You went a little mad in Jamaica.
When your friends dragged you to the beach party you saw him standing at the edge of the crowd, skin like melted chocolate, hair like snakes hanging down past his shoulders. Too gorgeous to be yours. It was enough to just steal multiple glances. Emboldened by strong rum drinks, the thick night air, and the whisper of the Caribbean, you strolled over to gaze at the sea, brushing his arm with yours. Later, when he told the story to his friends in his musical voice, he claimed you stood there for twenty minutes before he had the nerve to say hello, but it felt to you like just a suspended moment. It could have been seconds. It could have been hours.
He found you on the beach the next morning. He brought you a coconut and mangoes from his tree. You held hands on the beach and swam in the salty sea together, where he told you in a solemn voice, “I am not a one night stand.” He came with the clothes on his back and he stayed the entire week, never leaving your side.
Falling into his arms was a freefall. When he released his cascade of dreadlocks, hovering naked above you, they rained down like a thunderstorm, obliterating your view of anything but him, his beautiful lips, his piercing eyes. He was a lion, devouring your body and your sanity. His heartbeat was a drumbeat you had no choice but to dance to.
He took you to a magical treehouse, deep in the bush. Real Rasta land, he called it. His home. He picked a breadfruit from a tree and chopped wood with a machete to roast it. You fed each other the warm meaty meal with your hands. You lay in his arms under a mosquito net that felt like a princess canopy as a sultry breeze blew through the window and your mind whispered, “What if it could really be like this?”
You dared to dream, to let all the differences – age, culture, geography – fall aside, just for a mad moment in time. What if this were something real?
He told you that you felt like home to him, and you believed it. He couldn’t look at you with that intense unwavering gaze and be anything but honest. He told you he was the river and you were the sea; he flowed into you. His voice was like a song, a cadence of lyrics you hardly understood. He spoke your name like no one else and possessed you so fully that you belonged only to him. You professed your love to him before you could even pronounce his name, and the promise echoed in your heart as crystalline truth.
Soon enough it was time for it to end. Goodbyes were said at the airport. The tears washed your cheeks all the way home. Back home where you pictured him everywhere, and all of the pictures were absurd like an abstract painting trying to show the shape of something that didn’t exist.