It might not look like it, but I do like to go to the beach. Seeing as I've been to the beach about thrice in two years is not testament to my point, and yet I often dream about putting my feet in the water and staring at the horizon over the lake.
Almost all the times I've gone to the beach, I've gone with a bunch of friends, or workmates, or members of a club, organization, whatever, except for that time when my friend Max took me with him. I'd never gone to the beach alone, much less with someone. So, one day I decided to jump waaaay out of my comfort zone and actually go to the beach with someone.
First step was to find someone not in the friendzone. I'd had enough beach outings with those. Wanted to know what it felt like to be without limits. That one wasn't hard to find. I had only one person in mind. I imagined she'd look good at sunset. It was time to put that to the test. Besides, she was always berating me about generally avoiding the 'great outdoors', seeing as I habitually leave office after dark. Come to think of it, we had barely ever been in each other's company during the day. She was elated upon hearing the news that we'd be going to the beach for the day. I too could hardly contain my excitement.
Next step was to get to the beach without looking like an idiot. Since I'd never gone there on a 'solo' adventure, I'd never taken public means to the place. After discreetly asking for directions, that task proved to be a cinch.
We got to the beach, brimming with eagerness and appetite for a taste of the good life. For some reason, she held my hand tightly as soon as we walked through the gate. She'd mentioned that she was shy. I led her through a swarm of revelers, my eyes roving about to take in the atmosphere. It wasn't long before I realized she was merely marking territory. Having caught an eyeful of thighs glistening in the afternoon sun, she figured I would stray if left unattended. In hindsight, I should have worn sunglasses. She kept asking me questions that I found irrelevant but necessary to keep my focus on her. I did my best to act focused. I really tried. But the effort was taking too much of a toll on me, so we made a beeline towards the drinks tent. I needed to blur my vision, fast.
After some eating and drinking, it was time to talk. I dreaded that part, but from the way she was laughing, I think I got along pretty well. Heck, we even took a leisurely walk on the sand. We saw people frolicking in the water, and we discussed the merits and demerits of swimming in the lake. I think we were holding hands almost the entire time. At first I was rather uncomfortable, but I eventually got used to it, or ignored it. I'm not sure which. But I was enjoying her company immensely, to the point that at some point, everything else was just a blur. it could as well have been just the two of us at the beach.
It was almost sunset. We assumed the position. Hands around waists, head on the other's shoulder, we tried our best to think of how romantic it was to watch a sunset together. She said it felt awesome. I was trying my best to not get blinded by the twilight. Having spent too much time in darkness, my eyes were unaccustomed to staring at bright light. So, when a tear ran down my cheek, she might have thought the beauty of the whole thing was overwhelming me.
When the sun went down and darkness fell, my eyes were glistening. She was smiling from ear to ear, telling me how romantic it all was. I was smiling with relief, that finally, I was back in my element.