Lorna awoke knowing that someone was standing behind her. She had no idea how many hours had passed since she’d fallen asleep after watching the sun go down. Opening her eyes, she saw a moonpath out across the inky Mediterranean that looked solid enough to walk upon. The moon itself was full.
A kind of music both familiar to Lorna and strange drifted across the moondrenched beach. A party in one of the row of houses that overlooked the bay, she supposed.
Sitting up, Lorna draped the beach towel she’d been using as a blanket over her shoulders. As elegantly as she could, Lorna got to her feet. She stretched, raising both arms to the sky, and filled her lungs with the scent of damp sand, pine, ozone and night itself.
Apart from the presence behind her, Lorna was alone. She was surprised at how calm she felt. Her heart was racing, but with excitement. Whatever happened next was meant to be. She turned, let the towel fall, and took the hand he offered.
* * *
The dance began slow. He held her hands in his and they moved round and round in circles that became faster and faster until Lorna could no longer feel the rocks beneath her feet. Somehow, despite the moonlight, the man’s face was always in shadow. His eyes points of light.
All Lorna could feel of the man was his hands holding her as they danced from one end of the beach to the other. Round and round they danced. Faster and faster, until Lorna surrendered herself completely. Deeper and deeper the music penetrated her. She closed her eyes and trusted herself to the man’s hands. Sometimes she felt his heat as he came near to her. At others she felt far away from him and she was dancing out to sea alone along the moonpath.
After what could have been hours or no time at all, the circles of their dance began to slow. Still with her eyes closed, Lorna felt the man pull her closer to him. When their bodies were touching, Lorna opened her eyes. Behind the man, the first rays of the rising sun were pinking the sky. But, somehow, he was still in shadow. The man let go of Lorna’s hands, placed his own on either side of her face and turned it up towards his.
* * *
The sun was high when Lorna awoke for the second time. She unwrapped the beach towel from her body, slipped off her clothes and stepped into the sea. Breathing in short gasps, she swam out to the middle of the bay. Below her, the rocks and waving banks of seagrass looked so close she could touch them. She looked up at the empty blue sky and then back at the village of Deia rising up to the church.
“I am suspended between heaven and earth,” Lorna said out loud. “And,” she shouted, “I am ravenous.”
As these last words echoed back to her from the cliffs, Lorna turned and swam to the shore.
Sat on the shaded terrace of the Sa Font Fresca café, Lorna looked out over the jumble of houses with their green wooden shutters, gardens and palms to where the olive terraces fell away to the glittering sea. Someone nearby was smoking and she was tempted to ask for a cigarette to go with her third cup of coffee.
Lorna was exhausted but filled with life. She’d eaten a huge breakfast but was ferociously hungry. She was in her body but her mind was as empty as the sky. She remembered every single detail of the dance on the beach in that extraordinary moonlight but was still not sure if it had been real.
The beeping of Lorna’s phone jolted her out of her reverie. She looked at the screen. It was a message from her partner in their wedding planning business, asking where Lorna was and reminding her they had a meeting with a potential client in five minutes.
Someone had parked so close to the driver’s side of Lorna’s car that it was impossible for her to open the door. Sweating and cursing under her breath, she slid across the passenger seat and hoisted herself over the gearstick. Untangling her feet from the pedals, she took a deep breath. It was only then that she realised the car was filled with the most divine fragrance.
Tuning, Lorna saw on the back seat the bunch of pink bougainvillea she’d picked the day before and forgotten all about. They were bursting with colour. New blooms seemed to have grown overnight. Lorna lowered her window, looked into her rearview mirror and started the car.
Across the narrow road, a red and yellow bus had stopped. Backed up behind the bus, a line of cars curled around the corner and out of the village. Lorna eased into the road, only to be startled by a rasping blast from a horn. She had almost driven into a truck loaded down with bricks. Another truck waited behind that one. Lorna put her head down onto the steering wheel of the rental car.
When Lorna raised her head again, a traffic policeman was standing in the middle of the road, waving to her to pull out. He wore dark glasses and his peaked cap was pulled down low but he was smiling.
Lorna pulled out into the middle of the road. The traffic cop strolled to her car as if he had all the time in the world. He reached in through the window, across Lorna, and took one of her business cards from where she kept a stack in the drinks holder.
She looked down at the cop’s hand. Her heart opened. Oceans of possibility appeared.
Many thanks to David Templeton for allowing me to reproduce Adamo y Eva, Suspension of Disbelief and Bubbling Under. Contact David at firstname.lastname@example.org or memoirsofadementedfan.blogspot.com