I had never seen her wear the sleeveless button-up blouse and jeggings. We had both, more or less, worn the same clothes for the last 10-days, but this evening marked the last night we would spend on the beach together.
In fact, it marked the last night, in all reality, we would probably ever spend together. She said she wasn’t dressing for the occasion, that it was the only thing that was clean, but I didn’t believe her. She also let her curly hair loose, the way I liked it. She never let her hair down.
We went out for a final meal, and after we ate, we walked hand in hand down the beach. Her English was better than my French, but sometimes she liked to force me to try and articulate my thoughts in her mother tongue. It didn’t sound pretty, but it made her happy. I loved to see her smile.
The walk ended at our guesthouse above a local's store, and we made our way through the dark hall to our room. The generator was off, no lights were on, and the locals were already sleeping. I threw her on the bed, opened the mosquito net over us, and kissed her with authority. She reciprocated the notion.
In that moment, I felt like Christmas had come early this year. I had learned a thing or two since my youth, though. This gift was too special to tear open with haste; I undid each button of the sleeveless blouse slowly, anxiously awaiting what lay underneath the wrapping.