fear he might lose her was making him carefully choose every single word, every single gesture. Was it really so hard for her to understand what he wanted to say to her? To just look around and notice that there is no other man on the beach standing next to a woman in this storm.
The sea was becoming louder and louder, as if it was trying to talk to them in its own language, but nobody would hear it! Everybody was trying to keep their clothes dry and hide from the storm.
“I’ve already heard that.” If he would just try to understand me, it would get a whole lot easier for him.
“I should have left you long ago. I don’t even know why I believed your BS.”
“I’ve never asked you to.” Every radical thesis immediately creates an antithesis and that happens without any logical explanation or seeking the other’s argument.
“Oh, now suddenly you’ve never asked me to? Is that so?” The circle of fourths started closing.
“Yes. It is.” They couldn’t go back to where the conversation started.
The rain became heavier. The wind could now move around whatever it wanted. People went hiding into their holes, like animals. The seagulls stopped existing. The sea darkened along with the sky. While everybody was heading home, he saw a magically beautiful silhouette of a woman dressed in white walking along the shore. The wind blew into his face. He closed his eyes. Then opened them. There was nobody on the shore. A vision.
“Why are you with me?”
Neither of them moved from where they were standing. The desire was stronger than any lack of sense but there was something that prevented them from communicating.
“Shouldn’t we go back?” She asked but she didn’t want to leave.
“Not until you give me an answer.” He didn’t even know what kind of response he wanted to hear from her. He was just desperately trying to win some time hoping things will fall into place by themselves.
“I’ll walk to the hotel.” She took a step toward the sand dunes behind which the road was hiding.
“I’ve got the keys.” He showed her the stupid hotel key holder – a small wooden figure of a surfer.
“I’m going back to the kids.” He might eventually understand what he has to do.
‘So’? Is he really that stupid?
“All that for nothing?”
“You make it look like that.”
“Then what should it look like?” He grabbed her by the hand.
“I don’t know. I’m telling you, I don’t know.” She looked at the sea again.
“It’s so easy for you to leave just like that.”
“No, it’s easy for you. You are single, you don’t have kids, you don’t have a family.”
“And you call that a family?”
“Yes, I do!”
“What are you doing here then? You want to have some holiday romance before going back home, huh?”
He just looked at her. While she was slowly going away, he couldn’t pluck up the courage to chase after her and just hug her, though he really wanted to. What was stopping him? Fear?!
The wind was dying down but the rain became heavier so there was no reason for him to stay on the beach. He followed in her footsteps, only now realizing how much time had passed since she had left for the hotel.
I will catch up with her and won’t listen to a single word she says. We’ve come all this way, so she there must be something she wanted from me after all, she didn’t come just like that.
When he walked into the room, her backpack wasn’t there. On the table, there was a vase, which had recently been turned over, with water now slowly dripping from it. He looked around. Nothing. A picture of an empty room and a turned over vase.
Everything looked so simple on the seashore – no words, no context, no desires.